Each week Pastor Sarah offers a devotional reflection to connect with the South Shore UMC Family. Use this entry as a way to prepare your heart and mind for worship. See you Sunday!
During the month of October, the South Shore UMCommunity will explore five common images of the ‘spooky season’ as they appear in Scripture – darkness, writing appearing from nowhere, ghosts, demons, and skeletons. These stories are amusing, and their knowledge we will be using! Join us for a spooktacular month of study and song at South Shore!
Sunday's Scripture ~ Daniel 5:17-30.
Devotional Scripture ~ Ephesians 2:6-7.
This Sunday, Rev. Zig Bays will share a powerful message with the South Shore UMC Family from Daniel 5 as we continue in our Not-So-Scary Stories of The Bible Series. Thank you, Pastor Zig, for your friendship and partnership in ministry. My prayers are with you as you prepare and serve this week!
My sweet mama always has a song in her heart. The songs of faith she softly hums or sings are how she marks the hours of the day. I do the same thing because of her.
I remember one of the first thoughts I had when we brought Joshua home from the hospital was how we would put him to bed at night.
(As a new parent the how quickly became an if...now thankfully the if is more of a when...this kid has endless energy! There should be a way for me to bottle it up and flavor my morning coffee with it!)
My thoughts wondered on behalf of my heart...what were the words that I wanted to leave my child with in blessing and hope as he slept? Some bedtime prayers have a very ominous quality to them...and that is not what I wanted for Joshua. Then one night I found myself humming like my sweet mama - that's what Joshua calls my mother - and I knew. His nightly benedictions would come - and do come! - from songs of faith.
The third verse from Come Thou Fount is a favorite: O to grace how great a debtor daily I'm constrained to be! Let thy goodness, like a fetter, bind my wandering heart to thee. Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it, prone to leave the God I love; here's my heart, O take and seal it, seal it for thy courts above.*
We also enjoy Be Thou My Vision: Be thou my vision, O Lord of my heart; Naught be all else to me, save that thou art; Thou my best thought, by day or by night, Waking or sleeping, thy presence my light.**
Currently we sing the third verse of Away In A Manger: Be near me, Lord Jesus, I ask thee to stay close by me forever, and love me, I pray; bless all the dear children in thy tender care, and fit us for heaven to live with thee there.***
Each song - in its own way - sings of God's grace. There is no better way to enter into peaceful rest than to have words of grace sung over you.
It is my deepest desire that Joshua know God's grace personally, and that having experienced God's grace, Joshua live grace-fully. Through kindness. Through generosity. Through faithfulness. Through forgiveness. Through trying on different points of view. Through hanging in the tension. Through fighting for and persevering through love. In order to be the best example I can be for Joshua, I have to 'practice what I preach'...
Or should I say 'show what I sing...' It is a responsibility I treasure in my heart, and take up daily.
Reflection: When you think of having words of grace sung over you, what song or words come to mind? What to you is the greatest blessing of grace?
Prayer: "God yet speaketh by the Spirit, speaketh to our hearts again; in the agelong Word expounding God's own message, now as then. Thru the rise and fall of nations, one sure faith yet standing fast, God abides, the Word unchanging, God the first, and God the last. God the first, and God the last."**** Amen.
*"Come Thou Fount," The United Methodist Hymnal 400.
**"Be Thou My Vision," The United Methodist Hymnal 451.
***"Away In A Manger," The United Methodist Hymnal 217.
****"God Hath Spoken by the Prophets," The United Methodist Hymnal 108.
*****Devotional Resource: The Weekly Faith Project by Zondervan.