Devotion, November 19: Hope, Aspiration, and the Path Forward

Dear First Pres. Members & Friends,

This Sunday we celebrate Christ the King—the final Sunday of the Christian calendar year.  It is a time to celebrate and remember that Jesus Christ is a different kind of king.  He now sits enthroned in heavenly glory: King of kings and Lord of lords. Yet we encounter this King in the faces of the sick and the afflicted; and we serve this King as we care for the homeless and hungry, the undocumented and the incarcerated, the suffering and the oppressed.  Jesus’ kingship is the very opposite of the world’s practice of privilege, power and prestige.  His power is made perfect in weakness.  And his prestige takes the form of one who stoops to serve.

This Sunday is Pledge and Thanksgiving Sunday, when “we gather together to ask the Lord’s blessing”—and offer in return a portion of our own.  Our pledged financial support provides for the ministries and mission of First Presbyterian Church.   In life-changing ways, your gifts will indeed feed the hungry, clothe the poor, comfort the afflicted and care for “the least of these.”  This is what Matthew 25 calls us to be and do.  And yes—as we do it to “the least of these” our neighbors, we do it to our King.

2022 is calling us to take “the path forward” by aspiring to do more.  Our hope and aspiration is to lean into this pandemic by increasing our giving by $200,000 next year.  We aspire to call a new Associate Pastor for Faith Formation and to hire a new Children’s Faith Formation Director.  We aspire to re-build our ministries across all generations and to provide the technological support to enhance and extend them.  And we aspire to close the gap on our mission giving and do even more in response to the growing need around us.

I ask that each of you prayerfully consider how you will contribute to the path forward for First Presbyterian Church.  My hope and prayer is that all our gifts of time, talent and treasure will be empowered by the Holy Spirit to renew our life in Christ together and strengthen our witness in his name.

Lord Jesus, we are your servant-people.  Use us, we pray, to establish and extend your kingdom in this world.  We are thankful and grateful for your many blessings.  Make of us blessings also, that the poor might be clothed, the hungry fed, the stranger welcomed and the sick and imprisoned remembered. For in this way we remember and welcome you, the King of glory.


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