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PRESENCE and GUIDANCE

Through the ages, especially in times of difficulty, people have sought after God’s presence and guidance. Each week in this series, we will be reflecting on a different Bible passage, as we seek a deeper understanding of God’s presence and guidance in our lives during this time. We invite you to join us.

October 18, 2021

October 11, 2021

October 4, 2021

September 27, 2021

In today’s reflection, we reflect on the crucial importance of humility, and how a Jesus-centered spirituality of humility is built on a philosophy of “enough,” while the world’s exhausting strategies are endlessly built on a philosophy of “not enough.”

September 20, 2021

September 13, 2021

September 5, 2021

In today’s reflection, we ponder the ways that our lives are like a tree. Trees can be blown about and twisted by wind (much like we can be blown about by the circumstances of our lives), yet their deep roots can help them to grow and thrive, even when disfigured by the storms of life. When we sink our roots down into the heart of God, we are given a resilience that can carry us through.

August 30, 2021

In today’s reflection, we ponder the various paradoxes in the Bible – two different things that appear to be opposites and irreconcilable, and yet are both true. There are LOTS of these in the Bible – strength and weakness, poverty and wealth, wisdom and foolishness. Today, we reflect especially on the paradoxical relationship between emptiness and fullness, and how Jesus shows us that emptiness is actually the path to fullness in the life of faith.

August 23, 2021

August 16, 2021

In today’s reflection, we ponder Exodus 33:11, where God speaks to Moses “as one speaks to a friend.” We reflect on the ways that God wants to speak to us in the same, and to invite us to develop our conversational friendship with God.

August 9, 2021

 In today’s reflection, we ponder the temptation to be in a busy and to hurry through life, which can be related to our desire to get done what we think we should get done, instead of discovering and doing what God wants us to get done. Going slow can be an antidote to our hasty busy-ness.

August 2, 2021

July 26, 2021

July 19, 2021

In today’s reflection, we reflect on the exciting new thing that is happening at Lewinsville Presbyterian, with the election of Rev. Layne Brubaker as the new Associate Pastor for Christian Formation. As Isaiah 43:19 tells us, God is “about to do a new a thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?” God is indeed doing a new thing, right in our very midst.

July 5, 2021

In today’s reflection, we ponder the distinction between external freedoms, which we enjoy in this country, and interior freedom, such as the freedom from fear, that is offered to us through our faith. Both are essential.

June 28, 2021

In today’s reflection, we ponder the concept of “God’s will,” and how it can provide us with practical help in our daily actions and decision-making. When we live our lives in alignment with God’s will for us – with all of the challenges that may be involved in that – we will experience a steady peacefulness, even in the midst of stressful situations.

June 21, 2021

June 14, 2021

In this week’s reflection, we ponder how the entire Old Testament – and probably the entire Bible – can be understood as an extended reflection on the 1st Commandment from Exodus 20: “I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery; you shall have no other gods before me.” This commandment can help to keep our lives on track, and on the path to peacefulness.

June 7, 2021

In today’s reflection, we ponder the biblical character of King David, the subject of the current Adult Education module at Lewinsville. David was an extremely complicated figure – just as we are. And God was at work in every part of David’s life – the good, the bad, the ugly – just as God is at work in every part of our lives.

May 31, 2021

May 24, 2021

In today’s reflection, we notice the way that “all things” hold together in Christ. This means that everything in our experience – including the things and people that we may find disagreeable – belongs, and that God can use all of it to heal and redeem us, and to help us grow. Everything belongs.

May 17, 2021

In today’s reflection, we reflect on the cross and the cross-shaped path that Jesus walked, and to which he invites us.

May 10, 2021

May 3, 2021

Today we reflect on a verse from 1 John 4 – “There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear.” God wants to cast out fear from our lives, in ways quite similar to how Jesus casts out demons from persons in the gospel stories. This is an important teaching for us, since fear is such a prominent part of our world and so many of our lives.

April 26, 2021

Today we reflect on the “ordinariness” of the Christian faith, how Christ meets us in our own personal “Galilee,” just as he tells his disciples in Mark 16. This means that every moment of our lives can be a moment for us to encounter the holiness of God.

