Sunday, April 13, 2008

Cool Sermon by Bishop Willimon....and I met my new charge

Last Saturday we had a Methodist Festival, called Celebrating New Life. Our bishop, Will Willimon, delivered a sermon in the worship service that followed the lectionary. I have no idea how many pastors took his message and worked it into their own Sunday sermons, but I know of at least one. In the Luke passage for last Sunday, from Luke 24, is the account of the walk to Emmaus. Jesus revealed himself to the two with whom he had joined on the walk to Emmaus. Bishop Willimon suggested, why didn't Jesus, upon his resurrection, go to Pilate and show up next to him saying...."I'm Back"? Why didn't he go to Rome to the emperor and say..."I'm Here"? No, rather, Jesus showed up clandestinely to his own followers and revealed himself. What a wonderful experience it was hearing this beautiful sermon on how Jesus revealed himself to his followers, against their own better judgment, he revealed himself.

Jesus reveals himself today to us all, yet we sometimes find it hard to fathom. He reveals Himself every Sunday in every church. Yet, we find if hard to fathom. Remember, He said...."when two or three are gathered in my name, I am there..." yet we find it hard to fathom.
Well, Jesus comes to us each and every Sunday morning, evening, and Wednesday, when we gather in His name. Are we humbled by His presence, or otherwise engaged that we don't stop to see he is there? Psst...He is there.

Tonight a mere 14 people gathered together to worship. Jesus was there...and we were touched by His presence. Can we expect Him to be there when there are 50, 100, 500, or more? Yes, indeed! As a popular hymn suggests...."Surely the Presence of the Lord is in This Place"...I'll ask...."can you feel His mighty power and His grace?".

On another note, last week, at the festival, I met with key people from my future charge. I introduced myself to them and said that I was their next pastor. What a warm embrace I received from them. What a warming in the Holy Spirit there was. I pray that in the next few months when I'm put in their charge, I'll faithfully serve and be the person that God means to have there at that time. I am deeply humbled, and taking on a servant's heart. Any prayers that one wishes to lift up on my behalf are deeply appreciated.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Nothing from Vegas Stayed in Vegas

After 3 days of exhibiting in Las Vegas and staying at a local hotel and casino, I'm proud to say that nothing from Vegas stayed in Vegas. We brought back plenty of great leads and contacts and it was a good business venture. I have to admit that I was awed by Caesar's Palace, with the artificial sky and statues of Roman was awesome to behold the creativity of man to replicate early Roman times. The shops were overpriced and the food overpriced...but it was all good. Very good.

We have nothing to hang our heads about as everything was good and above board. We met some truly wonderful people. Everything from born-again Christians to Orthodox Jews...and the rest of humanity...we met plenty of good people and made plenty of good contacts. Everything from Vegas came back as leads and prospects.

Some of our best contacts were people of Christ who were making a living in Sin City. We met numerous Christian cabbies. To the shagrin of those with us, I engaged numerous cabbies about their spirituality and was amazed to find many bibles in cabs. I recall one Phillipino cabbie who was into the healing ministry and a follower of Father Fernando Suarez, a Catholic priest who is in the ministry. What a joy to converse with him.

So, even in the midst of Sin City,there is hope. I'm glad I was there to be a part of the hope.
In Christ....