As humans, we tend to fear those who are different from ourselves. The differences can make us a bit uncomfortable, and that discomfort fueled by our imagination, our perception of the world, our culture and upbringing, the media, religious leaders and politicians, can lead us to be afraid. So how can we overcome the fear of others and see people as God sees them.
We often think of Old Testament Israel as exclusive and narrow toward non-Israelites. But here we read, "Any immigrant who lives with you must be treated as if they were one of your citizens. You must love them as yourself." Israel's faith stressed God's concern for all people, especially those who needed help. In theory (though too often not in practice-e.g.
), Israel was a nation in which everyone was responsible to seek the well-being of all.
* God told Israel to remember their history as poor immigrants when they were a settled people into whose land others might immigrate. What does this suggest about how God sees people of all nations and races? As God's follower, how can you live out that same spirit in your attitudes and actions today?
* All over the world, in virtually every nation and culture, those who are "different," who are "outsiders," face prejudice because of ethnicity, poverty, lack of education or many other markers of "otherness." When have you seen people who are "other" treated that way, or been treated that way yourself? How can you make things better rather than worse when such ugly actions happen?
Lord of all,
when difference offends me, or when prejudice enrages me,
remind me that you came to change my heart.
Help me, like you, to meet evil with good.
|Rather have all of this week's BLAST devotionals at once? Get them here
- small activity bags which reinforce our Bible stories and themes for the month - are available in bins at the upper entrance until Wednesday 4 PM. Stop by at your convenience!
A reminder: send in your videos to Miss Pam!
For BLAST (PreK- 5th grades)
One of the awesome things about following God is that He promises to be with us, no matter what. When you have a big job to do, when the job seems way too hard, God can help you stand strong, be brave and finish with determination. That's what Paul is talking about in today's verse. Even when the task seems impossible, God is with you.
Let's take a look at another story of determination. Can you name this famous inventor? Considered unteachable at a young age, this inventor continued to try and try again. While many would say he had failed, he would say that he simply found over 1,000 ways not to create a light bulb. Who was he?
H T M O S A N E I S D O
Ask God to give you the strength you need to remain strong, and keep going to finish what you've started.
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Videos for this week:
This Sunday, in addition to our normal 10 AM live service, we'll be streaming an Open Door worship service at 5 PM, featuring newly-recorded music from the Open Door Band and a replay of Pastor Eric's message from the morning!
Asbury's building is now closed indefinitely. When the time comes to re-open, rest assured we will send that communication as far in advance as possible (and very ready to celebrate gathering again!).
For the safety of all, and to keep Asbury's building virus-free, access to the building is now limited to office and custodial staff only. All other key cards have been deactivated. Should you need to gain access to the building, please contact Israel Olivieri, Business Manager, at
In the midst of a challenging time, we still have much to celebrate! Thanks to your amazing generosity, we have reached our goal for the Capital Campaign of $350,000 as of April 19, 2020! Praise God!! Thank you to all who supported this important initiative; and continue to watch for updates on project progress in the coming months.
Get information about and past updates on the Capital Campaign at asburylv.org/capitalcampaign.
For those wishing to support COVID-19 relief, we encourage you to consider giving to UMCOR (United Methodist Committee on Relief) Advance. 100% of donations to the Advance go to COVID-19 relief, as UMCOR's administrative costs are paid through connectional giving.
Summer Camping registration is underway! Camps realize that the future is full of uncertainties and are considering alternative plans, including some offering full refunds if camps are cancelled. Visit the individual camp sites to learn more about their camps and their policies related to COVID-19:
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 (
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.
now a drop-off site
for home-sewn masks for Lehigh Valley Health Network. The collection bin is located at the doors by the upper entrance to the building. If you're able to sew masks, but not able to deliver them,
email Pastor Barbara
to get connected with a helper. We do not have supplies available to offer; but could help coordinate a pickup for an order you place at a local fabric or craft store that's offering curbside pickup.
St. Luke's is also collecting personal protective equipment (PPE). Learn more about the items they're accepting and their drop-off locations (their Care Now urgent care locations in Allentown, Whitehall, Bethlehem, and more)
on their website
Include, but not limited to:
AIM Yard Sale (cancelled)
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.
f you are experiencing loneliness, or spiritual and emotional distress during these challenging days, or if there's someone you're concerned about, please reach out to Pastor Barbara at
We know that these stressful times have and will cause hardships for some in our community. The following groups, recommended by Asbury in Mission (AIM), have resources available for assistance if you or someone you know has a need:
Kingdom Life Family Center Food Bank
4333 Lime Kiln Rd, Orefield, PA 18069
1401 Linden Street, Allentown, PA 18102
AIM also reminds us that while volunteer opportunities are few due to the current crisis, our mission partners can still be supported financially. Learn more about all of our AIM mission partners at
If you are in a position to donate to the food banks, please be aware of the following information about donations:
Kingdom Life Family Center in Orefield wants people to make an appointment to drop off food on a Tuesday morning.
Salem United Methodist Church in Allentown, Food bank can take donations in the morning by appointment only.
Call Rev. Navin Satyarvata 610-432-2577