Expanding Circles

Here is a guest post today from the amazing Rev. Pam McCurdy at Bethany UMC!!


Bethany UMC’s Walking Prayer Group meets on Sunday afternoons. We begin with a devotion and pray and then it’s time for our walk. Sometimes we walk in the neighborhoods around the church and on other occasions we walk the trails or tracks of our local parks. I wrote this devotion for a Sunday when we walked at Mud Creek Soccer Complex, which has a giant oval track, several fields and a great playground. It’s a busy place where our community gathers for soccer practice, games, exercise and fun.

Walking Prayer Group Devotion

February 28, 2016

I have been thinking about “circles” lately. No worries, I won’t break out singing “The Circle of

Life” from The Lion King. Maybe I am thinking about circles because we are about to walk “around in circles”.

Okay, yes, the track is really in the shape of an oval. Work with me.

Anyway, a circle doesn’t have a beginning or an end. It is said to be “never ending.” God’s love is never ending. That’s good to know. We never have to fear a shortage of  God’s love. There’s enough to go around. There’s enough of Divine love for God to share it with all of creation into infinity and way, way, way beyond it.

We also use the word “circle” to talk about our relationships. i.e. “church circle”, “social circle”, “circle of friends”, or “circle of influence.” We are connected to others in these circles by kinship, interest, careers, politics, beliefs or more. There is “something” or “someone” that brings us together to form these “circles.”

As Christians, we are brought together through the experience of knowing Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. We are a diverse circle of “believers” growing in grace. We are a diverse circle of believers called to love God with our heart, being and mind and our neighbors as ourselves.

This “Christian Circle” is designed to be expandable. It’s been that way for over 2000 years.

So, let’s expand the “circle of believers”. It grows when we share the Gospel of Jesus Christ and encourage others to experience saving grace. It grows when the community around us encounters the never ending love of God through our words and deeds.

Matthew 22:36-40 Common English Bible (CEB)

36 “Teacher, what is the greatest commandment in the Law?” 37 He replied, “You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your being, and with all your mind. 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 3 And the second is like it: You must love your neighbor as you love yourself.b40 All the Law and the Prophets depend on these two commands.”

John 13:34-35 Common English Bible (CEB)

34 “I give you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, so you also must love each other. 35 This is how everyone will know that you are my disciples, when you love each other.”

Rev. Pam McCurdy

Pam is the Minister of Discipleship at Bethany UMC in Smyrna, Georgia. You may reach her at associatepastor@bethanyumc.net.

What are your thoughts?