Practicing Patience & Grace
There was a teacher who was helping one of her kindergarten students put his boots on. He asked for help and she could see why. With her pulling and him pushing, the boots still didn’t want to go on.
When the second boot was finally on, she had worked up a sweat. She almost whimpered when the little boy said, “Teacher, they’re on the wrong feet.” She looked, and sure enough, they were. It wasn’t any easier pulling the boots off than it was putting them on. She managed to keep her cool as together they worked to get the boots back on — this time on the right feet.
He then announced, “These aren’t my boots.” She bit her tongue rather than get right in his face and scream, “Why didn’t you say so?” like she wanted to. Once again, she struggled to help him pull the ill-fitting boots off.
He then said, “They’re my brother’s boots. My Mom made me wear them.” The teacher didn’t know if she should laugh or cry. She mustered up the grace to wrestle the boots on his feet again. She said, “Now, where are your mittens?” He said, “I stuffed them in the toes of my boots” (unknown author).
A shout out to all teachers for the grace and patience they bring to their vocation, which includes our Sunday School Volunteers.
A reminder of new ways to get involved in church: Sunday School volunteer, singing in the choir or trying your hand at beginning bells (both hands). We are reimagining the church this fall and would love your input, participation, and patience as we grow together.
- World Communion Sunday, October 1, 2023
- Columbus Day, October 9, 2023
- Indigenous Peoples Day, October 9, 2023
- Reformation Sunday, October 29, 2023
- Reformation Day, October 31, 2023
Gathered as One Body
On World Communion Sunday, observed this year on October 1, Christians across the globe gather at the Lord’s Table for the sacrament of Holy Communion. The Lord’s Table stretches around the entire earth. Catholic Christians, Coptic Christians, Orthodox Christians, Reformed Christians, Evangelical Christians, Lutheran Christians, Baptist Christians, Anglican Christians, Methodist Christians, Christians who worship in churches bearing names that are unfamiliar to us — all join in worship and do what Christ asked his friends to do:
remember him! “This do in remembrance of me,” Jesus said during the Last Supper with his disciples. Then he broke bread as a reminder of his sacrificed body and lifted the cup of wine representing his blood. The sacrament is a vivid symbol of Christ’s sacrifice, love and forgiveness for each of us. As we gather as Christ’s family around that table of grace, remember that we are united in Christ with our brothers and sisters around the world. “In Christ now meet both east and west, in him meet south and north. All Christly souls are joined as one
throughout the whole wide earth” (John Oxenham). Thank you, Lord!
For the Glory of God
In 1 Corinthians 10:23 Paul quotes a maxim apparently well known in Corinth at the time — “All things are permitted” — but then qualifies it: “not all things are beneficial [or] build up.” What if we applied his words to our decisions? For example, should we enjoy a cigarette if we’re old enough to do so legally but others present have struggled to quit? Technically, it would be “permitted” to have a smoke, but it might not “build up” or be “beneficial” for others nearby. What if we know it’s not necessary to say prayers every night, but we’re teaching a child habits of the faith? Although skipping prayers a few nights a week is “permitted” because it won’t make or break our faith, maintaining that routine – in shorter form if everyone is exhausted — may
help “build up” the child spiritually. What if we all, by God’s help, made it a habit to “not seek [our] own advantage but that of the other” — to do all, as Paul writes, “for the glory of God” (vv. 24, 31)? From minor daily choices, to how we vote, to how we use our money and resources, to much more, it could make a huge difference! Surely, Paul believed so. —Heidi Hyland Mann
We’re Never Alone
In many sources, the author of the hymn “Never
Alone” is listed as anonymous, but in several, Ludie
Carrington Day Pickett (1867-1953) is credited. The
words powerfully capture the assurance that amid
life’s storms — sin, temptation, danger, loneliness,
care — and, finally, even at the end of this life,
Jesus promises to be with us. Two stanzas proclaim:
I’ve seen the lightning flashing
And heard the thunder roll,
I’ve felt sin’s breakers dashing,
which tried to conquer my soul;
I’ve heard the voice of my Savior,
He bid me still fight on:
He promised never to leave me,
Never to leave me alone.
The world’s fierce winds are blowing —
Temptation’s sharp and keen;
I have a peace in knowing
My Savior stands between;
He stands to shield me from danger
When all my friends are gone:
He promised never to leave me,
Never to leave me alone.
Missionary and author Elisabeth Elliot says our sovereign God is worthy of unquestioning obedience in matters both large and small. Such trust yields mighty results, she adds, providing Christians with rest, peace and guidance. “God is God,” says Elliot. “Because he is God, he is worthy of my trust and obedience. I will find rest nowhere but in his holy will that is unspeakably beyond my largest notions of what he is up to.” About the role of obedience in prayer, Elliot asks, “Does it make sense to pray for guidance about the future if we are not obeying in the thing that lies before us today? How many momentous events in Scripture depended on one person’s seemingly small act of obedience! Rest assured: Do what God tells you to do now, and, depend upon it, you will be shown what to do next.”