Shenandoah District Connection
Signs of the Risen Christ
April 21, 2020
Left: Vertical pallet planter;
Above: Horizontal pallet planter
Right: Kiddie pool planter
Photos courtesy of
Leah J. Hileman
“...put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness”
(Ephesians 4:24, NIV)
Call to Worship and Prayer
One: I am making all things new!

Many: Out with the old, in with the new!

One: I will give you a new mind, a heart of flesh,
and put a right spirit within you.
 
Many: Remember not the former things,
nor consider the things of old.

One: I will be their God, and they will be my people.

ALL: God through Christ makes all things new, Hallelujah!
Meditation
Read Ephesians 4:17-24

As many people during this strange season, I have been working to maximize the time and the fine weather to learn, adapt, and grow. Some are learning a new skill, taking on a challenging project, or cleaning, renovating, or redecorating an old space to give it new life. My neighbor painted her shed a brand new color. A church friend refinished an old porch swing and gave it to me for the parsonage. For me, I'm learning and applying gardening tips to expand my growing space and season.

I have been doing this on a budget, so instead of buying the latest, greatest gardening tools and special plants, I'm repurposing old items, upcycling junk, and cultivating more from seeds and cuttings. I turned an empty mustard bottle into a squirt water bottle for seedlings. I made an empty parmesan cheese container into a blood meal dispenser. My favorite renewals are featured in the photos above--old pallets from the basement converted into gardens (one vertical, one horizontal), and a bright blue, cheap plastic kiddie pool that is now a raised bed in my south yard. 

In Ephesians 4, Paul illustrates the kind of upcycling and renovation that can only be done by the Holy Spirit. In verse 18, he describes those who are darkened in understanding and separated from the life of God because of their ignorance. Then he flips the script in verse 20 to remind the believing community: "That, however, is not the way of life you learned when you heard about Christ..." He continues in 22, "You were taught...to put off your old self..." and in 23, "to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self..."

Let's have a deep conversation with God and ask, "What are you asking me to put aside and cast off so that You can make me new? What old things in me are You re-purposing, restoring, renovating, cleaning, repairing, redecorating into something new and beautiful?" Let us each commit to returning to our churches stronger than ever, to be in the Word and in prayer, to be right with the Lord and our neighbors, to really live as revived, renewed people in Christ.
Benediction
Who turns stones into flesh, water into wine, dry bones into marching men, diseases into health? None but our God! May the Lord put His Spirit in us so that we may live. Renew a right spirit within me, my Savior and my God!
In Our Prayers
We remember Tim Sites who is in Sentara Hospital. Tim is serving as interim pastor at Leake’s Chapel. We also remember Pastor Jack Haddock , who was admitted at Winchester Medical Center this week. Jack serves at Trinity in Page County. Pray for their healing and restoration to health.
Helpful Hints
The following document was created by Ken Fox to assist congregations with cutting costs and properly maintaining church buildings and their HVAC systems. Ken is the pastor of Cedar Run and manager of HVAC systems for James Madison University. We extend our thanks to Ken for sharing his expertise through these thoughtful tips.  Click here to download .
Attributions
Today's Call to Worship, Meditation, Benediction and photos were submitted by:
Leah J. Hileman
Pastor Luray Church
New Church Development Team
District Leadership Team

Sources:
Holy Bible, New International Version, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® .
Today's photo by Leah J. Hileman
If you have questions about the Daily Connection, contact:
Director of Communications
Shenandoah District Church of the Brethren
P.O. Box 67
Weyers Cave, Va. 24486
(540) 234-8555
www.shencob.org
(Graphics courtesy of pixabay.com, unless otherwise stated)