Advent

Seeking Blessings

Seeking Blessings
Teenager working on a Vacation Bible School craft in Central Asia

Galatians 3:6-14

The Galatians text calls for us to remember Abraham. Scripture says, "Abraham believed God. God accepted Abraham because he believed. So his faith made him right with God. So you see, those who have faith are children of Abraham."

In our local community, different faith groups take turns offering a worship service to the inmates at a local women's prison. Galatians tells us that all who trust in Christ receive the same blessing as Abraham. I see the evidence of this text when I work with the women in and outside of the prison walls. We know they have broken man-made laws and are now facing the consequences; we soon learn that if we live only by these laws we are doomed to failure. Many of these women do have a true and sincere faith, but because of their circumstances, have stopped practicing communicating with God.

Any woman who desires a Bible receives one. They are encouraged to attend the worship service of their choice. We Methodists, alternating the local Methodist Churches, go in every Sunday at 2 p.m. to lead a short worship service with them. During this time, many of the women confide their worries and fears – mostly about their families they have left behind or staying clean and sober when they are released. They share their prayers freely and realize that if they have faith, God will be with them and see them through. Will they have to seek a new community in which to live, as Mary and Joseph had to flee? Or can they go home to the one they know? That is their hope.

And so as we worship with these women, we encourage them to remember the moral and ethical standards they were taught and to live by faith and not be independent of God. With faith they will be made right with God. They will receive the same blessing as Abraham.

Prayer: Gracious God, you who bring healing and health to the world, be present and visible in our words and actions today. Amen.


Arlene Mackie is Program Advisory Group member and Past President of New England Conference, United Methodist Women.

Posted or updated: 12/23/2016 11:00:00 PM

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Mission Focus:

Senegal: Providing literacy training and cloth-making skills for girls and young women.

Testimony for Dec. 18-24:

I watch as many are blessed by their memories of times spent in our center as they visit two metal doors saved from the demolition of our former location more than three decades ago, and upon which the names of hundreds are etched and carved. -John G. Hatcher, Jr., executive director, Wesley Community Service Center, Portsmouth, Virginia.
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