Forecast tomorrow, God Reigns and the Son shines.
What's Happening @ FMC
12/1 Ladies Night In
12/3 First Day of Advent
12/3 Thank You Luncheon from the Yoder's
12/4 Worship Commission Meeting
Search our site:
Come and join us!
Sunday Worship: 9:00 AM
(Sunday School following)
You are welcome to join us on Sunday, or stop in for a chat! We want to meet you!
Follow link above to our church page on YouTube
On the Journey...
Monthly Insight From Pastor Philip Yoder
Joe and Elsie’s Bible and Prayer Covering
All of us have our stories, and lots of them. Our lives are made up of stories. And those stories are what makes us individuals and makes our lives interesting. We are indeed blessed if we can see the hand of God at work in our stories, leading us and shaping us into a people of God. It greatly increases our faith when we can see the hand of God at work in our stories.
Two of our recent members here at First Mennonite Church are Joe and Elsie. Recently, I was fascinated to learn one of their stories. In January 1983, when their oldest child was just 9 months old, their house caught on fire and burned to the ground. Neither Joe nor Elsie was at home when the fire broke out, and by the time they got home, there was nothing left of all their possessions but memories and ashes. Well, almost nothing. As they began to dig through the heap of ashes, Joe was shocked to find their family Bible under a pile of ashes, the Bible was untouched by the blaze that destroyed their home. Not one page was burned, not a singe, not even a hint of discoloration on the white cover. And Elsie found in a charred box the prayer covering of their 9-month-old daughter. And just like the Bible, the prayer covering was not touched or damaged by the fire.
Certainly, this was a miracle to protect these two items. And as I thought of this, I began to think of the symbolism of God protecting His Word and the symbol of prayer as everything around them was consumed in the fire. I was reminded of something Jesus once said, “Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words shall never pass away” (Matthew 24:35). The earth may crumble and disappear, but God’s Word will remain unscathed in the destruction. God’s Word will endure forever. God’s Word does not change with the times, nor can it be destroyed by the efforts of the empires of the world to confiscate and ban it, nor by cultures ignoring it and pretending it does not exist. God’s Word shall endure throughout eternity.
And nothing can prevent our prayers from reaching the throne of God. God values the prayers of His people, and when everything around us is lost, and all earthly possessions are gone, no matter what distress and peril we find ourselves facing in life, the one thing we have which cannot be taken from us, is our prayers to our Heavenly Father. Throughout history, Christians have been imprisoned, tortured, mutilated, and martyred in efforts to silence them, but those things never silenced their prayers. No one, nor anything can take our prayers from us, or prevent us from praying. The day will come when we leave this world. Everything we have worked so hard for will be gone, and all that will be left is God’s Word and our prayers.
Joe and Elsie still have that Bible and that small prayer covering that survived the fire. They now see in these objects something that nobody else can see. Prayer coverings have long gone out of fashion in our world today, but not for Elsie. She sees in her prayer covering the hand of God’s protection and the value of prayer. At times I wonder if God walks us through the fiery trials of life, not to test us, not even to make us strong, but so that when God looks at us, He sees in us something nobody else sees, a treasure that has survived the flames that could have destroyed us. Let us never despise our journey in life, painful as it may be. God has power to protect us, and will forever see in us what no one else can see.
Written by Pastor Phil Yoder