Archive for the ‘3rd Sunday’ Category

The First Disciples of Jesus 1-21-2018

Friday, January 19th, 2018

The time was now. Jesus decided he was ready to choose his
twelve apostles. Just advertising in the newspapers didn’t seem
thorough enough. So Jesus decided to hold an Olympics from which the
twelve would be chosen. The people came from all over. The
competition was fierce. Jesus had to judge all the events.
First came the prayer event. People had practiced and it showed in
the speed with which they could recite the words. Some articulated the
words with utmost precision. Some used big impressive words. Still
others expressed lofty ideas. But when it came time for a winner to be
selected, Jesus chose none. There didn’t seem to be any heart in their
prayers. They were just words.
Second came the worship event. These contestants, too, had done
their homework. Some wore beautiful garments. Some used lots of
incense. Some emphasized music. Others incorporated gestures. But
again, when it was selection time, there was no winner. There didn’t
seem to be any heart in worship. It was too showy.
Third came the teaching event. This was a prepared group. Some
came with elaborate posters. Some came with long, well ordered talks.
Some came with DVD players. Others came with their small groups to
demonstrate process. Again, no winners. There was no heart in
teaching. The methods seemed more important.
So, the Olympics ended. No winners, no apostles. Exhausted after
his long exasperating ordeal, Jesus went down to the lake to cool off and
relax. Then the miracle happened. He saw people fishing. Now there
were some people who put their hearts into what they were about. So he
chose them!
Remember… the first disciples of Jesus were ordinary people.
They weren’t great public speakers, scholars, kings or saints. They
weren’t presidents, theologians or ordained ministers. They were
fishermen. A tax collector. Common field workers. Who, by God’s
power, and their openness, made great things happen! What about us –
Could great things happen through us? Yes — By God’s Power and Our
Openness!

Make Time To Laugh 12-17-2017

Sunday, December 17th, 2017

Many of you have seen the show TV Bloopers, they are hilarious.
I have read about newspaper bloopers, how one word can change so
much. I would like to share with you some parish bulletin bloopers. I
think they are great!
Don’t let worry kill you – Let the Church help.
Thursday Night – Potluck supper. Prayer and medication to
follow.
Remember in prayer the many who are sick of our church and
community.
This afternoon there will be a meeting in the South and North ends
of the church. Children will be baptized at both ends.
This being Easter Sunday, we will ask Mrs. Lewis to come forward
and lay an egg on the altar.
The service will close with “Little Drops of Water.” The cantor
will start quietly and the rest of the congregation will join in.
Next Sunday a special collection will be taken to defray the cost of
the new carpet. All those wishing to do something on the new
carpet will come forward and do so.
The ladies of the church have cast off clothing of every kind. They
can be seen in the church basement Saturday.
A bean supper will be held on Tuesday evening in the church hall.
Music will follow.
At the evening service tonight, the sermon topic will be “What is
Hell?” Come early and listen to our choir practice.
I started my homily this week with these because I have
experienced so many people stressed, anxious, grumpy, mostly over
getting ready for Christmas. This Sunday (formerly called Guadete
Sunday – Rejoice) with its pink candle reminds us that no matter how
dark it might be in our lives, that no matter how anxious or grumpy we
might feel, for whatever reason, no matter how depressing the world
situation might be – the light, the joy of God will never leave us. We
need to hold on to this Good News and we need to rejoice today. We
need to smile – we need to laugh – right in the face of hard times.
Maybe this will help:
The late great humorist, Erma Bombeck, told the story of what
happened to her in Church one Sunday…
“I was intent on a small child who was turning around and smiling
at everyone. He wasn’t gurgling, spitting, humming, kicking, tearing the
hymnals, or rummaging through his mother’s handbag. He was just
smiling.
“Finally his mother jerked him about and in a stage whisper that
could be heard in a littler theater off Broadway said, ‘Stop that Grinning!
You’re in Church!’ With that, she gave him a belt and, as the tears rolled
down his cheek, she added, ‘That’s better,’ and returned to her prayers.
We sing, ‘Make a joyful noise unto the Lord!’ while our faces reflect the
sadness of one who has just buried a rich Aunt who left everything to her
pregnant hamster.
“Suddenly I was angry. It occurred to me the entire world is in
tears, and if your not, than you’d better get with it. I wanted to grab this
child with the tear stained face close to me and tell him about My God.
The happy God. The smiling God. The God who had to have a sense of
humor to have created the likes of us. I wanted to tell him he is an
understanding God. One who understands little children who turn
around and smile in church, and even curious little children who
rummage through their mothers’ handbags. I wanted to tell that little
child that I too have taken a few lumps for daring to smile in an
otherwise solemn religious setting.
“By tradition, I suppose, one wears Faith with the solemnity of a
mourner, the mask of tragedy. What a fool, I thought, this woman sitting
next to the only sign of hope – the only miracle – left in our civilization.
If that child couldn’t smile in church, where was there left to go?”
Let me close with this: There is an organization of business people
who donate their time visiting hospitals – especially children’s hospitals.
They go to these hospitals as working “Clowns” – here is a portion of
their special prayer:
“Lord, as I stumble through this life, help me to create more laughter than tears, dispense more happiness than gloom, spread more cheer than despair. Never let me grow so big that I will fail to see the wonder in the eyes of a child, or the twinkle in the eyes of the aged. Never let me forget that I am a clown, that my work is to cheer people up, make them happy, and make them laugh. And in my final moment, may I hear you whisper, ‘When you made my people smile, you made me smile!’”
Finally, when you are going over your gift list, don’t forget these gifts:
1. The gift of laughter
2. The gift of a smile
3. The gift of joy brought on by a phone call, card, or a short visit
4. A sense of healthy humor
5. Giving a gift to ourselves – not to take ourselves too seriously.
With that in mind, what do you get when you cross a praying mantis with a termite? – A bug that says grace before it eats your house.
Thank you. (REJOICE)

