Wednesday Prayer List

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Each Wednesday we want to post joys and concerns of our prayer community. Please share any prayer requests you would like us to remember.

Please join us in praying for:
– Norma Gillespie and husband Gil. She is hospitalized in North Carolina battling cancer and pneumonia. They were attending the 8:30 service before moving.
– Sam Mitchell, Asbury’s summer ministry intern. Sam will finish his last day with us this Sunday, August 21. He will graduate from University of Delaware in May of 2017 and then enroll in seminary. This is his next step in becoming a United Methodist minister.

This Week’s Devotional

While in seminary I had the privilege of studying both the Hebrew and Greek languages.  These languages are the primary ones used throughout the Bible. I greatly enjoyed learning and translating New Testament Greek. It followed the same language rules I learned in English grammar and composition.  Hebrew, though, was very different. Learning Hebrew was like putting together a puzzle.

But I do remember translating the early portion of Genesis 1. The earth was “formless and void”  or as in Hebrew “Tohu wa bohu.”
(That is the only Hebrew phrase I remember.) The “Spirit of God” hovered over the waters.

Miguel A. De La Torre, in his commentary on Genesis in the Belief series, writes:
“Like a mother hen brooding over her nest waiting for life to spring forth, God’s spirit hovered over the waters. The good news is that God’s spirit still hovers over the formless void of broken lives and the great darkness in which the marginalized find themselves… In the darkness when we wonder if our prayers go any higher than our ceilings, we can take comfort in knowing that we are not alone. The God of Genesis is not a distant deity, but a God who is present, brooding over us like a mother hen.

All of us can take comfort in loving and being loved by a God who “hovers” over our lives in this manner.

Today’s Devotional Thought

“But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who harass you.” (Matthew 5:44)

Dietrich Bonhoeffer was a great German theologian who died in a German prison camp during World War II.  He was a leader of churches who opposed Hitler during that terrible time.  He wrote these words about Jesus’ command to love your enemies.
“Jesus Christ lived in the midst of his enemies.  At the end all his disciples deserted him.  On the cross he was utterly alone, surrounded by evildoers and mockers.  For this cause he had come, to bring peace to the enemies of God.  So the Christian, too, belongs not in the seclusion of a cloistered life but in the thick of foes.  There is his commission, his work.”

~ Pastor Dale Brown

Today’s Devotional Thought

“Now when Jesus saw the crowds, he had compassion for them because they were troubled and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.” (Matthew 9:36)

Most people have heard of Sunday School.  Most have no idea where it came from.  In 1780 a follower of Jesus in Great Britain named Robert Raikes was appalled by the cycle of poverty and ignorance which destroyed the lives of small children.  These little children were forced to work long hours six days each week, often went hungry, and very few learned how to read.  He said, “The world marches forward on the feet of little children.”  He saw the need and pain of these little children.  So he decided to start a free school on Sunday to teach them to read and write and learn about God.  He did, and called it “Sunday School.”  What need or hurt has God opened you eyes to see?  How will you respond?

~ Pastor Dale Brown