What Is It About The Road

“A journey of a thousand miles begins with the first step.” The Road Less Travelled. “You take the high road and I’ll take the low road.” “On the road again.”

With these four familiar expressions you can probably add another five! The image of travel and the lure of the road is part of who most of us are. In the USA we have the great American foundation stories of arriving from other countries and then going Westward. Songs have been written about Route 66, the Natchez Trace, and stories both good and not so good are being told now about our own I-24 (!).

Our Gospel story for this Sunday’s worship is the well-known Road to Emmaus. So much happens here with the two disciples and the “stranger” traveling with them it cannot be contained in one sermon or one lesson.

Suffice it to say, it us enough to get us thinking about our own journeys of faith and who we have met along the way. And who has gone before us and who yet lies ahead to begin their own journey.

As is also said, we, as Christ followers, meet our Savior along the way as we make our way. At no one point can we say “it is done!” Until we cross over and there are no more highways~~+

There are certainly pivotal moments always with us in memory of how that moment shaped us, but we are in motion and cannot stay “in Emmaus” but continue along to the next point until we reach “the New Jerusalem!”

Saddle up! Start your engines! Brace yourselves for takeoff! The way is always forward! Listen to Jesus the Captain of your Ship as you continue to sail to points Known and Unknown!

Make it an adventure!

Your fellow traveling companion,

Pastor Barry

Laughing At the Devil

I am all for laughter. Crying gets old real quick. Both come to us all. I would rather laugh (altho there is healing in crying as well as hurting).

In earlier ages of the Church, the Sunday worship after Easter was often referred to as Laughter Sunday, since Easter Resurrection was God’s joke on the Devil who must have thought he won again on the Friday and Saturday before Sunday. The Church was encouraged to tell jokes and pull harmless pranks on each other the week after Easter to celebrate the fact that laughter wins out in the End over tears. Sounds good to my ears!

The scriptures for this Sunday are not exactly laugh out loud texts, but they have an almost breathless excitement about them that almost brings a smile. In John’s account, The Risen Lord appears to his Disciples and you can almost “see” the smiles on their faces. In Acts, Peter goes on about the excitement breaking out amongst the people knowing that the Spirit had descended upon them!

It’s almost like a dog! You know how a dog gets about almost everything you do with your canine:
“Throw ball!” My favorite thing!
“Chase that stick!” My favorite thing!
“Go for a car ride!” My favorite thing!
“Run with me!” My favorite thing!

The early church in the New Testament was bursting with excitement and probably everything they did, knowing Jesus was alive, was “their favorite thing!”
There was still plenty of difficult experiences ahead but they knew the final word was Divine Laughter not never ending tears.

Have a good Godly laugh this week!

Blessings †

Pastor Barry

It’s About Gardening!

There is so much to gardening whether food or flowers! The same when it comes to gardening and Resurrection! Jeremiah gets us all excited about new life in Israel, Paul says “act like something New is happening,” and John tells us a lot about a morning of mourning no longer…in a garden area!

There will be so many varieties of worship this weekend three passages of scripture cannot contain it all! Good Friday at Locks Memorial, Easter Egg Hunts at both churches (one on Saturday and the other on Sunday), a Cleanup Day (Locks), Sunrise at Kedron, and 9:30 and 11:00 Word and Song worship as well! Have I missed anything?! Even so, we probably can’t list everything YOU AND THE FAMILY AND FRIENDS will set out to do to say “Yes, to God’s saying an ultimate and Final YES to us mortal, fallen, creatures who know death.”

A garden weekend indeed!

Resurrection Blessings on all!  †

Pastor Barry

A Donkey, A Colt, A Form

On April 9, 1959 NASA announced the selection of America’s first seven astronauts. Among those seven were two who became most famous Alan Shepherd and John Glenn. And the others most of us over 60 surely recognize. They were incredibly The Right Stuff indeed! On April 9, 2017 we again will celebrate Palm Sunday the day that Jesus entered Jerusalem on His way to celebrate Passover and on His way to Crucifixion.

As the astronauts of the USA sought to enter the space of the “heavens”, Jesus, Son of God, came from God but was one of us, walked among us, died to conquer Sin and Death. As the astronauts entered into the unknown of human space travel, God in an inexplicable demonstration of love entered into the form of the human condition.

As the astronauts rode fiery rockets into space, Jesus of Nazareth simply rode a humble donkey not a conqueror’s warhorse. As the initial seven men put on spacesuits to enter into airless space, God “put on the form of a servant” to enter into a Fallen sin filled world.

Both are adventures to “draw us in” and to celebrate the human and the Divine at work in Creation and the call to us to be drawn to a fulfilled life of love here and Forever!

This Sunday we have good reason to wave palm branches and shout out Hosanna! Yes indeed, “Save us!” Hosanna! God is at work in human kind and then beyond human limitations and on toward Eternity!

Blessings on your Lenten walk. †

Pastor Barry

Whole Lotta Shakin Going On

We are still about 15 days out (depending on how you count!) from Easter Sunday morning. But, the scriptures for April 2nd have about as much excitement as you could want! Dry bones coming to life. Dead bodies because of sin. Spirit giving new life to the dead. Lazarus, a friend, dead, causing Jesus to weep, then raises his friend, dead for days, to life!

A whole lotta of shaking going on and not quite the Jerry Lee Lewis variety either. Still these events and images and message give us pause to think and reflect on the “hope that is within us.” It’s a bit early to be “dancing unto the Lord” on Easter, but these scriptures sure do get our attention. Add Holy Communion and Sunday worship doesn’t get much better….until….Revelation 7:15-17….read on!

Blessings on your Lenten walk toward Good Friday and Easter †

Pastor Barry