What a wonderful Holy Week Eastminster celebrated! Thanks to all who made it such a spiritually significant experience for church and community! Every part of Eastminster was active in ways that were upbuilding.
We have men whose arms are bruised from moving heavy objects and unganging and ganging chairs. Women whose Good Friday was spent elbows deep in dough. Preschool teachers who were busy teaming with church members to bring the Easter story to kids in concrete ways they can understand. Youth who memorized sections of scripture to bring drama to our Easter Vigil. Choir members who brought the Word alive in so many contexts, perhaps especially on Good Friday and Easter. Praise teams who welcomed the sunrise with singing of God’s amazing grace. Members humble enough to have others wash their feet. The common denominator in all this is love. Love for God and love for others. And it is the cultivation of this love that will transform our church and community in Jesus’ name!
Today we finish the study of the Gospel of John which was begun on Christmas Eve. It is a story of God’s deep love for the world, love deep enough for the Word to become flesh and dwell among us, mysterious enough to turn water into wine and feed five thousand with five loaves and two fish, love prophetic enough to turn over the tables of the money changers in the temple so that it might be a house of prayer for all people, love wide enough to include a Samaritan woman Jesus met at a well and an adulterous woman Jesus spared from death, love unconventional enough to heal the lame, to wash disciples feet and to be beaten, whipped, and crucified to glorify God and to save us.
Jesus and his disciples bid early followers and us to “come and see,” to experience God’s love and the love of God’s people. In the coming months we will have a focused time of renewal here at Eastminster. After undergoing an experience of the cruelty of the cross, and the amazing grace of the resurrection to new life, we are focusing on “The Beauty of the Spirit.”
The Good News of Christianity is that God does not leave us alone. God sends the Holy Spirit, “God with us today” to refresh, renew, and bind us together as the body of Christ. In John 7:37-39 Jesus says, “Let anyone who is thirsty come to me, and let the one who believes in me drink. As the scripture has said, ‘Out of the believer’s heart will flow rivers of living water.’ Now he said this about the Spirit, which believers in him were to receive; for as of yet there was no Spirit, because Jesus was not yet glorified.”
It is the Holy Spirit that equips, guides, comforts, teaches, renews, connects, and restores us. In your worship guide is an insert which outlines the coming series. Please look it over and pass it on to a friend inviting them to join you in the coming weeks at Eastminster or put it on your refrigerator to remind you of the Bible passages we’ll be studying. As we go forward our sanctuary will be transformed by a beautiful work of art. I hope that it is an outward sign of the beauty that is being cultivated in our hearts and lives by God’s Holy Spirit!
He is Risen!Pastor Tim