August 9, 2020: Focusing on What Is Ahead

Festival of August 13

“In our church, all baptized believers are welcome to partake of Holy Communion,” the pastor invited. “By the grace of God, if you feel led, please come forward to receive the elements blessed for you today.”

A man named Philip in the back row was the first to stand up to make his way to the communion table. While walking to the front, his eyes drifted away from his destination to see sister Martha sitting near the middle of the congregation. His mind began to think of that time he had an argument with her. Then he saw brother James sitting in front of her, and he remembered that time he failed to call him after his wife had died. In front of him was sister Maria. Oh, how he wished he could have taken back those harsh words he spoke to her when they disagreed over the Sunday school program. With sadness and guilt, Philip turned around and walked back to his pew.

When the grace of God calls us, as Jesus called Peter on the water, we must focus on that which is ahead of us. When our eyes begin to determine our steps, we see nothing but water and wind. It doesn’t matter how turbulent your past relationships were. It doesn’t matter how salty your words may have been. It doesn’t matter where the winds of your past may have taken you. What matters in this moment is the grace-filled invitation for you to come to Christ and be nourished by his presence.

You’ll reach the boat (or communion table) only if your faith-full heart directs your steps.

Russ Williams, pastor, New Beginnings Moravian Church,

 Huntersville, North Carolina