In Biblical times, when a man and woman were betrothed, the man would go off to add on to his family’s home so he and his bride would have a place to live. They didn’t usually have a set date but everyone knew if he was nearing completion of the home. He would simply come to get her the day that their home was completed so she and her attendants had to be prepared for whenever he would come because it could be in the middle of the night. That’s the backdrop of the parable Jesus tells of the wise and foolish virgins. They were to come out to meet the bridegroom when he came but only five of them had enough oil in their lamps. The other five did not prepare with enough oil. It might seem like the bridegroom was never coming and suddenly he would be there and if they were not prepared, they could not join the celebration. While Jesus applied that to being able to enter the Kingdom of God, it is also somewhat like our time now. There will come a time when we can worship together again. Right not it seems like it will never come and then suddenly, it will be here. So stay prepared. Continue to attend worship online or with Zoom. Continue to read the Scriptures and pray, continue to give and to bring food for the food pantry. Then suddenly the day will be here and we will celebrate that day together with God in worship.
As many of you already know from the THE WEDNESDAY WORD, September 13, 2020 is our new target date to restart in-person worship. We will send out instructions for how we will get together when we are closer to the date including all that we have done and will be doing to continue to meet safely. In the meantime, if you do not have a mask already, please get one. If you don’t have a way to get one, let the Church Office know.
I have not forgotten about our Bible Studies on Wednesday at 3 p.m. and Thursdays at 6:30 p.m. When we return in September, I will start again with a new study called “What’s an Anti-Racist?” We’ll start with some Scriptural background and sermons from the likes of Martin Luther King and then we’ll work through the book “How to be an Anti-Racist” by Ibram X. Kendi, which is recommended by our denomination for every person to read whether you are white or a person of color. The book is very approachable and quite well written. While you may purchase the book if you like to read it in its entirety, it was not written as a study so I plan to present key information for discussion each week with discussion questions from the author. This is an excellent book for those who do not support racism but do not know how to help eliminate racism. Please let call the Church Office to let Joy know if you are interested in participating. If for some reason we cannot start the studies in person the week of September 20th, we will still begin online.
Our Daily Bible Readings have entered the New Testament now. Check out the list here: https://www.eumcbradenton.org/post/july-s-through-the-bible-in-a-year
I pray for each and every one of you that you are well and that you stay safe in the days to come. Thank you for your calls, notes and cards. I read every one and they are in my office. I so appreciate your words of encouragement. I simply cannot wait to see you all again, even though we still have to maintain a 6 foot separation and wear masks. What a day that will be!
With love in Christ,