An Outpouring of Love
The Generous Journey: An Outpouring of Love
By Pastor Tracey Leslie
Scripture: John 12:1-8
I confess that I am rarely apt to turn to the Harvard Business Review when I’m seeking theological inspiration. But this week, while perusing the study “A Disciple’s Path” by Methodist pastor James Harnish, I was motivated to Google an article by economist Umair Haque. In the article, written in 2011, Haque proposes, in a nut shell, that the root of our economic woes in America has to do with what we value. Haque postulates “More, bigger, faster, cheaper, nastier has built an economy that might just be in furious pursuit of mediocrity.”[i] This maddening pursuit of mediocrity, he suggests, reflects our failure to put what, why and who we love above all else. See what I mean? You don’t expect to find theology in the Harvard Business Review. But there it was. An economist’s insightful observation that, on our journey through life, we’re clearly headed down the wrong path – a frustrating, disappointing, empty path – if we fail to put what, why and who we love above all else.
And so, Rev. Harnish reminds us that the path of a disciple, a map for our own life’s journey, is provided for us by Jesus and the great cloud of witnesses our scriptures and our Christian heritage provide. Down through the ages, we follow in the footsteps of saints who put what, why and who they loved ahead of all else; those whose love was shown through radical acts of giving; dramatic demonstrations of generosity. And it would be hard to top the witness of Mary in this morning’s bible story.
Now, a story of Jesus being anointed by a woman occurs in each one of our bible’s gospels. The one that is, perhaps, best known is Luke’s version in which Jesus, over dinner at the Pharisee Simon’s home is anointed by a sinful woman. Jesus, discerning the thoughts and motivations of all, is fully aware that Simon and others around the table find this demonstration of giving quite shameful. But ultimately, Jesus shames Simon when he points out that Simon failed to give Jesus even the most basic gestures of hospitality but this woman washed, kissed and anointed his feet. And why? Her act of giving, of serving, was a demonstration of love which, in that specific context, was inspired by forgiveness.
But in the gospel of John, the circumstances are quite different when Jesus’ feet are anointed with an outlandishly expensive aromatic ointment and yet, here as well, love is the primary motivation. Unlike Luke, the woman who anoints Jesus in John’s gospel is not a nameless woman of dubious character living on the fringes, despised by the good, righteous folk. No; the woman of John’s gospel is among the righteous; even among the circle of those who were closest to Jesus. And so, we know her name: Mary. We know, even, of her family. She lives with her sister, Martha, and brother, Lazarus. They live in Bethany, a suburb of Jerusalem. The three of them live together and there is little that we know of their household beyond that. Could there have been other members of this household? Perhaps; but if so, they are never mentioned. If Mary and Martha were single or widowed, it is not at all surprising that they would be living with their brother. In the culture of ancient Palestine, women depended entirely upon the men of their family for their survival and care. If they were not kept within the safety of a male relative’s home, their only options were begging and prostitution. Furthermore, the bond between brother and sister in the ancient Mediterranean world was much, much stronger than it is in our culture today. And so, beyond love and affection, Mary and Martha needed their brother, Lazarus, to be their protector and provider.
But their close-knit, respectable and stable Jewish household had quite recently been placed in jeopardy. We do not know; had it been days, weeks, perhaps even a couple of months had passed since Jesus’ prior visit and, at the time of that visit, he arrived under very different circumstances. You see, just one chapter prior, our gospel narrator relates for us the story of Lazarus dying and being resurrected by Jesus.
But, perhaps I should back up even just a bit further. Jesus, from the start of John’s gospel has been at odds with the Jewish religious leaders. Jesus repeatedly offends them by healing people on the Sabbath, a day of rest for crying out loud. And when he is confronted about his inappropriate, sacrilegious behavior; well, the statements Jesus makes about himself are downright radical and – in the judgment of those Jewish leaders – blasphemous. And so, as far back as chapter five of John’s gospel, these leaders are angry enough, threatened and fearful to the degree that they want Jesus dead. Jesus is a wanted man.
