Neighborhood Notes from the Pastor’s Desk
Wow, are we celebrating Advent already? Oh, wait a minute, it's Easter that we are about observe. It is incredible how quick the turnaround is from season to season. There are signs of spring in the air, yet it was just over a month ago when we had an ice storm. We go from people losing power to getting our yards ready in a matter of days. So, we go from celebrating the birth of Christ to his resurrection just like that. Happy Easter, everyone!
Throughout Lent, we have been looking at our relationship with God as humans through various cups in scripture. We pause to drink from the fountain of God's grace with each of these cups. We started by looking at the Japanese art form of kintsugi and how we should not try to hide our brokenness. Instead, we should put ourselves back together and let others see are not damaged goods but that those cracks make up who we are. From the beginning, I have enjoyed this series.
In the following weeks, we discussed the cup of living water, the one you choose, discipleship, and compassion. Joy Whitenburg shared a wonderful message with us on March 26th, leading us into Palm Sunday. My prayer has been, whether it is each week or one of the weeks, something has spoken to you to hang on to during this Lenten season. A lot has been thrown at all of you to think about, but will we do something with these cups we have been given to drink with? God blesses us every day and will continue to do so. What will you do with the grace and love God shares with us? Remember to choose wisely.
At the time of my writing this, my heart was heavy once again because there was another school shooting in Tennessee the day before. We are on the verge of proclaiming, "Christ is risen." Unfortunately, there are families whose children will not be returning or resurrected. I could go on an entire rant about my feelings on this matter, but it will not do any good. I/we should be focusing on being a welcoming neighborhood so that ALL may experience God's love and grace. It does not matter if you take five minutes or five hours, bless someone else with what God has blessed you with. Tomorrow is never promised to us. Please do not wait until it is too late, and the opportunity has passed.
I digress, back to what is ahead. Our new Leadership Team shared some great things at our Town Hall meeting last month. The Outreach Team is preparing for Eggstravaganza on April 8th. We have Maundy Thursday and Good Friday services before our two Easter services. April is off to a busy start! Let's make the most of the opportunities God is giving us to love in our neighborhood.
Keep loving your friends, families, and neighbors. Speak up when you need to. Fight for those who need someone to fight for them. Show compassion and empathy to everyone. Make sure you are telling anyone you can that Christ is risen. If we willingly do all these things, we will hopefully have justice, safety, love, and peace.
2 Corinthians 4:5-11 NIV
5 For what we preach is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, and ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake. 6 For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ. 7 But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. 8 We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; 9 persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. 10 We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus,
so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. 11 For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that his life may also be revealed in our mortal body.
Peace be with you. Pastor Matt
Pastor Matt West