We Suffer Together

If you look at the end of the post today our Christian Education Director Tracy has provided a short message and a link for our families with young children to have devotions and bible stories at home while they are not able to go to Sunday School with their friends. 

Hello church family, this is Pastor Phil. 

I am still keeping each and every one of you in my prayers. If you haven’t received one yet, please expect a call or text from me soon. I’m working this week on getting in touch with everyone in our church family. 

Our midweek Lenten series has been about the Practice of our Faith and nowhere does the practice of our faith become more real than when we are faced with difficulties and challenges in life. This is as true in the common everyday challenges of life as when major challenges effect whole countries and the world. 

When we think of the practice of our faith during times of challenge, it is helpful to look at the body of Christ, the Church, and how a church family practices its faith and lives it out together. 

This week, I’ve been working on calling everyone in our church family, to check on them, see if they have any needs, and to pray with them. One of the most beautiful and encouraging stories I’ve been hearing from each of you is how you are caring for each other. From phone calls to checking in on each other, to bringing supplies, and even food from your freezer to our more vulnerable families who can’t go out right now, to actively keeping each other in your prayers, as the Body of Christ, our church family is right now putting the practice of its faith into action during this time of need. 

Our Heavenly Father tells us in His Word what this looks like for the Church family, the Body of Christ, to live out its faith in 1 Corinthians 12. I’ll read just some selected verses from this section. 

For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ. Vs. 12

I Corinthians 12:12

that there may be no division in the body, but that the members may have the same care for one another. If one member suffers, all suffer together; if one member is honored, all rejoice together. Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it. Vss. 25-27

1 Corinthians 12:25-27

As a church family we have deeply, deeply missed being able to publicly worship together as we are accustomed to. But we are also taking the concerns about the virus seriously– not only staying home if we have symptoms and are feeling sick, but also considering the possibility that individuals not having symptoms may still be contagious. In our church family, this can seriously affect many of our most vulnerable parishioners. It seems that each day we’re learning new things and trying to make the best decisions we can to keep everyone safe. This changing reality and trying to care for those in our church family, especially the most vulnerable, gives flesh to the words, “if one member suffers, all suffer together.” 

When members suffer, the body comes together. Those who are less vulnerable and more able are responsible to care for those who are in need. We all sacrifice together. As a church family and as the body of Christ, we sacrifice privileges, rights, food in our freezers, time, even meeting together for a brief period of time, for the sake of our brothers and sisters in Christ and for the sake of our neighbors. 

We do this as the body of Christ, because of what Jesus Christ did for us and sacrificed His body upon the cross for us. 

We pray to our Lord that during this time of challenge that we may walk in His footsteps, practicing our faith by caring for each other, and even sacrificing our rights and privileges for the sake of each other. 

One of the great ways that we can practice our faith is by using the telephone. We have an opportunity to stay in touch with each other that Christians less than 100 years ago didn’t have, and that many Christians around the world don’t have even now. We live in a time and country where we can stay connected virtually even if we can’t see each other for a short time.

During this time, please don’t hesitate to call any of the leadership in our Church Family. Your Church Fathers, Your Church Council, Ministry Team and Staff, Pastor Karl, Pastor Jody, and me, for support, encouragement, and prayer. We are a family in Christ and as God’s family we will get through this together

Hi Everyone, this is your Christian Education Director, Tracy.

Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old, he will not depart from it. 

Proverbs 22:6

What Proverbs 22:6 says seems pretty practical to me, but this day and age makes it hard. Add this virus that keeps us all quarantined away from each other and it makes it even worse.

But not impossible. 

For our church family with kiddos I have looked for and will continue to research ways to continue Sunday School lessons. To start this off I have included a link to Minno, a collection of cartoons and devotions for youngsters. This link does not include all shows that our membership gives us access to, but it is a start. As time goes I hope to find more and more was to “train up” our children, virtually.

Check out this website Minno Kids for worship songs, devotions, and bible videos for our younger church members. Don’t hesitate to contact me anytime.

Your Christian Education Director- Tracy

Published by philipmcclelland.org

​I am a recovering burned out workaholic​ who forgot I couldn't change the world. From the ashes of that not only have I found a peace from God that I never knew but a focus on what matters, God, family and loving my neighbor as God has loved me. My burning out experiences really drive my writing and how much I want to share all of the good God has worked through the hurt I've experienced. Currently I serve a great little parish in Northern Ohio with my wonderful family and our furry farm of five dogs, four cats and the oddball handful of fish. You can find me at www.philipmcclelland.org.

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