"These twelve Jesus sent out with the following instructions: "Go to the lost sheep of Israel. As you go, preach this message: 'The Kingdom of heaven is near.' Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy, drive out demons. Freely you have received, freely give." Matthew 10:5-7
This week we set out to begin our most adventurous month of ministry ever. I can almost feel the energy flowing. In one month our congregations will host three Vacation Bible Schools! One at Mt. Carmel, one at New Market, and one on location in Lucas Village. We will share the gospel of Jesus Christ with 100's of kids. On August 15th we will share 1000's of pounds of food with the Lucas Village community and then the next week we will feed 100's of local teachers at our closest 6 schools as they prepare to go back to school.
Those seem like some huge numbers, but let me share with you the most important number, ONE! That's right, we are not called to focus on 1000's who we might impact, but rather to look for the ONE person who is in front of us, who is in need of God's grace. When Jesus sent out his followers he sent them beyond their local communities. They would impact 1000's. Eventually those 12 would carry the gospel to the ends of the earth. Yet we must remember, that the grace of Jesus Christ was, and still is, carried one person to another. The disciples were sent out, as we are this month, to heal the sick, offer hope to those who know little hope, to touch the lives of those who are lonely, afraid, or overlooked, and to cast out evil with love and truth.
We, as your pastors, are excited to gear up for an amazing month of ministry. We look forward to laughing with children, and serving up some Zucchini bread. These missions, like the ordinary moments of our lives, are opportunities for us to spot someone who we can bless with the Love of Christ. As you have freely received God's grace and love, so give to at least ONE other.
Prayers for this week:
All those who are undergoing cancer treatments.
Those who have received a diagnosis that is scary.
Those who are recovering from surgery and awaiting surgery.
Those who are grieving.
The mission team from Illinois which we commissioned Sunday for service in Virginia.
All in our community who are gearing up to serve over the next few weeks.