Three Good Easter Questions

Easter has been the Christian’s ultimate answer to the earnest seeker’s questions about Life and Death. But even the scriptures frame the answer around tough questions that are ongoing throughout life:

Job: “If someone dies, will they live again?
Paul: “How can some of you say that the dead will not be raised to life”
John: “Woman, why are you crying?”

Powerful questions. How would you like to be driving on vacation to Florida and from the back seat someone keeps asking you these three questions?
We are all like children wanting answers on our journey in life. Since the answers STILL require faith rather than out and out proof, we must live with the questions at the same time that we celebrate the answers of faith.

To me, this makes for an exciting, challenging, honest, genuine life.
This weekend from Good Friday to Easter Sunday we will have the questions and answers before us in Word and deed, in song and prayer, in fellowship and service.

Keep in mind we have many opportunities to worship this weekend. Good Friday is shared at Kedron 6:30 pm and Easter Sunrise is at Locks Memorial 6.30 am. Kedron’s Easter Egg Hunt is Saturday morning and Locks is after worship on Sunday. Kedron has a Choir and Reader Sunday worship and Locks has a sermon and a special Children’s Time. Just think….what if you tried to go to all of these! I suspect I may be the only one but I always ask….”What if….?”

Thanks be to God!

Pastor Barry

Psalms, Palms, Passion

If you committed to reading 2 Psalms per day, you will read the 150 Psalms in about a year. Add the exciting passages about Jesus entering into Jerusalem, and then Paul’s hymn like praise of Jesus in Philippians 2:5-11, you would likely cover the width and depth of all emotions! It’s difficult to pack all human-divine emotion into just a Sunday worship hour….but over a year’s time…it could be done!

If we could somehow share this with the millions (or hundreds within our local communities) of those who “avoid” church each week, I predict they would come back or, for some, start attending for the first time…ever!

Our Biblical message is exciting and addresses every human joy and sorrow. It speaks to all of our Human Condition! It brings purpose to living and a freedom to live into whatever the Future holds!

Now if only….If only we in the church could say to ourselves and those staying at home each Sunday, “Hey, don’t worry, be happy!” Or also, “Hey, I am for you! I want the best for you!” Or whatever words speak “Life” to those who ask, “How can I make it through today or …..tomorrow?”

We can answer, “The church is here to help and point to Someone who WILL help, to The ONE who makes “”all things new!” Maybe then all the human emotions we express will find a Home to safely dwell in! A Home where you say and feel what needs to be said and there Someone who will hear you in all your joys and sadness!”

Hey! It even explains all the excitement of March Madness, the joy of Gardening, the thrill of Spring and Summer, the Struggles of our deepest longings in any Season.

Well….I could go on! Come to worship (or be with us in spirit) and let’s try an hours’ worth of Joys and Concerns, our feelings and emotions in the living of our faith and hearing and then doing the Word!

† Palm Sunday blessings †

Pastor Barry

To Be Made Whole

I follow the Lectionary, the 3 year cycle of scripture, so that I don’t just drift toward texts I WANT to preach on. Some preachers are inclined only toward John 3:16 and Revelation 3:20 and similar passages. Others seek to highlight Psalm 23 or Revelation 21 with frequent sermonic visits!

Indeed the Lectionary helps us move through the width and depth of the Bible. But this week I venture into a leading from both the Spirit and our Lenten Study group. Clearly healing is a major part of Jesus’ ministry. And he sends forth both the Twelve apostles and later another 72 disciples to do likewise as they proclaim the Kingdom of God (Luke 9 and 10). Healing is in the Gospels…in Acts….in the Epistles. And all throughout the OT, e.g., Psalm 103.

So…..on the Easter journey to Ultimate Healing in Resurrection what can we make of healing between Birth and Death? “Good question,” you hopefully will ask!

Sunday’s scriptures and sermon will hopefully show us something about healing for TODAY!

Pray for the preacher and all those gathering together off Rocky Fork/Almaville Road. And in a million other places in this earth we have been given….on the road to a New Heaven and a New Earth (Rev 21:1)!

Blessings and peace

Pastor Barry

Two Sons, Two Ways

As the old saying goes, “There are two sides to every story.” Really!!? That saying hardly holds up in criminal court case decisions. The judge or jury will rule one way rather than the other: “The court holds for the complainant ….” Or the defendant!

In our scripture for Sunday, both Luke and Paul indicate two ways of reacting to God’s grace, two ways of seeing another person, another sinner like……well….each one of us. God has chosen the better way for us!

The struggle is also inside us and plays out in ways we may not like and ways that certainly others don’t like! Pro and con. Guilty and not guilty. Responsible and someone else’s responsibility. Who hasn’t had those feelings when trouble comes down??!!

Well, the Parable of the Prodigal Son ( and just as much, the stay at home brother!) is the memorable story version of Paul’s great passage on being a New Creation in Christ and seeing ourselves and others differently after what God HAS done!

A story that bears repeating since we tend to forget! The Big Brother in each of us wants us to forget the Father who welcomes the returning Prodigal. Grace is almost unbelievable!! I suppose that’s why it is “amazing!”

See you on Sunday!

Pastor Barry