Monday, March 16, 2020

Just outside of Jerusalem, Jesus performed a miracle that changed a man's life forever. For 38 years, this man was unable to walk. But when Jesus said, "Get up," the man was healed. However, it's what Jesus said next that made this miracle a clear sign of who Jesus really was.

Monday's Devotional
Based on Pastor Eric's daily study guide

Jesus' command to love our neighbor is always challenging. In fact, one of the first questions that may come to mind for you when hearing this command is a question that Jesus was confronted with immediately after he presented it: "who is my neighbor?" (Luke 10:29). The subtext of the question from the person challenging Jesus is clear:
"do I really have to love
that person?"
"Do I really have to care for someone who seems to care so little about the things I care about?"
"Should I love someone whose beliefs are actively opposing what I believe in?"

Fast-forward 2000 years and we have an additional question: in a time when our health is dependent on a level of physical separation, what should we risk to love our neighbor?

Jesus' response to the question "who is my neighbor?" illustrates just how challenging this command is: he tells the well-known parable of the Good Samaritan (see Luke 10:30-37). The actions taken by the Samaritan - caring for the needs of the man who had been attacked by bandaging his wounds, transporting him to safety at an inn, and covering the expenses the man incurs during his stay - was in opposition to the cultural expectations and even laws of his day. His actions show a level of sacrificial love that feels foreign in our disconnected world. While we all need to care for our personal safety, let's also strive to face the challenges of the day with an attitude of sacrificial love.

For Reflection:
Jesus made it clear that the 613 Jewish Laws God gave to Moses all revolve around these two commandments. What is one law or cultural expectation in our world that you wish was different?

Looking for a deeper study that could be done individually or with a group? Consider the video study created by our District Superintendent, The Women Who Knew. This study was released a few weeks ago for use during the Lenten season. For each week of Lent, there is a video study and a study guide. This resource is available streaming for free at

For SPARK (3-4yr olds)
Download this week's Parent Cue

For BLAST (PreK- 5th grades)
Read Proverbs 17:9

Forgiveness is hard. Sometimes we'd rather be right and make a point. We want the other person to understand why we're hurt and to somehow guarantee they won't ever mess up and hurt us again. Since no one is perfect, eventually the people you spend time with will mess up and those mess-ups might really mess up your friendship.

When it comes to forgiveness, being right is never more important than your friendship. Winning an argument isn't the goal, protecting the relationship is. If you keep bringing it up to make the other person feel bad, you'll never be close to that person. That's why it's so important to take the first step to forgive.

Place a piece of paper on the floor, put your foot on the page and trace around it to create a footprint. Inside your footprint outline write, "Take the first step to forgive." As you hold up your footprint, ask God to help you forgive so that you can protect your relationships.

Missed the video lessons shared yesterday?
God, our peace and our strength, we pray for our nation and the world as we face new uncertainties around coronavirus. Protect the most vulnerable among us, especially all who are currently sick or in isolation. Grant wisdom, patience, and clarity to health care workers, especially as their work caring for others puts them at great risk. Guide us as we consider how best to prepare and respond in our families, congregations, workplaces, and communities. Give us courage to face these days not with fear but with compassion, concern, and acts of service, trusting that you abide with us always; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

A note on prayers: to respect confidentiality, we will not be sharing specific prayer requests via email; however our prayer team is still actively praying for every request that they receive. If you have a prayer request, send it to the prayer team at

We're excited to celebrate some big milestones we'll be missing over the next few weeks of worship, including welcoming new members and presenting Bibles to our 3rd graders; and we'll be sharing new dates for those recognitions as soon as they're available.

Over the past few days, Asbury's maintenance staff has taken great effort to sanitize the building.

During this period of building closure, office staff and maintenance staff will have access to the office area and Work Room; and the Sanctuary will be utilized to live stream worship and to hold funeral and memorial services as needed.

Outside of those functions, we are asking that no one enter the building until it reopens (at this point the target date is Sunday, March 29).

Please know that during the time that the office is closed, all calls to Asbury are being received by our answering service, as there is no one available in the office to take your call. Any messages you leave with the answering service are forwarded to us and we will relay your message to the appropriate staff member to respond to you as soon as possible.

Cancelled/Postponed Events
Include, but not limited to:
UMW Communion Breakfast
Children's Ministries' Communion Workshop
Alcoholics Anonymous Meetings
Men's Group Tour to Mack Museum
Reschedule dates (if applicable) will be communicated when available.
No physical meetings are being held at Asbury or off-site; but please check with your group/Circle leader to see if there are plans for your group to connect online.
Precautions related to the coronavirus will have an impact on our activities and gatherings. We recognize that they may also have a negative impact on our giving. Please continue to give and support our ministries as you are able. You can visit to give a one-time or recurring gift on PushPay, our online giving portal; or you can mail a check to the church.

Although our activities may be curtailed for a time, our fixed expenses for our ministries and building operations continue. Also, we value our staff, who will continue to be here to support you; and they will continue to be compensated in full. 

Thank you for your continued support!

A reminder that all updates regarding Asbury's response to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) will be shared via email blast, via social media ( Facebook and Twitter) and at
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