Sunday’s Reflection: How can you fix your eyes on Jesus?
- Acts 7:55-60. In the midst of his suffering and persecution, Stephen was filled with the Holy Spirit, and he saw the glory of God. The fact that Stephen was full of the Holy Spirit shows the source of his courage, wisdom, and power in preaching. To make room for the Holy Spirit, he had to let go of his need for control – or the need to cling to his own life. In his hour of trial, Stephen saw Jesus standing at the right hand of the Father.
- Where do you see the glory of God? Where do you find beauty, joy, and peace?
- How can you fix your eyes on Jesus?
- John 14:1-14. Jesus told his disciples, “Do not let your hearts be troubled. Believe in God, believe also in me.” Jesus never wanted his disciples, then and now, to have life without trouble. But Jesus promised that we could have an untroubled heart even in a troubled life. Jesus told us that putting our trust in him was the path to a non-anxious presence. Jesus told the disciples to put their trust in God. This was a radical call.
- What does life in Jesus’ name look like?
- What helps you to put your trust in God?
(Sermons That Works, by Santi Rodriguez)
Prayer: God of life, you sent your Son into the world that we might live through him. May we abide in his risen life, so that we may bear the fruit of love for one another and know the fullness of joy. Amen.
(Revised Common Lectionary Prayers (2002), 120.)
Alleluia! Christ is risen.
The Lord is risen indeed, Alleluia!
In one of my weekly readings, I came across an article entitled, Will the church financially survive the COVID-19 pandemic?This article talks about money, financial crisis, sustainability, Christian leadership, and congregations’ response in this time of crisis. Pastor Prince Raney Rivers shared some of his views about church giving and says;
In the short term, Rivers said, churches need to appreciate the importance of adopting online giving if they haven’t already, and convince members that it’s a viable alternative to the Sunday offering.
Our way of giving has been nurtured by brining our envelope offering and making an in-person contribution during our worship service. For me, this is still the ideal way of practising our stewardship ministry in the church. But like many other church congregations, what adjustments should we make in order to continue our commitments to the Lord.
Rivers said that giving lagged at his church during the shutdown until they scheduled times for members to drive by and drop off their offerings. Many people do not feel comfortable giving online or even mailing their checks, he said. They want to practice the physical act of giving at the church.
In doing so, I am so grateful to all of you for your continued love and support to the ministry of St. Michael’s. There will still be challenges in our parish even after the in-person worship gatherings will be lifted. However, every time I see you on our virtual Sunday worship service, it gives me more reasons to have faith in God and believe in the glory of Christ’s resurrection. Let us continue what we are doing and adapt to the new ways on how we could better make use of our stewardship ministry post the “isolation period.” I am always praying for your safety.
The Venerable Louie Engnan, Rector
(The quotations above are from, “Alban Weekly | Imagining congregational life after the pandemic”, May 4, 2020)