Come Sit a Spell and Ponder

Psalm 4, I John 3:1-7 and Luke 24:36b-48

When reading the Bible, it doesn’t take very long before you begin to “ponder.” Questions emerge. You wonder. You say to yourself: “what does that mean?” “How can THAT be?”

On a humorous level we might ponder why “a number 2 pencil is still number 2 if it’s so popular?” Or why we say “someone is IN a movie but ON TV??” And why does the expression “slim chance” mean the same thing as “fat chance?”

To ponder more serious matters should take more time and require some study. So, when we come to these texts for this Sunday we are challenged to “ponder” a Resurrection body and to consider the reference to a “ghost.” Jesus appears mysteriously in their midst and proceeds to eat. The disciples in our John passage both “disbelieve” and “wonder.” But Jesus also is said to “open their minds to understand.”

This is a lifelong pattern for growing Christians: something comes to us in our faith walk, we might disbelieve, or wonder, and then we understand.

Come “sit a spell” this Sunday and ponder! And we will all pray together to understand as best we can. And continue our faith walk into the week!

Blessings in your seeking and finding!

Pastor Barry †

A Change is Gonna Come

Psalm 133, Acts 4:32-35 and John 20:19-31

You have a big event, an exciting moment. Something amazing touches you! It might be a birthday, anniversary, championship game, best ever vacation, job promotion, graduation, and so on. The thrill lasts for a while and then some routine and normality returns. Your life is touched and has benefited but everything doesn’t change.

Our first Sunday after Easter, however, has texts in Acts and in John where everything seems to change and nothing remains the same! The Resurrection of Jesus had that kind of impact. Lives are really changed forever and people live together in community such that no one goes without aid or help. Fellowship and sharing and mission take on primary importance.

After two thousand years and centuries of Easter Sunday worship the Church has lived out this dramatic change in multiple ways with both success and failure; but always announcing the Hope that it CAN happen! And sure enough…..congregations and individuals are touched, change, share, change, grow, and see life take on great meaning and purpose!

So, Easter is not one day but potentially ANY and every day!

This Sunday we will hear of an astounding way to live together in community and how individuals react out of their particular needs and experience.

Resurrection has a way of making a difference. Not just in life after death but here and now! Believe! As the singer Sam Cooke sang in 1964, “a change is gonna come!”

Happy Easter!

Pastor Barry †

Resurrection and Running

Yes, most of us revel in the season of Christmas. Lots of preparation and anticipation, parties, gifts, and get togethers. Church goers or not, people get into the spirit of Christmas.

Easter should do the same but for most it’s not the preferred of the two Christian celebrations. Rightly so, the lead in to Easter’s hope is a difficult, painful week ending in an execution. The tone is much more somber.

Yet, when we actually read and hear the scriptures there is a breathless exciting story unfolding. Lots of running! There’s not a lot of running in the Bible! But, just read the John text! And if we celebrate a new beginning with a birth at Christmas even more so the call comes to celebrate a new beginning at Easter.

Part of the issue is that Resurrection as an afterlife is just not present for us. It is still to come. However, Resurrection as “empowering” to us in New Beginnings coming from God IS available here and now. And such New Beginnings act as energy to propel us on through our lives to their end which is NOT the only end.

For many, it is hard to grasp. So it was also for the early disciples. They had to “run” to see, believe, and share with others. Paul later does say he “has run and finished the race.” Indeed for many of us, we need “to pick up the pace” and run in faith. Some days we are better at that than other days.

Pray that an Easter worship will speak to your spirit and help enliven it for the Marathon of Life and the Victory Celebration over sin and death!!

Blessed Easter to you!

Pastor Barry †