Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Perhaps one of the most famous signs Jesus performed was feeding 5,000+ people with five loaves of bread and two fish. Those that followed Jesus thought he was finally getting to the point of what he could do for them. They were more enamored with the signs than with what the signs were pointing to.

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

In overwhelming situations, it's easy to miss the obvious answer.

Our anxious, rushed states cause our minds to race, poring over all the potential eventualities and rapidly deciding that the worst of them will become the reality.

In today's passage, the disciples are faced with feeding a huge crowd who had congregated to be in Jesus' presence. It seemed like an insurmountable task.

For the disciples, the "ah-ha" moment here came well after they had (unknowingly) found the solution. Andrew found a boy with some food, but not nearly enough for the 5000+ people that were gathered, so he quickly cast it off as an option: "what good is that?".

It wasn't until Jesus took over that the solution became clear: Jesus can do a lot more than we can with what little we have. Maybe what feels like it's not enough can turn out to be plenty after all.

What are you holding on to that you can hand over to Jesus? The answer may be more obvious than you first think.

God can still work a miracle even when you don't expect it.

For Reflection:
·  What are some details about this story that would lead a reader to believe this actually happened?
· What do you think it felt like for the disciples to have thousands of people approaching because they wanted something from them?
· In verse 13, John provides a detail about the amount of bread left over. Why do you think he included this?

Previously shared study resources:
The Women Who Knew, produced by EPAUMC North District

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

For BLAST (PreK- 5th grades)
Read Romans 3:23

Grab a piece of paper and draw a target on the center. Wad up a few pieces of paper to use as your "darts." Hang up the target and stand several feet away. See if you can hit the target right in the center, standing in the exact same spot, 15 times in a row. Probably pretty difficult, right?

Sin is a little word that causes a lot of big problems. To sin means to miss the mark. Sin isn't just a problem for you, it's a problem for everyone. Imagine if God said, "Hey, if you want to have a relationship with me, then you need to hit the bullseye every single time." That would be like God saying, "If you want to have a relationship with me, you have to be perfect."

Guess what? No one can measure up to God's glory and perfection. But God loves you. He sent Jesus to die on the cross so that you can be forgiven.
Take a look at your dart board. Ask God to help you accept the forgiveness He offers when you miss the mark. Thank Him for sending Jesus so that you could be forgiven.

Missed this week's video lessons shared on Sunday for the week of 3/22?

Asbury's leadership has extended the closure of the building through (and including) Sunday, April 5. Read more at asburylv.org/200324update.

Due to the extended closure, the Children's Easter Celebration has been postponed.

The Jubilation Ringers have cancelled their spring concerts. They will not be rescheduled.

Lehigh Valley Health Network is seeking volunteers to sew face masks for their team to wear, wash, and reuse. Visit their website for instructions. We will have volunteers pick up the face masks from your doorstep and deliver them to LVHN. Need fabric or supplies? Don't let that hold you back if you're not able to pick them up yourself - if you place an order, our volunteers can pick them up and deliver them to you. Willing to help? Let us know by emailing Pastor Barbara.
 From Mark & Deirdre Zimmerman, Nepal

Thanks for being in touch, and for your prayers. Nepal remains relatively untouched by coronavirus, with just one case in January in someone travelling from China, and one case announced yesterday in a Nepali student returning from France. Unfortunately that hasn't stopped the government taking very drastic measures, with rapid changes at very little notice. They gave 24 hours' notice for closing the airport to all flights, and last night suddenly announced we were under complete lockdown from 6 AM this morning with no chance to go shopping or make other arrangements. The boys have been home from school for 10 days now with both doing on-line classes and exams, and Mark and I still go to the hospital. So we remain quite busy although it looks like things will get quieter in the next week while the hospital empties and if it continues to have no corona cases.

Of course, if we do get struck by the virus it will probably be pretty bad here given most people's economic situation/living conditions and the limits to medical facilities. We wait, like everyone, to see how long this will last. We will probably put out a letter in the coming days which will give you a better idea of our situation, but meanwhile thanks again for your prayers.

In your own words, pray for the Zimmermans as they continue to minister to Nepal (see above).

God, thank you for giving, entirely by grace, gifts for each of us to use in ministering to each other. Point us toward having the heart of a servant. Open our eyes to the needs of others around us and give our pastors wisdom as they equip us all for the work of the ministry.

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 prayer@asburylv.org.

We realize that your personal financial landscape may have drastically changed in these few short weeks; but if you are able to continue to financially support the ministries of Asbury, please prayerfully consider doing so.

We strongly encourage you to give online through PushPay, our online giving portal, at asburylv.org/give, but you can also mail a check in to the church office.

Your contributions will continue to help support the worship and ministries of Asbury. Additionally, we are retaining our commitment to compensating our staff at this time.

Thank you for your continued support!

Catch up on past announcements, devotionals, and resources at  asburylv.org/coronavirus .

All updates regarding Asbury's response to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) will also be shared at that page; as well as via email blast and on our social media feeds ( Facebook and Twitter).

Asbury's building is officially closed and has been deep cleaned. We are asking that no one enter the building until it reopens.

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:
Children's Ministries' Easter Celebration (postponed)
Jubilation Ringers Spring Concerts (cancelled)
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.

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