Pastor’s Ponderings

I want to thank the Claybanks United Methodist Church Congregation for their willingness and support as I introduced to the church some new and varied types of worship during our Lenten and Easter Season. Your acceptance and affirmation for these different ways in which to worship have been a blessing to me. As we continue to worship and honor God together in the days and months to come, I pray that you will be open to new and varied ways in which to worship through the power of the Holy Spirit. To worship on Good Friday in the afternoon during the same hours that our Lord Jesus went to the cross for us was very meaningful to me and many others. To gather outside of the Claybanks United Methodist Church on Easter morning as we recognize the opening of the tomb in Christ’s resurrection and then moving into the Fellowship Hall and then processing together into our sanctuary showed that we are indeed a community of followers of our Lord Jesus Christ.

For the first Sunday after Easter, our Holy Humor Sunday, I want to thank all those who were part of this somewhat unique and new way in which to worship. We affirmed that indeed God smiles and laughs with us. Celebrating Holy Humor Sunday at Claybanks United Methodist Church was my second experience in which we can bring a liturgy following Easter that helps us remember that laughter, lightheartedness and humor are gifts that God has given us, which may have been avoided during the Lenten Season. The use of humor is beneficial so that we might more enjoy the world in which God has placed us. As a parish, we worshiped in a service that included lighthearted humor and stories, some of our own creation and some looking at Scripture in a different way.

In a continuation of Holy Humor Sunday, I would like to share these humorous and enjoyable thoughts with you.

• Going to church does not make a Christian any more than standing in a garage makes you a car.
• Do not argue with a fool. He will drag you down to his own level and beat you with experience.
• If I agree with you; both of us will be wrong.
• We never really grow up; we only learn how to act in public.
• Evening News is where they begin with, “Good Evening”, and then they proceed to tell you why it is not good.
• Whenever I fill out an application, in the part that says, “In case of emergency notify…” I put in EMT’s.
• When tempted to fight fire with fire, remember that fire departments usually use water.
• Did you hear the story about a rabbi, the priest, and the pastor who were talking about their parishes…..!

Imagine the Scripture story of Zacchaeus where Jesus found him in the tree as he passed by. Using the Scripture story from Luke 19:1-10 can be, yes, a humorous story that teaches us much about who we are as followers of Jesus Christ. How many of us have been caught up in a tree and were not able to get down on our own? Jesus does seek the lost.

Humor is a great therapy for lifting our hearts, relaxing our minds and feeding our souls with gifts of love that we can share with one another. I look forward to hearing from you as you will continue to share humorous stories, jokes and antidotes, but please remember I am a pastor, and my ears are sensitive, thank you.

I want to thank all those in our parish that extended themselves in making an extra effort to be part of our Lenten programs, devotional readings and worship experiences during Lent and Holy Week. It is my prayer that our growth on the path taken for Lenten and Holy Week have assisted us as we journey along the trail that brings God closer to us. While we struggled together on that journey, I became aware that my heart, in the Wesley fashion, was “Strangely warmed”. It has been a blessing for me and for Reba to be part of Claybanks United Methodist Church during the Lenten Season and I pray the blessings will continue in the Easter Season that will bring us to Pentecost.
Pastor Gary

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