Friends, enjoy hearing from our elders (this time from Lead Elder Dick Parks) periodically so you can get to them and hear their hearts for Rockland (and Christ!)
Spring is finally here, and there are always good and bad things that come with it. If you are a skier, you know your days are numbered. If you have allergies, your troubles have just begun. But, the temperatures are rising, the days are getting longer, and soon trees will be budding, flowers blooming and birds singing and it will be time to clean up the grill for some backyard barbecues. Around our house, an annual Spring ritual has already begun -- Spring housecleaning. Talk about a mixture of good and bad!
Of course for Christians, with Spring comes Easter. During Jesus’s final week before the first Easter, Jesus did a little “housecleaning” of his own. In Matthew, we read that soon after his triumphal entry on Palm Sunday, Jesus entered the Temple (His Father’s house) and drove the merchants and moneychangers out, overturning their tables! “It is written,” he told the people, quoting from the Old Testament, that “My house will be called a house of prayer, but you have made it a den of robbers.” Jesus “cleaned house” because the priorities of those in charge of the Temple were totally askew.
The Apostle Paul tells us that we believers who gather together at Rockland are in fact a temple and that the living God dwells in our midst (I Corinthians 3:16)! As a Congregation, we need to be careful to keep our priorities straight. It's what “Worship, Connect, Serve, and Give” is all about. But Paul goes further. In the sixth chapter of I Corinthians, he tell us individually that our very bodies are temples, dwelling places of the Holy Spirit! Perhaps some self-examination and personal housecleaning is in order for each of us -- and that is exactly what the Lenten season is supposed to be all about -- a time of self-reflection and repentance in light of what Jesus did for us at the Cross.
Here at Rockland we look forward to celebrating what is called Holy Week together -- from the Palm Sunday worship services a week before Easter, to a wonderful Maundy Thursday service on Thursday evening as we contemplate Gethsemane and the passion of Christ, followed by a Good Friday mid-day time of quiet contemplation and meditation on the crucifixion (while surrounded by Susan’s beautiful music). Of course, it all comes together as we celebrate the resurrection of our Lord on Easter morning.
I’m looking forward to it.
I hope you are too.