Tag Archives: church

Happy Homebound Easter!

Photo by Rod Long on Unsplash

Rethinking How We Do Easter

Easter Egg Hunts? Easter Bonnets? New Clothes? Ham Dinner with Hot Cross Buns?

Easter 2020 is going to look much different for us. We may still be able to hold on to some traditions. A hunt can happen with ten or less people. You can still cook and dye eggs. But you won’t be walking into a church most likely (and shouldn’t) or have a huge family gathering. Not this year.

But like the Grinch who couldn’t really steal Christmas from the folks in Whoville, the Corona Virus cannot steal Easter. Others have tried. You know the story. Kill him. Roll a huge stone across the entrance of his grave. Post soldiers. Jesus rose anyway.

You Are Not Alone

See that little lamb in the picture above? He seems to be alone and a bit startled. The photo reminded me of the parable of the lost lamb. Here are Jesus’ words from Luke 15: 4-7 NIV:

“Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Doesn’t he leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it? 5 And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders 6 and goes home. Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.’ 7 I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent.”

If Jesus is your friend, you can’t stray away too far for Him to find you. These are tough times for some, really dark days for others. Even if you are isolated, you are not alone. Remember 911? Churches were filled as people thought they better get right with God because tomorrow might be our last. It’s a startling revelation when we understand we are not in control of everything. It need not be startling or even scary because there is One who is in control. Trust brings peace. Fear brings uncertainly and panic. I recommend trust.

Photo by Neal E. Johnson on Unsplash

How Should We Celebrate Easter?

In my opinion the church was never meant to be solely for celebrating. We do need worship, but that is for God. I hope you are worshiping online this Easter. Or reading an inspirational book, or walking in God’s nature to worship Him.

But the church, the true church is not closed. It can’t be. It’s the people. That may seem hard. I mean, how can you be the church if you cannot BE with people? This pandemic has come at a time when we aren’t, most of us anyway, truly isolated. We have the internet. And there is always the phone and letters.

Photo by Billy Pasco on Unsplash

My friend’s mother who is in her 80s loves to minister to people. She’s still independent and drives herself to functions and helps out those in need. Now, however, she is one of the most vulnerable and must self-isolate. She takes short walks in her neighborhood and drops off notes of encouragement in her neighbors’ mailboxes. That, friends, is being the church. I’m sure many of you reading this have done things like this, perhaps through neighborhood Facebook groups, or you’ve called out to your neighbors from a distance to greet them. It’s simple, often low-tech, but it means so much. Jesus is alive because we carry Him to others in our actions and our words.

What Will Come After?

I’ve seen people discussing this on social media. How will this change our habits and our outlook on life? It will, for sure, I think.

We won’t take for granted being able to shop whenever we want. We won’t take for granted the ability to go to a restaurant, a movie theater, a sporting event, church. We won’t take for granted hugs and whispers, and group dinners. And hopefully, we won’t take each other for granted. This has become a forced Sabbath, a time to reflect and grow closer to God, and in a strange way, closer to each other.

Photo by Vonecia Carswell on Unsplash

In this 2008 video a woman who lived through the 1918 pandemic explains it better than I can because I’m not on the other side yet.

Please Comment. What Will You Stop Taking For Granted?

A Woman’s Place

Women in Church

We have a woman pastor, and for the United Methodist Church, that is not an unusual thing. It’s the first time I believe in my particular church. It has, therefore, brought up the question (so I’ve heard, I’ve not been in these discussions) about the appropriateness of women in leadership positions in the church.

woman praying

photo by https://www.flickr.com/photos/daveclarkecb/

I Am Just a Woman, Called by God

I think it’s ridiculous to even have that discussion. A 91-year-old woman I know repeatedly says, “They are called by God just like a man is.” But still it persists. Some even say there is Biblical reason for their belief that women should not be in leadership.

Royal Anglian Regiment Parade 129: The Reverend Jacky Page Photo by Peter O'Connor aka anemoneprojectors

Royal Anglian Regiment Parade 129: The Reverend Jacky Page
Photo by Peter O’Connor aka anemoneprojectors

The First Woman Preacher

I don’t listen to this much, but today it came to mind because when I went to www.sacredspace.ie for my devotional, I discovered it’s the saint day for Mary Magdalene. Therefore, the scripture is about her: John 20:1-2, 11-18. As I read it, it hit me. What if Mary had not been allowed to “preach?”

 Mary Magdalene went and announced to the disciples, ‘I have seen the Lord’; and she told them that he had said these things to her.