Living, loving God, we give thanks and praise that the doors of our hearts can't keep you out, and the doors of our churches can't keep you in! May your breath blow anew through the world, may your spirit fill the lives of those who believed they were beyond your reach! May we who have been so blessed with the joy of this Easter redemption be generous in sharing all that we are and all that we have, so that the power of the Resurrection might reach all your children. In Christ's Holy name, we pray. Amen. (John 20:19-31)
Invitation to the Offering
The offering you made last week empowered ministry within our congregation and in response to the needs of our community. It also helped support the work of ministries beyond the local church that reach people who are in desperate need to feel the touch of love and reconciliation. Through the World Service Fund, a talented group of global communicators, lead by United Methodist Communications in Nashville, Tennessee, directs messaging that reaches people who have never set foot in one of our churches. Through billboards, digital advertising, video spots, radio and more, they give people outside the church a glimpse of who we are and what matters to us as Christians. This ministry happens thanks to the generous support of United Methodists like you. I invite you once again to give generously as we worship God through the sharing of our gifts, tithes and offerings.
Learn more about the work United Methodist Communications atwww.umcom.org and www.rethinkchurch.org.
Saturday, April 18, 2009
Loving your neighbor, Reflection on Acts 4:32-35
Remember, no social security, no medicare, no unemployment insurance. How were people who needed help to be cared for?
Giving everything seems hard--and it seemed hard to them, too. Keep reading in this chapter.
But, back to this lesson: Luke has emphasized that discipleship to Jesus involves one's possessions. See Luke 6:20-26; 12:13-21; Acts 11:27-29, among others.
Is there a conflict between being of one heart and one mind (v.32) and having private ownership? Even if we cannot imagine common ownership, is there any way we can accept a modification of this principle?
How do you find a connection between verses 33 and 34? What is our responsibility toward the needy (v.34)? Does this responsibility leap across national borders?