Mar 28 2014

Pastor Jeff Symonds

“What do you know?” I’ve been asked this question many times, sometimes just as a conversational opener, and occasionally by someone who really wanted to know what I’d come to know about life’s ultimate questions. Jesus’ resurrection on that first Easter morning answers that question and raises many more questions for us! As Barbara Cawthorne Crafton, writing in The Christian Century magazine two years ago now says, The resurrection is unknowable in the way we like to know things, the journalistic who-what-where-how that we grandchildren of the Enlightenment think comprises truth. The writer of the Gospel of Mark was different: he was willing to have his life changed before he understood fully what was changing it.

“Actually, this is the only way life ever really changes. You won’t understand marriage until you’ve been hitched for a while – and maybe not even then. You’re not going to know what it is like to have a baby until you’ve had one,” Ms. Crafton says. I’ve heard many people say that it is often different with each one, too. “You don’t even know your profession until you’ve been in it for a while. Nothing in life is obvious immediately. It all grows on us.”

“This is how we must approach resurrection, as well. No, you don’t understand it. Let it grow on you,” Ms. Crafton concludes. I agree with her. Even after nearly 40 years as a pastor, (and it will be that for me in June!) I have to confess that I really have no idea how Jesus was raised from the dead, or exactly how my trusting in Him enables me to be raised with Him or where Heaven is, or any of those really important things. I just know that when I give myself over to Jesus, and quit trying to figure out this mess we call life, somehow God gives me the peace that passes understanding. I’m trying to wrap my head around the fact that it is almost Easter again, but then it dawned on me: Easter is supposed to surprise us. We aren’t ever ready for it. We DON’T ever know what it’s all about or what it means. As my seminary professor used to tell us back in the 70’s: just groove on it. You can’t figure it out. Even the wisest among us doesn’t really understand how this is all possible. We just take it on faith. We trust Jesus through this next big transition, and as we do, we are changed, too. We are changed from skeptics and doubters to men and women of faith. We become new people. We know that we will be with Jesus in the Kingdom of Heaven. And somehow with all we don’t yet know or understand, it’s all O.K.

See you in Worship at the church house!

Grace and Peace,

Pastor Jeff Symonds

Special events during Holy Week:

  • The Passion Play will be every night from Monday, April 14- Saturday the 19 th. This year it is at McGee Park Convention Center instead of the downtown Civic Center. (They outgrew the old location!) Catherine is taking the Youth Group on Thursday, April 17.
  • Our Good Friday Service will be at Bloomfield UMC once again and includes a simple Bean Soup and cornbread meal with the Service right there in Hare Hall at 6:30 on Friday, April 18.
  • The Community Easter Sunrise Service will again be at the Ruins at 6:30 AM (cold, dark and early)
  • We will be flowering the cross at both of our Worship Services on Easter morning. You may bring whatever flowers you have blooming, or there will be some provided here at the church, as well as the Easter Lilies given in memory or in honor of loved ones. Make sure to fill out the forms by Palm Sunday for those so Caroline can put your information on the bulletin insert.
  • There will be an Easter Egg Hunt for children during the Sunday School hour. Please bring any candy or plastic eggs to the church by Palm Sunday (April 13). If you would like to bring goodies to share with parents and others, we will plan on putting those refreshments out at the back of the Sanctuary. All hospitality help is appreciated!

Aztec United Methodist Church

Worship Schedule

Sunday

8:30am   Contemporary Service
9:45am   Sunday School
11:00am Traditional Service

Wednesday

6:00pm   Word on Wednesday Service

Child Care Available

Child care is available between 8:00am and Noon so that you are more easily able to attend either service and Sunday school.

Community Assistance

Community assistance is available between 8:30am and 1:00pm from Monday through Thursday.

Upcoming Sermons

March 23 “The Ahh Effect” John 4:5-42

March 30 “Third Culture Christians” Ephesians 5:8-14

April 6 “Shake, Rattle and Roll” Ezekiel 37:1-14

April 13 (Palm Sunday) “The Quirky Truth” Matthew 21:1-11

April 20 (Easter) “The Resurrection Solution” Matthew 28:1-10  

April 27 “Doubtful Design” John 20:19-31  

Methodist News

Daily Devotion

daily words of wisdom and faith
  • Today’s Reflection TO PRAY FOR one another is to enter the dark not-knowing of Holy Saturday, suspended between the savagery and sorrow of the world and the undisclosed work of a hidden God. … We, in hope alive but besieged by the enormity of the world’s distress, release our prayer into the unseen flow of […]

Verse of the Day