all in faith Jacksonville Presbyterian ChurchRev. Ray Woody, who was a retired pastor and friend, once told me about how on Sundays he used to visit all new visitors of his church. One particular Sunday, he had an unusual experience over the course of two different visits. The first family he went to see, said that they found the church to be warm and friendly. They were excited to go back. The very next visit, the man who answered the door said, “Pastor, I’ve got to tell you, that was the coldest church I’ve ever been in. No one welcomed me, no one talked to me.”

Same church, same Sunday.

When he told me this, Ray said, “Joe you know what I’ve found?” In life, most people will meet me half way. If I smile, they’ll smile back. If I put out my hand, they’ll put out theirs. If I initiate conversation, others will talk. If I want to get involved, I can.

Have you noticed that when we care enough about something or someone to put our heart and your soul into it, it is rich and rewarding. Think about a job or a relationship. But, if we give only half our heart – we never really get to experience the fullness of what it could be.

This is true also with our faith, isn’t it? When we make time for prayer and worship, when we give and when we serve, our faith is most often alive and it is a resource we can draw on.

I pray today that the fullness of God’s peace would rest upon you. May you know God’s love, forgiveness and hope, in the very deepest part of your being. And may you respond with all your heart, soul, strength and mind.

Let us pray:

You have blessed us so richly, O God. May we in turn, be a blessing to others and to you. Amen.

Photograph ‘All In’ By Samuel Fyfe