In Memoriam

Acts 1:1-11 and Luke 15:11-24

This coming Sunday’s worship time doesn’t feel very routine or complacent! Our country has experienced a terrific loss of children and adults to very public violence. We have waves of grief, memories of other losses, and alternating feelings of anger and anxiety.

Worship is rarely “routine or complacent,” but we don’t always bring to our church time together such full emotions and thoughts. And it’s also Memorial Day weekend and there before us is a USA history of men and women who died while serving in our Armed Forces. And do I even need to mention whatever personal struggles or joys you bring with you into the sanctuary?!

Yet, isn’t it good to be part of a community that turns to God regardless of our current situation bad or good, joyful or troubled! Through the Word in sermon, music, prayer, and fellowship God provides.

The two scriptures before us don’t seem to directly address our National grief and concerns, but who doesn’t need to hear of power from the Holy Spirit so we can bear witness during the week in word and deed?! And who isn’t drawn to a story of a compassionate parent, a sinful younger brother turning around, and an older brother with a “bad attitude?!” Oh yes, something is in these scriptures for us even in the midst of National grief and grateful thanks to those who have died in service to country.

As pastor I am still rehabbing from knee surgery. It seems slow and laborious! I miss getting out to church! Or even outside the house! I miss bringing a message on this momentous Sunday. Yet, I am there in spirit and through the marvel of live streaming media! We are together in our joys and concerns!

Thank you for your prayers and kindnesses and your prayers for our “two Sundays in a row” guest preacher LeNoir. She will bring the Word once more!

God bless and hope to see you before too long. Hug somebody and shake a hand in worship this week!

Pastor Barry †

Greatest Good News Playlist

Psalm 148, Revelation 21:1-6 and John 13:31-35

Weeks after Easter Sunday, on the verge of full swing into the 2nd half of 2022, the scriptures this Sunday are a veritable “greatest hits” list! Given the state of much of our world and perhaps our troubled personal lives, it’s good to hear and feel the joy and Good News in these verses.

The Psalmist can’t sit still! Everything in all creation is to praise the Creator. This matches well with many days and weeks in Spring season in Tennessee! John the Revelator presents us a vision of all things new where death, grief, crying, pain will be no more.

And Jesus in the farewell address to his disciples reassures them of the glory of God revealed in the Son of Man. Part of that is to love one another as Jesus has loved them! The glory of God in genuine care and compassion for each other.

Indeed, scriptures to pull a chair up to on your front porch and read or hear recited. Scriptures to record on your media devices and play as you go for Spring drives in the beauty of Creation. Scriptures to be put to music so as to sing with joy.

These are ways to contend against all that seems to be against us and God’s children everywhere in 2022. We must not believe that the worst wins out. The Psalmist and the two Johns won’t allow that!

Read on faithful people! Listen to God’s greatest hits playlist!

Pastor Barry †