We enjoyed our First Sunday Fellowship this week. Catching up with folks and hearing the latest about our planned renovations was a great way to start the new month.
During worship, our Passing of the Peace was sharing the Lord's Supper together. We sang "Come, Ye Disconsolate:" "Come to the mercy seat [...] Here see the Bread of Life [...] Come to the feast of love, come, ever knowing Earth has no sorrow but heav'n can remove" (from Thomas Hastings' third stanza.)
Sorrows and hardships come, we live in the midst of death, but God promises us a crown of beauty instead of ashes (Is. 61:3). Henri Nouwen writes: "There is no suggestion at all that these signs of the world's darkness will ever be absent. But still, God's joy can be ours in the midst of it all. It is the joy of belonging to the household of God whose love is stronger than death and who empowers us to be in the world while already belonging to the kingdom of joy."