of the Resurrection
1433 NW R.D. Mize Road
Blue Springs, Missouri 64015
From Fr. David+
There is no place you can go where God is not! ...words you have heard me say on any given Sunday. And yet, as we engage people at work, in our community and in the most conspicuous places, we may misinterpret the face of God in our midst. Last week I went back to my home town of Flint MI to be with my older brother and his wife who is dying from cancer. My brother and I are separated by 11 years and I can say that I really did not get to know him while growing up. He was never a religious person, didn't go to church, suffered troubling circumstances related to alcoholism and would never be one to utter a prayer. During my short visit, I was aghast to see my sister in law in the condition that has beset her. I was also incredibly blown away to see, in contrast to my expectations, my brother praying with her and giving her the kind of love I never saw him give as his younger brother so many years ago. I truly saw the face of God in Bill and am truly honored and humbled by how he is showing his faith today. The brief blog article below captures the joy of my experience as it relates to this story. ...enjoy.
Seeing the Face of God
From a blog of
"For I have seen your face, which is like seeing the face of God."
While the digital age connects us like never before, there is no substitute for face-to-face interaction. No email or Facebook message can ever compete with the joy of seeing someone's face light up when you enter the room. My grandparents' home was always an oasis for me for that very reason. When I'd arrive, both of them wouldn't just say they were glad I'd come; it was written all over their faces. No matter how much uncertainty, disappointment, or worry I was experiencing, one look at the two of them reminded me that I was accepted just as I was.
"For I have seen your face, which is like seeing the face of God, and you have accepted me." A man named Jacob spoke these words to his brother, Esau. You might think that a huge compliment like that was born out of a beautiful, loving family relationship. Nothing could be further from the truth. Jacob and Esau were twins who had been rivals even in the womb. Their childhood was marked by favoritism, competition, and deceit. The final straw: Jacob wanted Esau's birthright and inheritance, so he deceived his blind father into thinking he was his brother, and stole it. It made Esau so mad that Jacob had to flee for his life.
Decades had passed, and Jacob was returning home. He had no idea how Esau would receive him. He knew he deserved an angry and bitter reception. But Esau surprised his brother, and
showed grace. He accepted his brother with open arms. He offered undeserved favor and unconditional acceptance. He proved that the bond of family was stronger than sin. That's what caused Jacob to say, "I have seen your face, which is like seeing the face of God."
God gazes at us in that same way, only with greater purity, love and delight. Because we have been adopted as God's children, His divine blood runs through our veins and proves stronger than any sin. "But now in Christ Jesus you who were once far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ," (Ephesians 2:13). "And because you are God's children, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, 'Abba! Father!' So you are no longer a slave, but a son and a daughter, and if a daughter or son, then an heir through God," (Galatians 4:6-7). Because we are family, we receive unmerited grace and are accepted just as we are. Soak up that truth. When God looks at you, He says, "Hello, beautiful." He adores you. He delights in you.
And what does He want us to do with all that grace that He's poured over us? He tells us in Ephesians 5:1-2, "Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children. And walk in love."
If we're going to imitate Him, then we have to ask ourselves the question: What do our faces communicate to those we encounter? Do people leave our presence feeling like they've seen the face of God?
Or do our faces tell people that they don't matter much, because we are SO BUSY with incredibly important things like checking out the status updates of some old acquaintance?
Do our faces tell people that they aren't accepted, because their behavior doesn't match our opinion of "the right way to do things"?
If it's true that 93% of all communication is nonverbal, we'd better pay attention to what our faces look like.
Of course, this all would be easier to do if people would just act the way we want them to. But unfortunately, some people can be pretty annoying. Often those we love most can aggravate us to distraction.
