Pause

Babies are born impatient. They want to be fed, comforted, and cared for immediately. And that is just as it should be.

We learn over time how to stand by, how to set our immediate needs aside - at least for a time - and wait for what we hope will come.

Learn now the patience that is necessary for your eventual good. God knows your needs, because God knows you.

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Listen

Welcome one another, therefore, just as Christ has welcomed you, for the glory of God. For I tell you that Christ has become a servant of the circumcised on behalf of the truth of God in order that he might confirm the promises given to the patriarchs, and in order that the Gentiles might glorify God for his mercy. As it is written, “Therefore I will confess you among the Gentiles, and sing praises to your name”; and again he says, “Rejoice, O Gentiles, with his people”; and again, “Praise the Lord, all you Gentiles, and let all the peoples praise him”; and again Isaiah says, “The root of Jesse shall come, the one who rises to rule the Gentiles; in him the Gentiles shall hope.” May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Romans 15:7-13

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Think

We celebrate communion every Sunday at the church I serve. As a pastor, it is a great honor to stand at the table and say the words, “Come, you are welcome.” It amazes me how long it takes for some people to truly believe these words. Many sit in the chairs (we don’t have pews) week after week and wait for communion to be over so they can participate again in the service. In their minds, they aren’t good enough.

Jesus is very clear about who the good news is for: everyone! Not just those raised in the faith as children, not just those who follow all the laws, not just those who never sin (which is no one, by the way), but everyone! We all know what it’s like to be excluded, left out, to not be invited or wanted. Many are waiting to be told they are wanted by God and by the church. Some may need time to believe it. You may be one of those people.

Erika Funk

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Pray

God of hope, I pray for your abounding joy. I pray for peace in faith. I pray for patience for myself and others who find it difficult to believe we are welcomed at your table. Amen.

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Go

We're waiting for a revolution;
Waiting for the impossible.

We're waiting for change,
For the coming of the One.

We're waiting to be told, "Yes,"
To be included.

Go with hope that,
Whatever you are waiting for,
God will answer
The prayer of your heart.

Erika Funk

Erika Funk is a pastor in the Presbyterian Church USA, currently serving at Broad Street Ministry in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She created the Youth Initiative there, which invites young people to go deeper spiritually and theologically into mission. Erika finds God's peace in teenagers who ask a lot of questions, cups of tea, and the ocean.

Hyrfrydance

Jim Morgan

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