Daily Devotional corner, your go-to spot for a splash of spiritual refreshment. Every day, we pick a piece from the good book and toss in some real-world reflections to brighten your path. Whether you're kicking off your morning or just taking a breather, these bits of insight have got your back. Drop by every day for a dose of inspiration and a touch of soulful connection. Let's navigate life's ups and downs together!
When the first-time family from Cuba who spoke Solamente Espanol (only Spanish) said to me that they really appreciated all Pastor Bill, that’s Bill Hawthorne (our awesome church Maintenance handyman) had done for them, I know the church was displaying what we are called to do:
Faith In action.
Love is faith in action in the church.
Turns out one of our members Patty, had taken seriously my challenge to make God’s love louder, to make the message of Jesus louder.
That’s what we are trying to do with your offering every time you give to Grace Church, to make the Good News of Jesus Christ louder, to expand the tent stakes of the Kingdom, to increase the footprint of God’s love across this community.
Patty texted me back and said:
Like you said in your sermon, Padricito: It’s time for us to quit looking at our own belly button and start looking at others belly buttons to see who needs help!
That’s a rough translation of the sermon point, close enough for me!
I love it, when a sermon is remembered past 1:30 Sunday afternoon!
So somehow, not sure how all this came to be, but Patty shows up with three people who have been in America for three weeks. Their apartment is bare, minus a few clothes and essentials.
When I say, bare. I mean bare, like the day they were born, naked.
No furniture. No dishes. No beds. Reminded me of my early days in college, until I met Renee, hey she was cute and had it all!
They sat on the front row on Sunday and sang with the band, and listened to the sermon as best as they could as Patty translated from English back to Spanish.
Then, after church, that’s when the real church service started.
Love in action.
Four sets of families made it their entire afternoon on Sunday and early Monday morning to equip this family with everything, and I mean everything.
Here’s just a few items on the list: Tables and chairs. Full sets of Fiesta Kitchen dishes. Wall Décor, End tables, Kitchen table and chairs, towels, clothes, jackets, curtains, computer desk, chairs, couches, love seat, beds, and a Christmas tree complete with decorations.
You can’t have a tree without lights!
Come on…Christmas came early for this family, thanks to Pastor Bill, Pastor Patty, and the other Pastors at work in our church.
See, it’s very “reformation-like” to know that you all pastors—it’s called the Priesthood of believers.
You are all called to represent Christ. You are all called to Pastor.
You all are the team.
I am just a cheerleader, and encourager.
We are all called to be hope dealers.
I can’t begin to tell you how much you all made my heart smile this week as I thought about this family laying in their new beds that night wondering why in the world complete strangers would spend two days gathering materials to make sure they had a home, not just a house.
Why did they do it?
That’s it. That’s the only reason and it’s reason enough. Jesus.
It was a spontaneous mission project. Ha!
No time for the mission board to review or critique, just love in action.
This may be one the greatest things our church has done all year and we have done some amazing ministries with youth and children, and with our Beyond Our Congregation Night of Grace as well as 5000 dollars raised for water systems for folks in Honduras!
How cool to be a church that looks beyond our belly button.
In this case, and in all the cases, we are giving to folks who will never repay us, nor do we want them to!
We do it for them not to earn our way to heaven, but in gratitude for what Christ has already done for all of us, the once for all event…Christmas and Easter!
Perhaps one of the coolest things about this unscripted holy church in action moment is that it sounds quite a bit like the way the early church did things.
We can read about the early “actions” of the early church in the Book called “Acts” of course. You know their early “Acts” and actions.
Here’s what the early church was about:
They devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. Awe came upon everyone, because many wonders and signs were being done by the apostles. All who believed were together and had all things in common; they would sell their possessions and goods and distribute the proceeds to all, as any had need. Day by day, as they spent much time together in the temple, they broke bread at home and ate their food with glad and generous hearts, praising God and having the goodwill of all the people. And day by day the Lord added to their number those who were being saved. (Acts 2:42-47 NRSV)
When members of Grace Church start getting referred to as Pastors by strangers who were loved and received, when we act like the early church did, well we are making the Good News Louder.
I think this family heard and understood the love of God despite the language barrier, because love breaks down all barriers.
Rev. John Roberts