Pastor’s Comments

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Bearing the Cross Leads Us to the Promised Resurrection
For the message about the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are
being saved it is the power of God. — 1 Corinthians 1:18 (NRSV)
For no matter how many promises God has made, they are “Yes” in Christ. And so through him the “Amen” is spoken by us to the glory of God. — 2 Corinthians 1:20 (NIV)
One of my favorite resurrection hymns found in our new Glory to God hymnal is Hymn of Promise (#250). Natalie Sleeth originally wrote this selection in February 1985 as a choral anthem and later adapted it as a hymn. She wrote that she was…pondering the death of a friend (life and death, death and resurrection), pondering winter and spring (seeming opposites), and a T. S. Eliot poem which had the phrase, ‘In our end is our beginning.’ These seemingly contradictory ‘pairs’ led to the thesis of the song and the hopeful message that out of one will come the other whenever God chooses to bring that about. Her husband, Dr. Ronald Sleeth, heard Hymn of Promise shortly before he died and asked that it be sung at his funeral.
Hymn of Promise by Natalie Sleeth
In the bulb there is a flower; in the seed, an apple tree;
In cocoons, a hidden promise: butterflies will soon be free!
In the cold and snow of winter there’s a spring that waits to be,
Unrevealed until its season, something God alone can see.
There’s a song in every silence, seeking word and melody;
There’s a dawn in every darkness, bringing hope to you and me.
From the past will come the future; what it holds, a mystery,
Unrevealed until its season, something God alone can see.
In our end is our beginning; in our time, infinity;
In our doubt there is believing; in our life, eternity,
In our death, a resurrection; at the last, a victory,
Unrevealed until its season, something God alone can see.
[HYMN OF PROMISE © 1986 Hope Publishing Company 380 South Main Place, Carol Stream, IL 60188 (800-323-1049)]
I invite you to prayerfully meditate on the lyrics of Hymn of Promise as we press on through
the final weeks and days of our 40-Day Lenten Journey following Jesus in THE WAY OF THE
CROSS. We are easily distracted along the way and often confounded by the little deaths that we
encounter in the world around us. Let us not forget that death, which marks our humanity, has
been overcome by Jesus, whose death on the cross for us, was real and inhumane and painful.
The great JOY of EASTER and the LIVING HOPE that is ours is born out of GOD raising Jesus on
the third day from REAL DEATH to NEW LIFE. That first EASTER, the resurrected Jesus reached
out to his followers offering them COMFORT amidst their fears and PEACE that was beyond their
understanding. The LIVING JESUS still says to us “Fear not!” no matter what cross/deathly
situations we are facing. Jesus invites us to share HIS PEACE and to know HIS LIVING
PRESENCE with us in every circumstance of life and death.
I leave you with a reminder from another old hymn that says, “Because He lives, I (We) can face tomorrow.”
Friends, spread the good news that our Lenten Journey is leading us beyond death into the JOY and HOPE and PEACE of EASTER made real in the LIVING PRESENCE of JESUS CHRIST, OUR LIVING LORD AND SAVIOR!
We are EASTER PEOPLE who know that GOD’S PROMISES ARE REAL! Hallelujah! Amen.

Pastor Tom

tomsig

 

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RSS Bible Verse of the Day

  • John 10:28-30
    “I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand. I and the Father are one.””