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Come My Beloved

August 31st, 2018 by Carl Buffington

Scripture opens with an invitation (Mk 1.17), "Come, follow me," Jesus said...

Scripture closes with the same invitation (Rev 22.17) "The Spirit and the bride say, "Come!"

But the invitation doesn't stop there.

How do we respond to this his invitation?

I want to share a story.  It's one I have told before, but one worthy of a second telling and hearing.

It's told by a friend who has now checked into the heavenly Jerusalem as he would say (Brennan Manning, author, preacher and teacher.)

As he shares - He was giving last rites to a woman named Yolanda in LA.  She had been abandoned by her family and was dying alone, severely disfigured from the ravages of leprosy.  As Brennan turned from her bedside to put away the communion kit, a bright light came into the room.  He said it was like light just falling in through the window.

As he turned, she said, "Oh Father, my Abba just spoke to me."  And he said, "Oh?  What did he say to you Yolanda?"

He said to me, "Arise, my darling, my beautiful one, and come with me.  See!  The winter is past; the rains are over and gone. Flowers appear on the earth; the season of singing has come, the cooing of doves is heard in our land. The fig tree forms its early fruit; the blossoming vines spread their fragrance. Arise, come, my darling; my beautiful one, come with me."

As he was leaving, the nurse asked how she was doing.  And he said, "Well, she was quoting scripture, Songs 2.10-13, so I'm not sure."  The nurse said, "She's illiterate! She's never read a word of the Bible!"

When they returned to Yolanda's room, her Abba had indeed come in and scooped her up.  Come my beloved!

Can you imagine just how beautiful Yolanda became in that instant?  I'm sure you could have compared her to the most breathtaking sunset you ever saw your Abba paint.

Responding to his invitation is virtually transformative, life and soul changing!  We need to respond, any and every way possible.

And we respond in many ways, e.g. our obedience to his word (listen to the epistle from James), our reaching out to others in serving (listen and look to those being honored today), and as the gospel makes clear, with our hearts!

"These people honor me with their lips,

But their hearts are far from me."

Where is your heart in terms of this invitation?  How will you draw near?  Come my beloved!

Sunday, I plan to share how I responded a couple weeks ago.

 

See you then, come,                                                                         

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A couple of weeks ago, when preaching from John this was the phrase that rang in my ears. And the answer:

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"While fantastic acting and direction can help evoke emotion in an audience, nothing sets the tone in a film quite like its soundtrack. But while scores and songs are usually carefully chosen to match the dramatic arc in a film, there are times when a scene and accompanying song seem entirely mismatched. This dissonance between song and action has the power to make the scene even more poignant, emotional, or in many cases, more terrifying."

It's good to be Home

August 10th, 2018 by Carl Buffington

Today, Friday the 10th of August, a parishioner had surgery early in the morning, and a deacon is getting married in the afternoon, or has already been wed depending on when you read this. We can sing, "Ruan and Dennis are Going to the chapel and..." well, you know the lyric, and we all say, "Alleluia."

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