The Fruit of the Holy Spirit
[The following is an excerpt from R.C. Sproul’s book The Mystery of the Holy Spirit. In this passage he is talking about love as part of the fruit of the Spirit. See Galatians 5:22, 23]
The fruit of love that is born of the Holy Spirit is a transcendent love. It rises above the commonplace virtue of natural affection. It is the biblical agape, the love that is rhapsodized in I Corinthians 13. It is one thing to love the lovely. It is quite another to love one’s enemies. Natural love is like gold mixed with an abundance of dross. It is tarnished by selfish interests. It is mixed with the lead of envy and the alloy of rudeness. It is an inconsistent love.
Paul, in I Corinthians 13, tells us that love does not envy, boast, or exhibit pride. It is not rude, self-seeking, or easily angered. It keeps no records of wrongs received. It does not delight in evil.
Love is not defined by simplistic abstinence from drinking, dancing, makeup, movies, card-playing, and the like. It was envy that required the cross, not lipstick; it was covetousness that demanded atonement, not poker; it was pride that called forth the need from propitiation, not the cinema.
Some describe true love as “unconditional love.” This concept can be either a coin of pure gold or a gilded rock in the fraud’s bag of tricks. It is at once true or grossly false depending upon how it is understood. The preacher who smiles benignly from his pulpit, assuring us that “God accepts you just the way you are” tells a monstrous lie. The kingdom of God is far more rigorous in its requirements than Mr. Roger’s neighborhood. The gospel of love may not be sugarcoated with saccharin grace. God does not accept the arrogant man in his arrogance. He turns His holy back on the impenitent. To be sure, He demonstrates love toward His fallen creatures, but that love has holy demands. We must come to Him on bended knee and with a contrite heart.
Jonathan Edwards spoke of love in this way: If love is the sum of Christianity, surely those things which overthrow love are exceedingly unbecoming to Christians. An envious Christian, a malicious Christian, a cold and hard-hearted Christian, is the greatest absurdity and contradiction. It is as if one should speak of dark brightness, or a false truth.
Spiritual love is wrought by God. We are able to love Him because He first loved us and because it is His love that is shed abroad in our hearts. This love transcends natural affection. It flows from a heart that has been changed by God the Holy Spirit.
Two services were held on Good Friday. The Stations of the Cross at 3 p.m. and Evening Prayer at 7:30 p.m.
Easter Sunday began with a lovely breakfast in the Parish Hall. Thank you to the ladies for the delicious food. Following the breakfast several of the children sang in the chapel. It was wonderful hearing them raise their young voices in praise to our Lord. This was followed by the Service of Holy Communion.
The Annual Parish Meeting was conducted on Sunday, April 11, 2010. The meeting was preceded by a very good pot luck lunch.
A Work Day was held on Saturday, April 17, 2010. Thank you to all who came out to help. The next Work Day will be Saturday, June 5, 2010 starting at 9 a.m.
The Father/Son Breakfast was Saturday, May 1st, at 9:30 a.m. We thank the ladies who cooked and helped. We are thankful for all who could be here.
Our sympathy goes out to the Poole family and Sandy Oddie at the loss of Peter’s father.
The Rt. Rev. Royal U. Grote will be with us for his annual episcopal visit on Sunday, September 12, 2010.
RUMMAGE & BAKE SALE
The rummage and bake sale will be on Saturdays, June 12 & June 19. You may start leaving items Wednesday, June 2nd.
MISSIONARY OF THE MONTH
Sue Brodish, Christian Kindergarten, Germany
Let us remember our loved ones who have gone on before us to be with Jesus. We do thank our Lord for their God-given faith that helped show us the way to Him.
Thursday, May 13, 2010.
May 14 - Alex Rago
May 17 - Walter Sellers
May 22 - Miriam Poole
May 25 - Jeffrey Stultz
May 25 - Rev. Olu Olajide
SUNSET & DAWN
By J. Dewey Muir
Down sinks the sun in crimson hue,
With purple coloring interlaced,
A skein of gold is shining through;
Here evening glory has been traced.
But setting sun in yon far west
Is rising sun in farther east,
And that which seems a waning light,
In truth, has not at all decreased.
The crimson dye and purple hue
Which here declare the sinking sun,
As seen from further, eastlier shore
The gold declares a day begun.
So life, which passing slips away
Beyond our vision and our view,
Does not go down to rise no more,
But still lives on in life anew.
As sinking sun and rising sun
Are blended into glory bright,
So life which finds its peace in God
Does not go out to endless night,
For God, who blends the east and west
In gorgeous coloring with one sun,
And thus declares a day that’s spent,
And other day that’s just begun,
Through the brief incident of death
Blends into one harmonious ray
Life that is spent, yet just begun
In glory of eternal day.
ON ASCENSION DAY
By Marion Schoeberlein
The clouds caressed Him on that day
When over the hills and far away
Christ wnet to heaven to prepare
A home for Christians everywhere.
He left disciples, lonely then,
With a commission to teach to men
Of all He did and all He said;
The resurrection of the dead.
They saw Him lifted to the sky,
The Christ whose love would never die,
But even though he must depart
His memory stayed inside their heart.
Now each year on Ascension Day,
We look to heaven too, and pray,
That our ascended Lord will be
Forever in our memory.
Somebody cares and always will,
The world forget, but God loves you still,
You cannot go beyond His Love
No matter what you’re guilty of—
For God forgives until the end,
He is your faithful, loyal friend,
And though you try to hide your face
There is no shelter any place.
That can escape His watchful eye,
For on the earth and in the sky,
He’s ever present and always there
To take you in His tender care.
And bind the wounds and mend the breaks
When all the world around forsakes…
Somebody cares and loves you still
And God is the Someone who always will.