God’s Steadfast Love

By Monica and Alex Wharton of New Port Richey, Florida, USA

Happy are those…who give food to the hungry…who lift up those who are bowed down…who watch over the strangers; who uphold the orphan and the widow…  Psalm 146:5–9, adapted

After selling our home in Buffalo, New York, my 15-year-old son, Alex, and I decided to move. We gave away many of our belongings, packed the rest into a rented moving van, and drove to Tarpon Springs, Florida. With no job prospects, the first six months proved challenging.

On neighborhood walks with our dog I often stopped by a small, white Community of Christ building. I rested on a bench on the church lawn and drew inspiration from the inscribed scripture: “Come to me, all you that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” One day, after my utilities were disconnected, I prayed for help.

I decided to call the pastor of the Tarpon Springs Congregation. Pastor Lillian met me at the church office. She didn’t ask if I attended church—she just met my need. Still overwhelmed that someone cared enough to help us, my son and I received a blessing of aid for car repairs, food, and housing bills.

I was baptized in December 2009. Alex, now 17, recently stated, “The church helped us in spirit, in our finances, in our minds, and especially in our hearts.”

Thank you, from our hearts, for your love and care. It is special to be a part of this wonderful family of believers who daily display God’s steadfast love! Your contributions to the Abolish Poverty, End Suffering mission initiative help bring hope to those in need.

Prayer for Peace:

Generous God, we would be generous, too. We would give to watch over and uphold strangers. We would invite and welcome them into your fold and cradle them in your peace.

Spiritual Practice:

The chalice prayer is a form of intercession. Create a cup or chalice with your hands in front of your heart. Open your heart to God’s concern for the Earth and human family as you hold them in your chalice. See beauty and suffering as you lift the chalice and release the creation (open hands) to be blessed and healed by God.

Form the chalice again and hold people who have particular needs—friends, loved ones, even enemies. Lift them and release them for God’s blessing. Place yourself inside the chalice as you confess your deepest needs. Lift and release yourself to God for healing. Say “thank you and amen.”

Peace Covenant:

Today God, with hope I will answer the call of someone in need.

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