Yet nothing Jesus does nails the coffin shut more thoroughly than his resurrection of Lazarus. When Lazarus becomes ill, immediately, his sisters send word to Jesus. They trust that the intimacy of their friendship will compel Jesus to come quickly to his aid. The message reaches Jesus: “Lord, he whom you love is ill.” And yet, Jesus tarries. Our gospel writer tells us, “Though Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus, after having heard that Lazarus was ill, he stayed two days longer in the place where he was.”[iii] What an odd response. But here’s an interesting fact: It was Jewish belief during the time of Jesus that the soul hovered around the corpse for three days, hoping to reenter the body. Then, on the fourth day, the soul would depart; permanently. And so, Jesus’ delay will make even more remarkable, irrefutable, unquestionable his resurrection of Lazarus on day four.
When Jesus arrives in Bethany and Lazarus is dead, it is Martha who is the first to greet him. She slips away from this house filled with mourners. Jesus tells her, “I am the resurrection and the life…”[iv] She affirms her faith in him as Messiah and Son of God. Then, she returns to the house, letting Mary know that Jesus has asked for her. So Mary too slips away. Now, without a doubt, both of these sisters loved their brother. Without a doubt, both are grieving his death. But interestingly enough, our gospel narrator makes a point of telling us that Mary is weeping when she comes to Jesus; and that, when Jesus sees her weeping, he is deeply moved. I can tell you that, as a pastor, I have been with many people as they grieve. But sometimes, and I don’t know if I could explain why, sometimes there is something about that loved one left behind that nearly overwhelms me. When I get in my car to go home, I begin to weep. One might speculate that Mary was, perhaps, just a little more emotional than her sister; just a little more sensitive; just a little more… I don’t know; there really isn’t a precise way to describe it.
But perhaps that is why Mary, upon Jesus’ follow-up visit, is the one to break open this jar of priceless, scented ointment and begin to anoint, to lovingly massage, Jesus’ feet and then to wipe them with her hair. Its value is about the annual wage of a working peasant in Jesus’ day. Yes; you heard me right. It was worth the equivalent of an entire year’s compensation. But does that really matter? Jesus, her friend, her Lord, her Savior, had resurrected her brother. Now, that resurrection riled people up so much that the religious leaders called a meeting immediately afterwards and it was then and there that they decided it was high time to just put a swift end to this Jesus. Miracles were one thing; resurrection quite another. And so it was that Jesus had exchanged his life for the life of his friend, Lazarus. And surely the word was out. It must have been the talk of the town. It is the restoration of Lazarus’ life that sets the crucifixion of Jesus in motion. And so Mary gives of herself: a priceless possession of ointment; a humble, shameless giving of herself: down there on the floor, leaning over Jesus’ feet, serving him, caring for him, showing him love in the most humble way. Not long after, Jesus will wash the feet of his disciples and command them to do the same for one another. But Mary needs no command, needs no instruction. This generous act of giving is her way of showing Jesus her love and her gratitude. Judas issues a condescending indictment: what a waste of money. But love never stops to ask:
Friends, what, why and who do you love? Many of us journey through life with a love that is held hostage by economy, frugality. Now don’t misunderstand me. Our culture has abundant examples of meaningless, selfish spending. But many of us – and unfortunately, particularly Christians – spend our lives fearfully pinching pennies. We give with such meticulous, thrifty care we need never risk the criticism Mary faced.
Yet perhaps we should ask ourselves, “If we appreciate the gift of life Jesus gave us, how can we live out that appreciation?” How can we reveal a generous gratitude for what Jesus has done for us? Well, Jesus himself provides the answer:
“Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another[v]… No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends[vi]… By this everyone will know that you are my disciples…”[vii]
Friends; love is defined by giving all that we have and all that we are. That is the disciple’s path; a journey through life that prioritizes love, revealed through extravagant acts of giving, above all else.
[i] A Roadmap to a Life That Matters by Umair Haque. The Harvard Business Review; July 13, 2011.
[ii] John 15:13. NRSV
[iii] John 11:5-6. NRSV
[iv] John 11:25. NRSV.
[v] John 13:34. NRSV.
[vi] John 15:13.
[vii] John 13:35. NRSV.
Going and Coming
The Return Journey
Scripture: Luke 15:11-24
By Pastor Tracey Leslie
The year’s Lenten sermon series is called “The Journey.” As you have often heard me say, it’s important for us to remember that Christianity is not so much a belief system as it is a relationship. Jesus didn’t come simply to give us more information about God. The Hebrew Scriptures have a wealth of information about God. But, beyond his teaching, the coming of Jesus made available to us a unique intimacy; an up close and personal experience of God; an intimate fellowship with our heavenly Father. And so, being a Christian is, fundamentally, about our relationship with God through Christ. But, as any of us know, relationships require ongoing work. Being a disciple of Jesus isn’t like checking a box – male or female; adult or minor; Republican or Democrat. Being a disciple of Jesus involves a lifelong, continually dynamic and growing relationship with God through Christ; a relationship that needs to be nurtured through purposeful actions, priorities and decisions.
