All CCC ladies are encouraged to attend the Beth Moore conference coming to Springfield next October. The conference sold out last time she was in town, so those wishing to go as a group from the church will need to register by June 2. A sign-up is on the bulletin board and checks for $69 should be made out to the church and put in the posted envelope.
Times and plans for the weekend are noted on the sign-up.
After Sunday’s storm the sky cleared and heated water in the Huber’s pool made for a good evening of swimming for kids and the dad’s who dared. Everyone else just had a great time hanging around the pool and eating left-over donuts. The plan is to have the pool open every Sunday evening this summer at 6:30 for our church family. Everyone is therefore encouraged to gather at 200 Aspen on Sunday nights.
The Refuge Ranch will be hosting an all day music festival on Saturday, June 15th from 10am to 10pm. Details about the festival and featured groups can be found online at theradonlounge.com
Several ladies from the church will be hosting a baby shower for Kellie (Floyd) Willey on Sunday, June 30th at 2:00 in the fellowship hall. Kellie is registered at Target and Babies R Us.
THE FATHER’S EMBRACE
In Christian theology, grace has been defined as: "the love and mercy given to us by God because God desires us to have it, not because of anything we have done to earn it; generous, free and totally unexpected and undeserved that takes the form of love.” We all have heard and have knowledge of the meaning of grace, however sometimes it is hard to picture exactly what it looks like in reality. I believe it looks and feels like a long loving embrace. I would suggest that we can see what it looks like in a couple scriptures, one in the Old Testament and one in the New Testament.
First, in the story of Joseph and how his brothers sold him into slavery because of jealously. There he ended up in prison for years, before he was let out and became the viceroy of Egypt where he stockpiled grain in preparation for famine. Then his brothers showed up in Egypt in the need of food. Now the scripture I will share takes place when Joseph reveals who he is.
“Then Joseph could no longer control himself before all his attendants, and he cried out, ‘Have everyone leave my presence!’ so there was no one with Joseph when he made himself known to his brothers. ‘I am Joseph! Is my father still living?’ But his brothers were not able to answer him, because they were terrified at his presence. Then Joseph said to his brothers, ‘Come close to me.’ When they had done so, he said, ‘I am your brother Joseph, the one you sold into Egypt! And now, do not be stressed and do not be angry with yourselves for selling me here, because it was to save lives that God sent me ahead of you.’ Then Joseph threw his arms around his Brother Benjamin and wept, and Benjamin embraced him, weeping. And he kissed all his brothers and wept over them. Afterward his brothers talked with him.” (Genesis 45:1-5, 14)
I would suggest to you that is what God’s grace for us looks like. With our acceptance of his sacrifice, He forgives and forgets our sins with His embrace that is so strong that it completely takes over your whole soul and brings uncontrollable tears.
The second example I would like to share with you comes from the New Testament in Luke chapter 15 in the Parable of the Lost Son. As you no doubt recall, one son had taken his inheritance and went away and squandered all of it. And seeing that the pigs ate better than him, he decided to go home. And as he was on his way let us look at his father’s response.
“But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him.” (Luke 15:20)
Again I would suggest that is what God’s gift of grace looks like. It is not because of anything we have done to earn it. It is generous and free and undeserved, and it takes the form an embraces that is so tight and complete that you feel totally loved and safe.
(From last week’s communion meditation by Lee Zimmerman.)