April 22, 2018

Please join us for Sunday Worship Services

 

10:00 a.m. Worship

with Holy Communion

 

9:00 a.m. Learning Hour

for Adults & Confirmation Class

 

 

8922 Little River Turnpike
Fairfax, VA 22031
Office: 703-978-3131


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Featured Reflection

A highlight from our monthly newsletter

 

APRIL SHOWERS BRING MAY FLOWERS

 

Among my favorite poems is the “April Showers Bring May Flowers”. The premise of this poem is that we reap what we sow. It also underscores the reality of cause and effect.

 

Looking at the lives of biblical and early church folks, we see the idea of April Showers Bring May Flowers playing out in different ways. Let me share a few with you and then I will ask how this applies to our mission here at Bethlehem Lutheran Church.

 

Abraham’s April Showers moment was when God called him to leave His homeland to go to the land He would show him and, by faith, he obeyed and became the father of many nations. So influential was Abraham’s faith that Jesus would designate Zacchaeus as a child of Abraham. The May Flowers are that we, too, are descendants and heirs of Abraham by faith. (Genesis 12)

 

Abigail’s (David’s wife) April Showers moment can be found in her godly influence over her husband. She is known for her wisdom and patience. When David found himself in conflict with Nabal and became intent on killing every person associated with him, it was Abigail who prevailed against him and pleaded with him to spare Nabal’s life. This was her May Flowers moment. (1 Samuel 25)

 

Although some people accuse the Bible of being sexist, it presents stories of women of exemplary character and skill. One such woman was Deborah. Her April Showers moment was when she was called by God to serve as Judge (ruler) over Israel, the role that she played with great wisdom and courage, resulting into the May Flowers of the reputation as a warrior who rescued her people from their foes. (Judges 4 and 5)

 

The story of Dorcas is one of a few resurrection episodes in the Bible. Her April Showers were the generosity and kindness for which she was known, especially in her care of widows. Her May Flowers moment was when she was resurrected back to life after a brief stint with death. This caused more people to believe in the power of Gospel as presented by the disciples. (Acts 9)

 

Mary, the mother of Jesus, is the most celebrated woman to have ever lived. Although she holds a lofty place in Christian history, her life was anything but lofty. She describes herself as a humble servant of God. That is her April Showers moment. Her May Flower moment is that she became the mother of God and her hands will forever be associated with raising the boy Jesus.

 

The story of Joseph the son of Jacob is illustrious. Raised by a loving but biased father, Joseph earned such deep enmity with his brother that they kidnapped him and sold him to the Egyptian merchants as a slave. While in Egypt, God showed him mercy and elevated him to the position that produced April Showers of forgiving his brothers for their grievous sin against him and the May Flowers of providing for them. (Genesis 37-50)

 

Jesus is the epitome of the April Showers May Flowers poem. The best way to characterize how this plays out in the life of Jesus is by reading what Paul says of Him in the second chapter of his letter to the Philippians.  Philippians 2:5-11 Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men.  And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.  Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.


As you continue serving at Bethlehem Lutheran Church, what are your April Showers for 2018? Most importantly, what type of May Flowers are you expecting to see moving forward? Please ask God to make that clear to you.

 

My April Showers in the area of stewardship are____________________________________

(How much am I giving of my time and talents)

My April Showers in the area of evangelism are_____________________________________

(What am I doing to share my faith with others)

My April Showers in the area of personal study and growth are_________________________

(What study opportunities am I availing myself with)

My April Showers in the area of prayer are_________________________________________

(How regular is my prayer life and what am I praying for)

Any Other April Showers_______________________________________________________

 

Peace in Christ,

Pastor Elijah

 


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