And so, we are on a lifelong journey. But sometimes we drift off course. Sometimes we discover that our journey is not drawing us closer to God; but we are being drawn away. It is, in fact, quite easy to drift slowly off course over time. Sometimes we fail to recognize that the world has lured us away with its many distractions. We have slowly become prodigals; wasting our time, our energy, our resources on things that cannot feed our hunger and our deepest longings.
I have friends back in Dayton, Tom and Sandy. Tom has absolutely no sense of direction. Nowadays, it’s pretty tough for anyone to get lost since most of our phones and/or cars come with navigational programs. But years ago, finding our way wasn’t that easy. And so, years back, Tom and Sandy were going on vacation. As is often the case with vacations, preparations to head out of town are exhausting and so, as the journey began, Tom volunteered to drive so Sandy could take a nap. But before Sandy closed her eyes, she made Tom promise: if, at any point, he needed her for directions, he shouldn’t hesitate to awaken her. And so Sandy drifted off to sleep while Tom, for his part, drove the course. Sandy slept longer than she’d anticipated and when she woke up, it was only a matter of seconds before she saw an interstate sign. Somehow – without Tom even being able to explain how – they were on the wrong interstate traveling the opposite geographical direction from their destination. And that is how it goes for us, sometimes, in our spiritual journey.
This morning’s scripture is the well-known parable known as the Parable of the Prodigal Son. It is the last in a trilogy of parables Jesus tells to a diverse audience. By this point in Luke’s gospel, Jesus is well into his ministry and drawing large crowds wherever he goes. Among the crowds are those who are notorious sinners: tax collectors and prostitutes. But there were others and I’d guess they were likely to be hanging around the fringes of the crowd lest they sully themselves by close proximity to these other dubious characters. They were the good religious folk. So, as I say, Jesus tells this parable to a mixed audience.
Now I suspect we most often think of this parable as intended for the worst of the worst; those who, in our vernacular, have “hit rock bottom.” But here is the thing: research tells us that, in our post-modern American culture, those folks who hit rock bottom will rarely look to the church to toss them a rope and pull them back up. They are far more likely to go to AA or a similar group to find that lifeline of support, compassion, availability and accountability. So, lucky for us, those tax collectors and prostitutes weren’t the only ones in the crowd that day that Jesus told this parable. Lucky for us, there were good religious folk, folks like us.
Jesus’ parable is the story of a young man who, foolishly, scorns the blessings of home and family and wanders off to a foreign place where he wastes his best resources on things that offer no more than a fleeting sense of fun. He has terribly dishonored and brought pain to his father. By demanding his inheritance ante-mortem, it is as if he has told his father he wished he were dead. It is as if he has announced that the money is worth more to him than his father’s life. Furthermore, it is likely the “inheritance” is, at least primarily, property, land; land that would have been in the family for generations. It is a sacred blessing; but one that is despised by this son who cashes it in so he can go to some exotic, foreign land and waste it on just having fun. But he has poor timing because right about the time his money runs out, the bottom drops out of things. There is a famine in the land. Probably the closest comparison we can make to this man’s situation is to imagine that you quit your job and were living recklessly spending all your money and it ran out at the same time the economy collapsed with the banking crisis in 2008.
This wayward, reckless son, finds himself in desperate straits; he reconsiders, comes to himself, and returns home. He realizes he has so badly dishonored his father that he doesn’t – or at least he shouldn’t – stand a chance at receiving forgiveness from his father… yet alone to be restored to his former position as son and heir. But he comes to himself and realizes even his father’s slaves are in better shape than he is right now. So, he repents; rehearsing his confession of sin and changing the direction of his life; choosing to leave that meaningless, hopeless place and return to his home and his father.
