April 2022 Newsletter

Pastor's Note

There I said it. Easter has always followed a lunar calendar (I won’t get into what that means,) but I wish whoever was in charge would just choose the 3rd Sunday of April and have done with it. Don’t get me wrong, I know there are many historical/theological reasons for the way things are. I just love a late Easter. There are many reasons for this, most of which have to do with my childhood. I loved a late Easter when I was younger because I loved the beauty of Springtime. I loved the warmer weather. I enjoyed wearing shorts to Grandma’s for Easter dinner. As I have gotten older, I remain a fan of a later Easter, but my reasons have changed.

There is something to be said for a longer period between Christmas and Easter. There is more time to reflect on the life of Jesus, more time to spend in Scripture, looking at his miracles, his teachings, who Jesus really is. I have always believed myself to be hurried when Ash Wednesday comes in January. “It is not time yet,” I think to myself. There are very real implications to Jesus being with us, Christ the Immanuel. A later Easter allows us time to come to grips with that. By walking with Jesus and seeing who he is and what he does, we create space in our lives to deepen our relationship with him and create space for healing.

I think a lot during Lent about Jesus' miracles and what they mean. I know there are miracles of a great catch of fish and miracles of more food than 5,000 people can eat. But it is the healing miracles that always amaze and perplex me. They amaze because, well, they are amazing. A paralytic man is dropped in front of Jesus, and he heals his sins and his paralysis; a blind man has mud and spit rubbed on his eyes, washed it off, and is healed; a foreign woman screams at Jesus to heal her daughter and he relents. But I always wish for more. I don’t want Jesus to heal a blind person, I want Jesus to heal blindness! I don’t want Jesus to let one person walk, I want Jesus to consign wheelchairs to the dustbin of history! The fact that this is not the case reminds me that even Jesus pointed to something beyond himself. Each healing miracle points to the day when God’s kingdom will come to Earth, this Earth, and all will be healed.
Even those who were healed had to move in a broken world. The man healed of blindness could see but would have to come to grips with visible injustice that still existed. The one whose paralysis was healed would now be able to run to those in need themselves. Healing includes wonder, but also the beautiful and difficult aftermath. A later Easter creates more space for healing.

As we move towards Holy Week, I hope we are able to experience this as a Healing Week as well. We travel a road together, and that road leads to a cross, but the road is not a journey taken alone. Healing is a community event. We name what we need healing from and we come into contact with those who have been healed and need healing themselves. We walk the road to a cross; it is difficult. We experience the joy of an empty grave; It is wonderful!

Upcoming Events

MEANS OF GRACE: Learning Spiritual Disciplines, April 2 and April 9 from 10:00am-11:15am
A class about a variety of Spiritual Disciplines to enrich your faith! The Bethany Discipleship Team invites you to come and learn about the many different ways we can practice our faith. Each week, get an introduction to two disciplines, then choose which one you’d like to learn about more in depth. Registration requested, on-line or contact the church office.

Golden Oldies - April 21st
Joe DiVittorio will be speaking on Personal Safety.
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