My Favorite Easter Story

I love going to the Metropolitan Opera. Not only have I had subscriptions, but I would often go and pick up a ticket from a patron outside minutes before a performance.  Several years ago I went to see the new production of Carlisle Floyd’s, Susannah, starring Rene Flemming, winner of your pastor’s Diva of the year award.  All I could get was a ticket in Family Circle (the nose bleed section).  I was way up there. Soon I noticed an older women and three younger men coming my way.  They were to take the seats next to me. One thing about the Met. The higher up you sit, the less formal it is.  People share binoculars and idle chat. It is where I like to say the real fans sit.

I soon learned that this woman was with her three sons who were on a holiday from Australia.  No husband was there, just mom and her boys making a trip to the U.S.  The boys had left their wives and children behind too.  You see, mom was dying I found out.  In fact she should have died months before, but for some reason she was feeling a little better though her cancer was not at all in remission it was explained.  It didn’t take me long to realize that this was the last hurrah–the last big party for mom and her three adoring sons.  And they were adoring.  In a few short minutes I got involved with their story.
I assured her that tonight she would be hearing the best… and she did.  I got totally caught up in the aura of love that was so overwhelming.

When the Opera was over, I did not want to leave this magnetic foursome.  I don’t remember their names, but I remember the hug mom gave me and the gentle reassuring way she said good-bye. The inner storm within me that was fast approaching earthquake proportions as I .focused on the agony of that family, was immediately quieted by the still small voice of a woman dying of cancer whispering great affection, “good-bye” in my ear. That Still Small Voice that may have just said, “good-bye”–but it also said–don’t worry, God is with me, God is with you. Love is eternal…

Death is swallowed up in Victory
O Death where is they Victory
O Death where is thy sting…

Blessings,
Jarv

Holy Week – From Palms to Passion

As we move on into Holy Week and the Passion of Christ, may we do our best to identify how and in what ways Jesus has moved us.

For some of us, we are moved by his healing nature. Strife, separation, and wounds that can only be soothed by compassionate love have torn many of us. Forgiveness plays such a key role here. In any relationship that needs healing, forgiveness is truly a key ingredient.

Others of us will remember the wonderful stories that point the way to God’s extravagant love toward all of humanity. The Story of the Lost Sheep, The Prodigal Son, and The Good Samaritan, just to name a few, speak to all of us in such special ways. The stories of Jesus open our hearts and minds to God’s infinite love.

The sayings of Jesus, challenge us to think about who we are as God’s people. What Jesus taught goes well beyond the old laws. He would say things like, “You have heard it said…” followed by, “But I say to you…” An eye for and eye was turned into love your enemies. We are definitely thrown into a different arena, as traditional laws can no longer be seen as black and white.

When we ask ourselves, “What would Jesus do?” we find ourselves confronted with the revolutionary spirit that commands us to look deeply into the command of neighbor love. These words call us into social action, to stand for justice and peace, to care for the needy and the downtrodden. This was such an important part of the revolutionary nature of the ministry of Jesus.

As we journey into Holy Week, may we consider one or more of these aspects of the life of Jesus, whom we have come to call the Savior of the World.

 Blessings,
Jarv

P.S. The Sunday after Easter, April 27th, is Consecration Sunday. During the worship service I will be sharing with you a musical worship service. I look forward to sharing my talent with you as we celebrate all of our gifts together. You don’t want to miss this one!

After the service will be our Congregational Meeting to elect officers.    DJ

Maunday Thursday and Easter Sunday

Maundy Thursday
A special Tenebrae service will be held at the Church on Thursday.  There will be a simple supper of soup, bread and fruit in the Worship Center.  During the service Communion will be served.

Easter Sunday
Come enjoy the excitement!  The Sunday School is planning its traditional Easter Egg Hunt after church. After the Easter Egg Hunt we will also take a new picture of everyone (and new Interim Pastor!) for the website.