Good tears, a full heart, and our daily bread!

– spread out around the CLC for worship at Wake Forest Presbyterian Church, March 14

Jesus replied, “It’s written, People won’t live only by bread, but by every word spoken by God.”Matthew 4:4

– Rebekah and Derek

Sunday morning, almost exactly one year after we “temporarily” suspended in-person worship, Wake Forest Presbyterian Church took a momentous step forward in the process of re-opening, offering “live” worship, limited access (80 people), in the CLC.

My heart is full, and I will happily confess to shedding a few tears.

Outside, the daffodils started blooming in celebration. Inside, people came with their folding chairs and their enthusiasm. Ushers bumped fists, took temperatures, and measured distances.

Katherine, doing the announcements, could barely contain her infectious excitement at being together. Rebekah said just being able to hear people laugh out loud in response to part of the message was both encouraging and startling at the same time. People were grinning so broadly you could see their masks bend.

The congregation applauded too, not necessarily because it was a great sermon (even though it was) so much as in response to the joy of being together.

Then Rebekah, John, Katherine, and Jim made a mad dash for the sanctuary – a.k.a. “the studio” – for 10:00 livestream worship.

Interestingly, despite the fact of so many people attending downstairs, by the end of the day more people than usual had signed in to worship with us online.

Rebekah’s message took a deep look at the Give us this day our daily bread petition in the Lord’s prayer. You can pick up the sermon at the 19-minute mark on this recording – “Today, give us nourishment” – I strongly recommend taking a few minutes to listen.

I will close with the following very elementary observation from my Sunday-school class:

“Why does Jesus say ‘Give us this day ‘our’ daily bread’ and not ‘my’ daily bread'”? I asked?

“Because Christianity is about community,” someone answered. “Because we were created for one another.”

Because it is only in giving, in sharing, in generosity, in the experience of doing life together that we even begin to understand and experience God’s kingdom…

“My food,” Jesus pointed out in John 10, “is to do the will of the Father.”

“Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you a drink? we will say. “Then the king will reply, ‘I assure you that when you have done it for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you have done it for me.’” – Matthew 25:37-40

In love, and because love is preloaded with the imperative to act – DEREK

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Derek has published seven books in the past decade (you can find them at https://www.amazon.com/Derek-Maul/e/B001JS9WC4), and there’s always something new in the works.

Before becoming a full-time writer, Derek taught public school in Florida for eighteen years, including cutting-edge work with autistic children. He holds bachelor’s degrees in psychology and education from Stetson University and the University of West Florida.

Derek is active in teaching at his church: adult Sunday school, and a men’s Bible study/spiritual formation group. He enjoys the outdoors, traveling, photography, reading, cooking, playing guitar, and golf.

1 Comment Leave a comment

  1. Awesome! I know how it feels to be back in church. We have been having in-person Sunday morning church for about 6-7 weeks. It was only a couple of people the first couple of Sundays but now we are up to about 24 and growing. Good job!!!

    Liked by 1 person

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