Who is Jesus?

So the question was posed, “Who is Jesus?” It was the topic of this week’s sermon. Pastor Teresa listed all the things Jesus supported and did; spouted Republican views versus Democratic views of Jesus. The ol’ boy did a lot in only 3 years of ministry.

But the real heart of the sermon was, “Who is Jesus to YOU?”

I pondered that Sunday afternoon for a little while; between errands and chores. I pondered that during the week; between word duties and picking out crafts for VBS and driving here and there. I ponder this still.

The VBS material I was given has an alphabetical list of all the traits of God. A is for All-Knowing, B is for Beautiful, C is for our Creator…. You get the picture. I looked at the list and thought about Jesus being all of those things. OK, I have trouble with the Holy Trinity thing and I know that Jesus is the Son, so he would not be the creator. But then other scripture says he was there when it was all created. I hope the little ones don’t ask about this, because it is more than I understand.

However, the list did give me ideals as to Who Jesus is to me. Jesus is Love, Compassion, Caring, Forgiveness. Jesus is the Man among men who could lead us to be all those things to one another. Another of Pastor Teresa’s stories will stick with me in this. The story of the man who tried to help the birds on Christmas eve.

One Christmas eve, a man sent his family to the church to worship. He himself didn’t bother to go; he didn’t understand the whole Jesus, the Son of God, came to save us thing. While enjoying some coffee and quiet, he noticed the weather has started to turn bad. No fear! The family had the ‘good’ car. They would be safe. But then he heard a ping at his window, then another and yet another. He went to look and saw that little birds were hitting the window trying to get inside to the warmth. He knew what they wanted was shelter from the storm and thought that he had a barn that would work just fine for that purpose. So he went out in the cold and opened the barn door for the birds to come in. Still the little birds were drawn to the light at his window. He tried to shue them into the barn, away from the house, and still they pinged against the window. The man tried making bird sounds in the barn to draw the birds in. No luck! Frustrated that the birds were so stubborn, the man thought, “If I was just one of them. I could get them to understand the way to go.” With that, the Christmas bells started to chime.

I really liked that story in that it explained a lot of how I feel about Jesus. Following Jesus makes sense to me in that He tried to lead by example, to do as he wanted us to do. He tried to point out our errors and give us another way to act. jesus was the Great Teacher.

The Son has Returned

It was a beautiful day. Bright sunshine, blue skies, slight breeze and music enjoyed by all. This was the setting for the sermon at DUMC last Sunday, October 22nd. We had the service outside as part of the Fall Festival. There were games, a bouncy house, a fun slide, prizes, food and music. Can you tell what I really liked?

Of course there was a sermon too. Continuing the parabole of the lost, this week the story of the prodigal son was explained. It seems that many storytellers gloss over the fact that the son that asked for his inheritance early was viewed as wishing his father was dead. The whole village was up in arms over the rude behavior of the boy. Pastor Teresa looked at how the village would have acted towards the boy as he returned — how they would have been ready to ridicule and harass the young man as he came back. That is until his father did the most unexpected thing — welcomed the child back with open, loving arms. Our Father wants to welcome us in the same way.

This past Sunday was a glorious day — a beautiful, yet hot, day. It was great to spend it with good friends and food. It was fun to listen to the host of singers that shared their talents with us. It was even funny when the canopy we were under tried to blow away. But it was the thought that we are always welcomed here in our Father’s house (or yard) that should have us running with joy.

Are you lost?

This week’s sermon discussed the paraboles of the one sheep of 100 that got lost and the one coin of ten that the lady lost. The almost comically mental image of the lady lighting a lamp in midday and doing Spring Cleaning even though it was not spring to find that one coin will stick in my mind for a while. But maybe it is only comical to me to because I have been there. I have searched the whole house with every light on to find my keys or my glasses or some other everyday item.

But what if you were the one lost coin or the one lost sheep? Far from where you belonged? alone? afraid, maybe? trapped? Would you not want some one to search for you?

Jesus searches the world everyday for the ones who are lost, alone, frightened! He searches in darkness and light. I know that he searched for me when I was wondering in the light. My faith walk was never true. I grew up believing but believing in what? God, surely. Forgiveness, most definitely. Needing to be in a community of believers??? There I faltered. I did not grow up in a church; I did not grow up reading the Bible; but I believed in God and Jesus. I am thankful that Jesus kept searching for me even though I was only alone without my community of fellow believers. I love my church family very much and I love to help develop a church family for others. Others may have been lost in darkness; needing God to search for them even harder than for me. But I am thankful none the less.

Next Sunday we will hear about the Prodigal Son. Now there was someone else lost in the light; fallen from grace; alone without a community to belong to. I will listen and glean a new meaning from the story as I relate to being the one that was lost.

Mother’s Day

This evening, DUMC’s United Methodist Women hosted a Mother-Daughter Potluck Dinner.  It was great!  There are a lot of great cooks in our midsts.  Chicken, ham, turkey and stuffing, salads, and casseroles filled the tables.  Tea, lemonade, water, and coffee was on hand.  I was stuffed during the meal and again now just thinking about it.

The program that followed was a tribute to all women.  Some Psalms were read, a devotional about women followed, and a retelling of the interactions of Jesus and his mother continued the theme.  Then Rev Erin Daniels and her family filled the sanctuary with song.  Songs of praise were beautifully harmonized by three generations of the Gibson women, even included the little ones in the presentation. Despite the technically issues that were had, the ladies made a lovely presentation.

It was a wonderful thing to see my church family come together to celebrate the female strength that is helpful to so many in so many ways.  Thanks to the UM Men for cleaning up after the dinner.  That was a nice touch to a wonderful evening.

God’s Love abiding in us?

Today Pastor Erin took the reigns of the traditional services.  (Pastor Teresa busied herself with the children’s church group.) As the Candle of Love was lit, Erin asked us all, “How does God’s Love show through us?” How do we show the world that God Loves every one?

Do you do it by trying to exit the office “Holiday” party as quickly as possible or planning for a friend to call with an “emergency” at a certain time when you are to be a family gathering?

How about holding the door for a stranger?  Helping a worker-bee load an oversized load onto a cart when it isn’t even your purchase that he is getting?  Giving extra to the pot to buy for the working poor family that is falling through the cracks at the welfare office?  Are these little tokens enough for someone to say that they see God in us?

“How will they know we are Christians?”  the old hymn sings.  “They will know by our love, by our love.  They will know we are Christians by our love.”

This is a hectic season for most.  But please try to take the time to be kind, generous, and patience.  For it is thorough our actions, our little tokens of kindness, that people will see God’s Love thorough us.