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!
This week the South Shore Community concludes our summer series entitled This We Believe. During this series we have studied core concepts of United Methodist Belief. This knowledge enriches our faith and draws us towards greater lived expressions of Christ-likeness in our daily lives. I hope you will join us safely in-person or online via our broadcast platform for this time of study!
Sunday’s Scripture ~ Luke 9:57-62.
Devotional Scripture ~ Psalm 65.
Psalm 65:5 instructs us, “Come and see what God has done: he is awesome in his deeds among mortals.” The psalm describes some of these awesome deeds:
Delivered the Hebrews through the Reed Sea waters (v. 6)
Keeps watch on the nations (v. 7)
Has kept us among the living and not let our feet slip (v. 9)
Brought us through times of trial into a spacious place (vv. 10-12)
Because of these awesome deeds, and more, the psalmist worships God. Today we follow this familiar pattern in our own worship of God:
Entering God’s house (v. 13)
Lifting our concerns in prayer (v. 14)
Giving our tithes and offerings (v.15)
And because of our relationship with God - because of our shepherding, our shaping, our saving - all by God - we are to rise from our worship and “tell what God has done for me” (v. 16).
Thanks be to God that God listens to our prayers and receives our worship (vv. 17 and 19). Thanks be to God that God does not cherish our iniquities like we sometimes do. God forgives them (v. 18). And then, even if that was not incredible enough, God casts those iniquities as far from us as east is from west. If God rejects anything from us, it is only our sin. It is only our choices that abuse God’s good gift of free will. God does not reject us from God’s steadfast love. God does not reject our prayers for a transformed life made from a repentant heart. God does not reject us (v. 20).
That truth alone, friends, is ample cause and purpose for our worship.
And so we are invited - to come and see what God has done - in our lives and in the lives of others. We are invited to witness how God shepherds, shapes, and saves in our lives and in the lives of others. God remains at work and sustains through mercy in the world. It is a privilege for us to witness and for us to be God’s witnesses to God’s faithfulness for us and among us.
Reflection: Make a list of five blessings from God, whether you realized they were blessings at the time or not. Read over your list this week and take comfort that God remains at work and sustains through mercy in the word. Consider sharing your list with someone as an encouragement and a reminder that God is glorious and God’s deeds are awesome.
Prayer: “Forward through the ages, in unbroken line, move the faithful spirits at the call divine; gifts in differing measure, hearts of one accord, manifold the service, one the sure reward. Forward through the ages, in unbroken line, move the faithful spirits at the call divine.”* Amen.
*"Forward Through The Ages,” The United Methodist Hymnal 555.
**Devotional Resource: The Weekly Prayer Project by Scarlet Hiltibidal