Pastor’s Message – May 22, 2018

The Only True “Royal”

In Sunday’s sermon I shared a beautiful moment from the royal wedding: a photographer captured the joy of a page boy in a moment of waiting. As much as I loved it, that was not my favorite part of the service.

My favorite part of this worship service was the congregational singing. All 600+ guests stood and joined their voices to sing two hymns, “Lord of All Hopefulness” and “Guide Me O Thou Great Redeemer.” There were no soloists. No one voice stood out among the others. There was one song sung by one people. Among those people were Elton John, Marcus Mumford, at least one Spice Girl, and likely other recognized singers. Among those people were famous actors and actresses, models, sports stars, dukes, duchesses, and even a queen. Gospel choir joined with boy choir joined with some likely tone-deaf attendees. In congregational singing no one voice is greater than another.

Whether the song comes from a cathedral in Europe or a rural chapel in North America or an open-air gathering in Africa, choirs of voices throughout the world and across time humble us before the mighty sound of God Almighty. The only one worthy of the “royal” title is Jesus Christ, whose Bride is the Church. The Church is not just the cathedral or the chapel or the tent revival. The Church is all of the above and so much more, the choir of earthly and heavenly voices who choose to praise Lord of all Hopefulness and to follow the Great Redeemer. The Bridegroom has extended the invitation not only to a royal wedding but to a heavenly marriage.

Next Sunday, as we gather to worship the Trinity that we call, “Holy, Holy, Holy,” will you join the song?

all good things to each of you,
Pastor Darian

Lectionary Texts for Trinity Sunday, May 27, 2018
Isaiah 6:1-8
Psalm 29
Romans 8:12-17
John 3:1-17

Pastor’s Message – May 15, 2018

Praying As Paul Taught Us

As we observed Ascension Day this past Sunday, I invited you to join me in the practice of memorization. With so many electronic devices to help us remember appointments and phone numbers, we are not as quick to commit things to memory.

Because of the memories of our biblical ancestors, who told and retold the old, old story of Jesus and his love, and the movement of the Holy Spirit, the Word of God is now at our fingertips. Yet we spend little time memorizing passages of Scripture. These “wonderful words of life” serve us so well in life’s hardest times when we treasure them in our hearts and minds.

This week, let us pray as Paul taught us in Ephesians 1:17-19. Don’t spend too much time pondering what each phrase means. Understanding will come with time. For now, let us focus on making this prayer as familiar to us as Psalm 23 and the Lord’s prayer are.

While we studied the New Revised Standard translation on Sunday (printed below), feel free to memorize any version. You can access many translations at www.biblegateway.com.

17 I pray that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you a spirit of wisdom and revelation as you come to know him, 18 so that, with the eyes of your heart enlightened, you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance among the saints, 19 and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power for us who believe, according to the
working of his great power.

all good things to each of you,
Pastor Darian

Lectionary Texts for Sunday, May 20, 2018
Acts 2:1-21
Psalm 104:24-34
Romans 8:22-27
John 15:26-27, 16:4b-15

Pastor’s Message May 8, 2018

Worship Series For Entering Pentecost: Calendaring

Many of us use calendars on a daily basis, and there is no shortage on options for keeping track of time. Which do you prefer?
a. old-fashioned paper calendar(s)
b. electronic calendar(s) on the computer
c. both a & b
d. none of the above because you can have an amazing memory and don’t need one!

If you chose (d), please call me immediately and share your secret for memorizing so much information! Most likely this informal poll would reveal a variety of ways we steward our time. Some of us probably have more than one calendar, such as one for family and another for work. No matter what our personal preferences are, we need help ordering God’s gift of time.

The next four Sundays are more than dates in May and June, more than Mother’s Day and Memorial Day Weekend. Did you know that we are entering a new season on the Church’s calendar? The Day of Pentecost on May 20 is the celebration of the Holy Spirit’s coming, and the Sundays surrounding it have special designations as well. These special Sundays are opportunities for our multiple calendars to find meaning in God’s calendar.

For the next four weeks, we will talk about the meanings of these special days and how they can help us calendar our time more effectively. I hope you will save the dates for Spirit-filled worship where heaven meets earth!
May 13: Ascension Sunday
May 20: Pentecost Sunday
May 27: Trinity Sunday
June 4: The Season After Pentecost Begins

all good things to each of you,
Pastor Darian

 

Lectionary Texts for Ascension Day (observed May 13, 2018):
Acts 1:1-11
Psalm 47
Ephesians 1:15-23
Luke 24:44-53