I am not sure how many of you read our district newsletter on line but here is our District Superintendent’s (Alicia Coltzer) last article/devotional. Just thought I would share it with each of you. It is a very good message for all of us to remember. You can go online at http://www.southeastdistrict.org/
In a church basement turned Adult Day Care Center, as a seminary student trying to fulfill a class requirement, I often found myself as a companion to a delightful woman named Rita. Everyday Rita dressed in her finest clothes, as if going to an elegant affair. As a young woman she worked in fancy department stores in New York City. We discussed the fashions of the day and the retail business of a time long gone as if happening at that moment. Outwardly she was a vision, while inwardly her mind remained lost in time due to Alzheimer ’s Disease. Our days together followed a routine that ended with music. Some of the clients liked to dance while others sang along. Rita loved kicking up her heels and Patrick, the church janitor, was more than happy to oblige. One such afternoon Patrick asked, “Rita do you love Jesus?” She responded with more clarity than we knew was present, “Oh Yes! Jesus is my first love” and then just as quickly Rita returned to a bygone era of her youth.
Friends, it is a busy season with Stewardship Campaigns and Charge Conference, with Advent preparation and the unexpected funerals. It won’t slow down until December 26th. By then, you may wake and wonder if somehow your first love got lost in all the work. It happens so easily, even with the best intentions. Please remember to stay in love with your first love, Jesus. Tasks are important. No doubt the mission is urgent, but if you don’t stay in love with Jesus, you will not be able to help others know the love of Christ. Sermons, bible study prep and praying for the church are no substitute for our own personal time to stay in love with the Lord. In Mark 1 we find Jesus modeling for us what it looks like to stay connected to God. The gospel tells us that when the crowds pressed in, Jesus created the time and space to connect with His first love. Are we no less in need of time to reconnect with our first love? Being busy with church work is not a substitute for faithfulness. Take this advice from a woman who easily falls into this trap. Focus your attention on your first love and everything else will fall into place.
“Let the morning bring me word of Your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in You. Show me the way I should walk, for to You I lift up my soul. Rescue me from my enemies, O Lord, for I hide myself in You. Teach me to do Your will, for you are my God; may your gracious Spirit lead me on level ground. For Your name’s sake, O Lord, preserve my life; in Your righteousness, bring me out of trouble.” Psalm 143:8-11