This Sunday, we continue our sermon/study series, Renewal Journey, and the topic is "full surrender". We meet Evan Roberts, a young leader of the Welsh Revival (1904-06), whose ministry impacted over 100,000 people in just 9 months. This Revival drew youth to confess their sins, to yield and be obedient to the Holy Spirit, and to publicly confess the Lord Jesus Christ. If you were in worship on Youth Sunday, you saw our awesome MLEPC youth who led us so well in worship. I can only imagine how it would change the world if there was revival among youth in our world today. Having some Welsh in me through my maternal grandmother, my interest was piqued to seek out a bit of my ancestry. I found some surprising things that I'll share during our sermon time on Sunday!
Rather than use the scriptures suggested in the study, the story of King Asa and exhortations from James, I was led to the above two scriptures. Matthew takes us to the Garden of Gethsemane on the night Jesus was betrayed as He prays to His Father, "Thy will be done." There is no more perfect example of full surrender than that of Jesus as He has this intense prayer time in the Garden. Jesus asks Peter, James and John to watch with Him and pray, and they fall asleep. Their inability to do what Jesus asks of them is an example of the difficulty we have as humans to fully surrender to God and do what He asks of us.
1 Corinthians 9 is subtitled "Paul surrenders his rights." This scripture is a good one for us to reflect on as we anticipate a summer of getting to know and build relationships with children and families in our local communities. Paul lived as a servant to all and was "all things to all people". In other words, Paul had to adopt customs and cultural practices that were not
his own so that he could share the Gospel with as many different kind
s of people as possible. This week, two of our
members took dow
n the beautifully decorated grapevine wreaths that were on our sanctuary doors this spring. They were surprised to find a bird's nest in one and several plastic candy-filled egg
rs, left behind from the children's Easter egg hunt in March!
As we do ministry together this summer, be assured that God will surprise us - sometimes with things that delight us and make us smile and sometimes with hard things we didn't anticipate. Scripture tells us it's difficult to fully surrender ourselves to God, but as we pray and are obedient to Him, we can be confident that by the Holy Spirit, He will be with us and will bless our efforts to share the Gospel.
Love, in Christ,
Director of Congregational Care