Devotions

For how good and pleasant it is when kindred live together in unity!

“How very good and pleasant it is when kindred live together in unity!  It is like the precious oil on the head, running down upon the beard, on the beard of Aaron, running down over the collar of his robes. It is like the dew of Hermon, which falls on the mountains of Zion. For there the Lord ordained his blessing, life forevermore.”
-Psalm 133

Many of us are blessed by loving families. In this time of social distancing, we are being presented with a plethora of options to connect with those outside of our homes, too… Online, cell phone, church community, learning communities, social media etc. Technology is so far advanced these days compared to the setting of Psalm 133; however, this saying still rings true: How very good and pleasant it is when kindred live together in unity! In this time of social distancing, let us be mindful of the implications of those two words when it comes to the family unit. Perhaps, then, we will unravel new and meaningful ways of deepening relationships with the immediate family in our midst. Think about it…

Put down the cell phones. Have a conversation.

Turn off the computer. Play a board game.

Take a break from social media. Do a 20-questions game, tell stories, or read a book.

Hit off the lights. Hide-and-go-seek!

The writer of Psalm 133 is onto something. Perhaps beckoning us even today to see the beauty of nurturing human relationship with those directly in our midst. There are some, also, in our faith community without the surrounding of immediate family. If you know these persons, please do take time as a family to write them a card or a note of encouragement. You can also call them. They need to know how much they are loved, too!

Sometimes being unplugged can be a blessing. We can further lean into the sacred value of being able to live together with people who love us and cherish our living. When I was little boy, it seems that my parents worked hard to model this narrative in our household. I remember there were times that my younger brothers and I would be arguing with each other (we did not even have a cell phone or computer time to argue about!). My dad would give us a look (you know that look), and then as punishment he would ask us to stand up and to hug each other. Not just a little, pithy hug either. We had to hold that hug until Dad could tell we really meant it!

In these times, church, let us stand up and hug each other; both physically within our home and metaphorically for those outside of our home. Let us really mean it! For how good and pleasant it is when kindred live together in unity!

-Josh Miles

Posted by Josh Miles with

Zacchaeus

Bible Background: Luke 19:1-10

From the Deep Blue Storybook Bible: Jesus was walking through the town of Jericho. A tax collector named Zacchaeus was there in Jericho and wanted to see Jesus walk by. He was too short to see over the crowd, so he ran ahead and climbed a tree.

When Jesus got to the tree Zacchaeus has climbed, Jesus looked up and said, “Zacchaeus, come down. I must stay at your home today.”

Zacchaeus immediately climbed down the tree, happy to welcome Jesus to his home.

The crowd was very unhappy with Jesus for being a guest of a tax collector. They grumbled because tax collectors were known for being unfair.

Zacchaeus heard what the crowd was saying. He looked at Jesus and made this promise, “Lord, I will give half of everything I own to the poor. And if I have cheated anyone, I will repay them four times what I have taken.”

Jesus knew Zacchaeus meant what he said. Jesus said “Zacchaeus, today you have been saved.”

When Zacchaeus met Jesus, his life changed forever. Zacchaeus cared about other people!

Have a conversation:

  • Zacchaeus had never seen Jesus before. He saw the crowd gathering and heard someone say that Jesus was coming to their town. With the crowd that had gathered, Zacchaeus thought that Jesus must be a very important person. When Jesus called Zacchaeus by name and told him that he was coming to his house, how do you think that made Zacchaeus feel? (Scared… Excited… Special?) Jesus knows your name too! He knows what you need and He cares for you!
  • In the story, it says that the people in the town were not happy that Jesus was going to Zacchaeus’ house because a lot of people did not like Zacchaeus. He was a tax collector, and often was unfair to the people in the town. Jesus offered Zacchaeus forgiveness and loved Zacchaeus anyway! Jesus loves everyone and wants everyone to believe in Him! How can you share this same love with others and encourage others to believe in Jesus?
  • When Zacchaeus met Jesus, his life was changed forever. Zacchaeus cares about other people and wanted to help them by giving back four times what he took from them. Jesus calls us to help and care for others, who can you help and care for today?

 Prayer:

Heavenly Father, thank you for calling us by name as your children! Thank you for your love and forgiveness that never run out! Help us to show this same love and forgiveness to others so that they can come to know you! In you name we pray, amen!

Activity:

  • Mission Project: Decorating Lunch bags for Sack Lunch Ministry
    • On Sundays when we are worshiping at the church, we have a ministry called Sack Lunch Ministry! Church members and families volunteer to make 40 sack lunches that are served to our community guests who are in need of a meal.
    • We invite you to join in this ministry by decorating paper lunch sacks with scripture and messages of God’s Love! We will share the decorated bags with volunteers to be filled at a later date!
    • Bags can be given to Kimberly, Katie Ryan, or Jennifer when we return to the church!

 

Posted by Jennifer Golden with

Previous12345678910