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.
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. preached his last Christmas Eve sermon on December 24, 1967. It included these words: "
Agape is an overflowing love which seeks nothing in return.... This is what Jesus meant when he said, 'Love your enemies.' And I'm happy that he didn't say, 'Like your enemies,' because there are some people that I find it pretty difficult to like.... I've seen too much hate to want to hate, myself... every time I see it, I say to myself, hate is too great a burden to bear." *
* Jesus (and Dr. King) knew that one of the most common ways we deal with fear is to turn it into hate toward those we fear. But following the teaching of Jesus, Dr. King said there's a better option. To those he called "our most bitter opponents," Dr. King declared, "We will meet your physical force with soul force. Do to us what you will and we will still love you... be assured that... we will so appeal to your heart and conscience that we will win you in the process, and our victory will be a double victory... the truth crushed to earth will rise again."** How can you more and more live into the God-given spirit of agape toward whatever frightening people and forces you face, big or small?
* "A Christmas Sermon on Peace," in James M. Washington, ed. A Testament of Hope: The Essential Writings
and Speeches of Martin Luther King, Jr. San Francisco: HarperCollins, 1986, p. 256.
** Ibid., pp. 256, 257.
make me an instrument of your peace.
Grow in me confidence in the long-term power of love,
the world-changing power that makes me a follower of Jesus.
|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 4 PM today. Stop by at your convenience!
A reminder: send in your videos to Miss Pam!
For BLAST (PreK- 5th grades)
Do you ever feel like quitting? Maybe you've tried and failed and you're afraid you'll NEVER get it right. That's when you have to remember that God is with you. He can make you strong, help you and hold you safe. His way is always right. God will give you the strength you need to keep going, even when it seems impossible.
Check out this story of determination. Can you unscramble the name to discover the answer?
This famous "colonel" didn't start on his idea until the age of 60. He worked from age 60-73 to create and grow his business, sometimes even living in his car. Today, you can find a Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurant in 118 different countries. Who was he? (Hint: The first name starts with an "H")
______________________ __________________ ___________________
L D R A A H N D D A V I N D S A E R S
Thank God for the reminder that you don't have to be afraid even if you need to try again.
sɹǝpuɐS pᴉʌɐp puɐlɹɐH :ɹǝʍsu∀
Videos for this week:
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