WEEKLY UPDATE - APRIL 6-11, 2020

                                                                                                             WEEKLY UPDATE                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    APRIL 6-11, 2020

It is difficult to stay connected with the stay-at-home order which is necessary to help in the fight against COVID-19. This update is one way that we can stay somewhat connected. Hopefully this update will be informative, inspirational and interesting.

I would like to thank all of you for upholding our church in your prayers and with your financial gifts. Even though our church is not open for worship, the utility companies, the phone company, internet company, etc. all want to be paid. Our mission and ministry go on in our community and beyond even when we are not in the building. Thank you for your prayerful support.

 

WHAT IS SO SPECIAL ABOUT APRIL?

Each month, week and day is something special. I have no idea how these days get established but here some of the special things in April.

National Car Care Month
National Humor Month
Holy Humor Month
National Fresh Celery Month
Straw Hat Month
Learn Thai Month

April 1 – April Fools Day   National Fun Day   Fun at Work Day
April 2 – Hans Christian Andersen birthday (1805-1875)

April 3 – National Find a Rainbow Day
April 4 – Anniversary of the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr. (1968)
April 5 – National Deep Dish Pizza Week
April 6 – Twinkies Birthday (1930)
April 7 – Sliky’s birthday (1945)
April 8 – Flower Festival (Japan)
April 9 – Maundy Thursday
April 10 – Good FridayApril 
April 11 – National Cheese Fondue Day

 

                                                                                                        TRIVIA FOR THE WEEK …

White shelled eggs are produced by hens with white feathers and white earlobes. Brown shelled eggs are produced by hens with red feathers and red earlobes.

                                                                                                               HOLY HUMOR …
A young mother told her young son to go to bed and be sure to say his prayers and ask God to make him a good boy. The boy’s father, passing by the bedroom, overheard his son praying: “And God make me a good boy if you can; and if You can’t, don’t worry about it, because I’m having fun the way I am.”

A sign on a church said, “Jesus saves.” Across the street was a grocery store with a sign that read: “We save you more.”

The preacher at the wedding was an ardent fisherman and forgetful. He asked the groom, “Do you promise to love, honor, and cherish this woman?” “I do,” said the groom meekly. “Okay,” said the minister, turning to the bride, “reel him in!”

 

                                                                                             SOME INSPIRATIONAL THOUGHTS

Our Lord has written the promises of Resurrection not in books alone but in every leaf of springtime.  -Martin Luther

“And the third day he rose again.” There is the essential doctrine of which the whole elaborate structure of Christian faith and morals is the only the only logical consequence. Now we may call it devasting; we may call it revelation, or we may call it rubbish; but if we call it dull, then words have no meaning at all.  -Dorothy L Sayers

 

Read John 18:1-19:42 ~ This is the Good Friday Reading.

What got into Judas?  That is an appropriate question to ask on Good Friday.  Can’t you imagine the other disciples asking one another and themselves that question?  They might have been saying, “All the time he was one of us. We trusted him. We even made him treasurer. How could he betray the Master for thirty pieces of silver?”

Was it jealousy? Did someone make him feel rejected? He was an important member of the fellowship. We tried to treat him like a brother even though he was the only non-gentile among us. What happened? Was he simply impatient? Did he want to force Jesus’ hand?

Did he come to resent Jesus’ indifference toward some points of the law? Perhaps he questioned Jesus’ association with the wrong kinds of people—sinners and tax collectors? Was he disappointed in Jesus’ humble entrance into the Holy City to begin that fateful last week?

Can’t you imagine those early disciples asking themselves, why? Why did he do it? What got into Judas? Did the devil make him do it?

We ask that question from time to time, don’t we? A prominent athlete is arrested for drug trafficking or spousal abuse and we ask why? A prominent business person already making much more than you or I even dream of embezzles a large sum of money, and we ask why? A wife and mother, or a husband and father, active in their community and church risk the love of their spouse and the respect of their friends by becoming involved in a cheap and tawdy affair and we ask why.

We can add Adam and Eve to this list. Why did they eat the forbidden fruit? Why did Cain murder Abel? And what about the great kings? Saul was chosen by God and yet he spent his last days tortured with jealousy and seeking to murder David, the man who succeeded him.

Then there was David, poet, soldier, leader of men, favored by God. He could have chosen a wife from thousands of beautiful women. Why did he feel the need to take the wife of one of his soldiers and then, have him killed? And King Solomon, the wisest man in the world, why did he end his life in intellectual, moral and spiritual dissolution? Couldn’t he see what he was doing to himself and to the nation?

Human rebellion is universal. No one is exempt. Jesus says that we should hunger and thirst after righteousness. That’s not always easy to do.

Captain Ahab in Herman Melville’s novel, Moby Dick, is walking on the deck and comes upon the ship’s blacksmith who is working on some metal. Captain Ahab asks, “Smithy, what are you doing?” And Smithy replies, “I’m knocking the dents out of the harpoon, Captain.”

Captain Ahab stood there for a moment then pointed to his heart and said, “Smithy, do you know anything that will take the dents out of here?” Of course, Smithy had no cure for what ailed Captain Ahab. There was something going on deep in his heart and soul that was beyond the reach of any man.

This is the message of Good Friday. There is help and if Judas would have understood this he could have known the grace of God through forgiveness. The message of Good Friday is that God offers us pardon for our transgressions. He offers us strength in our weakness.

Good Friday is a very somber day as we think of the suffering of Jesus on the cross. But through the cross of Good Friday we see the empty tomb of Easter Sunday, a cross that leads to forgiveness and reconciliation.

May this Holy Week be a blessing to each of you.

Be well and stay safe,
Pastor Lee