Two words that depending on the situation make our hearts jump. You're Invited! To the game. To a show at the fox. Backstage to see the celeb. To the wedding of your best friend.
Jesus spoke one time about people being invited to a wedding party. HUGE CELEBRATION. The SAVE THE DATE was sent out followed by the RSVP. People responded they would be there. Wouldn't miss it they exclaimed.
The time came for the party, the people began to bail. Lots of excuses, none of them good ones. Jesus then likens this to people who say they want to be part of His Kingdom, but when the opportunity presents itself to take part or have a role, they don't show.
I think the neatest part of the whole story is this.... Jesus wants you and I to show up in this thing called life. To follow Him with our whole hearts. To be about the business of His Kingdom and inviting others to join us in being a part. To experience the Love of Christ. His peace. His purpose.
If only we'll just show up. Think about it? Are you making yourself available to be a part of what Jesus is doing? Is your heart open to where God is leading? Now is the time because Jesus has everything ready.
'Will you show up....Cuz You're Invited!
Sunday Service - 5/21/23 - Table Talk: When You Don't Have Enough - Pastor Mike + Graduation Recognition
What to feed a HANGRY person?
Ever encounter a HANGRY person? I know I have. There used to be a commercial that began, "What do you feed a hungry man??" Today it might be asked, "What do you feed a HANGRY person?" There seems to be too many who are HANGRY and not enough to appease them.
Jesus and his disciples once encountered a crowd that may have been HANGRY. They came to Jesus hurting and looking for something. They may not have been exactly sure what they wanted, but they were hungry? For Food & drink. Yeah likely. Help- no doubt. Healing from hurts physically, emotionally and spiritually. Yep, check all three.
Jesus asked his guys to feed them, and they checked the credit card & decided the spending limit wasn't high enough. So send them away they said But Jesus wanted them to be of help, so he invited them in to be a part of something bigger than themselves.
This week there is talk of having to regulate Artificial Intelligence, for fear of the dangers. There are stories of people out of lonliness buying meals, flowers, setting place tables for the artificial voice that draws people for companionship.
People are HANGRY. Hungry. Angry. For what? More than food.For a friend. For help. For comfort. For meaning & purpose. To know they matter and are heard.
Jesus knew how to help HANGRY people and this week in Luke 9:10-17 we're going to see His remedy. It's found in bringing people together. Feeding their stomach so they might listen with their hearts. Offering friendship. Meaning. The purpose that comes from following Jesus Christ.
Are you HANGRY? Are you willing to help someone who is? Invite someone to share a meal or get a drink with you and share what you have... yourself.... the Love of Jesus. See you Sunday!
The Power of a Mom's Influence...
Anna Jarvis. You may not recognize the name but you have been influenced by her life. Anna is the mom behind Mother's Day. In 1907 she wanted to commemorate the passing of her mom and did so in her local congregation. She soon led an effort to recognize the influence and role moms play in our families. At first rebuffed, the idea soon caught on in all 50 states and in 1914 President Woodrow Wilson declared by an act of Congress the 2nd Sunday in May to be established as Mother's Day. A day set aside for "public expression of our love and reverence for the mothers of our country."
Never underestimate the influence of a mom! In 1920, Febb Ensminger Burn, the mother of Tennessee state Rep. Harry T. Burn, asked her son to "be a good boy" and he became the deciding vote to pass the 19th Amendment in the state of Tennessee.
This Sunday we're going to honor all the good that moms and women of influence do. There we be an awesome breakfast bar with different casseroles. (with gluten free options). Fresh fruit. Bagels. Coffee, Chocolate Milk & OJ. All we need is you!
After our worship set I'm going to remind us all how to use our influence on our kids and grandkids so that we set them up for success. I've always believed that the way in which Patti and I raised our kids gave us our best shot at influencing our grandchildren.
Thanks for being faithful to Jesus Christ Mom! We need you!
This week the Surgeon general released a report stating that one in two people admit to feeling isolated or alone. Things have not trended well since the pandemic. God made us for friendships. He said it's not good for us to be alone. (Gen. 2:18)
Matthew was a guy who knew what loneliness felt like. Before he was a follower of Jesus he was public enemy #1. A tax collector. Worse yet, he was a Jewish tax collector. He was ripping off his own people on behalf of the despised Roman government. After he gave Rome their cut, he kept the rest to himself. He wasn't welcome in church. He testimony wasn't invited to court and nobody in the family thought to inform him of the family BBQ..
Then Jesus came. Offered him a brand new life and he jumped at the opportunity. One of the first things he did was invite his cronies over to a meet and greet with Jesus read his story here. Jesus once again was criticized over his choice of dinner companions.
But it never bothered Jesus. Jesus mission was to restore people far from God and one another. He welcomes us. Wants to be with us & spend time with us. Jesus knows the one thing lonely people need is love and value. Do you know this? Could spending with Jesus & others, encouraging them in their walk with Jesus be what we need?
The Surgeon general said one of the things needed today is to restore "kindness, respect, service and commitment to one another." Sounds very similar to what Jesus had in mind for believers and the church. Messes need mercy. Messed up people need mercy more than judgement. Join me in being part of the Jesus solution!.
See ya on Sunday!
PS - So very grateful for all the new faces we are seeing. Each face has a name. Jesus saw Matthew- the man, the person and ended up at his home at a party. Once a month for May- August have someone or a family over to share some good food and good company!
A while back I was with some friends & someone asked me, "Hey do you remember Bill?". I replied yes, vaguely, "Whatever happened to him?" I asked. My friend reminded me that it was over a coke at a McDonald's one weekday afternoon we shared Jesus with Bill. We asked him if he would like to trust Jesus Christ there at a corner booth in a fast food place & Bill responded very much so. We prayed together and that day he began his journey with Jesus.
Fast forward, Bill is now married and nearing 50. With a great family and couple kids, one of whom is preparing to be trained in ministry. All over a coke in a restaurant. You know, Jesus spent a lot of time with people eating and drinking. So much so, he was criticized for it. He was called a "Friend" of sinners because he kept hanging out & eating with the wrong types of people.
This Sunday I'm excited to begin a 5 part study through Luke on the number of times Jesus ate with people and the dramatic differences that occurred as a result.
One neat thins about eating with others & talking about the Kingdom of Jesus is people tend to be much more relaxed drinking or eating together. There are 10 times in Luke where he describes in detail Jesus conversations over dinner. Maybe we can learn a thing of two from Jesus?
TABLE TALK- Using Your Table to Talk about Jesus begins Sunday. I hope you can join me at 9:33am in person or online! Invite a friend to sit next to you. You'll both be glad you did!
PS - Register for our Mother's Day breakfast - we're going to eat and learn about Jesus!!
Stonebridge Community Church is a Bible-based non-denominational church located in Dardenne Prairie, Missouri.