“The Wednesday Word” Devotional & Podcast
We thought it would be a great idea to have a mid-week recap & refresh of Pastor David’s Sunday sermon. Let’s make sure that we are learning all we can from them!
Pastor David’s Wednesday devotional will be related to the Sunday sermon in some way. It could be an expansion on a theme, a different twist, or some kind of content related to Sunday’s sermon. Various staff members and parishioners will gather to discuss the devotional and how it relates to our lives and maybe give some practical application of the word.
You can listen to the audio version in your car, while doing housework, during your workout, or whenever is most convenient for you. We want you to be able to access it at any time that is the right time for you to have a few minutes to read and reflect on it.
Pastor David’s devotional for February 23, 2022
“Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.”
Loneliness is a part of the human condition. Biblically, we can trace loneliness all the way back to Adam and Eve eating the forbidden fruit. It was God’s intention that human beings live in community, caring for one another, caring for creation, and dwelling with God. But when sin entered the world, all of this changed. In the story of Adam and Eve, the consequences of sin were immediate. Adam and Eve hid from each other, hid from God, and blamed each other. The brokenness of creation had begun and continues to this day. We live in a world where brokenness results in great struggle. For some, loneliness is the struggle.
Everyone one of us have had, or will have, times in our lives when we experience loneliness. For some, it is a chronic condition. For others, it is an occasional experience. Often, the occasional experiences of loneliness come because of a major event or transition in life. Events like the death of a loved one or a divorce can bring about great loneliness—a loneliness that could last for years. For some, transitions like moving to a new place, graduating from school, or even starting to attend a new church can bring about a sense of loneliness.
I remember transferring from The University of Arizona to Northern Arizona University my senior year in college. For the first time in my life, I found myself living in a town I didn’t know, with people I didn’t know. I did not have friends or a connection to a church or anyone to hang out with. And I was lonely (yes, even introverts like me get lonely)! Can you remember a time when you experienced loneliness?
I remember one day driving to the nearest Methodist Church and walking into the office to see if the pastor was available to meet with me. In retrospect, I suspect he had a lot going on—it’s not like he was just waiting for someone to drop in! The Pastor’s name was Travis Kendall, and hearing that I had asked for a pastor, he dropped whatever else he was doing and invited me into his office. We talked for a bit, and it didn’t take long to discover that we had a shared past: his father had attended seminary with my grandfather, and they were friends. But Travis wasn’t finished. He asked if I had time to take a short drive so he could show me around town. As we drove around the college campus, Travis pointed out different places to me. Then he pulled up in front of the Campus Christian Center, took me inside and introduced me to Rev. Rich Fennig, the campus pastor. It would not be long before Rich and I were best friends.
Travis invested some time and attention into me, and as a result I found my way at NAU, and a wonderful new chapter of my life began. I am grateful for Travis taking the time!
Have you had a “Travis” in your life? Have you had someone in your life who invested time and attention into you at a particularly lonely time, and did so in a way that resulted in not feeling quite so lonely?
Have you been a “Travis” for someone else, someone in whom you invested at a time when he or she was lonely? There are times in our lives when we have opportunities to positively impact the lives of people who are struggling.
In my sermon last Sunday, I ended by talking about the importance of our church being a church where people could feel a sense of belonging. I asked what it would look like if we were a church that focused on making promises to new people, new members, promising to help them experience “belonging.” I am going to end today by asking you to reflect deeply on 2 important questions: 1. Who or what helped you feel like you “belong” at Desert Spring? 2. What are a few practices we could implement at church that you believe could help people feel like they belong? I would love to hear your thoughts.
God bless you and I hope to see you in church,
Podcast & Sermon Video Links
“Loneliness” Sermon Video