6th Sunday After Pentecost July 12 2020
Good morning Sisters and Brothers in Christ,
Here we are in the midst of summer – unexpected thunderstorms, sweltering heat and humidity (will fall ever get here), wondering how to have summer barbecues and activities when we’re still socially distancing. Yes, this word – COVID-19 – has had great influence about what and where and when we can gather, even who we will gather with. And all these emotions have made the urge to get out and go even stronger.
So, how can we ensure that folks will include worship in their busy summer schedules? By making it as accessible as possible. Remember during the initial quarantine? The creative juices flowed like torrential rain as we bent over backward to find ways to connect with church family and friends as well as neighbors and community. We video streamed services; had email chains, devotionals, Zoom gathering, and some even revived the lost gift of letter-writing. Whatever we did then, we should be doing the same now! As we have returned to a small gathering for in-person worship, be assured that we are all CONNECTED!!! Connection! Nothing shall separate us from the love of God and each other, remember? Physical presence is only part of the body that we are—only a part of what keeps us connected. I pray that each of you have experienced the closeness of God in our apartness.
This morning worship service and our weekly devotionals are about setting our minds on staying close to God, who has promised to stay close to us and promised that nothing will separate us; and we can lean into that promise. During our worship service we will look at camels, “ships of the desert.” who survives their extended treks across parched waterless environments by relying on their “humps.” Camels’ humps actually store fatty tissue, not water, which is used as a source of nourishment when food is scarce. When a camel is unable to access food for a long period of time, its body is able to metabolize the fat in the humps for nutrition. The humps can deflate and droop if the camel has gone a particularly long time without food, but they will sit upright again once the camel is able to refuel. Are you getting adequate spiritual nourishment? Is your spiritual hump deflated and empty? How are you replenishing your spiritual hump in your spiritual desert?
Be encourage dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ, the Spirit makes us alive and works in our lives through the Word, obedience, and the fellowship of the body. Just like a plant or tree reaches for the sun, may we actively turn our hearts toward Christ, finding nourishment and strength as we abide in Him.
To God be the Glory,
Rev. Clarissa Martinelli
Pastor, Fifth Avenue UMC
323 South Fifth Avenue
West Bend, WI
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. I am a child of God.” marianne williamison