Shenandoah District Connection
Wind of the Spirit,
What Does This Mean?
May 18, 2020
"...Christ is all that matters, and he lives in all of us" (Colossians 3:11).
From the Desk of District Executive Minister John Jantzi
WIND OF THE SPIRIT, WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?

This meditation is another in the series of reflections leading up to Pentecost Sunday. The theme is taken from Acts 2:12, where the question was asked, “what does this mean,” by those who observed the coming of the Holy Spirit. The coming reflections will include a variety of folk throughout the District.

Brethren Woods made an announcement last Friday about the camping programs this summer. Click here to view the statement.

Please note the additional links and resources below developed for the reopening of churches in a time of pandemic. If you have any questions about these items, please contact Shenandoah District Executive Minister John Jantzi .
1) Va. Safer at Home Phase 1 for  Religious Services
2) W. Va.  Schedule  and  Guidance
3) Northern Plains District Executive Tim-Button-Harrison provided this Guide to Faithful Discernment , which was produced by Presbyterians in Iowa.
4) State guidelines from Governor Northam’s press conference on Fri., May 8: https://www.virginia.gov/coronavirus/forwardvirginia/#856622
5) Ideas and links generated from two Zoom calls last week among District leaders and pastors: Resources for Congregational Reopening
Call to Worship
Prayer: Have Hope (inspired by Psalm 42)

God, my soul is sad.
My heart is hopeless.
I’m frowning within and without.
But I know the cure.
The crack in my heart can be mended by you.
The thirst in my throat can be quenched by you.
How refreshing you are!
I spend a few minutes in worship
and you replace everything that is missing.
You rehydrate my heart.
You replenish my spirit.
So I’m telling my soul, “Cheer up!”
I’m counseling my heart, “Have hope!”
For you, my God, are all I need and more.

Source: Written by Chris Altrock, and posted on True North .
Meditation
Christ is All that Matters

I am a Star Trek fan, so I’ve always been fascinated with the concept, as far-fetched as it might be, of traveling through time. So imagine with me for a moment that just such a thing is possible. We’re going to engage in a little time travel tourism and our destination is one of the early Christian congregations that could be found at Rome, or Ephesus, or Galatia. Once we get past the differences in language, dress, and architecture, what do you think might surprise us the most?

I believe that one of the realities in those early Christian fellowships that would bowl us over is the variety of people we would find gathered around the table. In any of those early congregations, we would be amazed at the different economic backgrounds, languages, and nationalities represented. Why, slaves were worshipping with free persons, and men were seated at the same table with women who were not kin to them by marriage or birth! When Paul wrote the believers in Galatia that, “There is no longer Jew or Gentile, slave or free, male and female” or to the fellowship at Corinth that, “it doesn’t matter if you are a Jew or a Gentile, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbaric, uncivilized, slave, or free” he wasn’t looking forward to some future transformation but was naming present reality!

How is this possible? “In this new life...Christ is all that matters, and he lives in all of us” (Colossians 3:11). “For you are all children of God through faith in Christ Jesus. And all who have been united with Christ in baptism have put on Christ, like putting on new clothes” (Galatians 3:26-27). How is this possible? Because Christ is now all that matters! How is this possible? Because in baptism you have put on Christ! In some of my recent readings, it has been suggested that early Christianity was the first movement to transcend all of these cultural and tribal boundaries, bringing people together around one table and in one service of worship. These early believers were creating a new normal in the societies in which they lived and ministered!

As we live into a new normal that is being created by this pandemic, I pray we will rediscover that “Christ is all that matters” and that in living out that commitment we will more fully welcome and embrace the beautiful variety of the people who are part of the communities in which God has planted us. Sadly, to create a space in which we are comfortable, we too often have surrounded ourselves in our congregations with people who look and think like us. But God did not take on human flesh to make us comfortable. In the midst of a broken world, we are called to embody the reality of kingdom life that includes people of different nationalities, tribes, people, and languages!
Benediction
John the Revelator declared: “I saw a vast crowd, too great to count, from every nation and tribe and people and language, standing in front of the throne and before the Lamb.” Lord, may your will be done on earth, as it is even now being done in heaven. Amen.
Attributions
Today's Call to Worship, Meditation, and Benediction
submitted by:
Kevin Daggett
Pastor, Dayton Church of the Brethren
Member, Compelling Vision Team

Sources:
Call to Worship: http://chrisaltrock.com/2011/08/prayer-from-psalm-42/
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015
by Tyndale House Foundation.

Today's photo courtesy of pixabay.com
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)