California Poppy.jpg
Thoughts
April 2013 PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 27 March 2013 00:00

When they [the women] came back from the tomb, they told all these things to the Eleven and to all the others. 10 It was Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James, and the others with them who told this to the apostles. 11 But they did not believe the women, be-cause their words seemed to them like nonsense”. (Luke 24:9-11)

The women came back to the tomb that first Easter to discover that Jesus was not there. He was in fact, risen from the dead. Upon telling their family and closest friends, they were told, “nonsense.”

 

Nonsense. It literally means no-sense. But if we think of it in modern colloquial terms, it can mean: hogwash, baloney, gobbledygook. With the wave of a hand and the utterance of “pee-shaw,” we can easily dismiss what has been said as silly. The Greek word leiros translates as nonsense, but at a deeper, more contextual level it means garbage! Pardon my crudeness, but *&$!@&^#% actually comes closest to a modern day translation intended by the disciples.

 

One day a woman came to my office to explain why she was choosing not to be a Christian. “I don’t believe in the trinity. I don’t believe in the virgin birth, and I especially don’t believe in the resurrection of Jesus. It makes no sense.” She’s right; it doesn’t make sense. The resurrection of Jesus Christ and God’s offer of salvation, of unconditional love and forgiveness, makes no sense. To the world, maybe even to our family and closest friends, our telling of Christ’s resurrection may sound like leiros, but it’s important that we tell them anyway.

 

There are those who will be aghast at my response to the woman in my office. My agreement with her statements might be judged as “unchristian.” But like the women who came from the tomb to tell the others about what they had seen and experienced, all I could do was share with her some of my experiences of the love and grace and forgiveness that Jesus died to give to me.

 

Hopefully my testimony will open up possibilities for her to wonder. That like Peter, she will see for herself and one day return to a community of believers who are also filled with the wonder of it all.

 

I pray that in this Easter season, you will be struck by the wonder of the resurrection, and that you are willing to share what it means to you, even if you are told by those closest to you, “nonsense.”

 

From your Pastor’s Heart,

Pastor Sue
 
Pledging as an Act of Worship - October 2011 PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 29 September 2011 00:00

Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. 2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. (Romans 12:1-2, NIV)


Without realizing it, many people view their money as part of their life blood. Take away a person's money and they are not sure how they will survive. In our culture having money is akin to having power. Having power translates into meeting daily needs, at the very least. So for some, asking them to give away their money is asking them to give away their power. If money and power are viewed as lifeblood, no wonder people want to part with them on their own terms.


As Christians, we are called to live counter-cultural lives, lives that don't make sense to the rest of the world. The world teaches us to take care of our needs and wants first, and then maybe feed and help others with the leftovers. I can't tell you how many times I've heard people, even Christians, say, "I work hard for what I have, and 'they' (the poor and powerless, the alien, the refugee) should work hard too." That's not what Scripture teaches.


Scripture teaches us to give away our money, give away our power. As per power, any power we have comes from God and is to be used to glorify God. As per money, God owns everything. We are merely stewards, God's money managers. Just as in the business world managers are held accountable for their use of what has been entrusted to them, God holds us accountable to what has been entrusted – not given- to us.


Sunday, October 9 is Pledge Sunday, the day we make our financial commitment to God and to this church for the year ahead. This year as an acknowledgment of God's generosity to us, during worship we will bring our pledge cards forward as a spiritual act of worship, placing them in baskets. This worshipful act of physically presenting our pledges is a sign and acknowledgment to God of God's place in our lives. Because God through Jesus Christ first came to us, we can come before God, gratefully offering our lives and a portion of God's money, which is pleasing to God. In so doing we will be not be conformed to the pattern of this world which says, "My money is my business"; instead we will be saying, "The money I have is God's business and in this act of worship I will open myself to the renewing of my life and mind."


Between now and October 9, please give prayerful consideration to God's generosity in your life, and then watch what happens as you allocate your money to eternal things, not to temporal things which only seem to bring life or a sense of power. Respond to God's generosity with generosity; you will be amazed at what God will do.

See you in worship!

Pastor Sue

 

 
Pastor's Corner - September 2011 PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 29 August 2011 00:00

“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God”  (Matthew 5:9).


When a crisis occurs we are forever changed, for good or ill. For some, remembering a crisis may trigger intense physiological, emotional and/or spiritual reactions; for others remembrances may be easier, less severe. This September marks the 10th Anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks on U.S. soil. For many, remembering these events will be extremely painful; for others the events of that day are no longer considered a crisis in their everyday lives. For some, feelings of incredulity may roll in like a thick fog, making it hard to see the light of Jesus Christ; thoughts of vengeance may clash with a desire to be a peacemaker. For most, age old questions of God’s sovereignty, justice and presence will emerge anew.


As we draw closer to this anniversary, turn often to God in prayer, and daily to the Scriptures for assurance, comfort and direction. Visit the PC(USA) website, which offers specific Scripture texts related to 9/11. Listed are quick references to the Old Testament Prophets, several Psalms, and New Testament Scriptures, all written by God’s faithful people who experienced crisis, or at least suffered hardship and longings for God’s comfort and peace.


Also, a daily devotional for the first 11 days of September has been prepared for you, which you can find on the church website.


In this season of remembrance consider that each person, even children, may be affected differently. Offer each other grace and space to think through thoughts, experience feelings, and through faith live into the very real and present hope we have in Jesus Christ, our risen Savior.

“Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see” (Hebrews 11:1).

Yours in faith, hope and love,

Pastor Sue

 

 
<< Start < Prev 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Next > End >>

Page 3 of 8

Facebook Like