Fourth United Methodist Church
Saturday, May 30, 2020
Gather to worship God, Grow to know God, Go to serve God

Tea Time with Pastor Jane

 Hello Church Family,
We now have some new freedoms with the yellow phase.  We are still limited to groups of 25 with masks and distancing.  Committees may meet following these requirements.  Please remember to call the office to have these dates scheduled and put on our church calendar.  
What a beautiful holiday weekend.  Always a bitter-sweet one, remembering those who lost their lives in service to our country and the joy of supporting our nation. We continue to remember and honor our veterans!  This weekend we also celebrated our graduates.  Ellie Landis, Sydney Smith from high school and Tristyn Keller from college.  Below are attached pictures of the young women (in this order, Sydney, Ellie and Tristyn).  What a privilege it is to know them and their families and to honor their achievements.  Congratulations Gals!
Today's Bible thoughts are based on the writings of the prophet Jeremiah.  In chapter 29 verses 11-13, with verse 11 being the most popular, are written to the Israelite exiles in Babylon.  Jeremiah shares a promise from the Lord to bring the people back to their homeland and to restore their future.  It is a message of hope for a people who are in dire need of it!  We often stop with verse 11 and take only the blessing part to heart.  But in verses 12 and 13 the Lord reminds the people to call upon him in  prayer and seek him--adding that they will find him when they seek with all of their heart.   
One of my questions for this scripture is "How do we seek him with all of our heart?"
Of course this is what the Lord wants us to do.  Put him first in all things, open our hearts to him in all fullness; not holding back.  It sure is easier to offer God our whole heart when we are in a time of crisis but when things are going well we often become preoccupied.  The last couple of months it has been easier to focus on God and his Word because we have had social limitations.  For many of us our time has been spent looking to God for strength and we have found our courage in the midst of this health crisis.
But how will we maintain seeking the Lord with all of our heart when we are back full-swing in our social and work environments?  Will we become complacent about our faith?  Will we find ourselves seeking after other gods (things we enjoy, sports, work, family, even church)?  How will we be different from the Israelites and love the Lord our God with our whole heart, soul, mind and strength?
My answer would be-- choose it.  And that answer is not easy.  Making a choice each day to seek God does not come without commitment.  We must take special care to make time for God. We must put our relationship to our God above all else.  Seeking him is our lifelong pursuit and it comes at a cost.  The cost is giving up the things of this world.  His Word says, seek him with all our heart and he shall be found.  Let's look for God is all places, at all times and in all ways--for he shall be found!
May God bless and keep you,