Devotions

in Church

Light up the DarknessĀ 

“But the Lord stood with me and strengthened me.” 2 Timothy 4:17 
 
I remember a mission trip I led to my hometown of Savannah. We stayed at a lovely place called Wesley Gardens, which had at one time been someone’s home. It is now repurposed to be a retreat center and being located on the Skidaway river makes it a special place to stay. One late afternoon I stood looking out over the river watching a familiar sight. A summer storm was coming. The cloud bank was far away, but the atmosphere had changed dramatically, and our sunny day went dark. 
 
In Savannah, it’s pretty common for a storm to knock the lights out. When lightning struck the house, the thunderclap deafened us. Lights went out immediately and an old phone was blown off the wall. Firefighters came and declared everything was fine and the storm went away almost as fast as it had come up. But the lights stayed off for a long time. We lit candles and turned on flashlights. We talked about our experience with the storm and prayed for anyone else who was now without power and with thanksgiving that the storm has passed. Together we found a way to light up the darkness. 
 
I’ve spent a lot of my ministry lighting candles in the dark. People get hurt and become afraid and so do I. Situations brighten up when I remember that God stands with me ready to strengthen. The mistakes I’ve made are often because I thought it was all on me to get the lights back on. God is patient with me when I realize once again how he can help. How good it is to discover an unlimited power source of love, strength, and guidance. How blessed we are when we realize that falling on our knees has everything to do with rising up. We are facing some storms and yes, these are trying days. We’re trying new ways to be together that demonstrate love for one another. We’re trying out new ideas for serving that involve more prayer, more communication, more creative approaches and more personal connection than ever before. We’re trying to light as many candles in the dark as we can. 2 Timothy 4:17 reminds us how our efforts move from a good try to a great outcome. Paul is speaking from the middle of his own storms and sends us a light saying, “But the Lord stood with me and strengthened me.” He stood with Paul and he will stand with you, bringing the light of his presence to your darkness. 

Martha Aenchbacher 

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Do no harm.

Each Friday you get a taste of what we are doing in in Children's ministry in your daily devotion. We are re-imagining what Children's Sunday School looks like when we are not able to physically gather together.  

In June we are sharing video lessons teaching about John Wesley. In these virtual lessons, we will look at our Methodist heritage, and how it has shaped who we are as a church. The text below is taken from a weekly email to parents.


Dear Parents,
This week in Sunday School we will look at the second of John Wesley’s 3 rules: do no harm.

Activity: Kindness Challenge

The Barefoot Preacher Video

Synopsis:

Many years ago, before the United States of America was the US of A, we were a group of colonies that belonged to England. People came to the colonies to make a new life for themselves. John Wesley wanted to come to the colonies to preach the message of Jesus Christ to the people who were living in the colonies. One day, his dream came true! He and his brother Charles came to the colony of Georgia, specifically to Savannah.

In Savannah, John decided to teach Sunday School to the children in Savannah. Lots of children came. Some wore shoes, and some did not wear shoes. Over time, fewer and fewer children came to Sunday School. John figured out why. It seemed that the children who had shoes were teasing the children who were barefoot. John Wesley believe that what a person wears to come to church is not important. God does not care if the children are wearing shoes or not! God loves each of us just the way we are.

The next Sunday morning, John Wesley walked to church barefoot. He walked right into Sunday school without shoes on his feet! He did not say a word as people pointed to him and he paid no attention to the boys and girls who were talking and giggling. He came every Sunday with his feet bare and taught the lesson as if nothing was different. But soon, something different happened. More and more children came to Sunday school. John Wesley’s actions teach us that God loves us just the way we are.

We see here that it does not matter what is on our outside. Shoes or no shoes, fancy clothes or drab clothes, the color of our skin, none of that matters to God! God loves us just the way we are. He made us in him image, and he calls us to do no harm: to be kind!

This week, let’s start a kindness challenge. We have created a 30 day kindness challenge to help us remember to do no harm. Let’s get (or stay!) in the habit of kindness. When we are kind, we do no harm.

Send us pictures of you all doing things on the kindness challenge! Color in the days as you go! Have fun with this, knowing you are making a positive, kind change in your homes which leads to changes in our world. Take your flat John Wesleys with you as you go around your neighborhood picking up trash! Put John Wesley wherever you need to so you remember to do no harm and be kind!

We also hope you will join us after our 11:00 a.m. online worship experience for our Children's Message. This week's message can be found our YouTube channel or on our @afumc_children Instagram account.

Love and BIG HUGS and BLESSINGS to each of you,
Mrs. Katie


If you would like to start receiving this weekly email please email Erika Bates.
Erika Bates |

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