Sunday, April 20, 2014

Easter Sunday, 2014

What a beautiful day.  Gorgeous, that's the appropriate word.  Open the door and you are in the midst of it.  Much of the thrill comes from the fact we have experienced a rough winter.  Not much snow in these parts, but cold, bitter cold, so often, much too often.  My thoughts often went back to those winder days while I was growing up in Michigan and yes, they were much colder.  I dressed appropriately and maybe that is why this past winter seem to be so cold.  I wasn't dressed properly.

Well today, I was and we had to be in church earlier than normal.  As part of the Council, we were having our monthly meeting.  The beauty of the day had me prepared to the various discussions on topics determining the functions of the church, aside from the ministry.  Or so I had thought, too often.

Today was different.  Every one was in a good mood.  Some were late in arriving, but that seemed to be alright with the rest of us.  As the program went around the room, those having responsibilities in certain areas all seemed to be very well prepared.  Everyone seemed to be attentive.  Usually, we end the session with the Pastor's thoughts and this morning, he had but a few and we all appeared to agree.

I make such comments as in my many years, I have attended lots of these meetings and it always seemed to me that there had to be at least one person, either disagreeing with a particular issue, or just being disagreeable.  That is why when some one would ask me to participate, I would offer an excuse and avoid being troubled by such people.

I must admit, I have often been scolded by my :better half" for having such an attitude that to her, at the time, did not appear to be the disciple I had often boasted as being.  Perhaps, I have changed.

This was an appropriate morning for change.  Easter.  Our celebration of Christ's once again, being alive in the midst of His followers.  It took me many years to be at peace with such thoughts.

I had attended two other churches services last week.  On a Wednesday evening, I met with others at a church close to where I live and heard one of their Pastors discuss the meanings of "blood moons" - a subject that seems to have overtaken the religious airwaves in recent days.  It was interesting as he spoke of the various passages in the Bible that made mention of moons and signs among the Israellites.
Friday, I attended a Good Friday service at a downtown church and I was amazed at the numbers of people who seemed to know me from the letters I write to the local newspaper.  Their introductions led to further discussions on the life of the church in our community and I was impressed by the numbers of people who really seemed to care for others; making reference to their Pastor's comments in his sermon.  I came away from both services, feeling good, as there seemed to be genuine interest in the state of our religious beliefs in this community.

So it was that I was eager to hear our Pastor offer his Easter sermon.  It was based on the gospel of Matthew, chapter 28, describing the response of the disciples upon learning that their Lord, and ours, was alive, in fact, and He would be meeting with Him.   It was here that Matthew ended his thoughts on the life of our Lord with these words:  "Go, therefore, and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing then in the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Ghost, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you, and lo, I am with you, always, even to the end of the age."

Perfect, those words made my day.  As the service was closing, I looked around at the people sitting nearby and realized how much each of them mean to me.  I took time to greet those I really do not know, hoping and praying as we parted, that we will join in the same kinds of friendship I enjoy with the others.  I know it is possible.  And my most earnest prayer as we departed is that throughout our community, our State, and our nation, we will be making disciples, in deed, so that the rancor and the division that appears to be so prevalent, would begin to fade away.

And wouldn't that be the perfect ending of a perfect day!

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