November 8 Edevotional

Then he said to me, “These are they who have come out of the great ordeal; they have washed their robes and made them [clean] in the blood of the Lamb. 15For this reason they are before the throne of God, and worship day and night within the temple, and the one who is seated on the throne will shelter them. 16They will hunger no more, and thirst no more; the sun will not strike them, nor any scorching heat; 17for the Lamb at the center of the throne will be their shepherd, and will guide them to springs of the water of life, and God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.” Revelation 7:14 – 17

We did not know as we worshipped together this past Sunday that a companion church-family in Sutherland Springs, Texas would experience such a tragic worship service of death just an hour later. None of us knew that such evil would again enter a sanctuary on that All Saints Sunday. This mass-shooting, an act of terrorism committed by a white male and it’s ripple effects comes very close to home. Members of Northbrook UMC, Phil Braden (ex-wife, Claudia Braden, sons David and Alex Braden): Phil’s brother, Keith Braden, is among the dead victims of the shooting in First Baptist Church, Sutherland Springs. Phil’s sister-in-law, Debbie, is in the hospital after several surgeries for injuries of three gunshot wounds from the same gun that killed her husband. Their six-year-old granddaughter is also in the hospital having undergone surgeries from being shot in the hip. Both of them are now stable. But their lives and our world are not. No longer “them,” “over there,” this is us, our family members, our lives.

How do we pray? We are being held hostage by those who proclaim the right for everyone to have access to mass-killing weapons and have the money, power, and privilege to continue their distribution. I refuse such madness. That is my prayer, “God, help me to refuse such madness.” The madness that attempts to tell me that I too must purchase a tool of killing in order to protect myself and defend those I love from madmen. I did not know as I lifted up the cup of communion and remembered John’s vision in Revelation of the baptism robes of the gathered saints being washed in the blood of the slain Lamb. I did not know that there was more blood to be flowing of family members, of blood-relatives at that same moment. We did not know that we would have to wade through such blood and evil and tears. It is the only way through such insanity, this way of Jesus, through the warring madness and out the other side, not with a gun in my hand or guns in our homes of worship, but with the power of love. With my baptism robe washed clean to take up the power of my calling to stand up to our hostage-takers and say, “No more.” This is our prayer. We join with the saints in this work. “Lord, hear our prayer.”

Pastor Sherrie Lowly

HAPPENINGS

Sunday, November 12
Stewardship Sunday
10 am worship, 11 am Fellowship Pie Part
This is the time to make a pledge and let the
church know what you can do for us

Wednesday, November 29
NUMC All Church Conference
6:30 pm to 7:30 pm
This is your chance to learn and have
a vote on all of the church business
Reverend Zaki Zaki will be joining
and addressing us

Categories: E-Devotional, Uncategorized