School basketball games start this weekend. Games are at 11:30 a.m. (2-5th grade team) and 12:30 p.m. (6-8th grade team) at Willow Creek Church in Winter Springs. Feel free to come cheer the team on to victory.
Thank you to all who bought books at our book fair. It was big success. Reading is one of the best things you can do with your kids.
Next Sunday, 11/22, is our next Sunday Funday. After our worship service, there will be a German-themed potluck, you’ll get to meet our new German instructor and she’ll talk a little bit about the program.
Wednesday, November 25, is our Thanksgiving Eve service, 7:00 p.m. It is a “favorite hymns” service. (Be sure to turn in your “favorite hymns” ballet this Sunday.) Also, following the service, we’ll gather in the gym for a pie social. Please bring a pie to share. We’ll slice them thinly so that you can try more than one.
Those are the highlights. Now, here is today’s devotion:
Words of Comfort at the Loss of a Christian
Brothers, we do not want you to be ignorant about those who fall asleep, or to grieve like the rest of men, who have no hope. We believe that Jesus died and rose again and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him.
1 Thessalonians 4:13-14
It is a very uncomfortable situation. You spend a great deal of time folding and unfolding your hands. You shuffle your feet. As the line in which you are standing moves forward, your heart beats a little faster and your palms begin to sweat. Suddenly, there you are, face to face with the family of the person whose funeral you are attending. The question that has been floating in your mind since you entered the building now screams at you, “WHAT SHOULD I SAY?”
Two thousand years ago some Christians in the city of Thessalonica wondered the same thing. They knew that Jesus would one day return to take believers to heaven. They looked forward to that day. But, what was the fate of their fellow Christians who had already died? Was there any hope for them? The Apostle Paul answered this way, “Brothers, we do not want you to be ignorant about those who fall asleep. We believe that Jesus died and rose again and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him.”
Paul explained that they should not worry about their believing loved ones who have fallen asleep in death. Jesus died for their sins. He not only died, he rose again. And if Jesus rose from the dead, he can certainly raise their loved ones who died in the faith. In fact, when Jesus returns on the Last Day, he will take them together with every believer with him into heaven.
Paul went on to write, “For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. Therefore, encourage each other with these words” (verses 16-18).
This Sunday is “Saints Triumphant” Sunday. It reminds us of our victory in Christ. It prepares you for those times when you wonder what to say to a grieving family at the funeral of a fellow Christian. You may encourage them with these words. When you are wondering what to say to yourself at the loss of a friend or family member who has died in the faith, be encouraged by these words. And look forward to that day when you will be with them and the Lord forever.
Lord Jesus, thank you for your promise to return and take your faithful followers to be with you forever. Come, Lord Jesus, come. Amen.