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Tuesday Tidings May 13, 2024




Dearest Members of Bethlehem,

 

“On that day you will know that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I in you.” -John 14:20

 

It usually starts off rather subtly, just enough to get your attention.  At first, it sounds like a momentary sizzle, eventually you will hear a loud crack.  When things are at their worst, the whole sanctuary is filled to overflowing with a static rumble of discordant thunder.  What I am describing is what happens when one of the wires on our microphone packs begins to fray and disconnect.

 

For those of you who have heard this cacophony, you know that a disintegrating wire is enough to disrupt and compromise an entire worship service. 

 

Nonetheless, I am actually grateful that it happens every once in a while, as it serves as a welcome reminder of just how important our connections really are.

 

The first and primary connection of our lives is to God, Creator, Sustainer, and Redeemer.  This connection is always maintained by the Divine, it is never frayed, but there are times when we simply do not realize the fullness of its power and potential.  There are ways, maybe the better word is, “means,” by which we can get the most out of this relationship… the sacraments, time spent in prayer, exploration and devotional study of scripture. 

 

And… of course, sacraments, prayer, and study don’t always happen in isolation.

 

There are times and seasons when the content of our conversations with our siblings in Christ can merely include sports and weather.  But eventually, we’ll need to go deeper and ask the bigger questions: how is God at work in my life?  What are we being called to do for the sake of the Gospel?  Are my personal ethics a faithful witness to the God I love?  I could go on, but that certainly gives you a start.  These conversations, these connections with one another really are critical.

 

I share this with you today, because this Sunday we will have some tremendous young people affirm their baptism or be confirmed.  This is a profoundly important occasion.  This is most certainly the moment when they vow to keep those promises made at their baptism.  But there’s more, as Pastor Ellen and I hold our hands above their heads and invoke the Holy Spirit, we are affirming their connection with the God that has blessed them so richly throughout their lives.  As we seek the affirmation and support of those gathered in the sanctuary, we are acknowledging our commitment to one another.

 

This is no small matter… these connections are the defining characteristic of our Christian faith, and it is indeed right and salutary that we tend to them vigorously, Congratulations to our confirmands!

 

Question for reflection: Do you remember your confirmation day, what were your feelings on that special day?

 

Yours in Christ,

Pastor Dan

 

Gracious Lord, may your Word and sacraments keep us perpetually and completely connected to you and one another.  It is while we are in you and you in us, that we feel a meaningful sense of peace, contentment, and purpose.  We thank you and praise you for these precious gifts of love.  We pray this in the name of our risen Lord Jesus Christ, amen.

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