Grace and Peace to you, Beloved --
God is alive and is ever leading the church! It is my joy to welcome Rev. Tori Butler as the new Pastor of Good Hope Union United Methodist Church effective July 1. Rev. Butler, a Baltimore native, comes to us from the Texarkana Conference with great preparation, passion and joy. Beginning July 1, Min. Caprice will serve as the Pastor of Community UMC in Laurel, MD and I will serve as the Director of Congregational Excellence for the Baltimore-Washington Conference. God is great and is greatly to be praised! Family, we will miss you; but, we know that you will continue to grow in the love and Word of God. Our best days are ahead of us and God is still leading this church in powerful and prophetic ways. Welcome, Rev. Butler. Praise be to God in the highest and peace to all here on earth.
Let us pray,
Gracious and Merciful God, we thank You for leading our lives. We thank You for being our God and for meeting us at the point of our need. Prepare the way for Thy will to be done in all people and in all places. We belong to You and we trust You with every pastoral transition. We follow Your leading and we invite Your Holy Spirit to continue equipping the church (us) to love and serve all people according to Your holy will. Revive us. Comfort all who mourn. Strengthen all in need and reveal Yourself as the God of Miracles, Signs, and WONDERS. We TRUST YOU and WE GIVE YOU PRAISE. In the Name of Jesus, the Christ, we pray. Amen.
Christ is Risen! Hallelujah! Christ has given humanity the power to live/stand up again. The resurrection of Jesus Christ points to the God who is faithful, committed, and loving toward humanity. God keeps God's Word. The worst was suffered and Christ emerged triumphantly; but, not without some scars. Know this - because Jesus lives we shall live also. However, we will have to learn how to live as people of the resurrection whose scars are often visible yet ever healed. That's powerful! Our scars are a part of our story. The scars, however, should not remove our focus from the One who heals them. Tell your story today of how God has made you alive today. Christ is Risen! Arise...
Let us pray,
Thank You, Lord. We stand up again in You and are healed. Your will be done. Amen
May God forever be praised. God is with us. God suffered for us in the person of Jesus. Jesus was a real person. Jesus was more than a prophet. Jesus was the Son of God. He was born of a woman named Mary. He was fully human and fully divine. He had real sweat, tears, blood, and purpose. He had real nails placed in his real flesh. He had real thirst and suffered from real dehydration. He was hung on a real cross and he died a real death. He was the real and only begotten son of God. Jesus is the definition of love. Jesus is the epitome of love in action. This day can only be called good because it is the day that our sins were nailed to the cross and our redemption was fully purchased. God set us free to wholly be the children of God - indebted to no other. God has provided the escape for every temptation. God has defeated sin and death. So, how should we thank God for this freedom? What kind of love is this--
Let us pray,
God, we praise and thank You for Your incredible love. You choose to make us whole. We are free because of Your love to fully follow/serve You. We've been redeemed by the power of Your blood. Our past is erased. Our future is secure. Let Thy will be done. Thank you. We pray in Your Name. Amen.
Greetings, beloved --
Today is Holy Thursday also known as Maundy (Commandment)Thursday. This day commemorates the last supper of Jesus Christ when he established the sacrament of Holy Communion. It is the same day when Jesus washed his disciples feet. In John chapter 13:14-15 we find these words, "I, your Lord and teacher, have just washed your feet. You, then, should wash one another's feet. I have set an example for you, so that you will do just what I've done for you." To whom is God sending you today? Whose feet (lives) must we wash (serve/help)? Who is God calling you to serve/love today?
Let us pray,
God, we praise You. We thank You for washing our feet/lives. We thank You for this new day filled with new mercies. Teach us how to wash more feet and love more people. Let Thy will be done in every heart. Thanks be to God. In Jesus' Name, we pray. Amen.
God is with us. On this Holy Wednesday, we focus on WORSHIP. In John 12, we find a story of a woman who broke her alabaster box/jar of perfume and poured it onto Jesus' feet. Judas Iscariot called her wasteful. Jesus called her blessed. This woman anointed Jesus when others didn't. She noticed something about Jesus that others hadn't/missed. This Holy Wednesday let us focus on what we can do for God and not on what others want or believe that we can do. Let us offer God our best - worship Him.
Let us pray,
God we trust You. We love You and we thank You for receiving our worship. Comfort all who mourn (especially those in Brussels, South Sudan, Turkey, Indonesia, Palestine, Israel, Nigeria and the U.S. affected by terrorist attacks) and strengthen Your people in need. Let Thy will be done. In Your Name, Amen.