Apr 18 2014

Preceding Grace: Day 39 of Lent, Good Friday, April 18, 2014

“My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”

                     Jesus of Nazareth, Matthew 27:46 (NRSV)

On Good Friday, when we remember the crucifixion, there may be opportunities for you to hear the story of the Passion recounted as liturgy for the church.  It is important for the Body of Christ to gather and to remember what happened to the body of Jesus on this day almost 2,000 years ago.  

To die upon the cross was a cruel and terrible thing.  It was unfortunately more common for those living in the Roman empire to witness as it was used as a way of controlling the masses.

The story of Jesus moves to tragedy today.  As we remember all of the good things he did – how he was present for those who felt lost or abandoned – we may feel that this is sadly ironic that Jesus now feels abandoned.  His disciples have left him and it seems as if God has as well.  

It is important for us to understand that Jesus is quoting from Psalm 22.  In fact, it is almost equally important for us to read this Psalm on this day. Within the Psalm, we see that there is more of the Passion narrative acted out and written down hundreds of years before Jesus experiences it.  The fact that it has happened before does not take away from the Passion of Jesus.  The fact that it continues to happen in the world today does not remove the power of the cross.  

In fact, it makes it all the more significant. 

In verses 7-8, the antagonists call into question the relationship with God.  If God loves you, why are you suffering?  Why doesn’t God save you?  

This profound question that all who suffer ask is repeated in the Passion as recounted by Matthew in 27:43 when the religious leadership declares, “He trusts in God; let God deliver him now, if he wants to, for he said, ‘I am God’s Son.’” (NRSV)

But as we read on within the Psalm, we see that faith is restored.  God appears unseen but is present even amid the suffering.  

On Good Friday, Jesus experiences the deepest suffering.  And yet, Jesus also transcends even this suffering for us.  For we realize that even in our suffering – in the midst of our deepest loneliness – that Christ is with us in this.  That God somehow has walked this road before.

It is enough.



Christ of St John of the Cross by Salvador Dali, 1951.
The original hangs in Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum in Glasgow.

Permanent link to this article: http://methoblog.com/3_0/2014/04/day-39-of-lent-good-friday-april-18-2014/

Apr 18 2014

Begin Again: TGIF: Not So Serious

So this week my husband came home one day and said, “Did you know that cherry trees come in pink!?!”  I just kind of looked at him for a second and said, “Well, yeah.  Of course, they are all around here.”  He said, “They all look white to me!”  At which point we both started…

Permanent link to this article: http://methoblog.com/3_0/2014/04/tgif-not-so-serious/

Apr 18 2014

Thoughts of a Naked Alien: On An Easter Morn.

(“The Women at the Sepulchre” by Benjamin West)
 
On Sunday’s dawning, two Marys arrived at the tomb.
 
They were felled by a sudden powerful earthquake as a heavenly angel removed the heavy stone door for them. The angel, who sat upon the stone and waited for them to regain their feet, was like lightning, creating an image in the back of their eyes, and wore a whiteness unknowable to humans. The strong brave guards from the Temple and from the Empire froze in trembling fear. The only thing moving were the women.
 
“Don’t be afraid. I know that you came to see the abused corpse of your executed friend and teacher. But he is no longer here. He has been raised up. Come and see.”
 
They went inside, and touched the empty spot where the body should have been.
 
“Go now! Tell the other disciples that he is no longer dead. Tell them that like the fiery column in the wilderness, he goes before you into Galilee. You can see him there; he is waiting for you. I have nothing left to say.”
 
On the swift-winged feet of fear and joy, they ran to the other women waiting for them, and then they all went to where the men were hiding. But on their way they met him. Jesus!
 
“Peace be with you.”
 
They fell at his feet, clutched onto them, and covered them with their tears of joy and pent up pain.
 
“Don’t be afraid!”
 
They knew that this was no ghost. He was Emanuel, and they worshipped him.
 
