January 18, 2022
Weekly Bible Reading:
Week of January 16: Matthew 11-15; Proverbs 3
- Sunday and Wednesday Bible classes canceled for the rest of January.
- Sunday worship is at 10:00 a.m. as usual.
- Ladies Tuesday Bible class canceled for the rest of January.
- Night of Remembrance will be rescheduled. Date To Be Determined.
- First Responder Sunday is rescheduled for February 20.
- Baby Dedication is rescheduled for February 20.
January Prayer Focus: Health and wellness of the congregation and the nation
Devotional Thought for the Week
Don’t Give Up On Me (By Scott Elliott; source: Resurrected Living)
If I fall short, if I don’t make the grades
If your expectations aren’t met in me today
There is always tomorrow, or tomorrow night
Please, don’t give up on me
– Solomon Burke
Solomon Burke may not be a name you know. He was a contemporary of Otis Redding, Wilson Pickett, and Aretha Franklin but was not as successful as some of these artists. However, he was no less talented. According to music producer Jerry Wexler, Burke was “the first and possibly greatest of all 60’s soul men.” It was Burke who came up with the term “soul music.” He refused to use the label R&B singer because of his Christian faith. He was the “King of Soul” before James Brown. In 1965, Brown paid Burke to come on stage and hand over his crown and robe because he believed he deserved the title.
“Don’t Give Up On Me” is one of his later recordings. It is about a relationship between a man and a woman, but the lyrics have a weightiness about them, and Burke brings this out in his powerful performance. He does not want people to miss the message. He pours out his soul. If we can set aside the human relationship aspect of the song, some of the lyrics are reminiscent of the Psalms. It is soul music. It is a heart crying out, “Don’t give up on me!”
How often have we said these words or prayed this prayer? We are sinful beings. We make mistakes. We sometimes do what we don’t want to do or don’t do what we know we should do. We feel shame or regret. We don’t want to let others down. We don’t want to let God down. We want a second chance.
Jesus prayed a similar prayer on the cross. He cried out, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” Of course, Jesus had done nothing to let God down, but it felt in that moment as if God had given up. It certainly looked that way. The Son of God was nailed to a cross, experiencing a horrific death. Where was God? Paul tells us that “in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself” (2 Cor. 5:19). Jesus prays, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” because it is the first line of Psalm 22, a psalm about the faithfulness of God. At the end of the psalm, it says that God “has not hidden his face from him, but has heard, when he cried to him.” God does not give up!
People may give up on us in this life even though we do not want them to, but one thing is for sure, God will never give up on us. No matter what you are going through, God will not abandon you. In your darkest hour, God is with you. Don’t give up on yourself. Keep pressing on, and lean on God when you need him most.
“For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:38-39)