Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Feasting with Friends 2015: Another Spirit Lifting Success

Psalm 133, verse 1, reads, "How very good and pleasant it is when kindred live together in unity!" This annual event reminds me of that verse. 

Wonderful volunteers were ready and well-organized to make the experience meaningful as well as hunger satisfying. Contributors had provided enough food to send many home with meals for others. Around 100 friends from around Lansdowne came to dine with us. It was a fantastic meal and a great community gathered to break bread together. There are no words to adequately describe the feeling of that warm community. 

As the pastor, it was my privilege to make a few remarks. Here is a part of what was said. 
It is like Paul speaking of the body, the membership, in 1 Corinthians said, “For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ. For in the one Spirit we were all baptized into one body--Jews or Greeks, slaves or free--and we were all made to drink of one Spirit.” Today, in this body, we are many members with different talents, different backgrounds, different histories, and yet here we are one community, for a short time at least. If we combined all those talents and worked as one, imagine what wonderful things we might accomplish. 

... Today, we are touching each other’s lives here in these all too few hours of food and fellowship. It is a beautiful thing, a wonderful moment, a real gift from God. I am glad you all came.

This is also a small hint at a prayer Jesus himself made to God for his disciples, and by extension, for us all. Jesus prayed, “I ask not only on behalf of these, but also on behalf of those who will believe in me through their word, that they may all be one. As you, Father, are in me and I am in you, may they also be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me. The glory that you have given me I have given them, so that they may be one, as we are one, I in them and you in me, that they may become completely one, so that the world may know that you have sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.” It is a beautiful prayer, that one day we might all be one. We are not there yet, but meals like this certainly do not hurt. It reminds me of the book of John in which God loved all of humanity so much God send Jesus to tell everyone, everywhere that this is true. So, let me end with a broad statement for everyone here, no matter your background, no matter your history, no matter your faith, I say to you, you are the beloved of God. It has been very good to break bread with you today. I hope you have found this experience to be a blessing. I know we here at the church have. When you leave here today, may you go in peace and be a blessing to everyone you meet. Who knows what communities you might create and what amazing things you’ll accomplish together?

It was a wonderful time of fellowship. We look forward to repeating the experience again next year. We hope you will bless us with your presence so we may break bread and enjoy community together in 2016.
We'll save a place at the table for you in 2016!



Friday, April 3, 2015

Easter Sunday Service 2015

You are invited to join us as we celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ. This is one of the most powerful moments in the Christian year and we want to share it with you, your family, and your friends. The service is Sunday morning at 11 AM and lasts for roughly one hour. As Easter is falling on the first Sunday of the month, this is also a communion Sunday. 

We hope to see and welcome you with our friendly congregation. The Scripture for Easter is John 20:1-18, one of the most moving resurrection stories you will find. It reads: 

Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene came to the tomb and saw that the stone had been removed from the tomb. 2So she ran and went to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one whom Jesus loved, and said to them, “They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid him.” 3Then Peter and the other disciple set out and went toward the tomb. 4The two were running together, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first. 5He bent down to look in and saw the linen wrappings lying there, but he did not go in. 6Then Simon Peter came, following him, and went into the tomb. He saw the linen wrappings lying there, 7and the cloth that had been on Jesus’ head, not lying with the linen wrappings but rolled up in a place by itself. 8Then the other disciple, who reached the tomb first, also went in, and he saw and believed; 9for as yet they did not understand the scripture, that he must rise from the dead. 10Then the disciples returned to their homes.

But Mary stood weeping outside the tomb. As she wept, she bent over to look into the tomb; 12and she saw two angels in white, sitting where the body of Jesus had been lying, one at the head and the other at the feet. 13They said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping?” She said to them, “They have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid him.” 14When she had said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not know that it was Jesus. 15Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you looking for?” Supposing him to be the gardener, she said to him, “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have laid him, and I will take him away.” 16Jesus said to her, “Mary!” She turned and said to him in Hebrew, “Rabbouni!” (which means Teacher). 17Jesus said to her, “Do not hold on to me, because I have not yet ascended to the Father. But go to my brothers and say to them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’” 18Mary Magdalene went and announced to the disciples, “I have seen the Lord”; and she told them that he had said these things to her.

Wherever you may be this Sunday, we at Lansdowne Baptist Church wish you and your family a blessed Easter.

Jesus is risen! He is risen indeed!