AND NOW WE WAIT
It has been 49 days since Easter. Jesus spent 40 days continuing to teach his disciples. He knew the time that he would literally be with them was coming to an end. His time of face-to-face teaching was about to be over forever. He knew the Holy Spirit was going to come to take his place. But he knew he needed to keep them focused and together. Waiting can lead to distractions, disappointment and even despair. He knew God’s message was being entrusted to these, at this point, eleven men. So he wanted them to understand in just a little while things are again going to change forever. Just be patient and wait, it will happen. I would like us to read Acts 1:1-14. We see how Jesus appeared to the disciples over a 40-day period after he had risen from the grave. At one point, he clearly said wait in Jerusalem until the Holy Spirit comes. The Holy Spirit is God’s special gift to the church. No entire group of God’s people had ever received this gift before. Jesus wanted them to know as important as it has been for him to be with them, the Holy Spirit is even more important in ways they could not understand. In John 16:7, we read “but I tell you the truth, it is good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the counselor will not come to you but if I go I will send him to you.” Jesus knew how it would ultimately be to all their advantage for him to leave and go back to the heavenly Father, but they needed to understand that they must wait. But in Acts 1:6, we can see they still did not understand. They still were thinking of an earthly kingdom that they believed Jesus should establish, but that was never God’s plan. It was always what the Israelites had wanted. In some ways, they had wanted all the nations of the world put in their place. Of course, Jesus knew God’s kingdom was never an earthly kingdom. Jesus knew if only they could wait a little longer, they too would understand. Waiting is always the hardest thing, isn’t it? As we look at what is going on in this nation, we see that it is true in more and more ways. As a nation and a world, we have been waiting for this Coronavirus to go away. The longer we wait the more it seems there are more questions than answers after all these months. This past week a tragic event happened in Minnesota. A man was senselessly killed by a police officer. People are unwilling to wait to see if justice will be done on behalf of this man and his family. As a result, chaos is spreading throughout this country. Waiting is such a hard thing to do, especially if you are not sure the wait will change anything. Jesus wanted to make sure his disciples understood the wait would be worth it. They seemingly got the message because we see in verse 14 that they joined together constantly in prayer after Jesus left them. Waiting and believing. God has good things in store for his people if we are willing to wait and believe. One other essential element we see is prayer. I hate to admit it but I am not as constant in prayer about the things God has laid on my heart as I should be. Jesus’ disciples understood the important fundamentals of faith in God. Prayer, unity, patience and love. If we allow God to help us grow in these, I am convinced we can and will make a difference in our piece of the world. But waiting on the Lord and his timing can be so hard. The disciples did exactly that though. Next Sunday we will continue in the second chapter of Acts and see how their wait was rewarded. I am convinced if we stay the course no matter what, we will see God moving in our lives as well.
May the Lord bless you and keep you, the Lord make his face shine on you, and be gracious to you, the Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace.
June 7: We will start worship in the sanctuary at 10:00 for those who feel comfortable coming. Physical distancing must be maintained and the wearing of face masks, please. We will also continue the facebook live service for those who wish to stay home. We will NOT start Sunday School yet.
June 10: Board Meeting: 6:15 executive comm; 7:00 commissions; 7:30 board meeting; physical distancing and face masks please.
June 14: Strawberry Festival, cancelled for the public, but we will fix for our own congregation. If you are part of our congregation and haven’t ordered yet, let Kathleen or Beth know what you want. We will still need volunteers to wash and stem strawberries on the 13th at 10:15 a.m. (Note change of time). We will practice physical distancing and face mask wearing while doing this. We will also need volunteers to put together the pies on Sunday morning before church time so people who come to church can take their pies and berries home with them. Donations will be accepted at the time you pick up your goodies.
Graduates: Jordan Wright, Madison Warren, and Allena Vest graduate from CGHS.
Congratulations to all three and the rest of the graduates!
Upper Room: May/June issues are still available in the copy room at church. You may also get a PDF copy of the May/June issue of UPPER ROOM on line at www.upperroom.org/covid-19
Daily Bread: June – August issue is available in the copy room.
Offerings: Thanks to everyone for keeping up with your offerings! Please continue to either mail your offerings to the church at PO Box 45 or, if you have a key to the church, put it in the donation box at the back of the sanctuary in a properly marked envelope.
Cancelled: Vacation Bible School for 2020
Please let Stacie Warren or Larry Traxler know of any supplies you need and are unable to get for yourself. Someone in the church will get them for you.
Let Carol Kussart or Kathy Gentry know if you need a mask.
First Sunday of the month: Food Banks
Food needs: boxes of cereal, boxes of prepared foods, such as soups, potatoes, rice, mac & cheese, peanut butter, jelly
This month please consider sending The Lord’s Storehouse a monetary donation. The address is PO Box 229, La Place, IL 61936.
Donation Box May and June: Vacation Bible School
Keep up on denominational happenings at www.brethren.org
Larry Traxler’s phone number: 217-454-2362
Keep in Your Prayers
Clyde and Nancy Fansler; Shirley Clarkson; Mike Seidenstricker; Adiline Young; Barb Baker; Kim Lehmann; Dylan Junior; Doug Fansler; Liam Martina; Ali Bryant; Jeff Sawyer; Liza Yore; Candy Dobson; Anna Rose Larrick; Gary Jesse; Norm & Marge Starr; Shawn Cain; Robert Cripe; Mayo Hanaver; Zola Copeland and family; Jennifer Like; Patty Cripe; Lauren Gross; Stacie Warren; Nancy Gorrell; many unspoken requests; Coronavirus crisis; healthcare workers and first responders; Joe Martina’s cousin who has COVID-19; the 106,000+ people who have died from COVID-19
Military and Other Services and their families
Brethren Volunteer Service workers; Disaster project workers
Prayers and cards of encouragement are requested for:
Zola Copeland – 214 E. Fitch St. Forsyth, IL 62535-9668
Anna Rose Larrick – C/O Evergreen Place #110
4825 E. Evergreen Ct. Decatur IL 62521
Shawn Cain – 208 West Wait St. Cerro Gordo IL 61818
Robert Cripe – 21 Park Street Danville IL 61832