DEVOTION: "O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing! Luke 13:34
It is a hard fact and one that, as a pastor, gives me heartburn, sorrow, and tears almost every day. Not everyone is going to accept the Lord Jesus as their Savior. There are going to be those who fall away and want nothing to do with Jesus despite all of our best efforts to the contrary.
It is hard for us to understand why someone would want nothing to do with Jesus. It is difficult to swallow how even though we love people with the love of Christ and share the good news of Jesus' death and resurrection with them, they will not believe and they will not run to the safety of the wings of their Lord and Savior.
As a pastor I have a very hard time with this. I want everyone who ever darkens the doors of the church to go away with a saving faith that urges them to come back, to be active, and to live in God's grace daily. What I don't want is what Jesus talks about in the parable of the seeds when he talks about the seed that falls along the rocky path and the birds came along and ate it all up before it had a chance to take root, or the seed that immediately sprang up, but then the weeds came along and choked the new sprouts and killed.
As a parent, my greatest fear is that my children will somehow reject Jesus. But I am going to make sure that if it does happen it isn't going to be for my lack of trying and my own fault. I am going to make sure that my kids have every opportunity to grow in the knowledge and grace of the Lord. I am gong to share the good news of Jesus with them daily. I am going to pray with and for them. I am going to love them with Christ's love and forgive them at every opportunity, I am going to make sure they are in worship as much as possible.
My prayer for you as parents and grandparents is that you follow my lead. Make sure that your kids, grandkids, and great-grandkids grow up knowing the love of Christ as much as you are able. Use every opportunity you have to show them the love of Christ! And in the end you will have peace knowing that you have done the Lord's will which is always the best you can do. But you can also have peace knowing that not even Jesus himself could make people believe and trust in him.
Let us pray: Lord God, help me to do my best when it comes to sharing the Gospel with everyone, but also give me peace in knowing that even you yourself weren't always accepted. Amen.
____________________________________________________________________________________________________ WEDNESDAY'S QUIZ: How many people did Jesus send out all together when he sent them out two by two ahead of him? Good job Dianne and Doug! ________________________________________________________________________________________________ THURSDAY"S QUIZ: Who warned Jesus that he should go away from Jerusalem because Herod wanted to kill him? _____________________________________________________________________________________ CALENDAR Thurs- Alzheimers Support Group 1pm Fri- Bible Study at Hendershot's 7pm Sat- worship 5pm Sun- worship 8:30 and 11; Sunday school 9:45; Elder's meeting noon; Widow's Group noon
_________________________________________________________________ ST. JOHN'S WILL HELP OPERATION BACKPACK WITH PEANUT BUTTER
You may have read in the Warrenton Record that Operation Backpack is in desperate need of food items.
Operation Backpack is a program that provides food for needy children on weekends. Most of these kids are able to get reduced or free breakfast and lunch at school daily, but since there is no school on weekends they often don't have enough food to make it through the weekend. The food gets brought to a central location and then disbursed to the most needy of children in our area schools. It is done discreetly without any other kids knowing about it.
A few Warrenton area churches have teamed up to provide the food. Each church is taking a different food item (kind of like we used to do for the Ditty bags for soldiers).
St. John's is in charge of peanut butter.
Please bring jars of peanut butter to church within the next two weeks so we can get them to the kids who need them asap. Any jars of peanut butter will do as long as they can comfortably fit in a backpack. _____________________________________________________________________
BELL RINGING AT WALMART UPDATE
Thanks to the confirmation kids and several other adults I only have one more hour to fill. Someone please take 6pm on December 14 and we will have the whole day filled!!