Message from Pastor Alessandri April 22, 2020

April 22, 2020 Message from Pastor Alessandri (pdf) 

April 22, 2020

Christ is risen! Alleluia!
(He is risen, indeed! Alleluia)

It’s sunny! Still a bit cool, but sunny! What a difference it can make in our spirits. Maybe I can finally get up the last of the 2019 leaves and ready the patio area for Spring and Summer. The visiting nurse has already come and gone. I have a weekly, “check-in” Zoom meeting with the Lutheran pastors of Allegany and Washington Counties at 10 am. I’ll have a phone meeting with our seminarian, Katy, this afternoon. And there are still folks I haven’t gotten to speak with. So maybe I’ll get the yard work done.

NEW LANDSCAPING between the Gathering Room and the Office doors was put in this week. It is intended to be low maintenance with perennial plants and shrub. It certainly liked the rain yesterday. Thank you, Dave Resh, for making those arrangements.

HAVEN VEGETABLE GARDENERS We have room for you in Haven’s garden this year. We are in the process of arranging for tilling, fertilizing and fencing. We hope to be ready to plant in May. Each gardener is asked to keep their area weeded and watered. Please contact me (l.alessandri1035@gmail.com), the church office (havenoffice@havenlc.org) or Amy Mason if you are interested.

THIS WEEK’S INTERFAITH PRAYERS FOR A DIFFICULT TIME from the Washington County Interfaith Coalition

April 22, 2020

Protestant: Dietrich Bonheoffer

The long days of our sorrow still endure;

Father, grant to the soul thou hast been chastening,

that thou hast promised, the healing and the cure.

Should it be ours to drain the cup of grieving

even to the dregs of pain, at thy command,

we will not falter, thankfully receiving

all that is given by thy loving hand.

Tao

Take time to listen to what is said without words

to obey the law too subtle to be written,

To worship the un-nameable,

And to embrace the unformed.

Some moments feel like punishment and abandonment, yet there are sources of respite, even when there is pain and despair.  May you have the strength, through faith, to draw patience and hope from life…even when fear, boredom and anger overwhelm you.  Oh, You who are holy help us find connections in moments of loss, boredom and anxiety. May You offer us glimpses of hope and the ever-enlightening vision of what will surely come in the time that is yet to be.   Grant us comfort and a protection from despair. Remind us that we are blessed with the presence of new possibility even when the days grow long and monotonous.    Amen

Reverend Valerie Wills, Co-coordinator

Washington County Interfaith Coalition

 

NOTES OF GRATITUDE AND GODSIGHTINGS

“I have many things to be grateful for. My husband, Dick, and I were in Port Charlotte, Florida enjoying all the beautiful weather, mostly in the 80s and enjoying fishing and boating with our son Mark. We had planned to visit for 7 weeks but Dick started to have chest discomfort after 4 weeks and thought we should go home, which we did.

We got home on Monday, March 9 and Dick was in Meritus Hospital on the 11th. They tried to put a stent in his heart on the 12th. They told him he had had a heart attack (his second) and since they had already put in 7 stents, they couldn’t do another.

They sent him to Sinai Hospital in Baltimore on the 13th. He successfully had a three-way bypass on the 16th. He has recovered well with a little discomfort in his chest still. I stayed with Dick in Baltimore at the Hackerman-Patz House across from Sinai Hospital.
I was grateful to get a room there. It is for Sinai patients and families of patients. People from around the world come there and you can stay there a day or, in some cases, months.
I am also very grateful for having a loving, caring pastor who took me to Baltimore on Sunday, March 15th and stayed with me until I checked in the Hackerman-Patz House on Monday the 16th. Although she was not permitted to visit with Dick due to the Covid-19 virus, he knew she was there.

After the pastor located a telephone number, we could check up on Dick the day of his surgery. (No visitors were allowed in the hospital until 1 p.m.) She called and found out he was out of surgery and I could visit him. She then returned to Hagerstown but kept in touch with me. I can never thank her enough.
God is Good.

God Sightings – Just take a walk and take in all the beautiful flowering trees, flowers and shrubs.”

Sharron Moser

In my final year of seminary, we had to choose three Bible passages that spoke to our calling as a Minister of Word and Sacrament. One of the passages I chose is the gospel for this coming Sunday, Jesus’ meeting with two disciples as they walk toward Emmaus. Among the reasons for that choice is that I see a pastor as called to accompany people “along the road.” Sometimes those roads lead through a hospital stay, raising a family, aging, a mission trip, difficult times, celebrations or grief. With God’s Word and Sacraments and grace and love, a pastor does his or her best to draw up beside folks to provide the assurance, hope and love that God has for us all.  These notes, devotions and worship services are a way of trying to walk with you now through these trying times. If there is any other way I can accompany you, please let me know. You are treasured and you are loved.

