I am writing this news article on Sunday afternoon after our 125th anniversary celebration and I am still full of excitement after this morning’s powerful and amazing worship service. For those of you who were unable to attend, our theme for worship was based on Psalm 78 and our congregational faithfulness to proclaim in word and action the message of God’s love and mercy from one generation to the next. There were nine people who spoke of how others in our congregation nourished and strengthened them in their faith. We heard incredible and heartfelt testimonies from Fred and Joy Grimsrud, Cheryl Hilber, Robert and Beth McCabe, Donna and Loren Neubauer, Robin Ross, and
Sharon Stanesfski. There were many tears of gratitude as we listened to the stories of how Bethesda saints that have passed away along with living Bethesda saints impacted the faith of the speakers.
Becky Courselle finished our message time with singing ‘Jesus Loves Me’. The choir under Ann Siegel’s direction was especially beautiful and Gary Johnson’s music leadership was superb as always. I mentioned to one of my friends that I felt Sunday’s worship was one of the best collective worship times I have experienced here at Bethesda. The Holy Spirit was moving greatly! God has been good to Bethesda and continues to bless our ministry.
So what is next? If one thing was made clear this past Sunday it is that God works in extraordinary ways with ordinary people. There are so many times when the simplest word or act sets a miracle in motion. God has chosen to partner with us in order to make known God’s love and care for the world. What we say matters. What we do matters. God makes a difference in this world we live in through us!
We cannot afford to be silent about our beliefs but we don’t need to obnoxious about our faith either. God asks only that we live into what we say we believe. It is not difficult to give God credit for God’s action in our lives but it does require a willingness to just plain do it. If we truly believe that our God loves the whole world; that Jesus revealed the extent of that love through his life, death and resurrection; that we can and are forgiven all our sins; that we are given the opportunity to start anew each and every day through the presence of the Holy Spirit then why on earth to we keep quiet about our faith?
God has asked us to be truth tellers and world changers so future generations will know who God is and what God does for his children. Thanks be to God!
Prayer Exercise –
Make a list of 3-7 people you wish knew the love of God.
Each day pick one of the people from your list and pray for that person.
As you pray for each individual also ask God to give you opportunities to share with that person something about God.
Repeat this prayer practice for at least a month. Note if you have opportunities with the individuals for sharing God’s love to them.