April

All Shall Be Well--
Reflections from Tim
 April 30, 2014
Dear Centenary family,
 
When I was serving my first congregation, an old man invited me to eat “brains ‘n eggs” with him.  I turned down his invitation because the idea of eating pork brains made my stomach feel queasy.  Here is the recipe:
2.5 tablespoons of bacon grease
4 eggs
1/3 cup of whole milk
¼  teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
¼ teaspoon of salt
1 can (5 ounces) of pork brains in gravy
Melt the bacon grease in an iron skillet over low heat.  Add pork brains to the heated grease.  Stir with a fork.  Add salt and pepper and stir.  Whisk eggs and milk together.  Increase the heat and add egg mixture to the brains.  Scramble to desired consistency.  Serve immediately over toast.
 
I came across another guy who loves the dish so much that he takes his own can of brains with him when he goes into a restaurant for breakfast.  After he orders scrambled eggs, he gives the can of brains to the chef with instructions to dump the can into the eggs.  This guy contends that while pork brains are preferred, the truth is that the brain of any mammal will work just fine!
 
According to Luke 10:8, Jesus would be extremely disappointed with me for avoiding the invitation of the old man to eat brains ‘n eggs.  Jesus sends out 70 of his disciples and gives them some specific instructions:  “…eat and drink whatever they provide… eat what is set before you… cure the sick … say to them ‘The kingdom of God has come near to you.’” 
 
How strange of Jesus to offer instructions for eating at a time he is kicking off an evangelical crusade!  Here Jesus is sending out 70 of his brightest and best to witness, heal, and cure.  Before they go, he gives them instructions about eating “what is set before you.”  The directive is odd, to say the least, until you get to thinking about it.  The accepting of hospitality is a way to connect with people in such a way that you can say some pretty intimate things like “The Kingdom of God has come near you.”
 
When you accept the hospitality of another, you give up some control.  In giving up the control, it means that the person offering the hospitality can hear you at an entirely different level because greater intimacy has been reached.  The relationship is now reciprocal.  It is shared.  No longer is the relationship a monologue – it becomes a dialogue.  “Eat what is set before you.”
 
Two of the Jesus’ greatest gifts were listening and receiving hospitality.  He was a popular dinner guest at the homes of those on the fringes.  He listened to women, which was an anomaly for his day.  Samaritans felt they had worth because Jesus listened to them.  Jesus was loved by many because he ate what was set before him.  Eating what was set before him created the possibility of intimate conversation.
 
We Christians think we know a lot about offering Jesus to the world.  The sharing of our faith sometimes reveals a breathtaking arrogance.   Perhaps our sharing of faith would have more impact if we learned to eat what was set before us… Even if we are served brains ‘n eggs.   Then, and only then, can we really speak of intimate things.  Care for some brains ‘n eggs?
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This Sunday let’s look together at two disciples who did not recognize the resurrected Jesus.  I’ll be preaching “In the Breaking of Bread”.   I am looking forward to seeing you… Bring a friend.
 
Manna and Mercy.
Tim Bagwell
 
Love God.  Love Others.  Love Yourself.  Serve.
www.centenarymacon.org   
 

Our mailing address is:
Centenary United Methodist Church
1290 College Street
Macon, Ga 31220

 

 

 

All Shall Be Well--
Reflections from Tim

April 16, 2014

Dear Centenary friends - near and far,

Theologian Jurgen Moltmann was drafted into the German army when he was 17 and witnessed the firebombing of his hometown of Hamburg, in which 40,000 civilians were killed.  He wrote at one point, “Good Friday is the center of the world.”  But he also wrote that “Easter morning is the Sunrise of the coming of God and the morning of new life and the beginning of the future of the world.  The laughter of the universe is God’s delight.”  The story begins with weeping, grief, and despair.  Jesus is abandoned by most of his friends.  He is executed in a horrific manner.  Shock and awe.  Jesus offered hope and the hope was snatched away.  What were the followers of Jesus to do?  Good Friday was the center of the world.

We preachers stammer and stutter about Easter because it is beyond comprehension.  How can one speak eloquently about something that is beyond words?  The world shifted… no longer is Good Friday the center of the universe.  Easter is the center of the universe.  How does one describe that seismic shift? 

One of my favorite authors, Anne Lamott, writes:  “I don’t have the right personality for Good Friday, for the crucifixion… I’d like to skip ahead to the resurrection vision of one of the kids in our Sunday School who drew a picture of the Easter Bunny outside an open tomb:  everlasting life and a basket full of chocolates.”   She goes on to say, “Darkness is our context.  Darkness is Easter’s context.  Without the darkness you couldn’t see the light.  Hope is…about choosing to believe that love is bigger than any grim, bleak [stuff] anyone can throw at us.” 

Easter laughter is about the ultimate and eventual triumph of love over ANYTHING and EVERYTHING Good Friday may throw at us.
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Maundy, Maundy – 7 pm Thursday in the sanctuary.  Communion accompanied by modern lyrics and songs… Dylan, McCartney, Joe Cocker, Tracy Chapman…   One of the most unique worship services that happens at Centenary.  Don’t miss it.
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BRING FLOWERS THIS SUNDAY, IF POSSIBLE…. Azaleas, flowering quince (whatever that is), wisteria, roses, dogwood blossoms, weeds flowering in your yard, whatever!  And pick a few extra for people who may not have flowers.  We are decorating the cross in the sanctuary this Sunday morning.  Come a little early and put your flowers on the cross… Don’t forget!  AND… Coffee and Conversation this Sunday… Great time of visiting before worship.  
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EASTER SUNDAY – 2014
With anticipation we approach this special day.  I will be preaching a sermon titled “The Tapestry of Life – An Easter Weaving”.  The music is always a highlight.  Also, you will see some amazing things inside the sanctuary this Sunday morning.  Easter promises to be a great day of celebration.  Call a friend (or two or three) and invite them to join you at Centenary this Sunday.
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Men’s Breakfast at Jerry’s Farm – Saturday, 8:30… For more info contact Jerry atjelder92@pstel.net

See you Sunday!

Manna and Mercy,
Tim Bagwell

Love God.  Love Others.  Love Yourself.  Serve.
www.centenarymacon.org   


 

Our mailing address is:
Centenary United Methodist Church
1290 College Street
Macon, GA 31201