Dear Friends,

On Sunday, October 17, Maplewood UMC will begin a 4-week sermon series designed by the Missouri United Methodist Conference, called “ABUNDANT.”   In John 10:10 Jesus says, “I came to give life with joy and abundance.”  Living an abundant life is about being whole in body, mind, and spirit.  Our mental, physical, and emotional health play an interconnected role in our personal quality of life and in our ability to impact the mission for which we, as followers of Jesus, have been called.

The ABUNDANT sermon series includes material that can be used as part of your spiritual practice during the week.  The first week’s material is included with this letter.  I hope and encourage you to be intentional about gathering for worship (in person or online) and also making use of the scripture references, reflection question, and prayers that will be sent to you each week. 

We know from our experience of worshiping online only for months that we can indeed be together while we are apart.  I am excited to continue the spirit of worship into the week as a faith community, with all of us reflecting on the same scriptures and saying the same prayers.  For your convenience, the pages that are mailed to you over the next four weeks will also be available on the Maplewood UMC website.  

God’s grace and peace be with you,

Pastor Kim

…I came to give life with joy and abundance.                                                 
                                                               John 10:10b – The Voice

Week 1 ABUNDANT LOVE

Scripture Reading for the week (See below for daily scripture readings)

1 Peter 4:8-11, (Common English Bible) Above all, show sincere love to each other, because love brings about the forgiveness of many sins. 9 Open your homes to each other without complaining. 10 And serve each other according to the gift each person has received, as good managers of God’s diverse gifts. 11 Whoever speaks should do so as those who speak God’s word. Whoever serves should do so from the strength that God furnishes. Do this so that in everything God may be honored through Jesus Christ. To him be honor and power forever and always, Amen.

Proverbs 10:12 Hate stirs up conflict, but love covers all offenses.

For Reflection: In what ways can you foster greater love?

Prayer (You are welcome to choose your own words for your prayer and you are invited to pray this same prayer every day this week alongside the people of Maplewood UMC.)

O God, give us hearts to love one another earnestly. Help us to see others and theirs actions through the lens of love. Help us to gauge our own actions from a place of love. Thank you for the love and grace you give us freely. Help us to be as generous in our relationships with others. Amen

Going Deeper; Daily Scripture Readings

  • Monday John 15:9-17                                   
  • Tuesday Ephesians 3:14-21        
  • Wednesday 1 John 4:7-21                          
  • Thursday John 3:16-17                                 
  • Friday 1 Corinthians 13                                
  • Saturday 1 Corinthians 16:13-14
  • Sunday Rest
For Further Reflection on 1 Peter 4:8-11 and Proverbs 10:12

How might love change how we see and interact with other people?
What do you think Peter means by “love covers a multitude of sins?”
How does loving others help our own mind, body and spirit?
Who in your life needs more earnest love from you?

 

Week 2:  Abundant Joy

Scripture Reading for the Week  (See below for daily scripture readings.)

Philippians 4:4-9, Common English Bible

Be glad in the Lord always! Again I say, be glad! 5 Let your gentleness show in your treatment of all people. The Lord is near. 6 Don’t be anxious about anything; rather, bring up all of your requests to God in your prayers and petitions, along with giving thanks. 7 Then the peace of God that exceeds all understanding will keep your hearts and minds safe in Christ Jesus. 8 From now on, brothers and sisters, if anything is excellent and if anything is admirable, focus your thoughts on these things: all that is true, all that is holy, all that is just, all that is pure, all that is lovely, and all that is worthy of praise. 9 Practice these things: whatever you learned, received, heard, or saw in us. The God of peace will be with you

For Reflection:  In what ways can you foster greater joy?

Prayer (You are welcome to choose your own words for your prayer and you are invited to prayer this prayer ever days this week alongside the people of Maplewood UMC.)

O God, you are the source of our joy and the desire of our hearts. Help us to experience a joy so full that our bones cry out and a joy too sweet that it cannot be postponed. Amen.

Going Deeper; Daily Scripture Readings

  • Monday Galatians 5:22-24
  • Tuesday Isaiah 55:12-13
  • Wednesday John 10:7-10
  • Thursday James 1:2-4
  • Friday Psalm 98
  • Saturday Nehemiah 8:9-12
  • Sunday Rest

For Further Reflection on Philippians 4: 4 – 9 

Read Philippians 4: 4 – 9

  • What or who is the source of your joy?
  • What role does thanksgiving play in your prayers (Philippians 4:6)?