“One Mission in Christ”
Adams United Methodist Church
Sulphur Springs United Methodist Church
Pastor Missy McCarthy
Music: Sue& Craig Gamet, Cindy Intschert, Jennie Mantle, Mike Tyo
April 11, 2021 2nd Sunday of Easter
Children’s Moment: (Spy stuff/secret mission)
Did you know we are like secret Agents? We are on a mission. Each one of us as Christians to do our best with all the choices we make, and all the things we do to share God’s hope and love with the world and take care of one another. In Acts today we are reminded that the first followers were willing to sell what they had to take care of each other and do what was uncomfortable at times in order to do what was necessary to help everyone live a better life together. It can’t be comfortable to sell part of your farm or to give your possessions to others in the group! Can you think of a time you have done something like this? When you gave up something you liked because someone else really needed help? We did it when we started masking to come to church. We gave up not having anything on our face to help others. There are folks here who have health issues or can’t get the vaccine so we help them by being a little uncomfortable ourselves for the short time we are gathered in a large group so that we can be all together and see each other and worship together. We do it when we put money in the can for our mission projects and in the plate so we can do other projects and keep the building stay updated and repaired. When we give up our time to make cards to send to the home bound folks we do it as well – Miss Neate sent such a nice card to thank us because she appreciates it so much. We participate in that same kind of community. So this week I want you to be a secret agent on a mission to share God’s love. Look for places where you can give up a little bit in order to share God’s love with others. See how many times you can spy cases of it happening or make it happen with your actions and report back next week. What happened? Who did it help? Were you a part of it?
Reflection: “One Mission in Christ”
The Psalmist reminds us what a blessing it is when families live together as one! It brings life. It brings more life to those around us and brings more people into relationship with Christ because they can see that life and witness the blessing. It is an amazing blessing when we can come together and see God working in our midst and we can all be on the same page, carrying out our mission to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world through worshiping God, Loving All and Serving the World.
The Author of Acts show us what the church is called to be. It is a harsh call. A call to be a community of believers and put the mission of Christ above your own. That even though we highly value independence, and self-reliance, in reality the community of Christ is called to a different standard. These folks saw that there were folks in the community that had need and then went out of their way to and sacrificed from their own hard work to take care of that need, selling their own lands and giving the money to the community to take care of those needs. That sounds like something that we could chalk up to a different time and place and yet is it?
I don’t think so, because I have seen this community do that very thing. We have diligently worked to share the Good News of Jesus with other folks because we know what it means for us even when it costs us. In the last few years, we have worked hard to share our worship with others including figuring out how to go online so no one is left out. We have worked hard to make this a safe community to have hard conversations and hold different views from each other and still be community through small group conversations and classes and learning to talk about hard topics. We don’t all agree, but we have learned to love each other through that even if we get frustrated from time to time. We have worked diligently to serve the world and will be blessing to each other and our community. This amazing altar full of our offerings of items this morning to be given to folks witnesses to that.
It isn’t just the items on the altar though. I have witnessed folks sacrificing their time in order to sort endless mounds of cloths or to be here for random drop offs of cloths and items for Spartan’s Closet. I have watched the basket fill up over and over again with brownie and cake mixes for the Rhode Center at the holidays, so everyone has a sweet treat over the holiday meals and there are already conversations around what the needs are for the Red Bird mission for next fall. Folks have given up their afternoons to do yard work in front of the church, at others houses for folks who have trouble getting around and even at my house last fall when learning all things digital and keeping up with the winterizing and home schooling had me feeling overwhelmed a team showed up in my front yard. You have sacrificed financially to raise money for Credo to help those with substance abuse get counseling and services they need, and for Heifer let alone the Rhode and the back pack program as well as to provide gift cards for food, gas, and phone services, and so many things that we have been able to just step in and help with because we are here and we are the church to fill in the gaps. Yes, it costs your time. Yes, it costs your financial gifts. Yes, it is a risk because sometimes you share your stories, and where God is working and yes it is hard….but whenever something new is being birthed it is hard work, but the new thing is always amazing when God is in it. We have witnessed the amazing things God has done right here in this space. We have seen God show up in our lives and in the life of this church, literally breathing life into us. This is why we do it, because like the first community we don’t want anyone else to not to know this – this gift we have been given.
So, this week my friends your job is to look for what God is doing in you and through you in this church. I want you to look through your pictures, print them off or send them in digitally so we can collect what God is doing. I want you to see what God has been doing, if you don’t have pictures, write the stories down and we are going to collect them throughout Eastertide on the back wall. We are going to witness to the amazing things God is doing in our midst.