St. Andrew United Methodist Church
Tuesday, February 19, 2019
Open Minds. Open Hearts. Open Doors.
 

 

         From the Sr. Associate Pastor’s Desk

 

 A Second Opinion 

 

    A tourist, for the first time in his life, had carefully planned a vacation rip to the Grand Canyon. Finally the time arrived, they packed the car and the family took off. It was the culmination of a dream vacation they had wished for and now it was reality. On the way they discussed what they would do, the sights they would see, and the fun they would have at the Grand Canyon. This was the father's dream. He told his family about how he would like nothing more than to walk some of the rim and take pictures looking right into the canyon itself.

Finally they arrived and  checked into a local motel, and rushed out to the canyon to begin their vacation. The first thing the father did was to make his way along the rim, but he lost his footing and plunged over the side, clawing and clutching frantically to save himself. 

After he fell out of sight and just before he fell into space, he encountered a shrubby type of bush which he desperately grabbed with both hands. Now he was hanging in mid-air, feet and body dangling over the edge, with nothing beneath him. He looked down to see the canyon floor hundreds of feet below. He was filled with terror ! What would he do now ? His family had been left behind at the lookout, and were too far away to hear his cry for help. Talk about a tough situation !     

Filled with fear. he looked up and called out towards the empty heavens, "Is there anyone up there ?"     

A calm, powerful voice came out of the sky, "Yes, there is"     

 

The tourist, feeling just a bit better since he had received an answer, pleaded, "Can you help me? Please, can you help me?"     

The calm voice replied, "Yes, I probably can. What is your problem ?     

"I fell over this cliff and am dangling in space holding on to a bush that is about to let go. Please help me," he again pleaded.     

 

The voice from above said, "I'll try. Do you believe?"     

"Yes, yes, I believe!"     

"Do you have faith ?"     

"Yes, yes, I have faith"     

 

The calm voice said, "Well, in that case, simply let loose of the bush and everything will turn out fine."     

There was a pause, then he yelled, "Is there anyone else up there?" 

 

 In His Service, 

 Terry and Mary

 

                           

 

 

 

From the Associate Pastor’s Desk

Winter greetings to you! In just a couple of weeks we will celebrate Valentine’s Day. Some of my

favorite Valentine’s day memories are from my childhood with my parents. My mother always had some sort of special something for my sister and I – a lovely meal, a card reminding us how much she loved us, and somehow it became a tradition with my father that he would give me a storybook each Valentine’s day as a gift. And then, of course, we would spend the next month or so reading it and re-reading it, until I could practically tell the story myself (hey, I was preparing for preaching at a young age!).

I knew that this festive day on February 14 had romantic notions to it, but the special and meaningful memories formed early on were of being a beloved child of my parents, of being reminded that I belonged, of receiving more than mere material gifts, but the time they put into nurturing me, feeding me, reading to me and spending time with me.

And in reflecting upon these memories, I am reminded how often it is that love is a choice. That showing up, investing, sacrificing, it’s a choice we make. Often times it is not easy or convenient, but it is absolutely worth it.

I am also struck by the amazing love that God offers to us, much like a parent with children. I am reminded, too, that when all else can fail or seem to fall short with human love – broken relationships, a divorce, the grief we navigate in losing a loved one – God’s love never, ever fails, and God’s love will never leave us or give up on us. We need this reminder again and again in our lives because we do live in a broken world. Read this good news this February 14, whether you are single or married, widowed, divorced, feeling content or feeling concerned, the love of God is for you. You are loved.

I’ll eat an extra chocolate (or half a dozen) to celebrate the divine love God offers us, no matter who we are or what we’ve done!

“No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.”

John 15:13

 

In Christ, 

Beth