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!
Sunday’s Scriptures ~ Isaiah 40:28-31; Psalm 23; Colossians 1:15-23.
Devotional Scripture ~ Psalm 120:1.
Sidney J. Warren - my Gramps - completed his journey in faith on Sunday morning. He is the last of my grandparents to travel across the thin veil from this eternity into the next. I awoke this morning with the thought - I have no living grandparents. And then I corrected myself! For now all of my grandparents are alive in resurrected life.
Gramps is once again with my Nonnie, his beloved. I hope there is at least one breakfast nook table near a bay window framed by oak trees complete with rolling chairs for seating for them to enjoy one another’s company, share a cocktail or two, and watch their family that continues to love them fiercely grow and flourish until we meet again.
And we will meet again. Our faith assures us so.
Today I noticed that our Joshua’s preschool teacher was out again; she missed all of last week, too. I sent her a message with a brief prayer, asking if she needed anything. She replied that both she and her husband have been out of work due to illness; she hoped to return to work soon. And before I knew it, I texted her to ask for her grocery list. Having offered prayer I felt led to offer a meal or two in order that today might be a bit easier for her and her family.
It is what my Gramps had done. It is what my Gramps would have done.
As I pushed the cart through the aisles I thought of him and his teachings. He worked for NASA and one night he stayed on the phone with me for hours to help me understand how to balance what was a simple algebraic equation, which I likened to summiting Mount Olympus! He said, “Sweetie, we all gotta start somewhere, and if I can help make this a little easier for you, I am going to try.”
Gramps, you did more than try. You succeeded. And your successes will live on in me, your six other grandchildren, and your nine great grandchildren.
Our Devotional Scripture for this week assures us that when we cry out to the Lord in distress that God answers us. I felt that on Sunday as I learned of Gramps’ passing only shortly before worship. How was I ever going to keep myself together through leading worship? Our first hymn was Amazing Grace. Together we sang in confident hope, “The Lord has promised good to me, his word my hope secures; he will my shield and portion be, as long as life endures.” Life endures well beyond this side of eternity. Life endures abundantly in resurrection. Life endures because God saw what the sickness of sin did and does in humanity’s heart and soul and so sent his only Son to save us. To save us from sin. To save us from ourselves.
In singing “life endures” God granted me sweet peace. I miss my Gramps. I ache that Joshua will not know him as I did, but he will know his great grandfather. He will know him and honor him through each act of kindness we complete, to the glory of God and the visible evidence of Christ’s salvation in our world.
We look forward to our special Service of Healing this Sunday at South Shore UMC. I will be joined in worship leadership by two of our retired pastors, Rev. Zig Bays and Rev. Dave Owsley. Together through praises and prayers we will prepare and proceed towards God's gift of healing as our prelude to future service in the Kingdom. Please join us safely in-person or on our Youtube broadcast via youtube.com/c/southshoreumc.
Reflection: When was a time that you called on God in your distress? How did God answer you? How
did the situation resolve?
Prayer: “When Christ shall come with shout of acclamation and take me home, what joy shall fill my heart. Then I shall bow in humble adoration, and there proclaim, my God, how great thou art! Then sings my soul, my Savior God to thee; how great thou art, how great thou art! Then sings my soul, my Savior God to thee; how great thou art, how great thou art!”* Amen.
*“How Great Thou Art,” The United Methodist Hymnal 77.
**Devotional Resource: The Weekly Prayer Project by Scarlet Hiltibidal