April 23, 2019 - Love and peace from our brother Jesus. Sunday was Easter. Well, at least it was Easter in the Western part of the world. Next Sunday will be Easter for the Eastern Church. It was decided at the Council of Nicea that Easter would be the first Sunday following the full moon after the March equinox. So Easter is a “moveable feast” day. To complicate things more, the Western Church used the Gregorian calendar and the Eastern Church used the Julian calendar to determine Easter’s date: Thus, we have two different dates for Easter.
Love and peace from our brother Jesus. Sunday was Palm and Passion Sunday. I usually like to celebrate Palm Sunday because it is festive, whereas Passion Sunday is full of betrayal, torture, and death. Either way, this week is the most important week of the Christian faith. Our Sunday school lesson was appropriately named “Called to Remember.” The main scripture was Matthew 26: 1-13.
April 1, 2019 - Love and peace from our brother Jesus. Sunday was the Fourth Sunday in Lent. With Easter not until April 21st Lent seems longer than usual. But that can’t be true because Lent is always exactly 40 days long. This year I have stressed that Lent is about our life-long journey into God. Jesus emerged from the wilderness, turning toward Jerusalem and the events of the Last Week, which culminated in Easter Morning.
March 26, 2019 - Love and peace from our brother Jesus. Sunday was the Third Sunday in Lent. We had such a nice week, and spring has officially sprung. It was really good to get out into the yard and garden, but I couldn’t help thinking about those hot summer days that are sure to come. I should just be satisfied with the now, but I am not always that mindful. We had a small group at church this morning. Fannie shared that she had a good, newsy visit with Keith. We certainly do miss Keith and Vera and hope Keith is feeling better.
March 18, 2019 - Love and peace from our brother Jesus. Sunday was the Second Sunday in Lent. And the luck of the calendar (or of the Irish!) meant that Sunday was also St. Patrick’s Day. The patron saint of Ireland was actually from England, but like the bumperstickers say, he got there as fast as he could. After a rainy, stormy start of the week, the last few days have been cool but sunny. Mr. and Mrs. Bravo have set up their nursery down in Haslam, a sure sign that spring is almost here!
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.