From the Preacher’s Post: The Gospel is “We”not “Me”

I’m not the story. It’s not all about me. I’m part of the story God is telling through the Holy Spirit about Jesus Christ as my alpha and omega—the beginning and the end. Try as I might, I can’t find any other way to connect other than surrender–surrender is the only door through which I connect with God’s story and become a participant with the others who have also surrendered and are the community through which Jesus appears and the life to come breaks into our lives today.

There are critically important connections that get made within me when I risk being alone and still. My day needs to start with quiet meditation. I admit, I’m still not very good at being absolutely still for long periods of time, but I’m learning to listen through my daily reading and reflection, and then a review of my day ahead in prayer. It’s a bit like sitting in the locker room before a game and going over the plan with God as my coach. We both know it’s not going to go the way we diagram it, but there is a sense I’m not just making it up on my own.

However, while connecting with God one on one is critical, life is a both/and affair. Connecting with my brothers and sisters in Christ is of utmost importance. There are things that can only happen in the midst of community. When giving instructions about dealing with conflict in Matthew 18, Jesus said, “For where two or three come together in my name, I am there with them.” Our faith is very personal, but it goes haywire when we privatize it. The Christian faith is a shared faith that fully comes alive in the midst of a community willing to be vulnerable by opening our lives to one another, and when that happens, the Spirit of the living Christ appears among us.

 

The story of the risen Christ walking with the two disciples on the road to Emmaus is so instructional at so many levels. It is a model for fully living and experiencing our faith in 3D Technicolor. We’ve moved the celebration of the Lord’s Supper up one week so we can break bread together this Sunday and not only remember, but experience today the presence of Christ among us.

Luke 24:13-35

On that same day two of Jesus’ followers were going to a village named Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem,  and they were talking to each other about all the things that had happened.  As they talked and discussed, Jesus himself drew near and walked along with them;  they saw him, but somehow did not recognize him.  Jesus said to them, “What are you talking about to each other, as you walk along?” They stood still, with sad faces.  One of them, named Cleopas, asked him, “Are you the only visitor in Jerusalem who doesn’t know the things that have been happening there these last few days?”  “What things?” he asked. “The things that happened to Jesus of Nazareth,” they answered. “This man was a prophet and was considered by God and by all the people to be powerful in everything he said and did.  Our chief priests and rulers handed him over to be sentenced to death, and he was crucified.  And we had hoped that he would be the one who was going to set Israel free! Besides all that, this is now the third day since it happened.  Some of the women of our group surprised us; they went at dawn to the tomb,  but could not find his body. They came back saying they had seen a vision of angels who told them that he is alive.  Some of our group went to the tomb and found it exactly as the women had said, but they did not see him.”  Then Jesus said to them, “How foolish you are, how slow you are to believe everything the prophets said!  Was it not necessary for the Messiah to suffer these things and then to enter his glory?”  And Jesus explained to them what was said about himself in all the Scriptures, beginning with the books of Moses and the writings of all the prophets.  As they came near the village to which they were going, Jesus acted as if he were going farther;  but they held him back, saying, “Stay with us; the day is almost over and it is getting dark.” So he went in to stay with them.  He sat down to eat with them, took the bread, and said the blessing; then he broke the bread and gave it to them.  Then their eyes were opened and they recognized him, but he disappeared from their sight.  They said to each other, “Wasn’t it like a fire burning in us when he talked to us on the road and explained the Scriptures to us?”  They got up at once and went back to Jerusalem, where they found the eleven disciples gathered together with the others  and saying, “The Lord is risen indeed! He has appeared to Simon!”  The two then explained to them what had happened on the road, and how they had recognized the Lord when he broke the bread.

 

See you Sunday. Here’s what I have on my desk…

THIS SUNDAY, APRIL 30TH, IN BETWEEN SERVICES, AT 9:45 AM, WE WILL BE HOLDING OUR CONGREGATIONAL MEETING TO ELECT NEW DEACONS AND ELDERS. Nominees are as follows:

Deacons: Kymry Borkenhagen, Kathy Hicks, Jean McQuady, Melba Newman, Janine Tomassi, Tony Tomassi

Elders: Gary Claeys, Ron Moser, Laura Zimmerman

Check the glass-covered bulletin boards in the Narthex for biographies and pictures of the nominees.

 

DON’T MISS THE CARRTUNES!

Join us THIS Saturday evening, April 29th, 5:00 to 8:00 PM, for a great night of music performed by The Carrtunes. For those of you who would like to join us for a fun, appetizer party ($25 per couple/$15 per person), come at 5:00 PM! Three members of our own church are in this musical group. Bring a friend and let’s fill the house to support them and the youth group! A free-will offering will be taken to support our Youth Group’s Summer Mission Trip to San Diego—Caravan 2017.

YOUNG LIFE IS LOOKING FOR ADULTS WHO WOULD LIKE TO BE “TWEEBS!” ON MONDAY, MAY 1ST! A “tweeb” is a person who is “planted” in a public establishment enjoying themselves between 7:00-8:45 PM on the evening of May 1st. (Possible places are— Baskin Robbins, a gas station, the post office, local restaurants and many more!). The teenagers from Young Life are split up into groups with an adult driver. They are given clues and drive around downtown Sonoma trying to find as many “tweebs” as they can in the shortest time period. The “tweebs” give out tokens to the youth who find them, and the group with the most tokens wins! Questions, or to sign up, please contact Jean McQuady: [email protected] or Diana Booker-Spry: [email protected]

This entry was posted in News, Notes + Opportunities, Thoughts and Prayers from Pastor Rich. Bookmark the permalink.