Tonight, my soul is crying out. I am mourning the death of two more at UNC-Charlotte this evening. My soul aches, my brain is confused, and my whole body is scared. When we lived in Charlotte, we saw young people that we worked closely with and loved fall victim to gun violence. We walked beside families in picking up the broken pieces and their confusion. So the news of more gun violence strikes a nerve. The past few weeks have brought too many shootings. My soul is wondering how can I turn......
Generally, when we consider the writings of the apostle Paul, we think of letters that are harsh and straight to the point. At times, Paul has a very aggressive style of writing as he tries to persuade his listeners. As a matter of fact, when I read the writings of Paul, I have come to expect his intensity. There are moments in the book of Romans that are no exception. As I reread more of his letter to the Romans, I was encouraged by messages of hope, grace, and God’s righteousness. In......
Yesterday during worship, I asked our church family to consider how Christmas is about belonging. Immanuel – God With Us – is a message of belonging. As I said in a blog article last week, Immanuel is a phrase that connects God and us through the little word with (im in Hebrew). To summarize, the Hebrew word im can mean: Being by or beside someone (approaching) Dwelling in a place or with someone (inhabiting), or Being together with someone (belonging). This third meaning is all about belonging. And when we look at Immanuel......
If you missed Sunday’s Sermon Read or listen to Forgiveness – Holding On Keeps Us From Moving On (Freeway, Week 4) Devotion 2 Mike Foster continues, “Only in Jesus do we find both the courage and the permission to admit that we’ve been wronged and have wronged others. In Jesus the crucified, we see the model of radical forgiveness that we are called to offer others and ourselves.” Taking a Risk… What would happen if you took the risk to forgive? Is it worth the risk? Blessed are the peacemakers. –Matthew......
This evening, as our family drove home from dinner, we were greeted in Angier by a beautiful pink sunset. Something about the carefully crafted colors that were woven together and blushed by the fluffy clouds was comforting. There was something in this sunset that spoke “Peace, be still.” I am a peacemaker. And being a peacemaker is tough work. I am reminded in these days following the Charlottesville conflict and after hearing about many brooding conflicts in our nation and around the world how important peacemaking is. And…I have had conversations with......
Take a deep breath and receive the peace of Christ. John 20:19-23, our gospel lesson this week, begins with fear. The disciples were together and yet filled with fear. It is interesting that we learn of this fear just before Jesus enters the scene and offers his blessing: “Peace be with you.” What dissipates fear? Peace. After Christ offers this blessing he proves himself to the disciples by showing them his hand and side. After he calms their fears and earns their trust, he then offers the blessing again, “Peace be with you.”......
A Christmas Eve Service for Everyone with Songs, Reflection, and Candles Whether you are Christian or not, this gathering will be a time of peace, love, hope and joy as we come together to sing, remember, tell the Christmas story and lift up the spirit of Christmas through candlelight. All are welcome!...