Sermons by Bob Rhodes
La Jolla UMC and Pacific Beach UMC offer this joint online Ash Wednesday worship service. This will be a time of prayer and song with leaders and musicians from both congregations.
This Sunday we say farewell to our beloved pastor of six years – Pastor Bob. Our very own Ron Jessee leads our beautiful farewell service, giving thanks for the time that we have benefited from Bob’s leadership. It would be irresponsible, however, if we fail to acknowledge our final Sunday together will be tinted with sadness.
One of my core understandings of God is through the concept of call. I believe that God calls to us, speaks to us, invites us into relationship, and invites us into action. We have spoken about the Pentecost work that must be done in the face of the profound pain we can see in the world. Have the courage to take these steps even if you do not know where they will lead. Have the courage to go to unexpected places, figuratively or literally, and discover that in doing so you are responding to God’s divine call.
This Sunday is Pentecost! Not only is it sometimes celebrated as the birthday of the Christian church, but its also a time to remember the early signs of inspiration in receiving the gift of the Holy Spirit! In this troubled time in our country, what is the Pentecost work we are called to?
Setting aside the COVID-19 virus, I suggest we have already been in need of revival. Our world has seemed increasingly partisan. Surely, we have a feeling of being in the wilderness. We are seeking sustenance and refreshment. We are seeking God’s renewing and forgiving Spirit. We are in need of revival!
This Sunday is Easter Sunday! While we continue to endure “social distancing,” we will celebrate online with a traditional service that includes hymns, lively music, a time for children, and a celebratory message from Pastors Lydia and Bob.
For our Maundy Thursday setting, imagine four clergy sitting around a table trying to dialogue thoughtfully on the realities of social distancing, a sacred meal, and service to one another. Now imagine you get to observe the conversation…
In the midst of everything happening, our “social distancing” and even some of the blame taking place (some racial, some class-based, etc.) I have been continually reminded by a quote from Fred Rogers: “Look for the helpers.” In this time of isolation, we are reminded not to give in to the darkness, but to remember the light of Christ that shine’s within us all.
As we wrestle in the current COVID-19 pandemic with how to relate with one another, we might consider this alongside our ongoing series on gratitude and the illustration of the table.
As we enter this Lenten season of spiritual introspection, we continue our exploration of gratitude. Last week’s message began with a question about where we find God, and this Sunday’s message draws the illustration of gathering around God’s table. This is a time of sharing in the abundance of God’s gifts!