Happy Birthday Sunday! Happy Birthday to you, and you, and YOU!
Today, Education Hour kicked off with:
* The Children being reminded that God loves EVERYBODY.
* The Confirmands and Adults listened to John G. share stories about his life and faith. (If you haven't gotten to one of these "Celebrations of Life and Faith" sessions, please come next week for Cathy D. - they're great!)
Worship was a celebration of creation and life - the gift that God has given each of us! It was a celebration that God loves us, has faith in us, and is always with us! The handbells were wonderful, Andrea's solo was beautiful, and Mark's children's sermon kept us on our toes! Included below are just a couple of excerpts from the sermon:
"...This week, in our reading for book group, we came across a paragraph that when read aloud on Tuesday night, made all of us take a deep breath and let out a sigh. This is from the book, Amazing Grace, by Kathleen Norris. “God loves to look at us, and loves it when we will look back at him. Even when we try to run away from our troubles, as Jacob did, God will find us, and bless us, even when we feel most alone, unsure if we’ll survive the night. God will find a way to let us know that he is with us in this place, wherever we are, however far we think we’ve run. And maybe that’s one reason we worship – to respond to grace. We praise God not to celebrate our own faith but to give thanks for the faith God has in us. To let ourselves look at God, and let God look back at us. And to laugh, and sing, and be delighted because God has called us his own.”
What has God done in your life? What miracles have happened – big or small? What hills have you climbed? What things have you tried to run away from – only to face them head on? How has God been present and shown faith in you?"
"...As we look back at our lives thus far, and look ahead at what’s to come… I invite you to write down those words as a blessing to yourself. “You are beloved, precious child of God, and beautiful to behold.” God is at work in your life. God loves you. Even right now, right here, no matter what has come before… When you turn to God, he’s already waiting… You are part of his creation – he wanted you and loved you from before your time on earth began. When you feel alone or unworthy of God’s love – try looking at Psalm 139 – it’s gotten me through many dark times… And it’s given me hope for the uphill climbs ahead. And it’s given me joy – given me reason to celebrate my life, your life, and a life of faith!
So today, though it might not be your actual birthday… I invite you to celebrate! Take a moment to look back, take a moment to look ahead, take a moment to delight in God’s love of you! I believe it was Max Lucado that said, “If God has a refrigerator, your picture is on it!” That’s how much you are loved."
God gave you life, because God loves you - how will you celebrate today?
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