3 State Route 321
(Corner Main and High Streets)
PO Box 2, Mowrystown, Ohio 45155
(937) 442.5685 Office
Studying the Word of God and sharing it with others
Rev. Mark Mong, 937-661-4580
Tena Roler, 937-446-2460
Ruth Ann Richey, President, 937-393-9359
Jack Richey, 937-393-9359
Jill Schelling, Treasurer, 937-393-4134
Deb Tissot, 937-442-2781
Daily Bible Readings
from the Lectionary
The Mission Yearbook
Book of Confessions
Book of Order
Wednesday Bible Study at 7pm
Study at 1pm
From the Pastor's Desk
My Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
My family and I once went to a Pirates game in Pittsburgh. While that may be not very intriguing, the problem lies in that I was cheering for the visiting team, the Cleveland Indians. Being a fan for the visiting team amidst a crowd of fans for the home team can be a pretty intimidating prospect. If you have ever been to any kind of sporting event, baseball or football, being a fan for the “other” team may result in a little or quite a bit of hostility towards you. So fans for the visiting team sometimes try to stay hidden from the other fans. Maybe they don’t wear their jerseys or cheer when their team scores and most certainly they do not boast about winning around those who lost. Or else you may end up getting hit by a beer bottle being thrown at you, or maybe that happens only in Cleveland.
So too, does it happen in our faith. The many self-proclaimed lords of our communities become greatly hostile towards us when we proclaim to the glory of God that Jesus Christ is Lord and they are not! When we are forced to choose between loyalty and allegiance to God and loyalty and allegiance to our country, our government, our families, our wealth, our possessions, our ______; we find ourselves in conflicts with those who still follow those things. Simply put, we are intimidated by being faithful to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ in the midst of a community that is faithful to a whole host of other gods. So we choose to try and keep our faith a secret; we hide.
But, we are not the only people of God who have in ages past desired to keep our faith hidden because of fear. A woman suffering for 12 years from incurable hemorrhages, who knows and believes that Jesus can cure her in the deepest recesses of her spirit, is afraid to speak with Jesus face-to-face. Afraid of being discovered, she hides amongst the crowd until she can sneak her way close to him, only to touch the fringes of his cloak. She came up behind him and touched the fringe of his clothes, and immediately her hemorrhage stopped (Luke 8:44). Her faith has made her well and she can return to her home with the crowd and Jesus none the wiser.
But, Jesus is not going to let her stay hidden. He knows. He knows not only of her faith, he also knows his power healed her, but, he also knows that she is trying to stay hidden. So he calls out to her, “Who touched me?” She knows that he knows. She knows he is talking to her. The very thing she is afraid of is the very thing that transpires around her and fear seized upon her. When the woman saw that she could not remain hidden, she came trembling; and falling down before him, she declared in the presence of all the people why she had touched him and how she had been immediately healed (Luke 8:47). Her faith has made her well, but she cannot return to her home without anyone knowing; He knows.
But is there rebuke? Is there a finger pointed at her in judgment? Is there laughter and ridicule? Is there scorn and hostility? No, there is “Go, in peace!” She was afraid of hostility, she received peace instead. She was afraid of judgment, she received inclusion instead. She was afraid of wrath, she received love instead. Such is the character and actions of Jesus Christ, our Lord!
My brothers and sisters in Christ, which of us is not afraid? Which of us is not gripped by fear to be bold and confident in the face of a hostile nation and community around us? We all fall short of the courage necessary to let our lit lamps sit upon the lampstand. But the good news for us is the same good news for her, if Jesus can give this woman courage to shine before others, then Jesus can and will do the same for us. If Jesus is able and willing to minister to this woman, then Jesus is able and willing to minister courage to us. That in it of itself is worthy of an Alleluia. To God be the glory, honor and blessings of all his people, for he has wondrously shown his steadfast love to us. Amen!
Daniel Frank's Prayer
May the Holy Spirit fill your minds
And release you from those evil binds
That contain us and stop us from loving God
Let Christ be seen, not through a facade
But in your church and in your lives
Love the Lord that strives
To live in your hearts forevermore
And flow over you like waves on a shore
So love the Lord your God deeply
And do not turn away so sheeply
That you miss God's love
Like just another morning dove
So go now with the Father's Word
And fly in the sky with God's herd
Of loving, following Christians