As we approach the end of another week of ministry together, I offer my gratitude to you for participating with your time, your talent, your treasure and your truth. This is the “gold standard” of membership in our church and I see so many of you embracing it, modeling it, and living it out each week. Thank you so much for all you do at God’s church known as Holy Cross MCC of Pensacola.
This edition of The GEM (our electronic newsletter from which this blog is taken) is filled with information about upcoming events at the church. This Sunday we’ll enjoy quite a selection of contemporary music during our Sunday Worship Celebration. Next week our special Father’s Day guests, Jason & DeMarco will be here as we celebrate fathers of all kinds. There are affinity groups, fund raisers, meals and all sorts of fellowship opportunities scheduled throughout the summer to keep is engaged and enjoying one another’s company throughout the season. I hope you’ll be here pitching in and participating as much as possible. If you’re still looking for a place to plug in and volunteer, let us know. We have opportunities for everybody. Plug in fully with your church and be part of what God is doing among us.
Our financial challenges continued through the month of May. We fell far short of our budgeted income. Fortunately, our spending was lower than predicted, too, but at the end of the month we still ended up with another shortfall. I share that with you in hopes that all of us can pitch in and help avoid another month like this one and even make up some of the deficit. Your Board and I are working carefully to manage our financial situation and very deeply appreciate your participation with us.
This Sunday’s sermon has two names. I couldn’t settle on one, so here are the two titles, “Oh Love that Will Not Let Me Go,” and “Endless Love.” Consider this reading from the Gospel of Luke as you begin to focus your mind toward Sunday’
Luke 7.36-40, 44-46, 48-50 (The Message)
One of the Pharisees asked Jesus over for a meal. He went to the Pharisee’s house and sat down at the dinner table. Just then a woman of the village, the town harlot, having learned that Jesus was a guest in the home of the Pharisee, came with a bottle of very expensive perfume and stood at his feet, weeping, raining tears on his feet. Letting down her hair, she dried his feet, kissed them, and anointed them with the perfume. When the Pharisee who had invited him saw this, he said to himself, “If this man was the prophet I thought he was, he would have known what kind of woman this is who is falling all over him.” Jesus said to him, “Simon, I have something to tell you.” “Oh? Tell me.” Jesus answered, “Do you see this woman? I came to your home; you provided no water for my feet, but she rained tears on my feet and dried them with her hair. You gave me no greeting, but from the time I arrived she hasn’t quit kissing my feet. You provided nothing for freshening up, but she has soothed my feet with perfume. Impressive, isn’t it? Then Jesus spoke to her: “[I don’t see you as a sinner].” That set the dinner guests talking behind his back: “Who does he think he is, [absolving] sins!” He ignored them and said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you. Go in peace.”
My primary focus will be on the woman in the story and her interactions with Jesus.
I look forward to seeing you again on Sunday, if not before. Have a safe and happy weekend and remember…You are loved. You are worthy. You are welcome.