This Sunday at Holland's UMC Print E-mail



Dear Holland's Family,

Grace to each of you from Jesus Christ, who was, who is, and who is to come!

We are having a busy week at Holland's.  Of course, this is BBQ week.  I know all of you are inviting friends and neighbors to join us on Friday.  Keep it up!  For the many who are helping prepare, enjoy the fun, work, and fellowship.  If you haven't planned to help out, but are wondering about that possibility, give us a call.  There is a job for everyone!

Although we are in the midst of BBQ week, I trust you are planning to be at our mid-week Lenten service tonight.  We have experienced wonderful testimonies and messages from our laity over the past three weeks and tonight promises to be great as well.  Nancy Gregory will share with us some life changing experiences that have been hers over the past year.  The mid-week service meets in the chapel, 6:30 - 7:15 p.m.

This coming Sunday we will continue the sermon series on Hope Springs Eternal.  We got off to a good start this past Sunday as we considered the topic, Hope Beyond Our Tears.  Through this series we are focusing around the theme of CHRISTIAN HOPE.  John 20:1-18 is our guiding text from God's Word.

Last week, as the sermon closed, I reminded you that Mary Magdalene, who came to the tomb on Easter morning full of tears, "turned  around and saw Jesus standing there" (v. 14, NRSV).  We will take up our series from there on Sunday as we consider, Turning Toward Resurrection Hope.  I'll be preaching at 8:30 and 9:45.  Pastor Brian will bring the message at 11:00.

What does it mean to turn toward Jesus?  One thing it means is repenting.  The biblical concept of repentance literally means to turn around.  Mary "turned around and saw Jesus standing there."  The idea and call to repentance is a Lenten focus.  So, on Sunday as we are invited to the Lord's Table, we will give some thought to Mary's turning around and ours.

As we prepare for Sunday, I want to leave you with some dry humor from Garrison Keillor, of Prairie Home Companion fame. 

Keillor writes about Larry, a resident of the fictional town of Lake Wobegon. Larry was saved 12 times at the Lutheran Church, an all-time record for a church that never gave altar calls. There wasn't even an organ playing "Just As I Am Without One Plea" in the background. Regardless of that, between 1953 and 1961, Larry Sorenson came forward 12 times, weeping buckets and crumpled up at the communion rail, to the shock of the minister, who had delivered a dry sermon on stewardship. But now he needed to put his arm around this person, pray with him and be certain he had a way to get home. "Even we fundamentalists got tired of him," Keillor writes. God didn't mean for you to feel guilty all your life. There comes a time when you should dry your tears and join the building committee and grapple with the problems of the church furnace and the church roof. But Larry just kept repenting and repenting.  --Garrison Keillor, Leaving Home (New York: Viking Press, 1987), 182.

Yes, Keillor humor!  But let us give thanks that the Lord invites us to turn to Him over and over again.  One of the primary ways He does so is through the sacrament of Holy Communion.  Mary had numerous opportunities to turn toward Jesus.  We do too!  Let us never forget that the point of repetition, ritual and reinforcement in our lives is so that as we turn to the Lord, the Lord can take care of us, and equip us to more effectively help Him take care of all God's children.

I'm looking forward to tonight, the BBQ, and Sunday morning.  I'll be seeing you in these days!

Pastor Gary