So here's the good news. You've got some serious mojo to draw on when you feel like you just don't have it in you to reflect the face of God. Remember what you just read in Galatians 4:6. It says that if you're a daughter, then you're an heiress. You've inherited wonderful things (you can read about some of them in Ephesians 1:3-14). One of the things you inherited is the fruit of the Spirit. Galatians 5:22 says that we've got the following things at our disposal: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. That's the mojo I'm talking about. Mojo is the power to control natural forces through supernatural means. It means that God can supernaturally help us to control our natural reactions of disdain, cynicism, criticism, anger, disappointment and disinterest.
Your inheritance is there for the asking. So no long faces as we continue through Lent. Let's show the world what an amazing God we worship and reflect HIS FACE to everyone we meet! Now that's a great way to celebrate His resurrection!
AND NURSERY VOLUNTEERS NEEDED
If you are interested in assisting in either the nursery or Sunday school, please contact Fr. David.
We will not have Sunday school or a nursery through the summer. All children are welcome in church at all services
CHURCH IN THE PARK
10:30 am service on June 30
A potluck lunch will follow the service. Please wear cool and casual clothing.
The regular 8:00 service will be held at the Church for those who cannot or do not want to attend the service in the park.
FINDING FAITH THROUGH FICTION BOOK CLUB
Next meeting is Monday, July 1
Finding Faith Through Fiction
meets on the first Monday of each month at 7:00 pm to discuss a new book.
Looking ahead, here are the planned readings for the next couple of months:
The Alpine Betraya
l by Mary Daheim
The Leisure Seekers by Michael Zadoorian
The Alpine Betrayal
editor-publisher Emma Lord finds
out that running a small-town newspaper is dangerous. When a local girl, Dani Marsh, returns to Alpine a star to shoot a Hollywood film, the tension in the air is so thick it crackles. Then at the annual Loggerama, Dani's former husband goes berserk and is later found dead. Reporting on on all the goings-on as the editor of the ADVOCATE, Emma begins to suspect that neither she nor the sheriff is getting the real story. Emma's nose for a story leads her straight into trouble.
CURSILLO WEEKEND SEPTEMBER 20 - 22
A Spiritual Retreat for all Lay and Clergy
- It's an opportunity to grow in faith and in spirituality
- Gain a deeper understanding of the teachings of Jesus and how we can serve Him
- Experience living and sharing with others in a loving and caring Christian community and realizing that this can be extended into our own environment
- A continuing community that gives support and encouragement to help Christians carry out their Baptismal Vows
The Episcopal Cursillo Weekend
includes a time to experience living in a supportive Christian community that
includes fifteen talks, five meditations and a Eucharist every day.
Cursillo Weekend is not a retreat. It is an opportunity to meet clergy and laity seeking to strengthen our faith. It provides an environment to experience the reality of the gift of God's love through shared prayer, individual meditation, worship, study, fellowship, laughter, tears, and unconditional love.
Please contact Fr. David if you have questions or would like to participate.
NEW PRAYER BOOKS AND BIBLES NEEDED
Donations being accepted
New prayer books and bibles are needed for our sanctuary and programs. Our goal is to buy 40 new bibles in a translation that is consistent to our tradition (NRSV with Apocrypha) and 20 new Books of Common Prayer to replace worn books and to have books in reserve for teaching and programs so we won't have to take books from the pews. The c
ost per book is $18 for the BCP and $15 for each bible.
Donations will be recognized with a bookplate sticker in the front of each book.
Church in the Park, Sunday, June 30
Joint service and potluck in Blue Springs Park (Shelter #1) with All Saints Lutheran on June 30 at 10:30 am. Regular 8:00 am service at the Church.
Needed items include disposable razors, toothpaste and brushes, men's and women's deodorant, canned soup, cereals, feminine depends and pads S-M-L sizes and seasonal clothing. Monetary gifts are also gratefully accepted.
Save Best Choice labels and Boxtops for Education
Please clip and save Best Choice brand UPC labels and the Boxtops for Education for Resurrection. Collection containers are located in the Narthex.
No Wednesday evening Bible Study during the summer.