Thank you to all who prepared and served in various roles for Pastor’s Gumm’s installation service. It was a wonderfully uplifting service listening to Pastor Gumm’s father remind us of God’s grace. It was also a blessing to witness the laying on of hands by so many fellow pastors in our district as well as Pastor Jeremiah Gumm’s father and his father-in-law.
Please pray for all those who are in the path of Hurricane Florence as it continues to move inland. Pray also for those who have already been impacted and have suffered loss.
Our next Dinner Around Town will be September 29th at Hollerbach's Willow Tree Cafe. Space is limited so be sure to sign up on the sheet in narthex.
We invite you to join us September 30th for the first Funday Sunday of the 2018-2019 school year. We will have a "refreshing" worship service with the school children singing a “sweet” song. There will be HUUUGE games and activities in gym following the service, along with snacks. Yes, the games are HUUUUGE!!! Really, they are supersized!
Now, here’s today’s devotion:
Change of Plans
Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us.
They were young boys who loved to play soccer. Some had plans to play professionally when they grew up. But that’s before they entered the cave.
This past June, in Thailand, 12 boys and their soccer coach entered a local cave to look around—something they had done many times before. But heavy rains suddenly made waters in the cave rise. The rising water forced the soccer team to go back further and further into the cave. They found themselves trapped. Almost two miles of cold, murky water separated the team from the entrance. And few of the boys could swim.
Then came the Navy SEALs. They emerged from the water to find the boys after searching for them for days. They quickly saw to it that the boys and their coach would not be alone from that time forward. They brought food. They transported letters between the boys and their families. They even played checkers with them. The two-week ordeal climaxed in a miraculous rescue. Over 150 Navy SEALs took part in bringing each boy through underwater twists and turns. Every trip took hours. The difficulty was beyond words. One Navy SEAL died. The boys and their coach, however, are out, alive, and safe.
Since the rescue, several of the boys have changed their plans for what they want to do with their lives. They want to be Navy SEALs. They want to rescue others.
You and I once found ourselves trapped in a place far more desperate than even a water-filled cave. You and I once found ourselves trapped in the pit of our own sin.
But then the Son of God arrived. He did what had to be done to retrieve us from the despairing darkness into the warm light of his forgiveness. In doing so he gave his life. For us.
Now, through faith in Jesus, you and I are out, alive, and safe. And because Christ has risen from death, we know that we will never be alone again.
But this rescue has not only changed the destiny of our souls, it has changed our plans for life on this earth. Armed with the gospel message of what Jesus has done, you and I can now be rescuers too.
Right now, there are people you know who are trapped—trapped in the spiritual caves and caverns of this broken world. Seek them out. Bring them what they need. Bring them Jesus.
Lord Jesus, you have rescued me and brought me into the light of your forgiveness. Through your gospel, empower me to seek others as you sought me. Amen.