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Upcoming Events
MAR

27

WED
Combined Young At Heart Meeting at Lakeview
10:30 AM to 12:00 PM
Senior Adult Ministry Luncheon and Games. Meet at Lakeview Methodist Church the 4th Wednesday each month.
Anchor Kids Choir
6:00 PM to 6:20 PM
Wednesday Night Kid
6:20 PM to 7:00 PM
Youth Bible Study
6:30 PM
Youth meet at Youth House for fellowship and Bible Study.
Music Team Practice
7:00 PM to 8:00 PM
MAR

30

SAT
Souper Saturday
10:30 AM
Volunteers to help deliver soup to shut-ins are welcomed and appreciated.
APR

02

TUE
UMW Noon Meeting
Meet at the church at noon. (Note: UMW will meet on January 8th instead of New Years Day this month.)
Handbell Practice
6:30 PM to 7:30 PM
APR

03

WED
Anchor Kids Choir
6:00 PM to 6:20 PM
Wednesday Night Kid
6:20 PM to 7:00 PM
Youth Bible Study
6:30 PM
Youth meet at Youth House for fellowship and Bible Study.
Music Team Practice
7:00 PM to 8:00 PM
APR

09

TUE
Handbell Practice
6:30 PM to 7:30 PM
APR

10

WED
Combined Young At Heart at First Methodist
10:30 AM to 12:00 PM
Senior Adult Ministry Luncheon and Games. Meet at First Methodist Church the 2nd Wednesday each month.
Anchor Kids Choir
6:00 PM to 6:20 PM
Wednesday Night Kid
6:20 PM to 7:00 PM
Youth Bible Study
6:30 PM
Youth meet at Youth House for fellowship and Bible Study.
Music Team Practice
7:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Bible Search
Message From the Pastor

Month of March 2019

The Easter Story Continues

“Now that same day two of them were going to a village called Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem. They were talking with each other about everything that had happened. As they talked and discussed these things with each other, Jesus Himself came up and walked along with them; but they were kept from recognizing Him.” — Luke 24:13-16

I love the story of the two men on the road to Emmaus in Luke 24, as Jesus talks and walks beside them in the days after His resurrection. His presence was so real, but at first they did not know who He was. Jesus asks them, “What are you discussing together as you walk along?” (Luke 24:17) They answer with sadness, questioning how anyone could not know about the events in Jerusalem. They explain to the “unknown stranger” that they know of Jesus by His reputation: “He was a prophet, powerful in word and deed before God and all the people.” (Luke 24:19b) They continue talking to their walking companion of their expectation of Jesus: “We had hoped that He was the one who was going to redeem Israel.” (Luke 24:21a) And finally they express their frustration over the news that His tomb was open but He was missing. Is this how we relate to Jesus? We know of His reputation, but He isn’t what we expected, and we become frustrated when He doesn’t “do” what we want.Jesus seeks the companionship of the two men on the road to Emmaus, just as He seeks ours. And what happens next? He challenges their scholarship, at the point of Scripture. “And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, He explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning Himself.” (Luke 24:27) They wanted a Messiah, and Jesus reaches into their knowledge and understanding of the Old Testament to prove He is the One. They hear from Christ Himself that He had to suffer and die before entering His glory—something they did not yet grasp. But the story doesn’t end there, because there is no understanding on their part of who Jesus really is—no relationship. They invite Him to sit down and dine with them. Jesus takes the bread, gives thanks, and then breaks it before He gives it to them with His nail-scarred hands. “Then their eyes were opened and they recognized Him, and He disappeared from their sight.” (Luke 24:30) In spending time with Him, hearing truth from Him as He taught from Scripture, and being given the broken bread—they recognize Him. They admit to having their hearts burn within them during this experience on the road—and they return to Jerusalem proclaiming “It is true! The Lord has risen.”(Luke 24:34) Jesus wants to make Himself known—just as He did with these two men in the gospel of Luke. And we can come to know Him by spending time with Him, by studying truth in Scripture, and by knowing it is the Holy Spirit who will open our eyes to the brokenness of His body on the cross, so that, we can have fullness of life.Is your heart downcast? Do you not sense the presence of Christ where you are right now? Spending time in Scriptures, spending time in worship and prayer—that’s how you get to know the Lord. Go ahead—begin the journey on the road. . . . . .with Jesus beside you. You will never be the same. “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!”— 2 Corinthians 5:17

 

Lent is a time when we celebrate the reconciling love and the healing graces our Lord offers us. Reconciliation is what God does. We prepare for it by reflecting upon the areas of darkness in our lives into which God so deeply desires to shine a light. It might begin with the simple question: Where might God be offering us forgiveness and healing? We can examine our lives and ask, “What have we done and what have we failed to do.” We can look at our responsibilities as a citizen of a city, a country, the world, a neighbor, an employee, a member of a congregation, as a parent or a spouse or as a son or daughter. God will always shine light into these important parts of our lives, to help us experience a genuine desire for forgiveness and healing. God reveals us to ourselves, so that God might reveal to us our need for a Savior. The focus is on God's reconciling, healing love. 1 John 4:9-10 reads, "God showed his love for us when he sent his only Son into the world to give us life. Real love isn't our love for God, but God's love for us. God sent his Son to be the sacrifice by which our sins are forgiven."
 

God's love is un-conditional. It is not conditioned on us being better, or us overcoming anything, or even us being good at all. God just loves us. We are precious in the eyes of the One who made us and desires to embrace us with the gift of complete freedom, and everlasting life. God also knows everything, including what we are struggling with, and, the God of all compassion, understands us and loves us. It may be that our greatest sin - the place where we need the greatest forgiveness and healing is our lack of trust in God's complete and unconditional love for us. That is a gift God deeply desires for us to receive.
 

Reconciliation is what God does. Receiving it and celebrating it is what we do. It is God who forgives sins. God forgives us the very moment we come to know we need forgiveness (which itself comes through God's grace). At that moment, we feel sorrow and a desire for forgiveness and healing. In that moment, we are reconciled with God. The reunion, the bond, the connection, the joy is there. Experiencing compassion, patience, understanding, and forgiveness is transforming. If we fail to appreciate what we have received - freely and undeserved - then we will take it for granted and risk moving on without a real healing happening. May our Lord grant us all the gift of reconciliation, and may we all receive and celebrate it well in the holy days ahead.