The season of Easter just ended with two special Sundays, Pentecost and Trinity Sunday. This Sunday we enter a long season of the church year lasting all of summer and most of fall traditionally called “ORDINARY TIME.” Sundays in ordinary time have no special names, only numbers (ordinals), but that does not mean that they are not important. The truth is that we live most of our lives in ordinary time, and God continues to lead us to experience and do both ordinary and extraordinary things. The traditional green liturgical color for ordinary time is especially fitting for this is a time for lifelong growth and service.
All year we have been celebrating various aspect of the wonderful Good News that Jesus proclaimed and lived. This Sunday we will reflect on his command to the disciples, found in Matthew 28:16-20, to go and freely share his good news with all people. We have good news to share. Will you?
This coming Sunday is Pentecost Sunday. You are invited to wear red, orange or yellow to commemorate the gift of the Spirit of God experienced as dramatic “tongues of fire” by the first disciples of Jesus in Acts 2. This year, however, my message will examine the quiet, gentler gift of the Spirit as found in the gospel of John, particularly John 20:22. The Good News of God’s Spirit.
This coming Sunday my message will explore The Good News of NOW. We often get caught up in regrets or nostalgia about the past, or hopes and fears about the future, and neglect to fully experience the present as the precious gift from God that it is. We need to realize that “Yesterday is history, tomorrow is mystery. Today is a gift; that’s why it’s called a present.” Along with the psalmist let us say, “This is the day that the Lord has made. I will rejoice and be glad in it!” (Ps 118:24)
This Sunday we will reflect on the story of Jesus’ feeding of the 5,000 as found in Mark 6:30-44. Jesus is moved by compassion to provide nourishment for hurting people through his teaching, healing, and example. I see in this story The Good News of COMPASSION. Compassion enables us to tap into often hidden sources of nourishment and healing, not just for ourselves but for those around us. This “compassion effect” is a powerful thing.
Home is something that we may take for granted until we are traveling away from home, moving from one home to another, or even more challenging, experiencing a time of homelessness. There is something within most of us that longs for a “home”. This longing for home is expressed in familiar sayings like “There is no place like home,” “Home is where the heart is,” and “Home, sweet, home”, among others. Yet our longing for “home” is often complicated and frustrated. This Sunday we will reflect together on The Good News of HOME, a good news meant not just for us, but for all people.
On this first Sunday after Easter, I will be preaching on The Good News of REST offered by Jesus in Matthew 11:28-30. I think Jesus means something deeper here than just some time off or a nice vacation although this kind of rest is certainly essential to restore mind, body and soul after too much work and too many responsibilities. What is this deeper rest? What are the burdens we can finally lay down? Come this Sunday and find out.
Thursday, March 29th is Maundy Thursday, and we will be commemorating Jesus’s last supper with his disciples, his prayer in the garden, and his death by crucifixion on Good Friday. My message will be The Good News of SURRENDER. We will start with a potluck dinner at 6 pm in the Celebration Center, and then move into the Sanctuary at 7 pm for the service.
For the Maundy Thursday potluck, please bring your own table service (plates, forks, etc.) and whatever dish you desire.
Holy Week is almost here! It begins this coming Palm Sunday with a palm processional commemorating Jesus’ dramatic entrance into Jerusalem. This worship service will feature special music and a drama by Cornerstone called, 20 Minutes – Week In Review, that recounts the events of that week we call “holy” beginning with Jesus’ entrance on “Palm” Sunday and ending with his crucifixion on “Good” Friday. Then on Thursday evening, we will gather in the Celebration Center at 6 p.m. to share food and fellowship. This will be a potluck supper, so please bring a main dish, veggie, salad, or dessert to share. At 7 p.m. we will gather in the sanctuary for a brief worship service which includes communion and a message, The Good News of SURRENDER. Then on Easter Sunday, April 1, we will celebrate The Good News of RESURRECTION with lots of joyful music. I hope you are looking forward to celebrating this amazing good news!