Dear Sisters & Brothers in Jesus:

This month we have the opportunity to celebrate at least five very special days:

  • Confirmation Day – May 6th
  • Ascension Day – May 10th
  • Mother’s Day – May 13th
  • Day of Pentecost – May 20th
  • Memorial Day – May 28th

All of these days can and should hold a deep meaning for us as we move throughout
our life’s experience and our life of faith. Confirmation Day reminds us of our need
to live out our baptismal covenant; Ascension Day reminds us that not only are we
called by Jesus to follow him, but to trust him so that we too can rise up above the pain of this world in faith and help to serve others in his name; Mother’s Day reminds us of the gift of parenting with all of its ups and downs and that we are all called to be responsible for God’s children; Pentecost reminds us that we have been empowered by the Holy Spirit to live for and like Jesus; and Memorial Day reminds us of the reality of
self-sacrificial love for others. I hope that you will spend some moments reflecting on each of these special days this month!

A Bible text that comes to mind to help me think about these special days is written in
Paul’s letter to the Philippians 4:13 “I can do all things thought Christ who strengthens
me.” I know that these words and the truth they communicate are an inspiration in my
life. As Peggy and I draw closer to retirement, Paul’s words take on a much deeper
meaning to us. I hope these precious words take on a deeper meaning to each of you and
to our entire Memorial family as we all move through this time of transition. Moving
forward in life and ministry is a matter of trusting in God to not only be with us, but
also to show us the way through! May our hearts and minds be open enough, soft
enough, wise enough, loving enough and encouraging enough to trust God today and
every day to come.

I hope that you will enjoy, be challenged by and find some needed laughter in the
following five short stories I share with you now.

(Will Williamson relates a story told by an Episcopal friend, Ed Covert,
about a memorial Ascension Day observance at his seminary.)
The service ended, and amid clouds of incense, the assembly emerged
from the chapel singing some great ascension hymn. But unknown to
the worshipers, some enterprising student had taken one of the tacky,
life sized Christmas crèche figures—the hollow, painted plastic kind—and
stuffed it with some kind of rocket device. As the procession of very proper
clergy marched into the courtyard, the student lit the fuse, sending the
statue soaring up out of the shrubbery, sailing through a cloud of smoke
and sparks, over the quickly dissolving procession, and finally doing a
nosedive onto the roof of a nearby dormitory. The dean of the seminary
was not impressed with the student’s defense that he was “simply
trying to dramatize my belief in the reality of the ascension.”

William Williamson, “Deus Ascendit,” in On a
Wild and Windy Mountain (Abingdon, 1984)

While I was there, King and I drove over Tuskegee, a black town, to look for
gas. A young Alabama state policeman tailed us about 2 yards from the
bumper of King’s used Pontiac station wagon, from the Montgomery city
limit. We both perspired freely all the way. When we returned, the whole
exercise was repeated. All of this washed over my conscience, awakening
me to a more poignant realization of the persistent evil intrinsic in a segregated
society. Incidentally, in the fall of 1987 I was in Mobile for a conference and a
wild Gulf coast storm was approaching fast with high winds and a floodtide.
All hands scampered for an early departure. Flying was out; so I rented a
Hertz Ford and raced through heavy rains to Montgomery and on to Atlanta.
At Tuskegee, I traveled the same road, wider and faster, that King and I had
traveled with that trooper tailing us like a Gestapo agent. The road had been
renamed Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard.

Samuel Proctor, reflecting on his experience
working with martin Luther King Jr. in My Moral
Odyssey (Judson Press, 1989)

Many promising reconciliations have broken down because while both parties
come prepared to forgive, neither party comes prepared to be forgiven.

Charles Williams

Love will find a way. Indifference will find an excuse.

Unknown

Several months ago, as I left a meeting at a hotel, I desperately gave myself
a personal TSA pat down. I was looking for my keys. They were not in my
pockets. A quick search in the meeting room revealed nothing. Suddenly I
realized I must have left them in the car. Frantically, I headed for the parking
lot. My wife has scolded me many times for leaving the keys in the ignition.
My theory is that the ignition is the best place not to lose them. Her theory is
that the car will be stolen. As I burst through the door and out into the lot, I
came to a terrifying conclusion: Her theory was right. The parking lot was
empty. I immediately called the police. I gave them my location, confessed
that I had left my keys in the car, and that it had been stolen. Then I make the
most difficult call of all. “Honey,” I stammered. (I always call her “honey” in times
like these.) “Honey, I left my keys in the car, and it has been stolen.” There was
a period of silence. I thought the call had been dropped, but then I heard her
voice. “Pea brain,” she barked, “I dropped you off at the hotel for your meeting”
Silence. Embarrassed, I whispered, “Well, could you come and get me?” She
yelled, “I will, you doofus, just as soon as I convince the policeman I haven’t
stolen your car.”

Various Internet Sources

In the love and truth of Jesus,
Pastor Craig