The Old Farmer’s Almanac tells us that the “spring equinox (also called the March equinox or vernal equinox) falls on Tuesday, March 20, 2018, at 12:15 P.M. EDT.” For this runner and lover of whitewater, it can’t come soon enough.
Especially after this week’s spring forward out of “daylight savings” time and back into standard time, from which I’m still reeling as I write this as though I’m suffering from jet lag, I’m pretty doggone tired of dark mornings and temperatures that don’t get reasonable until it’s nearly time for daylight to disappear again. I don’t care if this has been one of the mildest winters I’ve lived through, I’m over it. Bring on Spring!
(…he says, checking prices on nasal flush systems.)
I don’t think it’s unreasonable to want warmer weather to hurry along. I don’t think it’s unreasonable to long for longer days. Or, even if it is unreasonable, I don’t think it’s unusual.
But it doesn’t look very hopeful, does it?
I guess we’ll have to live through whatever Winter decides to keep throwing at us. The Equinox isn’t really an indicator of consistently increasing temperatures, anyway; not any more than global warming is a predictor of the disappearance of winter altogether. Winter and its dark and cold are a reality that will exist as long as the Earth maintains its tilt and its steady orbit around the Sun.
It is something we have to live through, like it or not.
I guess I think of Lent in the same way. It’s really not a season I enjoy, but the gathering darkness is enormously important. Following Christ doesn’t just mean jumping to the resurrection; it means suffering and dying with God Incarnate, or there will be nothing from which we could be resurrected.
But somewhere deep in the soul, there’s a seed of prophecy: new life is coming!
That seed of hope, that prophetic understanding is a thing that keeps me going, not just from day to day, but within the larger scope of my vocation and my faith. This is an astounding mess we find ourselves in today, surrounded by injustice and facing down uncertainty and irrelevance at every turn. What do we do when the future looks so grim?
Well, personally, I remember that on Friday, the future looked hopeless for those first disciples huddled together in Jerusalem, certain that the Temple authorities and Roman soldiers would be after them next, convinced that the cross Jesus had instructed them to bear would be nailed to them within hours. So, except for the one who was lost, they waited.
And today, as our churches atrophy, we wait.
And today, as our message seems entirely irrelevant, we wait.
And today, as The United Methodist Church faces her darkest hour, we wait.
And even as we come within days of the spring equinox, waking to temperatures below freezing, befuddled and frustrated, we wait.
Because somewhere buried deep within us, there is a seed of hope prophesying: new life is coming.
The Word of God is still speaking new life. Wait. Pray. Wait.
And be ready for it. Be ready when Jesus calls you.
New life is coming.
Feed the Hungry Offering
Our offering this week is for the Haven of Rest Infant Ministry.
This program helps families needing assistance for their babies ages 0 – 12 months.
Come, thou Fount of every blessing, tune my heart to sing thy grace;
Streams of mercy, never ceasing, call for songs of loudest praise.
Teach me some melodious sonnet, sung by flaming tongues above.
Praise the Mount! I’m fixed upon it, mount of thy redeeming love.
~Robert Robinson, 1758
The Church Gratefully Acknowledges These Gifts:
In Memory of
To the Memorial Fund by
Brenda and Jim Hobbs
Helen Holland, J. S. and Phyllis Marcy,
Ben and Joan Cole
To the Choir Fund by
In Children’s Church Last Week . . .
This week Ms. Donna taught us about The Last Supper.
We made bread and a cup out of crayon shavings and
wax paper. God’s love changes us – like the heat
changes the crayon. His love makes us beautiful.
Community Lenten Services
Wed., March 21, noon - St. Luke UMC - Jack Stevens, Speaker
Sun., March 25, 5:00 p.m. (Palm Sunday) – Anderson Street UMC
Singers from Anderson Street UMC and other churches will perform
in a combined concert. Doors open at 4:30. Come early to get a seat.
Wed., March 28, noon - Addilynn Memorial UMC – Barbara Farmer , Spkr.
Friday, March 30, 6:30 p.m. - Good Friday Service and Holy Communion
Presented by Bristol Methodist Pastors at Anderson Street UMC
Next Exciting Youth Adventure
Wednesday, March 21, 6:30 p.m.
Break the Code
For more information contact John, Brandon, Andy, Rebekah, or Erica.
We have some great scientists at FUMC! Sarah received first place, and BellaShea,
second place in the Science Fair last week. Congratulations, Ladies!
CHURCH YARD SALE
Bring it for the Sale
We are storing items in the former nurse’s office.
Do you shop at Kroger? If yes, do you participate in the Community Rewards Program?
It costs nothing to participate, but based on the purchases of those enrolled on behalf of FUMC, Kroger will make a periodic contribution to the church.
How To Enroll: Go to www.kroger.com. If you already have created an account, sign in; if not, you must create one. Once signed in, look for the “person” figure and down arrow on the far right of your screen. Click the down arrow. Choose My Account. Scroll to the bottom of the page to Community Rewards and enroll. Search for First United Methodist Church, and select the one in Bristol. Or, search by our organization number, which is 85975.
Church Committee Meetings
With the exception of the
Staff Parish Relations Committee (SPR), any member of
First United Methodist Bristol is welcome to attend any
committee meeting of the church.
April 30 – May 2, 2018
MainStay Suites, Pigeon Forge
A retreat for adults (50+) who desire to explore and enhance their relationship with Christ.
We have this hope as an anchor for
the Soul, firm and secure.
It enters the inter sanctuary behind
the curtain. Hebrews 6:19 NIV
Sponsored by Holston Conference United Methodist Church Foundation.
This year Holston Conference is excited to offer summer camp for children and youth, Grades 1 – 12, at Camp Bays Mountain.
Camp Director Jeff Wadley says, “The outdoor setting, camp activities and summer counselors are avenues for our campers to be introduced to Christ and to grow in faith. Our theme this summer is Here I Am! in which we will study God’s presence in our lives.This is the heartbeat of our camp curriculum.”