After reading the Hunger Games, Phoebe decided archery was her destiny. Her birthday present became lessons and money from everyone for a bow. New terms and steps were memorized. Phoebe practiced her stance and form — everything still as she aimed at the target. Even the release was simply wiping chocolate from her cheek. A tasty visual. In later lessons, Phoebe balanced cups on her head. Holding her still form as she let the arrow fly.

Had it been me, so focused on getting all the details right, I would have missed the target. Not the range’s bullseye. I would have missed joy.

But not Phoebe. With every arrow, she turned and smiled at me. She bounced on her feet. I am not sure she ever kept that cup on her head, but she nearly giggled with delight. I could not help but smile with her.

This Sunday the country celebrates Independence Day. Appropriately we will begin our day in worship of our King, the true King. The church is the hope for this land and all the world. I long to show our neighbors God’s Kingdom, but, watching me…, church life sure looks stressful. When it should be a moment of absolute, even giddy, joy! The Creator of the world has not rejected us, but brought Heaven down to embrace us. Feel the warmth of this hug and smile. It is Good News.

As we come out of the pandemic and seek God’s plan for our new normal, I hope we make Joy a central step. On Monday, the church wide survey will be sent out. So continue to pray for God’s wisdom.

And please consider joining us Sunday at 10:30, in person or streaming on Facebook or Youtube. We continue Our Prayer series, this week, “Your Kingdom come, Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.” May Chandler be a place where God’s Kingdom exists today — where God’s will is done, as it is in heaven!

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