January 20, 2023
in Pastor's Weekly Message
Thank you, church, for being the church.
As Kelly Deyoe shared in worship last week, God calls ALL of us to be the hands and feet of Christ. We share with others about Jesus and the good news of Christ in our lives, like I share the good news of my car!! (I heard you all laugh!)
And I celebrate that St. Mark’s does this.
In the Gospel of John, chapter 11, Lazarus dies. Jesus is called to the home of his friend, and he arrives after Lazarus has been placed in the tomb. Jesus sees the grief on the family and those gathered around, and he is “deeply moved in spirit and troubled” (John 11:33). Then Jesus weeps. Is he weeping for the death of his friend? We know that he is about to raise him back to new life. Perhaps he is weeping for the grief that humanity experiences in times of death? We will never know what motivated his tears or his action, but we can follow his lead in both weeping for those who die and comforting those who are left behind.
We have a number of memorial services coming up at church. Each service represents a life lived and loved, a family in grief, friends who mourn. Each service represents a family whose dynamics have changed and whose members have to adjust to a new reality. Each service represents those left behind who will have to navigate wills and trusts and death certificates and government paperwork and canceling cable and cell phones and an unending list of things to do while in the midst of grief.
And you, the church, are showing up for these families. Thank you. You send cards. You call. You set up for funeral receptions. You attend the service. You listen and comfort.
You are the hands and feet of Christ.
Our family has experienced that from you in this last week, and we are grateful. I was away from worship last week because we were called to the death bed of my mother-in-law. We were able to arrive in Phoenix just before she passed away. She had entered hospice in early December, but it was still a quick decline in the last several days. Services will be held in Mesa on Feb. 4, with much to do before we arrive at that date.
We have appreciated the condolences and well-wishes from many of you through cards, emails, text messages, or words spoken. Thank you for offering your love and compassion to us, as you do for others in the same place. Thank you for being the church, being the Body of Christ in this world.
In worship this week, we continue our focus on those building blocks of faith, the foundations that we stand on when the storms of life assail us. We move from the practical—evangelism and service—to the more theological idea of a Trinitarian faith. We invite you to worship this week as we focus on our God who is known to us as Father, Son, and Holy Ghost; as Creator, Redeemer, Sustainer; as the Trinity. More importantly, we will apply this to our lives, recognizing why it matters to us as Christians and as United Methodists.
See you soon.
PS – Did you do your homework? Who did you invite to church this week?
- 8:30 a.m. Traditional service in Sanctuary and child care in Rm 15
- 10 a.m. Traditional service in Sanctuary and child care in Rm 15
- 10 a.m. Youth and children’s Sunday School and child care (except fifth Sundays)
- 10 a.m. Livestream premieres on YouTube and Website
To access our livestream service:
- From the main menu on our website click “Worship.” -OR-
- Go to YouTube and search for UMC St. Mark’s Oro Valley or use this link.