The sanctuary sits empty on Monday morning, but elaborately decorated with the VBS theme to welcome us beginning Monday evening at 5:30 with a meal. Experts claim one week of VBS is equivalent to a year of Sunday school in terms of learning, but of course life is all about relationships and not merely about learning Bible stories.
I was directly above the point of impact about 8:30 a.m. on Friday when a westbound semi loaded with steel hit the I-80 overpass bridge I was on. I was on my way to the office when I heard and felt the thud and saw a cloud of dust rise up between the northbound and southbound overpasses.
Sunday, May 24 is the birthday of the Church, Pentecost Sunday. Most people associate Pentecost with the coming of the Spirit 2000 years ago, but Pentecost Sunday helps us understand that our world is God-drenched now. The outward manifestation of this was the boldness with which early Christians spoke publically about their faith and invited others to join them in faithing despite the real dangers of doing so.
One of the Lenten Psalms, Psalm 130, says: I wait for the LORD, my soul waits, and in his word I hope; my soul waits for the Lord more than those who watch for the morning, more than those who watch for the morning.
Lent begins this Wednesday, February 18, with an Ash Wednesday worship service at 7:00 p.m. The palm leaves from last year’s Palm Sunday worship have been burned to produce ashes that participants in the service will receive on the foreheads in the shape of a cross. The ashes symbolize our humility before God and our sincere desire to follow Christ more fully.
Epiphany is a Christian holiday that has been celebrated on January 6 (today) since the fourth century, but has recently been largely ignored in many western churches. The grace Epiphany brings to us is that God did not wait for us to discover God and seek a relationship with God, but rather God took the initiative and came to us, most especially in Jesus Christ. The Day of Epiphany begins a season that stretches until Ash Wednesday (February 18 this year).