In-person worship services will be held as scheduled this Sunday. Please use discretion when determining whether roads are safe for your personal travel.
If you are unable to travel, consider joining worship online HERE at 7:30, 9, 11 or 5pm, on-demand at Resurrection’s YouTube channel, or on TV at KMCI 38 at 8am or 11am.
We are watching the weather and at this time the Car Show is still on as scheduled for the public, open from 9:00 am – 1:00 pm. We will keep you updated as conditions change.
5 God the LORD says—
the one who created the heavens,
the one who stretched them out,
the one who spread out the earth and its offspring,
the one who gave breath to its people
and life to those who walk on it—
6 I, the LORD, have called you for a good reason.
I will grasp your hand and guard you,
and give you as a covenant to the people,
as a light to the nations,
7 to open blind eyes, to lead the prisoners from prison,
and those who sit in darkness from the dungeon.
8 I am the LORD;
that is my name;
I don’t hand out my glory to others
or my praise to idols.
6 He said: It is not enough, since you are my servant,
to raise up the tribes of Jacob
and to bring back the survivors of Israel.
Hence, I will also appoint you as light to the nations
so that my salvation may reach to the end of the earth.
Tomorrow and Wednesday we’ll read texts in which Jesus spoke of his followers as lamps spreading light in the world. But as with most of his other key teachings, Jesus did not make up those images out of thin air. Instead, he “harvested” (so to speak) the very best parts of the Hebrew Scriptures. Just as the “greatest commandments” he named came from the Hebrew Scriptures (cf. Mark 12:28-33), so his images of lamps and light drew on the prophet many mainline scholars identify as “second Isaiah.”
Lord, when the world around me seems dark and dismal, help me not to cower away from the darkness. Send your Spirit into my heart and move me to share the light you give me with others. Amen.
We go through some experiences we will never forget. No matter what is happening in our lives, the memory is always just quietly there. When we allow the memory room to breathe, we can remember what we saw, how we felt, and what we thought as it was happening. I was in college working at a Christian summer camp when something happened that broke my heart wide open. I remember after it happened that I went outside and lay in the grass, flat on my back. I didn’t have words. I was so sad for the one who was suffering. I couldn’t believe that the world could be so terrible. I couldn’t understand why God allowed what happened.
As I lay there looking up at the sky, I knew God was with me and the one who was in pain. Romans 8:26 came to my mind: “Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we ought, but that very Spirit intercedes with sighs too deep for words.” Even as I didn’t have words to pray, I knew that God knew what was in my heart. I knew God cared more deeply for me and for the one who was suffering than I could ever understand. I didn’t need words to cry out to God and God didn’t have any simple answers for me.
I confess that I don’t often watch the news. It overwhelms me. I can read some news, but I selectively choose what to read about current events. I don’t want to be immobilized by the suffering and pain of the world. But I also don’t want to ignore what’s happening. When I hear about tragedies and wonder what is my work to do, I start with a passage like Isaiah 42:6 and remember that it is God who reaches out to grasp me. It is God who first loves. It is God who first acts. It is God who makes life and grace and salvation possible. God has called me. God has called you. God has called Resurrection, a United Methodist Church. Then I remember that God has created us to share God’s love with others. Each of us has been given gifts to share with others. And when we work together as a church we can do more than we can on our own.
When the pain of the world feels like it is too much to bear, I take a few deep breaths and wait until my mind is clear enough to remember God’s grasp. And then I look around and join with others in sharing hope with those who need it through our prayers, words, and actions. I remember that God has invited us to join in the good work of bringing hope when things feel hopeless. God’s Spirit is with us. And I cling to the good news that the Resurrection means that the worst thing is never the last thing.