March 11, 2019 - Love and peace from our brother Jesus. Sunday was the First Sunday in Lent. Last Wednesday was Ash Wednesday, which begins the forty-day period of Lenten devotion. Our Sunday school lesson was titled “A Costly Call.” Ms. Fannie explained it well, and the “hard sayings” of Jesus in Luke 14 were important for us to hear. Gene read the scripture from Mark 1 and Luke 14. In Mark we are told how Jesus called Simon and Andrew and then James and John to be his disciples. They immediately followed Jesus.
March 4, 2019 - Love and peace from our brother Jesus. Sunday was the Transfiguration, one of the more obscure holy days of our church—but since Mark, Matthew, and Luke all speak of this mountaintop experience, it must be important. This holy day needs to be a day when we continue to change, or be transfigured, into what God knows we can be. Wednesday is Ash Wednesday, which begins the forty days of Lent as we prepare ourselves mentally and spiritually for Jesus’ last week and Easter.
February 26, 2019 - Love and peace from our brother, Jesus. Sunday was the 7th Sunday of Epiphany. Next Sunday will end the unusually long season of Epiphany. It will be Transformation Sunday as Jesus and three of his close friends go to the mountaintop. Last Sunday’s gospel included some very hard sayings of our brother Jesus. He tells us we must love those who are our enemies, those who curse us, and those who want to harm us.
February 19, 2019 - Love and peace from our brother, Jesus. Sunday was the 6th Sunday of Epiphany. The season of Epiphany is longer in 2019 since Easter isn’t until Sunday, April 21st this year. The forty days of Lent are a time of preparation for Christians. I enjoy the season of Epiphany because I like to imagine and contemplate the quiet moving of God into our everyday lives.
February 4, 2019 - Love and peace from our brother, Jesus. Sunday was the 4th Sunday of Epiphany. It feels like springtime as I write this article on Monday morning. My dog companions, Gunter and Sam, went with me to the city park this morning for our morning constitutional. I am usually bundled up against the cold, but this morning I took off my jacket and even unbuttoned my long-sleeved shirt. This false spring gets me thinking about my garden.
January 29, 2019 - Sunday was the 3rd Sunday of Epiphany. We had a small crowd this morning, as several members were out of town. Our Sunday School lesson today was based on Philippians 2: 1-11. Paul. while languishing in prison, urges Jesus followers to be of one mind by being humble and looking out for the interests of others. Our writer speaks of resetting our mind-defaults to the ways of Jesus. Mrs. Fannie read a prayer used in the lesson that asks God to guide our thinking in all matters. We should all be asking for his advice daily.
January 21, 2019 - Sunday was the 2nd Sunday of Epiphany. The Gospel Lesson comes from the second chapter of the John Gospel. The other three gospels are referred to as the Synoptic Gospels because they are similar—they borrow from each other and possibly another source that German scholars simply refer to as “Q.” John’s Gospel is a theological statement, full of “signs” pointing to Jesus as much more than the Hebrew messiah or the savior of the Gentiles: more like a preexistent being coming from heaven and becoming God Incarnate (in flesh).
January 7, 2019 - Sunday was the Epiphany, when traditions of the church have us celebrate the coming of the wise men. In our Christmas programs, the shepherds and the three kings arrive at the manger at the same time. This is the year of Luke in the Common Lectionary, but Luke doesn’t even mention wise men. Since the Epiphany landed on exactly on Sunday, I chose Matthew 2: 1-12 as my scripture. These mystics were not kings but wise men—scholars following the light to Bethlehem. What a wonderful story to inspire our own journeys into the mystery we call God.
December 17, 2018 - Sunday was the Third Sunday of Advent. Christmas is just over a week away, a time of year of renewed hope and joy. I no longer have that wild-eyed anticipation of presents that I did as a kid, but I sure love to hear the hymns and stories—they never grow old. Our Christmas service will be next Sunday at our regular time—10:00 AM. We will not have services on Christmas morning, as many of our folks will be visiting family or hosting get-togethers.