Pastor Alicia 008

Pastors Message Lent
Philip found Nathanael and said to him, “We have found him about whom Moses in the law and also the prophets wrote, Jesus son of Joseph from Nazareth.”  Nathanael said to him, “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?” Philip said to him, “Come and see.”                                                 John 1:45-46

Pastor Brett Blair tells a story about Dr. Gordon Targerson, a Baptist pastor in Worcester, Massachusetts, who was crossing the Atlantic by ship some years ago.  He noticed several times a dark-skinned man sitting in a deck chair reading a Bible.  One day Dr. Targerson sat down beside the man and said, “Forgive my curiosity.  I'm a Baptist minister.  I notice you are a faithful Bible reader.  After introductions, the dark-skinned man said, “I am Filipino.  I was born into a good Catholic home.  I went to the United States as a young man and studied at one of your universities, intending to become a lawyer. On my first day on campus, a student dropped by to visit.  He welcomed me and offered to help in any way he could.  Then he asked me where I went to church.  I told him I was Catholic.  He explained that the Catholic Church was quite a distance away, but he sat down and drew me a map. I thanked him and he left.

    “On the following Sunday morning it was raining.  I decided to just skip church.  Then came a knock on my door; and there stood my new friend.  He was holding two umbrellas.  He said that he worried that I might not be able to read his map.  So, he said he would escort me to the Catholic Church.  I hurriedly dressed, all the while thinking what an unusually thoughtful person he was. 

    “As we walked along I asked him about his church.  He said that it was just around the corner.  So, I suggested we go to his church this Sunday, and then to mine the following Sunday.  He agreed.  But somehow I felt so much at home in his church that I never got around to finding mine.  After four years I felt that God was leading me into ordained ministry.  I went to Drew University Seminary and was ordained a Methodist minister.  Then I returned to the Philippines to serve in a Methodist parish.  My name is Valencius, Bishop Valencius, Bishop of the Methodist Church in the Philippines.”

    The hero of the story is not the Bishop.  The hero is the anonymous young man with two umbrellas.  Whether they ended up at the Methodist or Catholic churches doesn't really matter to him.     Go all the way back to the beginning of Christian history and you'll always find him.  He is behind almost every Christian convert...that unnamed man or woman with two umbrellas...that person with a winsome faith who builds a bridge of friendship with another person.  And across that bridge walks the living Christ and claims another eternal soul.  You can be that person with two umbrellas.  Like Philip, you can say, “Come and see...”   

               Adapted from Christian Globe Network, Sermons, by Brett Blair

    Ash Wednesday, February 14, is very nearly upon us.  It marks, of course, the beginning of the Lenten season.  During this darkest of times in the church year, we walk the rocky path to the cross with the Lord Jesus Christ.  At the foot of his cross we watch him die – and we remember that he did it for us.  There’s something else, however, that we should remember.  Jesus Christ died for all other people as well. Many of those people are alone, or hurting, or feeling a terrible desolation in their lives.  What would make all the difference in the world for them?  Meeting Jesus Christ and knowing his love, support, forgiveness, mercy and grace – and knowing that they are saved to eternal life with him, by him.

    So as we go about our lives, let us pay close attention to those around us, and talk about our faith, our church, and watch for an opening in which to invite them to come and see.  Oh, and don’t forget to take an extra umbrella.

 Yours in Christ,   Pastor Alicia  





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“If any want to become my disciples, let them deny themselves, take up their cross and follow me. For those who want to save their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake, and for the sake of the gospel, will save it.”               Mark 8:34b-35

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