A summary of my last two sermons:
Throughout Lent, we have talked about deep emotions within the human spirit. These emotions are universal to the experience. On the other side of Lent, during the Easter season, we will continue looking at these emotions.
Joy, or pure joy, came to believers on that day when Christ resurrected from the dead. Triumphing over the great enemy of death, Jesus delivered a transformative event in history and for the spiritual life. The act of Jesus rising gives hope to all people, and allows us to experience eternal life. When we experience the power of resurrection, there is pure joy.
Last week, we talked briefly about love. We read from the passages of Song of Solomon 8:6-8, I Corinthians 13 and John 13:34-35.
A few weeks ago, there was a mention of Corinthians in an episode of 30 Rock. Liz, in an attempt to confront an ex-boyfriends fiance, gets roped into a spot in the wedding. She laments, "Somehow, I'm doing a reading from Corinthians". Go Corinthians! The passage of Corinthians 13 is the classic passage on love. Love is patient, love is kind...Three remain, faith, hope and love. And the greatest of these is love.
Love calls us to expand our circle. If the circle of people we love and interact with is small, then love calls us to widen that circle just a little. If our circle is larger, love calls us to widen it even more.
The two loves that Scripture emphasizes is a love for God and love for neighbor. Does the Bible talk about the love of marriage, or love of family? Yes, a little, but not nearly as much as how we love God and neighbor.
During these past two weeks of sermons, our worship experiences have been quite wonderful. On Easter morning, over 6o of us gathered at Dilts Farm Park to observe a sun rise service. It was good to be together as neighboring congregations. At Stockton on Easter Sunday, the sanctuary was full of flowers, with young ones doing Easter egg hunts and people of all ages gathered together.
Last week, on the 2nd Sunday of Easter, we were honored to have the Good News Home for Women Ringers and Singers share their gift of music. What a wonderful group that joined us for worship. You can learn more about this group at www.goodnewshome.org/
We also had a Poetry Reading Night that had 25 people in attendance. I was really surprised by the response. And that is what the new life brought forth by the resurrection season is all about: Being open to being surprised by the power of God's Spirit.