May 2020 Pastor's Page
When we started The Story back in September, journeying through scripture chronologically, who could have predicted when we got to Revelation, we would be in an "apocalyptic" type pandemic? We didn't observe Holy Week or celebrate Easter in the manner I would have wanted. We are not finishing The Story in the manner l hadplanned. We were going to have a potluck celebration together as we shared what God has done through this series in us and through us. Instead, we are not sure what May will look like. May brings us to our last two weeks in The Story. Paul's ministry will end with his death at the hands of Nero, who is also responsible for executing James, the brother of Jesus, and Peter. Paul's ministry will continue through his letters to the various churches shaping Christianity. We will have a revelation of Jesus. ls the book of Revelation a glimpse into the end times, a message of hope for a persecuted community, or both? Unfortunately, time will not allow a deep and long discussion on the book of Revelation. Perhaps in the future a small group study of the book will be a journey we can embark on. Then we will begin our summer series. We will journey through the Book of Romans beginning May 17 and ending in August. May 31 is Pentecost, so we will revisit the birth of the Church and the coming of the Spirit once again.
The disciples after Jesus rose from the dead are in a time of uncertainty. Will Jesus bring the Kingdom now and throw out Rome from their occupation of Israel? How does the resurrection of Jesus affect their faith, how they live, the world? We don't have many stories from between Jesus’ resurrection and Pentecost. When Jesus ascends to heaven, he tells the disciples to wait in Jerusalem until the Spirit comes. Wait. Wait in the uncertainty. The uncertainty of what it looks like for the Spirit to come. The uncertainty of what life looks like now after Jesus has risen from the dead and returns to heaven without them...Wait in this uncertainty. We wait in the uncertainty between the Resurrection of Jesus and the fullness of the Kingdom of God coming t heal and restore all of Creation. We wait in the uncertainty of a world with a virus among us. We wait in the uncertainty of lives put on hold to protect our neighbors. We wait in uncertainty and it is uncomfortable. The Spirit first came in that uncomfortable uncertainty the disciples were waiting in and suddenly the disciples were bold in
proclaiming Jesus to all. The message of Revelation to the early church experiencing the uncertainty and pain of persecution is that Jesus has won the victory and in the end, those who endure will join in Christ's victory. That message in Revelation about enduring and persevering struck me. it seems to be exactly what we need right now to endure and persevere in love for our neighbor, trusting that when we love like Christ, love will win.
As we wait in uncertainty with all the love God has poured into us, we are looking to be the body of Christ. Do you know anyone in need? Please let us know so we can gather resources to help them. You can leave a message at the church 776-3434.
We continue to use FaceBook and Youtube to post sermons and devotions (Facebook). If you need help getting on FaceBook or Youtube or Zoom for our live service, contact the church and we will help you get you set up if we can.
We are also starting to pass the peace amongst ourselves and others in two ways. We invite you to write a card or two and send them to people in the church or neighbors offering God's peace to them. We are also passing the peace through a lawn ornament. One might end up in your yard and we invite you to pass it along to someone else by placing it in their yard where they will notice it or to call the church and have the church pass it on to someone.
Our last request is for anyone you may know who is not connected to the internet or have access to a computer. As we don't know when we will be back together, we want to make sure we are in touch with everyone in some way. Please call the church and let us know if you or anyone you know does not have internet access.
Our prayer chain still is doing their great ministry. We believe God hears our prayers. We believe God answers prayers. Call the church or anyone on the prayer chain to tap into the power of this ministry.
Let us continue to wait on God in this uncertainty. God's Spirit is still working in us and calling us to be witnesses for Christ in our world. Let us persevere in love.