April 19, 2021

Monday Messages is taking a break this week,
but we invite you to scan through our past Monday Messages below!

April 12, 2021

April 5, 2021

March 29, 2021

March 22, 2021

SELF-DIFFERENTIATION
This week’s reflection has to do with leading in a self-differentiated way. “Self-differentiation” is the practice of knowing where you stop and where others start. It is the art of becoming clear about what you believe and think, while remaining connected to others who believe and think differently. It may be the best way to lead change in any kind of organization – whether a community, a congregation, or a family .

March 15, 2021

This week’s reflection begins with a story from Luke 13:10-17 with a woman who is “bent over and quite unable to stand up straight.” We may ponder the fact that everyone we meet is “bent over” in some way, even if it is not immediately visible. That knowledge can soften our hearts a bit, even if we are in disagreement with them about certain things.

March 8, 2021

March 1, 2021

Search Me
This week we visit the closing verses of Psalm 139, in which we see that our lives of faith have inward aspects and outward aspects, for all of us. There is no cut-off between these parts of our lives; both are essential. During Lent, we surrender all of them over to God.

February 22, 2021

February 15, 2021

February 8, 2021

Balancing Gratitude and Change 
In today’s message, we reflect on the need to balance gratitude with aspiration for change in our lives, as individuals and as a congregation. It is easy to fall off too far on one side or the other. The true art is in balancing gratefulness for what is with aspiring to make changes that are necessary. Today’s message draws on the work of Jack Shitama, whose podcast “The Non-Anxious Leader Podcast” can be found wherever you get your podcasts.

February 1, 2021

Be Still And Know 
In today’s message, we reflect on the ways that interruptions in our lives – like the snowfall that has happened this weekend – can force us to stop our busyness, which is always an invitation to remember that God is God (cf. Psalm 46:10) and to ask what God wants of us.

January 25, 2021

“The Balance of the 10 Commandments”
In today’s message, we reflect on the ways that the two sections of the 10 Commandments – to attend lovingly to God and to attend lovingly to our neighbors, combined with a regular day of Sabbath rest, every seven days – provide us with a much-needed point of focus, and sense of balance, in our times.
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January 18, 2021

The Beloved Community
On this Martin Luther King, Jr., holiday, today’s message reflects on “the beloved community,” a concept that was important in Dr. King’s witness and ministry. We reflect on its importance in our own lives, and on the central role that nonviolence plays in our shared work towards the beloved community.

January 11, 2021

January 4, 2021

December 21, 2020

For today, December 21, the Longest Night of the year, we reflect on how God transforms our darkness to light by the presence and friendship of Christ. Where in your life do you need Christ’s friendship right now?

December 14, 2020

Today’s message reflects on the lectionary psalm from the 3rd Sunday of Advent, Psalm 126. Psalm 126 is a prayer for transformation and renewal, which makes it a pretty good prayer for us.

December 7, 2020

November 30, 2020

Today’s message reflects on the need to build and rebuild trust in our communities, country, and world during this time. We will read a brief excerpt from one of Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s writings, about the centrality of Jesus Christ in all of our relationships, and imagine what difference that might make in (re)building trust.

November 23, 2020

November 16, 2020

November 9, 2020

In today’s message, we reflect on the importance and the challenge of cultivating humility in our polarized society. How would our lives and our world be different if we practiced a deeper humility?

November 2, 2020

October 26, 2020

October 19, 2020 – All the Roots Grow Deeper When It’s Dry

In today’s reflection, we reflect on how our lives can grow during difficult times. The musician David Wilcox has a song, “All the Roots Grow Deeper When It’s Dry.” During times of dryness and difficulty, the roots of our hearts and souls can grow deeper, in search of nourishing water. Our practice of silence can support this growth.

October 12, 2020 – The Indwelling of the Holy Spirit

In today’s reflection, we reflect on what our tradition has referred to as the “indwelling of the Holy Spirit.” God’s own Spirit dwells in each of us – individually and collectively – and is available to us, to guide and lead us. This indwelling is especially beneficial and helpful when we are going through times of challenge, loss, or conflict.

