I had always heard that when you retire, you will be asking yourself how you had time to go to work at your regular job, especially with all the work and activities you’ll have going on. I now ask myself that same question. What a busy week! Thank God for Sunday, the one day we slow down and worship with thankfulness from the bottom of our grateful hearts to our heavenly Father. How blessed we are to be able to pretty much make our own choices in life………work, play, live where we want to live, and express our beliefs (religious, political or other) openly without the fear of persecution. All our freedoms make for the components of “busy weeks”.
Thank God for giving us the opportunity to have “busy weeks”………bring um on!
Art UMC had the privilege of preparing lunch for the Habitat for Humanity Care-A-Vanners on April 16th, at St. Paul Lutheran Church. What a remarkable group of folks! (See above photo) They come from all over the country and donate their time and skills to build homes for qualifying families through the Mason County Habitat. Several of the workers commented on how welcoming and friendly the people of Mason County have always been and how much they look forward to working on the homes in Mason.
Happy Birthday to Dale Hall on the 26th and to Mark Krause on the 30th. Hope you blow out all those candles on the first try! We are extremely happy to announce the birth of precious little Raylee Elizabeth Jordan. She was born on Thursday, April 19th and weighed 7lbs, 13oz. She is the daughter of Lee Ray and Amy Jordan. Raylee is the first grandchild of Max and Jan Jordan and the first great granddaughter of Sterling Jordan. Congratulations!
We have several prayer concerns for this week. Jackie Johnson has a cancerous mass in his lung, in addition to an aneurysm that may require surgery. He is undergoing further tests in order for the doctors to decide the best treatment plan. Please pray for Jackie, Dorothy, their family and the doctors entrusted with his care. Please pray for Carolyn Vater as she continues with physical therapy for an inner ear situation. Dee Dee Fiedler continues with very painful neuropathy in her feet. Please pray that she will find a skilled physician to help her. Susie Jordan asked for prayers for Sterling’s sister Dorothy who had a stroke and is in physical therapy. Kathy Jordan requested prayers for her friend Cal’s health. Vondell Jordan asked that we pray for “calmness and readiness” for all the school children that will be taking the STAAR tests on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. Pastor Cliff is asking that we pray for the General Conference meetings being held in Tampa, FL and for the Prison Ministry.
Sunday was the second Sunday after Easter. The Gospel reading was from Luke: 36b-48. This is one of the many great stories in the New Testament. Please stay with me………if you are familiar with this gospel, you’ll be awed again by the fulfilled prophecy of the Old Testament. If you have forgotten or never have read this gospel, you’ll have peace in knowing that Jesus Christ our Lord was resurrected and appeared to the apostles and several others.
In the gospel of Luke we are told of how Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary, the mother of James and some other women had found the tomb of Jesus empty and how two men of bright appearance stood by them. They were really angels confirming the resurrection of Jesus. The angels reminded them of what Jesus had said when He was still in Galilee, “The Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again.” They remembered and left right away to go tell the disciples. They were skeptical of the news. They had been so saddened and disappointed with the crucifixion of Jesus that they just didn’t believe the women. Peter was the only one that seemed to believe them after he had seen the empty tomb. Two of the disciples left that same day and headed for the village of Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem, which was about a two to three hour walk. Along the way, as they discussed Christ’s crucifixion and reports of his resurrection, Jesus himself joined them, but they were somehow restrained from knowing His real identity. Jesus asked them what they had been talking about because they appeared sad. Then one of them, whose name was Cleopas, answered with a question, “Are you the only stranger in the area that does not know the things that had happened in Jerusalem these last few days?” Jesus asked them, “What things?” They went on to tell the account of Jesus, the prophet from Nazareth who was mighty in deed and word before God and all the people. They told of how they thought Jesus was the Messiah until his crucifixion has shattered their hopes. They did add that there had been reports of His resurrection and that angels at the empty tomb said He was alive. At this point still unknown to Cleopas and his fellow traveler, Jesus took on the part of one familiar with the scriptures. He pointed out how it was predicted beginning with Moses that the Messiah would suffer prior to entering into His glory. (Perhaps it saddened Jesus to see such a lack of faith in the very ones who had claimed to be His followers.) When they came near to Emmaus, Jesus walked on ahead as if He was continuing the journey. His walking companions insisted that He spend the evening with them. Jesus consented, and when they sat to eat, they asked their new friend (still not knowing it was the risen Christ) to ask God’s blessing on their food. He took the bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to them. Their eyes were then opened as He handed them the bread and they immediately realized it was their Lord. He then vanished from their sight. They then recalled the walk and talk they had had with Him along the road. They then left to return to Jerusalem and found the Eleven and those with them and assembled together.
They were saying, “The Lord has risen and has appeared to Simon!” Then the two told what had happened on the road to Emmaus, and how they recognized Him as He broke the bread.
At that moment Jesus appeared among them and said, “Peace be with you.” They were startled and afraid, and thought they were seeing a ghost! Jesus said to them, “Why are you afraid and why do doubts arise in your hearts? Look at my hands and my feet. (Nail pierced) It is I myself!