October 18th, 2020
This past weekend has been immensely enjoyable as I have phoned and texted so many of you asking about your Thanksgiving celebrations. Some folks gathered with family over Zoom, while others facetimed and phoned. Many of you were able to get together with a family member or two and enjoy conversation over meals laid out in the back yard. Ted and I celebrated quietly with a turkey and all the trimmings on Friday. It was a very peaceful weekend with so much to be grateful for.
As I worked on my sermon this week, I based it on Matthew 22:15-22 which is the passage of paying taxes to Caesar. I entitled the sermon ‘Put God First’. As I considered the direction that God was leading me to take, this week, I thought of the way in which competing forces often lay claim to our time, talents, and our energy. It is only when we place God at the center of our lives, and commit ourselves, first and foremost, to doing God’s will, that everything else will fall into place.
Once we give ourselves absolutely to God, then remarkably we are free to give to others in ways that are gracious and life giving. Our loyalties are no longer divided, and we begin to recognize how each relationship is in harmony with the other, and that each relationship is an invitation from God.
Putting God first gives each of us the peace and poise not to be rattled by all the competing claims on our life for the rest of the day and week. Here’s the bottom line - whether it’s paying taxes to Caesar, or spending enough time with your loved ones, or doing a good job at work, or fulfilling all of your various commitments in and around the church and community, there are lots of competing claims on your life, and some days, if not most, you probably wonder whether there’ll be enough of you to go around.
The secret, then, is to put God first. Make your relationship to God the first and most important part of each day, and God will give you the capacity to do the rest.
It is my hope and prayer that each of you have a wonderful week filled with God’s goodness, joy, and peace. I look forwards to connecting in with each of you again though out the week as we share stories, prayers, laughter, and tears.
Sharon Wetzel, at Morgan’s Point, reminds us that for those of us gathering hats, mittens, and scarves, for Christmas this year, there will be an Advent Box, located in the Church basement where you can place them on Tuesday mornings between 9:00 and 12:00 noon. This festive gift will be collected the first week in Advent, which is the last week of November this year.
Also, remember that as we pray for one another every morning at 10:30, God grants us wisdom, love and peace to hold each other in God’s infinite love and care.
Keep well and safe.