“Go now. Tell my family to come to me once more in Galilee.”
 
 
(Retelling of Matthew 28:1-10)
http://www.facebook.com/?ref=home#!/pages/The-Naked-Alien/352389110349?ref=ts

Permanent link to this article: http://methoblog.com/3_0/2014/04/on-an-easter-morn/

Apr 18 2014

The Heart Of The Matter: Easter Services

 
As we prepare for this Holy Weekend, we want to give you another reminder of the Good Shepherd Schedule for the next several days:

Good Friday

Friday: 7:00 p.m. in the Worship Service with reflective music, visual imagery, holy communion, and a meditation by Devin Tharp called The Fifth Cup.  We will not have child care for this service.

Viernes Santo

Viernes: 7:00 p.m. – Servicio en Español en el Corner Campus. Celebraremos las “Siete Palabras”, música de adoración y alabanzas y compartiremos la Santa Cena. (no habrá cuido
de niños)


Easter Celebrations
 
Saturday: 5:00 p.m. – An identical worship experience to Sunday morning.  We invite you to consider attending on Saturday to make room for newcomers on Sunday.  Worship with a full band and Easter message from Talbot called “Round Trip.”  Nursery and pre-school through kindergarten ministry provided.  Children in elementary grades will worship with their families.

Sunday: 7:00 a.m. – Sunrise service in the Corner Campus.  Easter message “Round Trip” + coffee + donuts + acoustic band.  No child care for sunrise service.

Sunday:  8:30, 10:00, 11:30 a.m. –  Worship with a full band and Easter message from Talbot called “Round Trip.”  Nursery and pre-school through kindergarten ministry provided.  Children in elementary grades will worship with their families.  Best of all:
we are celebrating believer baptisms at each worship gathering.

Sunday/Domingo: 11:30 a.m. Servicio en Español en el Corner Campus con el Pastor Sammy Gonzalez predicando. 

 

Permanent link to this article: http://methoblog.com/3_0/2014/04/easter-services/

Apr 17 2014

Pastor Patrick - Never On A Sunday: The Harbour Master – A Review





A Review


Daniel Pembrey has again tackled the difficult issue of human trafficking and the sex trade.  His current novella takes place in the Netherlands, in and around Amsterdam.  The question that presents itself is where is a line drawn between legal practice of prostitution and the illegal practice of forcing young women into a “career” they neither sought or wanted.  


The drama when an almost retired police detective that is present when a body is discovered floating in the canals that define much of Amsterdam.  Before it is through, he will need to question the commitment of his colleagues on the force, be concerned for the safety of his family, wonder how high in government the criminal element has it corrupt fingers, and, perhaps, question his own sanity.
The picture Pembrey draws of Amsterdam is vivid – and more than once forced this reader to check out the background upon which the book is written.  At various points I was looking at the history, architecture, and geography of a country and city with which I was not familiar.  My personal journey into Google and Wikipedia, as I followed the story added to my appreciation for the author’s skill.
Though Pembrey does a credible job of writing a police drama with a collection of vile and evil crooks and a police force standing against the evil they perpetuate, he has not offered a strong voice standing against prostitution in general.  The author only loosely connects prostitution in general to the issue of human trafficking for which it serves as the foundation. Choosing to place his current drama in a country where the sex trade is legal, allows him to avoid that larger question.
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This review is based on a free electronic copy provided by the publisher for the purpose of creating this review.  The opinions expressed are my own.

Permanent link to this article: http://methoblog.com/3_0/2014/04/the-harbour-master-a-review/

Apr 17 2014

John Meunier: Acts on Easter

Some quotes from the Book of Acts about the significance of Easter. Acts 2:32, 36 God has raised this Jesus to life; and we are all witnesses of it … Therefore let all Israel be assured of this: God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Messiah. Acts 4:10-12 then know this, you […]

Permanent link to this article: http://methoblog.com/3_0/2014/04/acts-on-easter/

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