Friday Greetings — May 19

Dear Centenary friends,

"If I loved you,
Time and again, I would try to say,
All I'd want you to know.

If I loved you,
Words wouldn't come in an easy way,
Round in circles I'd go.

Longing to tell you, but afraid and shy;
I'd let my golden chances pass me by!

Soon you'd leave me;
Off you would go in the mist of day:
Never, never to know
How I love you...if I loved you."

A few days ago, I was humming this song under my breath when a young-ish Centenarian asked me, "What's the name of that song?"  "If I Loved You," I replied. "Oh, yeah," he responded, "that song by Josh Groban."  "He certainly sings it," I replied, "along with Audra MacDonald - but neither one of them wrote it."   "Really?" he said, "who did?"  "Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II" I replied.  "Don't think I've heard of them," he said, looking puzzled.  "There's a reason for that," said I, "It comes from the musical Carousel, written a good 30 years before you were born, and a decade before I was."  "Oh," he said, losing interest quickly, "I had no idea it was that old."  And that was the end of that...at least for him.  But not for me: anyone brought up in the choir loft of a Methodist church and the footlights of the local Little Theatre knows lots and lots of "Oldies but Goodies."

Most likely, many of you do, too. Those Oldies but Goodies form the bedrock of who we are and what we really want believe; sometimes, we don't even realize what a profound effect musical memory has on us.  If I asked you to state Wesley's Threefold Grace of God (prevenient grace, justifying grace, sanctifying grace), you might squint and squirm; but if I asked you to sing "Love Divine, All Loves Excelling," quite a few of you would at least take a stab at it...and you'd have answered the same question.  "Oldies but Goodies" strikes again!  This Sunday in worship, we'll encounter a scriptural "Oldie but Goodie" in Jesus' powerful words on who loves whom in the closing verses of John 14.

So, come to worship scripturally prepared!  This Sunday's Bible readings are Acts 17:22-31 and John 14:15-21.  Read both, and then ask yourself:
How do I know for sure that Jesus loves me?  Can I say with conviction that I love Jesus?  How will Jesus (or anyone else) know it for sure?

Opportunities to love Jesus and be loved by him come to us moment by moment; but there's no better time to celebrate the One whose love is our life, than when we're in worship together.
See you on Sunday!

In Jesus' love,
Pastor Susan