Due to Hurricane Irene, we will not meet as a church this coming Sunday.
God bless, and keep safe!
So, if you have been following my posts recently, you will see that I am attempting to answer a few questions that were brought to my mind while I was travelling around the world (literally!). Forty two days away from my home in Connecticut, with my family, going to places I have never been. For me, it doesn’t get much more adventurous!
Here is my second question;
How does God know the millions of people (by name, mind you!) who flood the great wall in Badaling, China? Or even the millions at Tiananmen Square or the Forbidden City? All these people are celebrating 90 years since the Communist Party of China was formed. They are making pilgrimages to these places. How does He know people by name?
I continue to marvel at the crowds in cities that dwarf any New England town. I am posting pictures on Facebook (little by little!) because I have so many and I am actually taking the time to provide descriptions of where I have been. Today, I am posting pictures of the things I saw in Beijing. You are wondering if I am stalling for time and if I really have an answer to my own query. I do have an answer.
Rewind to an Easter a few years ago where I was at a Sunrise Service. For those of you who are not acquainted with this “tradition” it’s where you get up at 5am on Easter Sunday and go to a place outdoors to see the sun rise and remember the resurrection of Jesus Christ. It is a moving time, a time to remember.
And one Easter Sunday, I was remembering this; when Jesus (who was already resurrected from the grave) meets up with Mary, she thinks He knows where the body of Jesus could have gone. She thinks that He is the gardner. She asks Him if He knows where Jesus’ body is. She does not recognize Jesus by sight. (John 20:10-18)
She says; “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have put him, and I will get him.”
Jesus’ response; “Mary.”
She then turned toward him and cried out in Aramaic, “Rabboni!”
Mary heard her name. Mary knows her name. And so does Jesus. And what does it take to know a name? A personal relationship. A recognition of a familiar voice. Jesus’ knowing Mary’s name is an intimate thing.
My conclusion? Because of God’s great love for us, He knew He would have to get our attention somehow. In the midst of the noise and the chaos, the cacophny of life, or even the quiet screaming of say, perhaps, a hospital waiting room, the God of the Universe calls us BY NAME. And then, He has our attention.
God knows us by name because He takes a personal interest in us. He longs to be in a personal, meaningful, and real relationship with us. His outreach to us is an act of His kindness and mercy. And for all those people in China (or anywhere else for that matter!), God’s great love is the driving force behind His quest to get our attention so we can know Him, too.
Due to the impending hurricane, LutheransCARE has decided to cancel the upcoming service project in Brimfield.It is possible that we will try again for September 10th. Stay tuned for details!
We’ve finished moving out of the upstairs at our location, but we have some items that need to be sold, taken in, or donated. If you would like to help out with this part of the cleaning process, please contact Bob Jeram, either through email or at church on Sunday.
Pam and Ray Riddell would like to extend an open invitation to St. Paul’s for an afternoon picnic at their home on Saturday, August 20th. After the outdoor festivities, they are also hosting a game night.
This is an event where friends and family are invited to get to know our community better outside of the usual church setting.
The picnic would be from 2 – 7 pm, and the game night would follow. For more information, please contact Pam through email, or talk to Ray or Pam on Sunday.