Lent Week 3
Dr. Brene Brown researches what she calls “whole-hearted living” and she shares that her research has shown that keeping busy, especially to the point of exhaustion, has a negative effect upon us, mentally, physically, relationally, and spiritually. I think most of us inherently understand this and still we continue in this fashion.
Our text from Sunday is Luke 10:38-42.
While Jesus and his disciples were traveling, Jesus entered a village where a woman named Martha welcomed him as a guest. She had a sister named Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet and listened to his message. By contrast, Martha was preoccupied with getting everything ready for their meal. So Martha came to him and said, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to prepare the table all by myself? Tell her to help me.”
The Lord answered, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and distracted by many things. One thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the better part. It won’t be taken away from her.”
Often in our sermons and Sunday school lessons we praise Mary, but the world most of us live in praises and rewards “Marthas”. At work, church, and home we like people who follow Elvis Presley’s motto of “Takin’ Care of Business” or “T.C.B”. Often we even find ourselves resenting those we feel are not pulling their weight. I wonder if the resentment wasn’t as much of an issue for Martha and the rest of us “Marthas” as the business.
In our closing prayer for this week’s devotional we read “Open me to give and receive forgiveness when and if that is needed so that serenity will return.” When you are writing down your worries that you are handing over to God in your God Box, consider writing down the names of those people, maybe your “Mary”, that you find yourself frustrated by or resenting. Pray for that person and place their name in the box. Let this remind you that they are God’s and God’s responsibility to judge and not yours. Free yourself from that responsibility in this time of prayer.
Freed from our self-imposed burden of judging others we will find ourselves freed to be more connected with God. Our closing prayer also says, “Help me be mindful that my connection to you exists right here in the present and putting off time to tune into you right now robs me of the deep peace and assurance You have to give.” Help us set aside our worries, our business, our resentments, and dwell in Your divine grace, O God.
Begin with four rounds of Box Breathing. Remember in through the nose for four counts. Hold for four counts. Out through the mouth for four counts. And hold for four counts. Again do this patterned breathing four times.
Now give God your worries and concerns, write them, think on them for a second, and place them in the box, releasing them.
Think of those with whom you need to let go of some resentment or anger. Write their names, pray not to forgive them, but for God to bless and keep them. Place the names in the box, releasing the negative emotions that are tying you to them and your own suffering. Give them to God to be concerned with and release yourself from that burden.
Spend some time with God. Maybe just sit and be quiet. Maybe read your devotional Bible reading. Feel the peace and presence of God. End your devotional time with this prayer.
For losing touch with the big picture and what’s important …forgive me. For the times when I’ve lived to work rather than worked to live…forgive me. Help me be truly present with you, O God. Help me be mindful that my connection to you exists right here in the present and putting off time to tune into you right now robs me of the deep peace and assurance You have to give.
In this moment I hear Your promise: You are with me always. It is never too late to make better choices. You do not ask me to give up my work, but You invite me to simply pay attention. I am Your child, and I want to dwell with you.
Holy God, who holds me close as a Loving Parent does, I honor this life You have given me and this moment to remember what’s important. I pray that Your love will reign in all the earth and in my heart. Give me what I need to get through these next 24 hours. No more. No less. Open me to give and receive forgiveness when and if that is needed so that serenity will return. Your work is precious. This moment will never pass again. With this breath I offer you my deepest thanks.
-Rev. Bill Mauldin
6:30 PM Covenant Carillons-sanctuary
7:30 PM Adult Choir -Choir Rm
12:00 PM 4H-EB201-5
1:30 PM ECDP Chapel
6:30 PM ReFit-CC
9:00 AM ECDP Fun Friday
9:00 AM C.O.D.A.-202EB
9:00 AM Sunday School for All Ages
10:30 AM UNITY WORSHIP SERVICE
11:45 AM Covenant Cafe-EB201-5
12:15 PM Elementary Singers-EB207
12:15 PM Preschool Singers-EB202
12:15 PM UMYF: EB201-205
12:45 PM Children’s Chimes-sanctuary
Sunday Highlights – March 31, Fourth Sunday in Lent
Sage Carter and Lorrie Hammons
Tim Shepardson and Ted Ditty
Thursday, March 28
The HCUMC Advocates for Justice and Peace invite you to attend a vigil for Patrick Murphy, Jr. who is scheduled to be executed that evening. Meet outside at the Holy Covenant sign.
Next Week’s Highlights
Secure Document Shredding
Saturday, April 6
10 am to 1:30 pm
Holy Covenant parking lot
Protect your identity while supporting Holy Covenant United Methodist Church! Watch your documents being shredded on site with the utmost security. The cost is $5.00 per “copy paper” sized box. Invite your friends and family to bring their sensitive documents to be shredded. Shredding done by Secure On-Site Shredding Inc. Visit secureonsiteshredding.com for more information about the company.
Turner Falls State Park
Holy Covenant is going camping! We are having a church camp-out at Turner Falls State Park in Oklahoma April 26-28th. We have some spots reserved but can get more if there is a lot of interest. We have filled all the shelters we reserved, but there is still room for tents. The cost to tent is $12.50. There is a $5 park fee each day for each person, kids under 5 free. Check in is at 4pm, check out is 12pm. So if your family wanted to come out Saturday, you could come and hang out with those who went on Friday and check in at 4pm. It will be lots of fun, we will sort out all the details. If you’re interested, contact Rev. Bill Mauldin [email protected].
Do you know someone in our area who needs help with a home project? Maybe painting? Installing a ceiling fan? Building a wheelchair ramp? Yard work? Please contact Rev. Bill Mauldin [email protected] with details.
2019: A Year in the Bible
Feel like you’ve missed the boat on reading the Bible in chronological order? Don’t! You can jump right in in any of the following ways:
1. Download the free Bible app by You Version. This link should take you to the group from Holy Covenant that are doing this reading together: Invitation.
2. You can use the link above on-line as well. If you don’t want to be connected to others you can just go to bible.com. Go to plans and search The One Year Chronological Bible.
3. You can listen to The One Year Chronological Bible through Audible.com at Audiobook or you can download the app and listen to it on your phone.
4. You can buy a The One Year Chronological Bible in book form through Amazon at Amazon or download it to your Kindle or E-Reader.
5. You can use any Bible you want and follow this print out that tells you what scriptures to read each day: Reading Plan.
Support Holy Covenant While You Shop
You can support Holy Covenant while you shop. When you shop at smile.amazon.com, Amazon will donate 0.5% of the price of your eligible AmazonSmile purchases to your favorite charitable organization. To shop at AmazonSmile simply go to smile.amazon.com from the web browser on your computer or mobile device. You may also want to add a bookmark to smile.amazon.com to make it even easier to return and start your shopping at AmazonSmile. Select Holy Covenant United Methodist Church to receive donations from eligible purchases before you begin shopping. Amazon will remember your selection, and then every eligible purchase you make at smile.amazon.com will result in a donation.
Highlights Outside Holy Covenant
Alzheimer’s and Dementia Support Group
Third Tuesday of each month at 6 pm
Located on the third floor, Atria Carrollton – 1825 Arbor Creek Drive, Carrollton
Support for those supporting others. Surround yourself each month with people who offer kindness, understanding and togetherness to those who care for others. Refreshments provided by Atria Carrollton.