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Worship Preview May 8th, 2022

First United Methodist Church

This Weekend: Sunday at 10:30am “Meanwhile, Standing Near Jesus… How Love Has Already Won!”Scriptures: 1 Corinthians 13:1-13 and John 19:25-31. Pastor Christopher Eshelman preaching.

I have two photos of my mother that I really cherish. One was taken shortly after I was born and she is holding me while napping. My dad took it in low light and it very much looks like a traditional Madonna and child icon. The other was taken at a mall studio in the early 80s, undoubtedly with a coupon, shortly after dad had left and filed for divorce. It is my mom and my brother and I. Mark and I’s hair are both a bit messed up, as young teenage boys will be. Neither of us is smiling all that nicely and it’s clear we don’t want to sit still for the photo. We would both, frankly, like to forget we ever looked or dressed quite like that.

But it is the look on my mom’s face that causes me to cherish the photo. She is smiling and her eyes reflect a steely determination. She will make this work. She will provide for these two often unruly boys. She will raise them right. Her face is filled with love… patience, kindness. She is refusing to be, or allow me to be, bitter or judgmental. She protects, trusts, hopes and perseveres. She will survive. She will overcome.

Mother’s Day is sometimes complicated. Life and faith are sometimes complicated. The Hallmark cards don’t cover all the realities of our complicated relationships. Sometimes we fail one another. Easter is a celebration that Love has already won. That in Christ, God has already achieved the redemption of the world. Sunday, with the help of a sometimes-overlooked scene from John’s gospel, we will talk about family and about God. We will talk about what it is to be human - and what it is to exist held and nurtured by perfect love - and how we respond.

You are invited to continue the journey of faith with us, coming just as you are with your questions, doubts and hopes - and to experience the transformative love and grace of Christ - which makes us whole. First time considering attending? - see our web site for answers to common questions and more information about what to expect at First UMC.

This Week: Wednesday, May 11, 5:30pm Feeding Families in His Name – this weekly free meal is available to everyone without obligation.

Community Office Hours this week: Pastor Christopher would love to visit with you, he’ll be at Common Grounds Monday from 9:30-10:30am and Hedgehog, Ink from 2-3pm on Thursday. Appointments are available other times - call the church at (620) 223-1950.



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