Posted to the World
Categories: Pastor Dave's eNote
“You show that you are a letter from Christ, the result of our ministry, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts.”
2: Corinthians 3:3
God calls people to Hamilton Mill United Methodist Church. God knows that people matter here. He knows our deepest dream is to see every person becoming more and more devoted to God and His purpose. This is why we teach faith in Jesus Christ. This is why we inspire hope for the future by serving the poor and the under-resourced. This is why we reach out with love and compassion. We simply believe that teaching people, serving people, and caring for people is what God has called us to do. It is also who God has called us to be.
One of the ways this vision is lived out is through our community Pantry. When people come to The Pantry for assistance volunteers are present to welcome them, to pray with them, to converse with them and then finally to carry food out to their cars for them. Our Pantry volunteers see the person, not the need. Do you know why? Because people matter here at Hamilton Mill UMC. People are people no matter who they are, where they have been or what they need.
Perhaps it was this compassion that prompted Martha Hensley to ask John Stryker about his faith. Little did she know that John, over a year ago spent weeks in an ICU unit fighting a viral infection that almost took his life. When John came out of his coma he did a lot of soul searching and began to make changes in his life. God touched his heart and a really good man became a really great servant for Christ. Eventually, Martha asked to receive Christ into her heart. On Sunday morning, September 1, 2013, following the 9:30am worship service, Martha Hensley professed her faith in Christ along with her desire to be baptized and a commitment to follow Christ by worshiping growing, serving, giving and being a witness in her community. She is pictured here with her sister in Christ, Robin Boozer.
The vision of our church is to help ordinary people like you, me and Martha to become devoted followers of Jesus Christ. It is so important to remember it is not just “what” we do as a church that really matters but it is “why” we do what we do. It is easy to get caught up in the tasks before us and forget to live out the grace and love of God.
The Apostle Paul reminds us our lives are like a letter written by the spirit of God. Like a letter, we’re written by someone. Someone takes time and pen in hand and begins to compose the substance of our lives. In Paul’s day, it took a long time to write a letter. When the letter was finished it was sent. The letter was received by someone. Then someone added to the letter and sent it back to the one who wrote it.
For Paul, this describes life. Our lives are like a letter written by the spirit of God and then sent into the lives of others. These lives are sent, filled with grace, shape the conversation of our spiritual journey and we return to God. God adds to what he has written and sends us back into the lives of others.
John, Robin, Randy and our Pantry Volunteers were a letter written to Martha. In that letter God simply said “You matter to me.” By God’s prevenient grace, Martha received this message and opened her heart to the power of a new life in Christ.
The bride of Christ is most beautiful when she forgets herself and gives herself away in service to the people. This is why we exist as a church. Everyday God is drawing people to our church. As they come, they experience something of the holiness, grace and love of God.
This week we will be wrapping up our series on Nehemiah. We will be talking about celebrating change in our lives. The truth about us is that we are hard on ourselves. We get so overwhelmed with our growing edges and challenges we don’t pause and consider all God has done and is doing in our lives. The truth is we are not what we used to be and more importantly, we are not yet what we are going to be!
“The Rooftop” will officially open this Sunday! We are expecting a full house as many children from the larger community have been invited and are planning to attend. Over 50 3rd graders will also receive their Bibles this Sunday in services. In addition, the Solomon House, a house for girls rescued from prostitution is almost ready to open! Hamilton Mill UMC continues to grow and serve God in amazing ways!
As you prepare for worship, I invite you to ask yourself this question:
“What is the Spirit of God writing in your heart these days?” “Where is God sending you?”
Dr. David L. Davis