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St. Matthew's EC Church
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Pastor's Blog
Tuesday, November 28 2023

Good Morning Compassionate Shalom Bringers! We know the Prince of Peace and are filled with His overflowing compassionate love that can change this world. We are sent to bring shalom to the chaos just as God did for the chaos in our lives. True worship is taking care of widows and orphans, visiting those imprisoned, setting captives free with Christ and entertaining strangers and aliens. That is our heart at St. Matts. that is reflected in our ministries! PTL! He's using what we got as we do what we can to be a blessing to Him and many. Tithing is not only treasure, but time and talent as well. And biblically, the Tithe is just the beginning of giving that God receives and expects. God has gifted us to fulfill His mission of love and is with us loving and helping through us. What an awesome God we worship! Who is God stirring you to bless with what you've been given?

Remember last year all the great stories that arose as you were given $50. to go bless others? This year you won't be getting $50. from the church, but God has blessed and gifted you with time, talent, treasure, spiritual gifts and His heart of compassion to go bless others and lead them to our Source. Those who are faithful with little are promised to be given more to manage and share. God is faithful to that promise. Try it! He challenges us to test Him with our giving and watch to see how much more He adds to us. (not necessarily treasure but uncountable blessings squished down and shaken to fit more!) I can't wait to hear the stories of what is doing through your generous and sacrificial giving!

Check out Our Daily Bread and Upper Room devos below that relate to this. What's God stirring you to do? Who does He want to compassionately love through you? The Romans 12 passage is one to study and apply and even memorize as you bring it to life. 12:12 is a life verse for me, "Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction and faithful in prayer." But the rest of the passage flows from that for me--sincerely loving, being full of zeal, serving, sharing and being hospitable, blessing, even enemy, allowing space for God to bring His blessings through me and His wrath to those who deserve it. Work on some of those words the rest of the year! Allow God to show His loving compassion through your living, giving, helping and sharing. Work on bringing His peace to those struggling too. You will be worshiping well and promised to receive back many blessings!

Today is what is called Giving Tuesday. All these charities are crying out for help. Some should be supported and some are abusers of the giving. Do your research. Your church has a need as well, as our General Fund is running in deficit. But you know, like Thanksgiving, and days we are reminded to love others, we should not need to be reminded to give. Everyday we should love, thank and give! Those are commands from God with promised good returns. Sacrificial giving and living and loving are God's specialty and Jesus exemplified that when He came to earth and poured out His love for us on that cross. As we read John 19 this week, it ends with Jesus' burial. But, as Paul Harvey used to say, "And now for the rest of the story..." That journey of love began in a lowly manger and traveled through the cross and grave to triumph. Jesus gave His all and desires for us to give our all for His glory and to expand His Kingdom. What is your custom part that He is stirring you to right now? What will you do about it? Who might help you?

Remember, we have some needs at St. Matts that could use some year end giving. Our General Fund, our pantry needs non-perishable items, and we are hoping to bless the Kindness Project with games, toiletries, bed in a bags, and gift cards so they can continue to help local foster families that have great needs. We know and have received THE Gift freely and are expected to share that compassionate love with zeal and joy. Who is God sending to you to bless? Yes to those who have been given freely, much is expected as we give freely back to God and others. Choose to live and love like Jesus--sacrificially and compassionately! How does He want to bless and love through you today? Go love well and bring His shalom and share your joy in the Lord well! Follow and know God's peace as you bring His compassionate love alive!

Check out this blog from Harvest Prayer for praying for business people. Matt and Erin Kay and I are praying for local Christian business leaders and will be opening our church in the New Year for prayer gathering for them. Pray for them and our people to be blessed and want to bless back. Pray for us to find a day and time that allows many business people to join us in praying. Thanks!


The Skill of Compassion

Be devoted to one another in love . . . joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Romans 12:10–12

READ Romans 12:9–21


“A thorn has entered your foot—that is why you weep at times at night,” wrote Catherine of Sienna in the fourteenth century. She continued, “There are some in this world who can pull it out. The skill that takes they have learned from [God].” Catherine devoted her life to cultivating that “skill,” and is still remembered today for her remarkable capacity for empathy and compassion for others in their pain. 

That image of pain as a deeply embedded thorn that requires tenderness and skill to remove lingers with me. It’s a vivid reminder of how complex and wounded we are, and of our need to dig deeper to develop true compassion for others and ourselves.

Or, as the apostle Paul describes it, it’s an image that reminds us that loving others like Jesus does requires more than good intentions and well-wishes—it requires being “devoted to one another” (Romans 12:10), “joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer” (v. 12). It requires being willing to not only “rejoice with those who rejoice” but to “mourn with those who mourn” (v. 15). It requires all of us.

In a broken world, none of us escape unwounded—hurt and scars are deeply embedded in each of us. But deeper still is the love we find in Christ; love tender enough to draw out those thorns with the balm of compassion, willing to embrace both friend and enemy (v. 14) to find healing together.

By Monica La Rose


When have you experienced the healing power of compassion? How can you cultivate a community of healing?

Loving God, thank You for Your compassion. Help me to love others like that.


Paul’s description of a life of loving service in Romans 12:9–21 begins by emphasizing, “Love must be sincere” (v. 9). Sincere here is literally “not hypocritical.” The word hypocritical at the time could refer to an actor’s mask. So the idea the apostle is warning against is putting on a mask or pretense of loving each other that’s only superficial. In his commentary on this passage, the Reformer John Calvin described how remarkable it is that almost everyone is prone to pretend to love others when they actually don’t. He said, “they not only deceive others, but persuade themselves” that they love those whom they actually both neglect and treat badly. Because the danger of self-deception in how we relate to others is so great, Paul describes in detail what a life of genuinely loving and serving others looks like.

Monica La Rose

UR: God's peace

The peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. - Philippians 4:7 (NIV)

My husband and I had a good life. We had both experienced previous turbulent marriages, and we thought we would have a happy future together. But after four years, he began having trouble swallowing his food.

After several consultations with doctors, he was diagnosed with esophageal cancer. The prognosis was not good; his disease was terminal. We prayed for healing and then left everything to the Lord.

At worship one Sunday evening, the minister spoke about heaven and everlasting life in Christ. Suddenly light filled my heart — as if God were saying to me, “I am waiting for him. The very best is to come.” I felt a sudden and wonderful peace.

My husband died five months later. I mourned him deeply, but I also knew that he was delivered from all pain. I thank God for giving me such assurance and peace, which made it easier for me in my loss.


Dear God, thank you for surrounding us with your peace, comfort, and love, especially in times of grief. Amen.

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St. Matthew's EC Church

5th & Ridge Streets
P.O. Box 433
Emmaus, PA 18049
Telephone 610.965.5570


We are learning to live and love like Jesus. 

We are working on becoming who we were created to be and doing our custom made purposes well. 

We are part of the Evangelical Congregational Church

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