And I heard a loud voice from the throne, saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is among men, and He will dwell among them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself will be among them, and He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there will no longer be any death; there will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away. And He who sits on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” And He said, “Write, for these words are faithful and true.”
- Revelation 21: 3-4
Grace and peace in the Name of Jesus.
The month of May has always been a favorite of mine due to the joy of the Spring season but also due to my birthday on May 15th. This year I turn the big 50. I still feel pretty young in body and spirit but the reality of aging has hit me at the milestone of living half a century! Turning 50 reminds me of the importance of having a faith in a Risen Lord. We will all face the reality of our physical, mortal life. We can choose whether this will be a depressing realization or a faith filled one. I praise the Lord that we can have a confidence, hope and joy in the gift of eternal life. We believe that God makes all things new!
The bombings at the Boston Marathon have sickened us and have challenged us in so many ways. Many emotions have overwhelmed us. Let us choose to be inspired by the love, courage, and faithfulness of those who immediately ran to help those in need as well as the overwhelming response of society that united together over this evil act of terrorism. We do need to be made new by the love of Christ. We can face the challenges of our world and in our personal lives knowing that there will be a day when God will wipe away every tear from our eyes and there will no longer be any death, mourning, crying or pain. All those who believe and follow Jesus bring this new kingdom into the world. Your hopefulness and faithfulness, added with so many others, will produce a powerful movement that will overwhelm hate. Let us keep seeking to be made new by the love of Jesus.
We continue to pray for all the victims and families. Let us be inspired by Adrienne Haslet-Davis, the dancer who lost a foot in the bombings. She vows to run the race next year and to dance again! Evil will not win as we focus on the power of love through Jesus. He makes ALL THINGS NEW!
We are blessed that 22 young people within First UMC will be confirmed on Pentecost Sunday- May 19th at the 10:30am service. I invite all people to welcome our newest members to the church family. Though they have always been part of our church family they will profess their faith in Jesus and pledge to support the church with their prayers, presence, gifts and service. These young people give us hope in - not only the future of the church- but the present! They have inspired me in their devotion to follow Jesus in a world that is filled with contrary messages and influences. Renew your commitment to Jesus as these students boldly proclaim their love of God. I invite you to welcome them as official members of the church and to love, support and pray for them. Consider writing a note to some of them to share your joy in their personal decision to follow Jesus and join the church.
We are in a spiritual battle in the world everyday! We need to keep choosing love over hate, hope over despair, joy over sorrow, compassion over selfishness, faith over faithlessness!
Come to church on PENTECOST SUNDAY dressed in RED to symbolize the fire of the Holy Spirit (ACTS 2). On the day of Pentecost the Holy Spirit descended and gave birth to the church. It is the birthday of the Christian church! Come and celebrate that you are part of the Body of Christ and we are empowered to be Jesus’ hands, feet, eyes, of love in this hurting world.
Though I am turning 50 I will always be young if I have faith in Jesus. I don’t have to worry about aging because my future is in the Lord’s hands and that knowledge gives me a blessed assurance. Amen!
In Christian Love,