The Weekly AVENUE – June 30, 2016

Welcome everyone.  You are cordially invited to worship and fellowship with us as we celebrate the 7th Sunday after Pentecost.  You are welcome to come and hear our pastor, the Rev. Pat Locke, whose sermon will be “Wisdom from Below the Stairs” with the scripture taken from II Kings 5 and Luke 10.   The Lunch Bunch will be dining at Label Restaurant following morning worship.  We look forward to having you join with us in worship and Christian fellowship. May God Bless !

Standard Lectionary for 7th Sunday after Pentecost / 14th Sunday in Ordinary Time, July 3rd is II Kings 5:1-14; Psalm 30; Galatians 6:(1-6) 7-16; and the Gospel of Luke 10:1-11, 16-20.

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From the Pastor’s Desk

Dear Friends in Jesus Christ,

He had a cut over one eye, and told me in a raspy bellow about tripping and hitting his head on concrete steps. “Don’t worry about it Miz Locke,” he assured me when I asked if I could help, “Where’s the tree you want cuttin’ down?”

I said I’d be right there, even though the tree was in plain sight at the end of the driveway. I grabbed a band-aid and a tube of ointment on my way out the door. By anyone’s measure he was too old and frail to be climbing and cutting trees, but there were three younger men with him who quietly went about doing the actual work. One of them gently and tenderly placed the band-aid on his cut forehead. While the younger men worked to remove the tree, he began to tell a story. (“I’ll give you the short version.”)

Four months ago his daughter gave birth to a little girl named Journey. Journey was born with a severe heart defect and was whisked away to the operating room within days of her birth. The operation was unsuccessful, and this tiny girl was placed on a waiting list for a heart transplant. Three months later, one family’s abject misery was an instrument of hope for Journey when a deceased four year-old’s heart became available.

The family’s relief was short-lived. Despite the doctor’s best efforts, the left ventricle refused to work properly and Journey was in trouble. Needless to say, the family agonized as the baby began to decline. Finally, the doctor asked the family to gather at the hospital one last time. “My wife – well Miz Locke, she spent the night before on her knees prayin’ and prayin.'”

I could feel my throat tightening as he continued the story, certain of what the outcome would be. “The doctor told us the next morning that they’d done all they could, and we should think about taking her off life support. Well, while we was sittin’ there in the waiting room listening to the doctor, a nurse came in and told us something had happened. She said, ‘A few minutes ago her little heart just started beating and beating! Both the right and left sides! I’ve never seen nothing like it!'”

“And she’s doing okay?” I asked, tearing up. “She doin’ great!” he exclaimed, “better every day.”

As one of the younger men swept woodchips off my driveway he leaned in and said with a fond grin, “You really did get the short version, you know.” I smiled and he continued, “Every single tree we take down – for weeks, it’s the same story. But that’s okay – he can’t do much these days, but he needs to be here and he needs to tell his story.”

Every once in a while it’s blessing to be reminded human nature has a good side, and that more often than not, life ticks over pretty well. All may not be right with the world, but God is indeed in his heaven, and God hears our prayers. God also uses rusty old men to share miracle stories, and young men to teach us about kindness and patience.

Blessings,

Pat