Looking Back Over Jesus’ Life
Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.
My faith has been formed, in large part, surrounded by believers in the church of Jesus Christ. My childhood memories include worship, choir, Sunday School, and VBS at the First United Presbyterian Church in Olney, Illinois. Between Olney and Tampa, our family made a 6 month stopover in Leesburg, Florida when I was entering the seventh grade. I was confirmed at the First Presbyterian Church of Leesburg. My faith grew through worship, service, Sunday School, and Youth Groups, and I heard my call to ministry while I was a member at Forest Hills Presbyterian Church in Tampa. And for decades, my faith has been strengthened right here in the midst of the believers at First Presbyterian Church in Winter Haven. Your faith journey might include similar stops along the way. And many of us count First Pres as our spiritual home.
One of the features of this place is our Christ Window. We see the image of Jesus every time we worship in our sanctuary. And many of us know that there is a bottom third to the Christ Window. It faces Sixth Street, and has an inscription that can be read by people passing by. The inscription reads —
Come unto me, all ye who labour and are heavy laden and I will give ye rest.
This place has been, and continues to be a place where believers can come to find their faith strengthened, and their souls nourished, in the presence of God’s people.
Thank you God for providing people and places along the path of my faith journey. Help me to rest in their presence today, as we all follow our Lord and Savior Jesus, in whose name we pray. Amen.