Spring is a beautiful time of year.
Flowers bloom. Trees bud. Babies are everywhere. Daylight saving time provides an extra hour of sun nightly. Barbecues, backyards, and baseball are back.
Springtime is a testimony to God’s redemption. As temperatures warm, the snow and ice melt, the days lengthen, and a new world emerges from winter hibernation. What was dead now has life. What was brown now is green. What was dark now is light.
It’s no wonder God used the spring of the year to release his final redemptive act to mankind. The Easter story is perfectly pitched in the spring, when a world, gripped by evil frost and sinful darkness, is melted by the power of a single Son rise.
What is in the middle of chURch?
If "U-R" is not in ch-ch it is incomplete. We cannot have church without "U." If something is missing maybe it's because "U-R” not where "U-R" supposed to be.
Open your mind, I am not talking about attending. We say that we attend Worship., That in itself is misleading. We cannot attend worship; we have to do the worshipping. You may Say, "Well, that is what I mean when say, 'attend worship'." The time has come when we need to spell it out and make sure as many as possible understand. We cannot spell ch-rch without "U."
One of the great enemies of worship is the passivity of the people. We have drifted into a situation in which people want the drama of worship to be played out by the leader: "You do it for us. You are the minister. You do the whole thing. Don’t ask us to do anything more than stand to sing a few songs and throw a few coins into the offering plate. Don't ask us to get involved." That is what makes worship dull and uninteresting. When "U-R" not part of worship, there is something missing right in the middle of ch-ch.
Mother’s Day has a fascinating history.
While versions of the holiday existed in the 19th century, the modern Mother’s Day originated in 1908 when Anna Jarvis held a memorial for her mother at her church in Grafton, West Virginia. Jarvis’s mother, Ann, was a Civil War peace activist who tirelessly nursed Northern and Southern soldiers. (Ann Jarvis had also championed a version of Mother’s Day in the 1800s.) Anna passionately called for America to designate a national holiday that remembered her mom and all mothers.
In 1914, President Woodrow Wilson finally signed a national proclamation for Mother’s Day. Unfortunately, commercialization of the holiday by greeting card companies, florists, and candy makers quickly followed. Anna Jarvis resented this crass commercialization and publicly protested against those who tried to profit. In the end, Anna worked to rescind the holiday.
The celebration of moms and motherhood is ancient. Both the Greeks and Romans held festivals to mother goddesses. In the 16th century, European believers (Catholic and Protestant) created “Mothering Sunday” during Lent for parishioners to recognize the “mother” church of their baptism. Mothers were also honored with presents and flowers.
Moms are also honored in the Scriptures. Adam named his mate Eve, which comes from a Hebrew word that means “life.” In Proverbs 23:22, we’re told to “not despise your mother when she is old.” Jesus respected his mother; while hanging on the cross, Jesus instructed John to care for Mary as though she were his own mother. The Epistle writers challenged believers to obey their mothers.
Moms matter, and it’s important we show honor and respect for them. We mustn’t forget why we commemorate Mother’s Day.
It’s the same with the Lord’s Supper.
In 1 Corinthians 11, Paul cautioned the Corinthians against consuming the bread and drinking the cup in an unworthy, forgetful manner. To do so, he taught, was dishonorable and disrespectful, sinning against the body and blood of Jesus (1 Corinthians 11:27).
Today, as we celebrate our mothers, let us honor Jesus with even higher reverence. After all, we all were born by blood into this life through our earthly moms, but we’re reborn by the Spirit into eternal life through Jesus Christ.
This meal is how we remember him.
Let us remember and honor.
"SAVED BY THE BLOOD OF AN OVERCOMER!"
Louis Pasteur's co-worker in the demonstration of what used to be called the "germ-theory" was Dr. Felix Ruh, a Jewish doctor in Paris. The physician's granddaughter died of black diphtheria, and Dr. Ruh, vowing that he would find out what killed his granddaughter, locked himself in his laboratory for days. He emerged with a fierce determination to prove, with his colleague Louis Pasteur, that the "germ theory" was more than a theory.
The Medical Association had disapproved of Pasteur and had succeeded in getting him exiled, but he did not go far from Paris. He hid in the forest and erected a laboratory in which to continue his forbidden research.
Twenty beautiful horses were led out into the forest to the improvised laboratory. Scientists, doctors, and nurses came to watch the experiment. Ruh opened a steel vault and took out a large pail filled with black diphtheria germs, which he had cultured carefully for months. There were enough germs in that pail to kill everybody in France. The scientist went to each beautiful horse and swabbed its nostrils, tongue, throat, and eyes with those deadly germs.
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