Monday, May 4, 2015

Remain in Love

Love, its the theme of almost every song you hear on the radio, shows up constantly in our TV programs and movies, every novel seems to be a love story. We are surrounded by love, bombarded with it.

We crave love, try desperately to find it, to draw it to ourselves. Some of us find love illusive, we are disappointed in love.

Jesus tells his disciples that they are to abide in his love, to remain in it. He wants them to spread this love around too. He wants them to love each other.

These seem like pretty high orders. How can I love someone I may not even like, someone who has hurt me or others, someone who is just unlovable. Jesus seems to be asking too much, and in reality he is.

This Sunday, Mother's Day, we will consider the impossibility of Jesus command to remain in him and to love each other.

Monday, April 27, 2015

GEMS Sunday 2015

Every year, for as long as I can remember, we set aside a Sunday to recognize our GEMS (Girls Everywhere Meeting the Savior). This Sunday is GEMS Sunday.

The girls and their leaders have been working hard to prepare for this service. They will lead us in song, and movement. They will point us beyond themselves as we worship a God who loves us so much; a God who wants to have a relationship with us. It is exciting to know about such a God, to have a Savior like Jesus.

When we are excited about something we want to tell others about it. We want to share our excitement, maybe even introduce them to the reason for our happiness.

Long ago, the prophet Isaiah met God in a very personal way. It moved him so much that he volunteered to go as God's voice to his people. He put up his hand and said "Here I am, Send me". Isaiah is the only person in the Bible to ever volunteer to carry God's message.

We too have a message to share, a story of our personal encounters with Jesus. Can we say, with Isaiah, and with our GEMS "Here I am. Send me"?

Monday, April 20, 2015

Macie Numan

Yesterday we celebrated the baptism of Macie Danae Sergovich Numan, infant daughter of Anthony and Aimee. The picture of God reaching out to us before we are able to reach out ourselves is a wonderful one.

Blessings to this family.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Jesus in the Midst of Us

Luke tells us about Jesus' appearance to the disciples just before he records Jesus ascension into heaven. In terms of ink used, Luke spends a lot more of it telling about the visit than he does with what might have been the more amazing sight of a crucified and risen Jesus rising out of sight into heaven. One might wonder why that is?

prcas2184Jesus ascension is a one time, historical event. It is important, because our advocate in heaven is flesh and blood, like us and knows us intimately. Jesus appearance among the disciples, though, is an every day occurrence. Jesus is among is, lives among us, is part of our everyday existence.

How do you see Jesus in your life? In the life of the church? Do we recognize him as being actively involved, or do we see him as far away, unreachable. Luke would have us look for him close by.

This Sunday, we will spend some time talking about the implications of recognizing that Jesus is among us.

Monday, March 30, 2015

I Have Seen Jesus

Dark on a Sunday morning, Mary Magdalene approaches the tomb where Jesus had been hastily placed following his crucifixion. She finds it disturbed, rushes for help, returns, and when everyone else has left, has an encounter with Jesus.

She doesn't recognize him at first, thinking him a gardener, but at the sound of her name, Mary, recognition flowers, her heart leaps, her sorrow and disbelief evaporates.

This Sunday, Easter Sunday, we will spend some time reflecting on this encounter and Mary's response to meeting Jesus in that cemetery.

Monday, March 23, 2015



While this word literally means "O Lord, save (us)" by the time it was being shouted by a palm waving crowd, accompanying a colt riding Jesus, it was likely understood to mean something like "Hail the King". The people were excited, celebrating, the Messiah was riding into Jerusalem to, in their minds anyway, make some major changes, bring Israel back to glory. Celebration was in the air.
Hosanna! (A Free Song for Palm Sunday)

We will celebrate this week as well. Our Sunday School children will swing palm branches and we will sing songs of celebration, hosanna. We are also celebrating the completion of the restoration of our building, damaged by fire in August.

Of course, neither Jesus ride into Jerusalem, or the completion of our building are the end of the story. Jesus ride was really the prelude to the beginning and we find ourselves in the middle of the story of salvation, the time between Jesus' comings. We are kingdom bringers and, as such, will celebrate God's goodness and the help extended to us by our community in our special Palm Sunday service this week.

Monday, March 9, 2015

A Snake in the Wilderness

File:Esteban March - Moses and the Brazen Serpent - Google Art Project.jpg
Esteban March (1610 - 1668)
There's a little story, tucked into the record of the people of Israel's movement in the desert toward the promised land. It's a story about God's punishment for disobedience, but also of a loving God who provides a way to survive the punishment, a way to come out the other side.

The story is only five verses. Its a story of a grumbling people who are punished with poisonous snakes. The way out is a bronze snake and whoever had been bitten, if they would look at the snake raised on a pole, would live. The way out was given because God loved the people.

This little story is echoed in the gospel of John. Even the well known words of John 3:16 have hints of the earlier story. The difference is that the Son of God, raised, cures more than a deadly snake bite.

This Sunday as we continue to examine God's covenants with humanity we will see how the serpent raised in the desert is a foreshadowing of a new covenant.