Now, as I say, we often hear this parable speaking to the worst of the worst and yet, I’d suggest that, through the course of our life’s journey, many of us have had a time or two when we have drifted off course. Maybe we are off course right now. There is or was something out there that captured our attention and we began to pursue it with the greatest diligence. Unlike the son in our parable who wasted his inheritance to fund a dissolute, immoral lifestyle; I suspect many of us get drawn off course by distractions that are not inherently sinful: demanding jobs and careers, our children’s athletic or artistic pursuits, advanced education, even those volunteer things we do that garner the praise of others. That praise and appreciation can be intoxicating. None of those things is sinful; not bad or sketchy. All are good, in fact… unless they begin to consume us. It is easy to drift off course. And then one day, perhaps even this day, we realize that we are spiritually hungry and that there is nothing around us to eat. We are spiritually starving. And all those hours of over-time, all those games and projects, all those special events; all that running here and there has worn us out and left us wanting. Suddenly we realize that worship, prayer, reading scripture, quiet times of reflection have all been pushed aside and that, most sadly of all, we have pushed God to the side. We find we just don’t think about God much anymore. He is no longer at the center of our lives; but he has been pushed to the outer edges by something else that has taken center stage. Now please don’t misunderstand me. As I say, none of those things I’ve named are sinful or wrong or bad. And attending worship – or praying and reading the bible – are not something magical. Simply going through the motions, engaging in the activities, doesn’t necessarily reorient or mind and heart any more than a weekly date with your spouse guarantees a healthy marriage. Worship and the Lord’s Prayer, for example, aren’t talismans that ward off spiritual malaise. And I hardly think God has some heavenly abacus he uses to track our church attendance.
But, at least from my experience, here is how we will know if we’ve drifted off course: if, like that prodigal son, we find ourselves hungry and look around and realize that there is nothing around us that can satisfy that hunger. There is a famine in this land where we now abide and we have come up dry and empty. But we may, like the prodigal, come to ourselves and realize that there is a profound discontinuity between who we have become and who we truly are. To truly live, we must go back home to the Father.
You know, the word prodigal is often misused in the vernacular. Its actual meaning is one who is lavish to the point of being wasteful. The prodigal son wasted the best of his resources; the wealth the father had given him, on things that had no enduring value. Likewise, sometimes we waste the best of our time, our skills, our attention, our money and especially our energy on things that have no enduring value.
You know, the New Testament word for repentance means to turn around and change direction; make a course correction, we might say. It means to reorient our lives; to move in a direction that draws us into the arms of our heavenly Father; it is about whole hearted devotion to God.
And that is what the season of Lent is about. Lent is time set aside to fine tune the course of our Christian journey. Across a vast array of Christian denominations, we hear that common Ash Wednesday invitation to “observe a holy Lent, by self-examination, penitence, prayer, fasting, and almsgiving; by reading and meditating on the Word of God.”[i]
Friends, God loves you deeply and longs for you to be close to him. If this morning you realize you’ve drifted away from home and drifted off course; if you realize that God is not at the center of your life but somewhere out there on the margins; if you realize that you are no longer particularly aware of God’s presence and that you have a hunger the things around you cannot fill; then today is a great day to come back home. To correct the course of your life’s journey so each step brings you closer to the heavenly Father. To re-engage with those basic spiritual practices like prayer, study and meditation on scripture, worship (both here and at home throughout your week), and simply taking a little time each day to reflect on God’s presence in your life. Let us all come to ourselves and know with renewed joy that there is no place better to be than in the presence of our heavenly Father. Amen.
[i] The New Handbook of the Christian Year; Hickman, Saliers, Stookey and White. Abingdon Press; 1992. Page 112.
Words to Live By
By Pastor Tracey Leslie
We all heard it as a child, right? “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.” That has to be about the dumbest cliché anyone ever came up with because it’s wrong; just plain wrong. Words do hurt. Sometimes words cause more pain than physical blows.
Stop and think back for a moment. Who is someone in your life whose words deeply influenced you?
My dad was a very wise man. His words shaped me tremendously. When I was in college, I totally bombed a piano recital. I was supposed to play a sonata by memory. I crashed and burned. I was embarrassed and scared because I didn’t know how I would ever earn my degree if I couldn’t play by memory. It was a degree requirement. I allowed that one recital to loom large over my life. But my dad was there to support me. And a few days later in the mail, I received a little card from him with an inspirational saying. Here is what my dad wrote: “Dear Tracey, here is a special thought for you. ‘To participate is to win. To improve yourself is to win bigger, and the only way to lose is to stop.’ Love, Dad.” Now, here’s the funny part of the story. My dad was a really bad typist. On the first line of that inspirational saying, “to participate is to win,” my dad had typed “to participate is to win.” I have kept that little note all of these years and to this day when I try something that doesn’t go well or I find the results discouraging, since my dad is no longer living, it is Britt who tells me “honey, just remember, to participate is to win.”