October 5, 2020 – Calm in the Storm

In today’s Message, we reflect on Jesus’ capacity to be at rest, even in the midst of a storm (e.g., Mark 4:35-41). Jesus lives from a still place, at the center of his being, a place of total security in all situations. The name for that place is “faith.” We are invited to live from that place, as well.

September 28, 2020

September 21, 2020

In today’s message, we reflect together on the reality of grief. Even though many of us may try to avoid grief, it is a normal and natural part of human existence. When we are living through times of significant loss, such as the time we are living through now, we can expect to undergo grief, and by the grace of Jesus Christ, we may expect to be comforted by the Lord.

September 14, 2020

In today’s message, we hear the message – given us in the 12-step movement, the movie “Frozen,” the Zac Brown Band, the letter to the Philippians and more – to let go. This message can be tough for many of us to follow, even as we sense that it may hold the promise of new life for us.”

September 7, 2020

In today’s message, we reflect together on the changing face of Christianity around the world, especially in the global south, drawing the church towards the experience of Revelation 7:9: “There was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages.”

August 24, 2020

August 17, 2020

August 10, 2020

August 3, 2020

July 27, 2020

In today’s Monday Message, entitled Justice, Kindness, Humility we spend some time with Micah 6:8, the Scripture passage on the new banners on the church’s front lawn. We talk about how ‘doing justice’ and ‘loving kindness’ can be mistakenly seen as opposites, between which we have to choose. But the Lord calls us to do both of them. This Scripture text can become a guiding thread for us in our lives today.

July 20, 2020

July 13, 2020

In today’s Monday Message, entitled Filled With the Holy Spirit, we notice the way that we can feel “out of breath” at times, given the various pressures of our lives and our world. The earliest disciples also lived under enormous pressure, and Luke-Acts describes how they were “filled with the Holy Spirit,” which enabled them to live with strength, grace, and courage. God wants to fill us with the Holy Spirit, too; we need to make ourselves available to be filled with the Spirit/Breath of God. When we do that, we will have all the breath we need.

July 6, 2020

In today’s Monday Message, entitled Bumpy Ride, Safe Landing, we face the fact that turbulence is part of our lives, in lots of different ways.  We do not need to be afraid of that, because God is active within the turbulence, guiding us where God wants us to go.

June 29, 2020

June 22, 2020

In today’s Monday Message, we’ll reflect on the theme – present throughout the Bible and articulated by Jesus – that “the last will be first, and the first will be last.” What does this mean for us in our world and in our lives today?

June 15, 2020

Love God. Love Neighbor. Love Yourself.
Spirituality and social justice are connected. Spirituality is never disconnected from our relationships with other people. Jesus teaches us that how we love God is intimately related to how we love our neighbors. It’s all connected.

June 8, 2020

June 1, 2020

Letting Ourselves Lament – Lamentations 1:1-3
Healthy spirituality is always honest spirituality – honest about what’s going on in our lives. When it feels as though the losses are piling up around us, we need to grieve those losses. But many of us don’t really know how to do that, and we may even think that we’re not supposed to get sad. The Bible can help us with this, with the biblical practice of lamentation.

May 25, 2020

May 18, 2020

Separated, But Still the Church – 1 Thessalonians 2:17

One of the really tough things about this time is being separated and distant from those we care about. In today’s Monday Message, we’ll take a look at one of the passages from the New Testament when the Apostle Paul was separated from people in the churches he helped to start, but that didn’t keep them from being the church. The same holds true for us today. We are separated, but we are still engaged in the mission of the church.

May 11, 2020

Today we’re looking at a little text that can sometimes get overlooked – Mark 3:13-16. It teaches us how the simple act of ‘being with Jesus’ makes the rest of our work and ministry possible. Being with Jesus may be ‘simple,’ but it can be so easy to skip over!”

May 4, 2020

April 27, 2020

When You Walk Through Fire – Isaiah 43:1-3

Today we are looking at Isaiah 43:1-3, where God addresses people living through a time of exile with words of redemption.

April 20, 2020

April 13, 2020

April 6, 2020

March 30, 2020