Great news! We had enough people register and the Luther movie is a GO! Last I checked, 79 were registered (and that was more than enough it turns out). Tickets are still available here if anyone else is interested. On a side note, St. John’s Lutheran promoted our movie and is doing a fundraiser at Moe’s in Winter Park that same night. Let me know if you are interested and I’ll forward you a postcard to bring in.
If you’d like to see the fun from the Amazing Race Teen challenge, here is a link to the video. (Skyler shows up a number of times and Pastor Golisch twice. Bonus points if you find him.)
Today, King’s Camp goes to CoCo Key in Orlando. It’s a mini waterpark and lots of fun for the youngsters.
Next Saturday, July 15th, we will have a game night in the Family Life Center. Bring your favorite game(s) and a snack to share. We’ll do things like last year. The fun begins at 7 pm and goes until 8:30 or so.
Finally, we are collecting for a “Baby Shower in a Box” to send to Will & Heather Asplin and their daughter, Annabelle. This is the last Sunday to contribute before the package is mailed.
That’s it for this week. Now, here is today’s devotion:
Harassed and Helpless
When Jesus saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.
Jesus was a man in motion. He healed a paralytic, a sick woman and two blind men. He raised another man’s daughter from the dead. He called others to be his disciples. He answered the questions posed by searchers and skeptics. And all in Matthew chapter nine! The verse before this verse describes it this way: “Jesus went through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the good news of the kingdom, and healing every disease and sickness.”
Why this activity, this urgency? Because the people were harassed by false prophets. Because they were harassed by the forces of evil in this dark world. Because they were harassed by the guilt of their own sin and the fear of eternal death. And by themselves they were helpless to do anything about it.
Sound familiar? Aren’t we tempted by false prophets of this world who promise a way to heaven other than through Christ? Aren’t we besieged by forces of evil in this sinful world that want to drag us away into the deadly sins of laziness, selfishness, greed, pornography, adultery, idolatry, and the like? Don’t we get depressed by our own sinfulness and guilt and sometimes wonder whether heaven can really be our home? And by ourselves we are certainly just as helpless. Often we feel like lost sheep without a shepherd to guide, strengthen and protect us.
But Jesus is more than a man in motion. He’s the Good Shepherd who has come to guide, strengthen and protect us, his harassed and helpless sheep. Living the perfect life of love we couldn’t, he moved on to Gethsemane and two unjust trials that condemned him. Then he allowed himself to be taken to Calvary where he gave his life for his sheep, taking the curse for all their sins. Yes, even yours and mine. He kept moving through death and the grave, rising on Easter Sunday morning, and eventually moved back to his throne in heaven. He assures us that his victory is ours. We’re fully forgiven and headed for heaven.
He did all this because of his compassion! Compassion has been defined as love in motion. That’s why Jesus was a man on the move. He had compassion for the lost, harassed and helpless like us. His love moved him to live and die for you and me.
It’s his love in motion that moves us to action, too. The lost and harassed around us need to know of their Savior! It’s time for us to get moving to tell them.
Dear Jesus, may your compassion move me to put my love into motion. Help me to reach out to the harassed and helpless around me. Move me to actively share your love with my words and works. Amen.