God Is There 4-30-2017

Sunday, April 30th, 2017

Six-year-old Andrew Bateson came down with bacterial meningitis, an aggressive disease that almost cost the little boy his life. In order to save Andrew, doctors had to amputate his legs where the disease had destroyed his circulatory system. Andrew was devastated when he discovered what had happened to him; Andrew couldn’t understand why he couldn’t have his “old legs back”.
His mother, Rebecca, wasn’t doing much better. She tried to keep up a positive disposition for her son—but she wondered how Andrew would handle the next chapter.
And she felt betrayed—betrayed by God.
After months of agonizing rehabilitation with his new prosthetic legs, Andrew finally went home.
Then one night at supper, out of nowhere, Andrew said, “I saw God, Mommy. I was sleeping at the hospital. He put his arms out, and I thought he was going to give me a hug. But instead he just touched me on the shoulder”.
His mother steeled herself. “Did God say anything?”
“No, he was just….there”.
A chill ran down his mother’s spine. Rebecca writes: “[God] was just there. What did that mean? I looked at Andrew, wolfing down his dinner. For months I had seen a handicapped child, a damaged child, fighting as hard as he could, failing more often than succeeding in his rehab. Falling down, unable to master his new legs. Yet, unlike me, never turning bitter, never giving up. “I’m going to walk, I’m going to ride my bike”, he’d insist, “You just watch”.
And Rebecca realized: “Andrew came through this better that I have. He was moving on. I was stuck in my bitterness and sense of betrayal…Had God been there all along for me too, and I was just too angry to see? Was he there for me now? Lord, thank you for being with Andrew. Be with me now, too”.
In closing, remember this: The Risen Christ is here, in our midst, in the love of family and friends, in the care of doctors and nurses, in the support of pastors and ministers, in the wisdom of teachers and counselors. The disciples on the road to Emmaus finally realize his presence in the breaking of bread; Rebecca finally grasps God’s presence in the unshakable, determined faith of her little boy. Every one of us has traveled the road the two disciples walked on Easter night; many of us have made the journey that Andrew and his mom and dad traveled. It is the road of deep disappointment, sadness, despair, anger. But God assures us, in his Easter promise, that along those roads he will make himself known to us. If our eyes are open, we will meet him in his Christ: in the compassion and generosity of others, in the breaking of bread and the healing touch of the sacraments, in the grace and wisdom of his Spirit in our midst. May our hearts and consciences always be open to behold the presence of Christ, our guest and companion along the many roads we walk to our own Emmauses.
His mother asked, “Did God say anything?” Andrew answered, “No….He was just there”!