Saturday, April 7, 2012

Come, Let us Worship Together

Bridging Troubled Waters

First Church of Christ,
Congregational (UCC)
190 Court Street
Middletown, CT

Listening to Bob Edwards Weekend on NPR this morning, I heard scholar and author Elaine Pagels describe the diversity of beliefs and practices in early Christianity in a discussion of her new book about the Book of Revelation. It seems that much of what has been handed down through the ages has been carefully selected by a sect or school or church conference, while in the beginning, ideas and practices were more fluid and open.

That made me think of our UCC churches and their roots and practices. Growing during the religious ferment--and torment--of the 1500s, this strain of Christianity gave up certain strictures to embrace, in some ways, a more open and tolerant stance. I remember as a child hearing in Sunday School, "Love God and do as you please." It sounds too good to be true, and I thought someone at church had just made it up! I didn't realize until recently that its author is none other than a saint--St. Augustine!

Last week, our Interim Pastor, Rev. Brenda, chose a meditation that, for me, sums it all up--the message of Christmas, Lent, Good Friday, Easter, and all other holy days. It distills the message for the ages and says, in part:

No matter how the world says
you should use power,
no matter what the world says
you should want,
the truth is that everything turns on love.
Love one another as I have loved you.
Love even your enemies.
Do unto others . . .

The wisdom of this meditation sustains me and gives me hope. I find sustenance, too, in a familiar tune: Bridge Over Troubled Waters. Maybe you do, too. Come worship with us on Easter Sunday. Enjoy the peace of the Sanctuary, the light from the stained-glass windows, the singing of the congregation and the choir and the organ. Maybe you'll find a nugget of wisdom, a ray of hope, or a bridge over some troubled waters.

Child care is provided. Parking is free. The service begins at 10 am, but if you come a little early, you can enjoy the peace of the sanctuary and ready yourself for worship.

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