Yet, I am not so foolish as to think I am not the only one called to accompany and care for the people of Haven. In those baptismal vows, you also promised to “proclaim the good news of God in Christ through word and deed” and “to serve all people, following the example of Jesus.” That is why, since I came in 2007, on the front of the bulletin it says:
Ministers: All God’s People at Haven        Pastor: Linda M Alessandri

So I encourage and thank you for the prayers, calls, notes and cards you provide for one another during this time when we are apart and uneasy. We need all Haven’s ministers to uphold God’s people and church. For the church is not a building but a people — God’s people. I am honored and humbled to be among you, ministers of Christ.
God’s Peace IS with you!
Pastor Linda M Alessandri

A Pause In God’s Word

Read: Luke 20: 13-27  (continuation of Sunday’s gospel reading)
13Now on that same day [when Jesus had appeared to Mary Magdalene,] two [disciples] were going to a village called Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem, 14and talking with each other about all these things that had happened. 15While they were talking and discussing, Jesus himself came near and went with them, 16but their eyes were kept from recognizing him. 17And he said to them, “What are you discussing with each other while you walk along?” They stood still, looking sad. 18Then one of them, whose name was Cleopas, answered him, “Are you the only stranger in Jerusalem who does not know the things that have taken place there in these days?” 19He asked them, “What things?” They replied, “The things about Jesus of Nazareth, who was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people, 20and how our chief priests and leaders handed him over to be condemned to death and crucified him. 21But we had hoped that he was the one to redeem Israel. Yes, and besides all this, it is now the third day since these things took place. 22Moreover, some women of our group astounded us. They were at the tomb early this morning, 23and when they did not find his body there, they came back and told us that they had indeed seen a vision of angels who said that he was alive. 24Some of those who were with us went to the tomb and found it just as the women had said; but they did not see him.” 25Then he said to them, “Oh, how foolish you are, and how slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have declared! 26Was it not necessary that the Messiah should suffer these things and then enter into his glory?” 27Then beginning with Moses and all the prophets, he interpreted to them the things about himself in all the scriptures.”

Reflection: I want to be with Cleopas and the other disciple on that road to Emmaus. I want to be there as Jesus walks disciples through the Hebrew Scriptures, pointing out the writings that point to the kind of Savior he is for all people of all times. I would hope Jesus would let me interrupt him with questions like, “But I always thought that meant……”  or “How does that work?” For those disciples on the road to Emmaus, the Holy Scriptures came alive, blowing away cobwebs and awakening imagination.
What might it be like if we approach the Bible like a walk with Jesus? Instead of being afraid of being puzzled, we think of reading and listening to the Bible like a conversation with Jesus about possible meanings and applications? Actually, that’s the way I approach Bible study with other disciples — Together, on the road, we’re trying to listen to what the Lord is trying to say and teach and we help one another to push aside the other voices that might distract us from the truth, the gospel, the good news of Jesus Christ.
Later in this gospel, after Jesus has vanished from their midst, they say, “Were not our hearts burning within us while he was talking to us on the road, while he was opening the scriptures to us?” I want my heart to be burning, too. Do you know how a song sticks in your head and you just can’t shake it? I want God’s word to be like that. A sentence, a phrase, a story that keeps coming back to me over the course of a day or week. And when it echoes, I joyfully wonder what Jesus would have to say as we walk on the road.

Prayer:
(from the ELW p. 72, “Grace to Receive the Word”)
Blessed Lord God, you have caused the holy scriptures to be written for the nourishment of your people. Grant that we may hear them, read, mark, learn, and inwardly digest them, that, comforted by your promises, we may embrace and forever hold fast to the hope of eternal life, which you have given us in Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord. Amen.

Open my eyes, gracious Lord, as I turn to your word.
I desire to know you and your ways.
May your word be planted deeply in my mind and heart.
Help me not to walk away and forget it, but to meditate on it and obey it
and so built my life on the rock of your truth. Amen.

Music:
“Word of God Speak” Mercy Me  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W8cJQMU9Q-U
“Thy Word” (an oldie) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=npWJZwgmKMo
“A Mighty Fortress”  instrumental on organ (listed in the hymnal under “Word of God”)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hVN0CIcqRYs