Ministry Updates for Wednesday, May 20th, 2020

Return to Worship Survey

We want to know your thoughts on returning to in-person worship. The following link will give you some basic information about returning, and three short questions to answer. Your input is valued! If you did not get a chance to take the survey yesterday, please do so now.

Scripture for Reflection – Matthew 16:20

Then he sternly ordered the disciples not to tell anyone that he was the Messiah.

Reflection – Our Faith Identity (Part III)

It is a common thing for us to hide our identity, and there are many good reasons to do so. Hiding our identity is part of life, and Jesus was no stranger to this act. His was an issue of timing. He knew his identity as savior would get him killed. He had to wait to reveal it to the broader population.

Jesus was a threat to everyone’s way of life. The religious leaders of the day were comfortable keeping their distance from the poor and the sinners. The Romans were comfortable keeping their distance from the Jews and vise versa. The lower classes were comfortable keeping their distance from the upper classes.

Jesus sought to bridge these divisions. He ate with religious leaders and with the ‘sinners’. He conversed with and touched the ‘unclean’ sick and sinful. He spent time with the Samaritans, who did not fit in anyone’s world. He befriended rich and poor. He sent his disciples to go into the world of the Romans, and to all nations. And go they did.

But in this moment, it was not yet time to ‘put himself out there’. As Christians, we believe you cannot really understand Jesus as ‘Messiah’, until you have the whole story, which ends with his torture, execution, and resurrection. Jesus knew if humanity had any chance of ‘getting the picture’ of God’s love, they had to have the ‘whole picture’ of his story.

In the hardest moments of our lives, we do not yet have ‘the whole picture’.  But as people of faith, we trust God. People are free to make decisions, even the worst possible ones, which would include killing God’s son. But God is free to overturn those decisions. He resurrected Jesus. And in faith, we believe this act gave all of humanity a second chance, to state it mildly. That is the story of Jesus the Messiah, and ‘the whole picture’.


God of freedom and God of love, in this time of pandemic, we are most certainly struggling in many ways. We do not yet have the whole picture of how this will unfold. We give you thanks for the hope that comes to us through the whole picture of Jesus, including his suffering, death and resurrection. Let us live with the faith that the unfolding of our lives will reveal your goodness again and again. Amen.