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Written by Rev. Dr. Tom MacMillan
While in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, a few weeks ago, Kyle and I found a park with tall cedars and a 2-mile long rough dirt trail. For the first loop, I felt sluggish and slow jogging over roots and rocks, up and down the rolling hills, but on my 3rd lap (which was Kyle’s 5th), I was feeling a bit more fit. About that time, my foot banged into a root and I went stumbling forward to the ground. Dusted myself off, somewhat humbled and bruised but also more awake than ever. Until 15 minutes later, on another loop around the park, I tripped over the same darn root.
I’m not sure how many Orthodox Priests are out there running around parks but I think I found one from the 12th century that understands troublesome roots, “Should we fall, we should not despair and so estrange ourselves from the Lord’s love. Let us always be ready to make a new start. If you fall, rise up. If you fall again, rise up again.”
And so is the course of our lives. We’re fooling ourselves if we think we will never stumble and fall. We’re also fooling ourselves if we think we’re not going to trip over the same root twice. But here’s what we pray for:
- A heart of humble gratitude for our Savior’s healing grace, always present to lift us up and dust us off;
- A discerning mind that learns from our blunders and makes amends; and
- A lightened and courageous spirit setting our feet and faith in motion once again.
Proverbs 24:16, Psalm 30, Psalm 145:14
John Knox Performance Series
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Vacation Bible School
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Faith at Work & Small Group News
If you are a Faith at Work or small group leader, please mark your calendar for Sunday, April 26 at 12:15 p.m. for a light lunch and review of the past year, plus ideas for your group for the future. We will also be discussing the need to start new groups. Anyone interested in joining a faith at work group, which typically meet once or twice a month for study, service and fellowship, please contact Jessie MacMillan firstname.lastname@example.org in advance of the April 26 meeting.
April Pastor's Page
This Holy Week we walk together. We walk toward a final meal, a garden prayer, along a way of betrayal and brutal suffering, to a hill of crucifixion. We feel the absence, the loss, the fear of Jesus entombed.
Then we rise to encounter the triumph and the resurrection of our Lord and Savior on Easter morn. We celebrate the victory of One who would endure such suffering so that we would know first-hand such reconciling love.
This month we are walking along the path of Reconciliation.
We affirm that God is determined to set relationships right. God’s love is too strong to tolerate all the barriers we set up. Not only are we brought into the love of God through the work of Jesus, but we are actually entrusted with this charge of reconciliation (II Corinthians 5:15-20).
Reconciliation is the bringing back together of that which has been broken, separated, and estranged. In Christ, God made the first move toward us, tying the world to himself, wrapping it close to himself in the bond of forgiveness and love. No longer are we estranged, instead we are brought back, welcomed in, and made right; a new creation. Now we take that message to the world.
We turn from evaluating to valuing. We move from fault finding to seeing another through God’s eyes. We move from holding stones and being a scorekeeper or fault finder to one who views the world with strong compassion and grace. Now we stand with Christ, in Christ, beholding a brother or a sister needing love. Beholding a new creation.
Brian McLaren wrote, “I used to see people as my friends or my enemies, some as superior and others as inferior, some worthy, some unworthy. I judged their value in relation to me and my safety, my interests, my opinions, my pride, my profit, my lust, my affiliations, my fear. Behold, now I am able to escape the black hole gravity of my egocentric perspective. Instead, we rise to see with the living God through his eyes.”
9:30 am and 11:00 am
JOHN KNOX UPCOMING EVENTS
|7 pm - Trinity Hall|
|Day of Service|
|FAW Leaders Lunch|
|12:15 pm - Trinity Hall|
|5:30 pm - Trinity Hall|
|7:30 pm - Lounge|
|Staff Appreciation Luncheon|
|10 am - Trinity Hall|
|June 21 - 26|
|Vacation Bible School|
|June 30 - July 7|
|Nicaragua youth trip|
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