On Christmas morning, I was down on the floor playing with a
4-year old grandson when I noticed several books nearby. One of them was the
children's book, "The Little Island." I've read a relatively
large number of children's books to children, grandchildren and
pre-schoolers over the years, but I had never heard of "The Little
Island." I was stunned to see that the book was written by one of my
favorite authors, Margaret Wise Brown ("Goodnight Moon", "The
Runaway Bunny" and other books). I thought I had seen everything she had
written, but here was something new!
The book's simple story is about an isolated, small island.
The island learns that it is connected to the rest of the world, despite the
wide ocean, and this needs to be taken on faith.
Now, there are several ways this brief email devotion can
go. I could remind you that in a time of isolation due to a pandemic, you are
not alone. You are connected to a larger world, you are connected to
others, and this is something that may require faith to believe. Over and over
again, Paul uses the image of a body to describe our life in Christ: we are
connected to one another.
Or I could talk about how life has surprises for us even
when we thought we could no longer be surprised. How surprising, at this stage
of life, to find a beautiful small book by someone whose writing I love! So
maybe the point of the devotional could be that we should keep our eyes, ears,
mind, heart and soul open to new discoveries. God has a way of surprising us
with new truth and new chapters. God speaks through Isaiah 43:10, and says,
"Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive
it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert."
Maybe the book -and my discovery of it- teaches us two
important lessons as we step into a New Year:
You may feel like a small,
isolated island but you are connected to a larger world and to others.
Trusting that is so comes down to faith!
You may think you have seen
it all, or you may think you know it all, but there is more God has to
show you...teach you. Keep your eyes, ears, mind, heart and soul open as
we step into 2021 to new lessons, new discoveries, new truth, and new ways
of living life.
We are so thankful for each of you: your faith, your
service, your gifts and your very life makes a difference! We are praying for
you and we are looking forward to the day when we can begin a new chapter
together in person!
On January 3rd, we will share in a worship experience that
features a message from our resident Bishop, Julius Trimble. Join us on-line or
via the web site for worship on January 3rd to hear this timely message from
January 10th, we begin a new series of messages titled
"By Another Road." The visitors from the East go back home by another
road, and so we will spend three weeks exploring how the Jesus community we
call the Church is uniquely shaped by the teachings and life of Jesus of
Nazareth. We are different, we are a community always turned towards grace, and
we are called to live in him and share him with the world.
In Christ and for Christ,
First United Methodist Church1203 E. Seventh Street | Auburn, IN firstname.lastname@example.org | 260.925.0885