Monday Morning Meditation 8-29-22

Acts 11:19-26

19Now those who were scattered because of the persecution that took place over Stephen traveled as far as Phoenicia, Cyprus, and Antioch, and they spoke the word to no one except Jews. 20But among them were some men of Cyprus and Cyrene who, on coming to Antioch, spoke to the Hellenists also, proclaiming the Lord Jesus. 21The hand of the Lord was with them, and a great number became believers and turned to the Lord. 22News of this came to the ears of the church in Jerusalem, and they sent Barnabas to Antioch. 23When he came and saw the grace of God, he rejoiced, and he exhorted them all to remain faithful to the Lord with steadfast devotion; 24for he was a good man, full of the Holy Spirit and of faith. And a great many people were brought to the Lord. 25Then Barnabas went to Tarsus to look for Saul, 26and when he had found him, he brought him to Antioch. So it was that for an entire year they met with the church and taught a great many people, and it was in Antioch that the disciples were first called “Christians.”

This passage is a great reminder for us today.  The early church was being persecuted and the passages mentions the martyrdom of Stephen (see Acts 7), and how this dispersed the church.  As people left Jerusalem for fear of their lives, they began to spread the gospel wherever they went.

Today we have a great opportunity of our own.  Since March 2020, we have been dealing with the Covid crisis, which has stopped many ministries.  Some have returned, others will, and others should not.  This crisis gives us an excellent opportunity to try something new, to find new missions and ministries in which to share the good news.  The pandemic is our chance to increase the church by seeking out others in new ways.  Technology allowed us to offer worship services and bible studies online, and many churches rightly continue to do this.  Technology can also connect us with those who are seeking God.  We do not have to shout on street corners or knock-on doors, rather we can use social media for God’s good.  And who knows, if we embrace something new, we might also see a growth in the church just like the one in the passage.


Pastor Bill

Monday Morning Meditation 8/22/22

Mark 6:1-6a

1He left that place and came to his home town, and his disciples followed him. 2On the sabbath he began to teach in the synagogue, and many who heard him were astounded. They said, “Where did this man get all this? What is this wisdom that has been given to him? What deeds of power are being done by his hands! 3Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary and brother of James and Joses and Judas and Simon, and are not his sisters here with us?” And they took offence at him. 4Then Jesus said to them, “Prophets are not without honor, except in their home town, and among their own kin, and in their own house.” 5And he could do no deed of power there, except that he laid his hands on a few sick people and cured them. 6And he was amazed at their unbelief.

We had a guest preacher in my home church.  Now I knew this man’s family, after all they were a well known name in my home town.  In his sermon, he gave his testimony, about growing up in trouble (and we knew that) and coming to that “Jesus Moment” when he accepted the Lord.  Then he heard the call to ministry.  In his prayer, he said “Lord, I’ll go anywhere but Phoenixville (both his and my home town).  Send me somewhere else.”  Well, you probably guessed what happened.  He was sent home to preach the good news.

I think about this passage of scripture where Jesus comes into his home town and teaches and at first, they are all amazed at both his teaching and healing.  But then someone asks, “Is not this the carpenter…?” 

So often we think we know someone based on their ancestry, or their past and miss what God is doing with them.  The guest preacher was called to run a men’s homeless shelter in his town, something that was greatly needed.  He met some resistance, just as Jesus did, but persevered and honored his call.

Sometimes we are called to difficult places where people will look down on us due to our family, our upbringing, even our own past.  Yet with Jesus, we can live a new life and pass that on to others.

This week, think of someone that might have a reputation, pray for them and let God do something incredible.


Pastor Bill

Monday Morning Meditation 8-15-22

The heavens are telling the glory of God; and the firmament proclaims his handiwork. Day to day pours forth speech, and night to night declares knowledge. There is no speech, nor are there words; their voice is not heard; yet their voice goes out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world.  Psalm 19:1-4

It is rumored that Francis of Assisi said “preach the gospel always, if necessary use words.” This probably comes from a legendary story in which he invites a fellow monk to walk the village to preach the gospel.  They walk all around, in silence, and finally the other monk asks when they will preach.  He responded by saying “we have been preaching all this time.”  Just the presence of the monks (men dedicated to praying for the community) walking about the community brought about an image of the gospel.

We do not always need words (although sometimes we do), sometimes our presence is enough.  I have sat quietly in the corner of hospital rooms while families have said goodbye to a loved one.  Words were not needed, “there is no speech, nor are their words”, yet God’s presence was felt.

Sometimes all we need to do is show up.  We do not need to be experts in theology or biblical knowledge, we do not need to convince anyone of anything, we just need to be present for someone to know God is real.

As you traverse this week, look at the heavens, look at the sky, look at nature and feel God’s presence.  Then take that presence with you to all you meet.  Allow God’s presence within you to “speak” the words someone needs to “hear”.


Pastor Bill

Monday Morning Meditation 8/8/22

35On that day, when evening had come, he said to them, “Let us go across to the other side.” 36And leaving the crowd behind, they took him with them in the boat, just as he was. Other boats were with him. 37A great windstorm arose, and the waves beat into the boat, so that the boat was already being swamped. 38But he was in the stern, asleep on the cushion; and they woke him up and said to him, “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?” 39He woke up and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, “Peace! Be still!” Then the wind ceased, and there was a dead calm. 40He said to them, “Why are you afraid? Have you still no faith?” 41And they were filled with great awe and said to one another, “Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?”Mark 4:35-41

I could use a nap.  I know, its Monday morning, I just woke up, but honestly, I need a nap after a long drive through bad weather, with little time to rest.  Add to that so many things happening, and guess what?  I am tired.  And I bet you are too.  We have all been through extreme “stormy weather” the past few years and here Jesus gives us a simple instruction – take a rest in the storm for God has our backs.

We might not have the power to stop bad weather, but we can still say with confidence and faith “Peace, be still” to the storms in our lives.  We have permission to stop and rest, to get away from the problems, even if only for a few moments.  This goes hand in hand with Sabbath rest, not just a day off to catch up on things, but true rest.  The better rested we are, the better we can deal with the problems of the day.

As you travel through this week, take those moments. If things are getting out of hand, rebuke them, say Peace! Be still! Then take a nap. 


Pastor Bill

Monday Morning Meditation 8-1-22

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through him, and without him not one thing came into being. What has come into being in him was life, and the life was the light of all people. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it. John 1:1-5

The opening of John’s gospel takes us back to Genesis 1 as God began creating.  It also takes us forward, reminding us that the Light of the World is not overcome.

We live in a dark world today.  There are wars (and rumors of war), disease (yes Covid is still a big issue), division and more.  It is enough to want to hide in the sand and pay no attention to current events, however that is not our call.  We need to know what is happening so we can better minister to this broken world.

And the good news is that we do not do this alone, for the Light of the Word is with us and that Light will never be overcome.  As you enter into this new week, embrace that Light, be empowered by the Light and show your light as well.


Pastor Bill