Who is someone in your life whose words have deeply influenced you?
My dad’s words impacted me deeply. They were words from my father; words from someone who loved me and had proved himself trustworthy. He had proven over time that has interactions with me were always in my best interest.
This morning, I hope I can convince you that God’s Word can deeply impact you. God’s Word can transform you. God’s Word can change your circumstances as it “companions you” through your life’s journey because God’s Word reminds you that (1) you are God’s beloved child AND (2) it reminds you that God is worthy of your trust; that God’s actions in your life are always for your good. Of all the voices that surround us through the various stages of our life’s journey, none should exercise a greater influence over us than the voice of God, which is made known to us in large part through his Word.
First, a bit of background from some recent sermons I’ve preached that will help lay the foundation for this morning’s message.
Early in January, I preached about the baptism of Jesus. At Jesus’ baptism, a voice from heaven said “You are my son, the Beloved; with you I am well pleased.” The Sunday I preached that sermon we renewed our baptism vows and I talked about the fact that when we are baptized we are named as God’s beloved sons and daughters; children of the heavenly Father.
In a different sermon, just a couple weeks back, I talked about how Jesus would go out to the wilderness for quiet prayer time with his heavenly Father. I talked about that wilderness space – those wide open, barren places – as a place where we experience vulnerability.
Now, those two themes of baptism and wilderness converge in this morning’s bible story. It is the story of Jesus’ testing in the wilderness. The gospels of Matthew, Mark and Luke are all in agreement that between the time of Jesus’ baptism and the beginning of his public ministry, he underwent a time of intense testing in the wilderness.
Now, in scripture, wilderness is a tricky thing. As I preached a couple weeks back, when we seek out wilderness time, as Jesus did when he went out in the wilderness to pray, it can be a restorative experience. When we choose to set aside that quiet time with God, it can be an intense experience of God’s sustaining and guiding presence.
But sometimes wilderness is imposed upon us and when it is imposed upon us, it can leave us feeling lonely, frightened, confused, even hopeless.
The forty days Jesus spends in the wilderness in this morning’s story may bring to our minds the Israelites wandering in the wilderness for forty years; that story of Moses leading the exodus of God’s people out of Egypt toward the Promised Land. Now, many of us may not be aware that the Israelites didn’t take forty years to reach Canaan. They reached the promised land of Canaan really fairly quickly. But, when scouts are sent out for reconnaissance they observe a land populated by strong, advanced people and it intimidates them. They allow their fear of the Canaanites to outweigh their trust in God. Let me say that again: They fear the Canaanites more than they trust God. So God pronounces his judgment; those Israelites – those doubters – will wander through the wilderness for forty years until all of them living now have died off. It’s a pretty severe lesson, for sure. But it is a story that should come to mind when we consider Jesus’ testing in the wilderness. Those months-turned-into-years in the wilderness for the Israelites were an ongoing test of their trust in God. When they were thirsty, would they trust God could provide them with potable water or did they panic with fear that they would dehydrate and die? When they were hungry, would they trust God could provide them with food or did they panic with fear that they would starve? When the chariots were closing in on them, did they trust God would fight for them or were they convinced the Egyptian army would slaughter them in the desert? Well, God parted a sea; God made water bubble up from a rock; God made quail and manna rain down from the heavens. Yet none of those experiences seemed to stick. Each new predicament was perceived by those Israelites, not as an opportunity to experience God’s faithful provision, but as a threat to their survival.
Yet, the experience of Jesus in the wilderness for forty days and nights is very different. He is in a remote, barren place and he’s had nothing to eat for 40 days. He is in a weakened, vulnerable position and the devil intends to exploit his condition. And yet, each time the devil tries to entice Jesus, Jesus resists. And Jesus does so by quoting scripture. Jesus is able to defeat the devil – he is able to pass the test – by knowing, understanding and making appropriate application of God’s Word.
