You are witnesses of these things.
— Luke 24:48
When writing reflections for a memorial service I like to list how the deceased had exemplified the Triune God; how he or she had demonstrated a love for creation and all of God’s creatures, had connected people with one another, and had demonstrated divine grace and peace.
When we are honest with ourselves we see our own doubts about Christ’s resurrection, about the Holy Spirit coming in power, and about God taking an active part in the creating the world. I wonder if a listing how members are witnesses to the Triune God, like what I write for memorial services, might alleviate some of those doubts.
For this reason, each month our Session, the board of Elders, ends our meeting thanking a few people who have provided extraordinary service to this congregation and detailing how they have pointed beyond themselves to a new reality in Jesus Christ. I hope that these tangible expressions of the Triune God working in us and through us might lift up other members to see past their own doubts about Christ working in them as well and in turn they might help other connect to the One True God.
I will have more to say about Luke 24:48 at 8:15 AM and 10:00 AM on Sunday, April 15th at Temple Terrace Presbyterian Church.
Music this Sunday
The words and music of John Shepherd’s “As Tenderly as a Father” evoke the tenderness of God’s love for each and every person.
A Tip for Parents
I had once preached at a small church where an Elder greeted me and told me that the service would begin when everyone had arrived. Several minutes later that same Elder, a very tall man, stood and calmly announced: “We are all here. You may begin.”
With a bigger congregation we might need assigned seating to know who all was missing. Instead I will have an empty chair to symbolize who could be here and prompt the children to mention friends and relative they miss on Sunday mornings.