First Church had been declining in membership and attendance for years. Twenty years
ago worship attendance was 220, but had dwindled down to 53. Every three or four years
they would receive a new pastor. With each new pastor they hoped he or she would be
able to bring new members into the church.
Across the street from the church was a bowling alley. Over the years, the people in the
church complained when beer cans were found in front of the church. On Saturday night,
the bowling alley would be filled with people. One pastor challenged the congregation to
Thomas Willadsen Mary Austin Christopher Keating Dean Feldmeyer Ron Love George Reed Bethany Peerbolte
For January 20, 2018:
God Activates by Tom Willadsen — Perhaps God wants us to delight in each other and in the magnitude and depth of divine love. Perhaps the Lord wants to activate our gifts of the Spirit, to use them for the common good.
We are all intimately connected as one body in Jesus. Isaiah celebrates our intimate union with our creator, describing us as the joyful bride of God. Though there had been alienation and rejection from both sides in the past, the prophet describes us as God’s delight. That connection is also emphasized in Paul’s oddly graphic description of church folks as body parts — we need each other because we are not a living, breathing body if we are somehow separated.
When Jesus visited a wedding at Cana in Galilee, he showed that human disappointments matter to him and that he would be prepared to redeem them. This is a story about a young girl's bitter disappointment when she became a bridesmaid.