St. Andrew United Methodist Church
Thursday, April 25, 2019
Open Minds. Open Hearts. Open Doors.
 

 

         From the Sr. Associate Pastor’s Desk

 

Pointing Someone to Jesus  

 

    Jesus said, " I tell you the truth, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned; he has crossed over from death to life." (John 5:24) Early in Julius Caesar's political career, the people of Rome hated him so badly that he thought it best to leave his country. He sailed for the Aegean Island of Rhodes, but on the way pirates attacked his ship and Caesar was captured.

 

The pirates demanded a ransom of 12,ooo gold pieces, and Caesar's staff was sent to make the arrangements for payment. For almost 40 days, the pirates held Caesar captive.

 

He would jokingly tell them that he would someday capture and crucify them. The amused kidnappers dismissed his threats. But when the ransom was paid and Caesar was released, the first thing he did was gather his army together to pursue the pirates.

 

The pirates indeed were captured and crucified.

 

This was the Romans' attitude toward crucifixion.

 

This cruel death was reserved only for the worst criminals. It was meant to show extreme contempt for the condemned. And the pain and humiliation experienced by someone crucified by the Romans was unmatched by any other.

 

They condemned and humiliated the person and name of Jesus two thousand years ago just as many people do today. And even though he died a lowly death, we as believers can rejoice in knowing that "He was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification." (Rom. 4:25)

 

Jesus died for the sins of all - including those who beat him and nailed Him to the cross. You may know of someone today who doesn't know Jesus. Will you be the one to tell them about the forgiveness He gives? Will you be the one who points them toward eternal life through Jesus?

 

Prayer Challenge: Ask the Lord to bring someone into your life this Easter who you can share the story of His death, burial, and resurrection, and the price He paid for their sins.  

 

 In His Service, 

 Terry and Mary

 

                           

 

 

 

From the Associate Pastor’s Desk

April is here! (Where did the first quarter of this year go?!) They say time flies when you’re having fun, but the reality is that time passes by either way. Whether we’re having the time of our lives, or having a time of frustration; sorrow; hardship, the time goes by. And we’re not promised tomorrow.  

Though young in ministry, I already perceive more sharply through my journey with all of you saints just how fragile and fleeting life can be. We never know when life will burst open as it is through the beautiful trees and flowers in these blooming spring days. And we never know, ultimately, when life will end. What we do know, though, is that we have choices we can make about how we spend the time we have.  

Some of my favorite films are the cinematic adaptations of J.R.R. Tolkien’s classic, The Lord of the Rings trilogy. There is quite a moving scene in the first film, “The Fellowship of the Ring”. The protagonist, Frodo, a small creature of the woods takes on the task of trying to destroy evil to save not only his land, but that of all living beings (recognize any biblical themes?!). He sits in a moment of frustration and exhaustion.  

“I wish it need not have happened in my time," said Frodo. 

"So do I," said Gandalf, "and so do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.” 

This scene has always stuck out so vividly to me because we are all faced at different times in life with situations we’d rather not deal with, times we’d rather not go through. But much like Gandalf, God replies to us, “The valley before you may not have been your choice, yet this is not for you to decide. All you have to decide is how you shall travel through it.”  

Christ reminds us in Matthew’s gospel, “And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age."
(Matthew 28: 20)  

It is with this steadfast promise that we may boldly proclaim, “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I shall fear no evil.” 

As we continue in the season of spring, for those of you who may find yourself in a slump or season of hardship, know that when we choose in those moments to turn closer to Christ, He is always, always there to meet us. 

 

In Christ, 

Beth