"Patience People"

There is an old Appalachian Carol we don’t often sing, but you can find it on page 210 of our red hymnal, it’s entitled “I Wonder as I Wander.”  The carol speaks of one that is wondering (questioning) as he wanders (walks aimlessly), out under the night sky.  He wonders why Jesus came to die for ordinary people like you and like I.  Many of us probably ask this question on a daily basis as we look upon the sinful nature of ourselves and troubling and dark events in the world around us.   The song continues to state that Jesus could have surely had anything because he was the King, yet he chose you and he chose I.  As we enter 2020, our wondering about why God came for you and for I will continue, but our wandering should certainly end!

It’s perfectly fine to wonder about the mystery of our divine God from time to time, and why things happen the way they do. It’s also more than perfectly fine to stand in wonder and amazement in the love shown at Bethlehem, yet if you truly believe you shouldn’t be wandering aimlessly in the night.  Yes, wandering seems to be a big problem in our world today.  We wander away from what is right, we wander away from our responsibilities, we wander in confusion, and we wander because we are lost.  However, a true believer should wonder, but never wander.  Even among those who claim to believe in that Jesus that came to save you and to save I, many seem to be wandering.   Wandering away from church, wandering without the guidance of the Holy Spirit (or at least not listening to the call of the Spirit), and wondering away from the true purpose of God’s word of love (using scripture to hurt and judge, not to heal and express grace).

Are you a believer? Do you find yourself wandering from time to time?  Perhaps in 2020 you need to wander your behind back into a pew, maybe you need to listen closer to the Spirit, and use the word of God to strengthen yourself and others in Christ.  I think it’s time for all of us to stop complaining about what we don’t have, stop being divided on everything, and stop hurting one another.  Instead let us stand in “wonder” of the power of the Holy Spirit and in joy for the gift of the Manger and the Cross!  Let us live this NEW YEAR in a NEW WAY, in wonder, but not wandering out under the night sky!

There is an old Appalachian Carol we don’t often sing, but you can find it on page 210 of our red hymnal, it’s entitled “I Wonder as I Wander.”  The carol speaks of one that is wondering (questioning) as he wanders (walks aimlessly), out under the night sky.  He wonders why Jesus came to die for ordinary people like you and like I.  Many of us probably ask this question on a daily basis as we look upon the sinful nature of ourselves and troubling and dark events in the world around us.   The song continues to state that Jesus could have surely had anything because he was the King, yet he chose you and he chose I.  As we enter 2020, our wondering about why God came for you and for I will continue, but our wandering should certainly end!

It’s perfectly fine to wonder about the mystery of our divine God from time to time, and why things happen the way they do. It’s also more than perfectly fine to stand in wonder and amazement in the love shown at Bethlehem, yet if you truly believe you shouldn’t be wandering aimlessly in the night.  Yes, wandering seems to be a big problem in our world today.  We wander away from what is right, we wander away from our responsibilities, we wander in confusion, and we wander because we are lost.  However, a true believer should wonder, but never wander.  Even among those who claim to believe in that Jesus that came to save you and to save I, many seem to be wandering.   Wandering away from church, wandering without the guidance of the Holy Spirit (or at least not listening to the call of the Spirit), and wondering away from the true purpose of God’s word of love (using scripture to hurt and judge, not to heal and express grace).

Are you a believer? Do you find yourself wandering from time to time?  Perhaps in 2020 you need to wander your behind back into a pew, maybe you need to listen closer to the Spirit, and use the word of God to strengthen yourself and others in Christ.  I think it’s time for all of us to stop complaining about what we don’t have, stop being divided on everything, and stop hurting one another.  Instead let us stand in “wonder” of the power of the Holy Spirit and in joy for the gift of the Manger and the Cross!  Let us live this NEW YEAR in a NEW WAY, in wonder, but not wandering out under the night sky!

Pastor Brady

   

 

 

  

 

     

 

                           “Emptiness to Fullness"
     As we enter the month of April we can see the first buds and blooms of Spring, and we as the Church celebrate the Holiest Day on the calendar and most important day in all of our lives. Perhaps, however, for many this year Easter will not feel as joyful and the beginning of Spring not as bright and encouraging as in years past. After all, we’ve been through the scourge of a pandemic for over a year, we still have a nation filled with so much discontent and division, and many have lost loved ones and suffered great pain both physical and mental in the past weeks and months. Times of grief and loss, times of uncertainty and fear, can all lead to a feeling of individual and collective emptiness. We may feel as if we have empty hearts, empty lives, and empty purpose. These are not good feelings, but are instead cases in which we lack something and yearn for more. Yet, Easter is all about finding Fullness in our Emptiness.
     The truth in our journey of finding fullness in life begins with an event based on something being empty. Yes the empty tomb on Resurrection Day! You see, because the tomb was empty and Christ Arose we are offered and promised true and complete fullness! That true and complete fullness comes through God’s free sacrifice of His only begotten Son at the Cross of Calvary. Jesus and His Love at the Cross is how we reconnect with the Perfect God, an in turn the Perfect God gives us true fulfillment unto eternal life.
     Now wait! You may say: I am a believer and I still yearn for more, and I still feel empty at times, so what gives? Well God gave us the empty tomb and a pathway to true fulfillment through the Resurrection of Jesus, but the next part is up to us. We have to accept the free gift of Grace without any strings or infringements. We have to let that Grace flow through the Holy Spirit into our daily living if we truly want to live fulfilled. It isn’t a single moment or one day a year to remember the empty tomb at Easter, instead it’s a life long journey with Jesus in our hearts that leads to ultimate fullness. You see there will be days that will feel empty, days when we are deeply saddened, and days when we may question the very purpose of life, but if we have Jesus in our hearts and if we accept God’s free and wonderful gift of grace we will overcome the challenges and darkest days of life. God is truly perfecting us through a growing relationship along the journey to paradise. We just have to let it happen and choose to accept and grow with Him!
     St. John’s Family, this Easter look to the Empty Tomb and revive your personal and our collective journey towards true fullness. Remember and give thanks to God that He loved us so much that the Tomb was Empty and one day we can rest fulfilled and complete with Him Forever!
PRAISE JESUS! Happy Resurrection Day!

In the Peace and Love of Christ,
Pastor Brady