It’s significant for us to note that – even before the three temptations are spoken – the devil is already hard at work when he opens up the conversation with Jesus by saying, “If you are the Son of God…” “If”; what does he mean “if?” That little conditional conjunction; which, by the way, is just a two letter word in Greek and English… That tiny little word packs quite the punch. It is a challenge designed to plant doubt. “If you are the Son of God…” In other words, “Maybe you’re not who you think you are, Jesus.”
Now, I know that some of us find it hard in a scientific post-modern age to relate to a “devil.” It conjures up images of a guy in a red suit with a pitch fork and it’s true that many of our images of the devil are more reliant on Dante than on the bible. But let me break it down in a simple way. The word “devil” means “slanderer.” A slanderer is someone who makes untrue statements about another. A slanderer makes someone out to be someone they are not. And within this story it is very clear that the devil is trying to undermine who Jesus is. “If you are the Son of God…”
But Jesus knows who he is. In his baptism that voice came from heaven, “You are my Son, the Beloved; with you I am well pleased.”[i] And for us, my friends, along with our baptismal pronouncement, scripture – God’s Word – confirms that we are children of the heavenly Father. That’s why we are taught by Jesus in God’s Word to address God in prayer as “Father.” Jesus tells us in God’s Word to not worry because it brings our heavenly Father pleasure to provide for us.[ii] And in God’s Word, Luke, chapter 15, Jesus tells the story of the prodigal son to remind us that no matter how stupid, disrespectful, irresponsible or pathetic we could ever possibly be, God always welcomes us home and rolls out the red carpet for us.[iii]
So friends, when you find yourself in a barren place along your life’s journey; when you are feeling lonely, frightened, confused, and hopeless; God’s Word can sustain you because it is a constant reminder that you are God’s beloved son or daughter. God is a faithful, loving, patient and forgiving parent to you.
Furthermore, Jesus knew that God had his back. He didn’t have to take the devil up on any of his offers because he had confidence, grounded in God’s Word that God could and should be trusted to provide for his needs. He was in a barren place, devoid of resources; but that didn’t matter. Jesus quotes scripture that originates with the Israelites wandering in the wilderness. And so Jesus, unlike those ancient Israelites, is going to trust in God no matter what. The situation looks desperate; it appears there are no resources to draw from in this barren place. But Jesus knows what he teaches us: that, despite appearances, God can always be relied upon to provide for us in our time of need.
Friends, when you are in difficult places along your life’s journey; when you are in a place that feels like a barren wilderness, hopeless and empty and discouraging; you need to know God’s Word because the Word of God is a constant reminder that (1) you are God’s beloved child and that (2) God will always provide for your needs. The Word of God has the power to transform your life; to change your reality because we both know and experience God through his Word.
Now, here are my closing words to you this morning: It’s not enough to read God’s Word; you need to understand God’s Word in order to apply God’s Word to your life. Even the devil knows scripture. He tries to use it against Jesus. Friends, anyone can use scripture to misrepresent God. It’s been misused across the centuries to abuse and subjugate Africans, women, children, you name it. So, you can’t just read God’s Word, you need to study God’s Word so that you understand it. And, you need to study God’s Word with reliable resources. If we don’t take the time to study and understand God’s Word, it can hurt us rather more than it helps us. We’ve all heard the cliché “God never gives you more than you can handle,” right? Well, that is not in God’s Word. It’s a misrepresentation someone came up with to “make us feel better?” I don’t know; it sure doesn’t make me feel better. Again, well-intentioned Christians have told people that God “took” their loved one. But folks, neither Jesus nor any of our New Testament writings say that. We need to read God’s Word; to study God’s Word with reliable resources; so that we can understand God’s Word; so that we can apply God’s Word to sustain us during the most difficult times of testing in our life’s journey.
So this is it; the end of the sermon. Let me challenge you. If you are not studying God’s Word, there’s no better time to start than now. Beginning this week and every week throughout Lent, I’ll be posting on our Trinity Voices blog. If you open the inside cover of your bulletin, at the bottom of the page, it tells you how to get to the blog. If you don’t have internet access, just call the church office and we’ll get you a printed copy. The blog will be up by Wednesday each week. In addition, starting the week after Easter, I’ll be leading a bible study at 9:15 each Sunday morning.
Friends, there is no better time than now to allow God’s Word to sustain us during the most difficult times of testing in our life’s journey.
[i] Luke 3:22
[ii] Luke 12:22-32.
[iii] Luke 15:11-24.
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