Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you looking for?” Supposing him to be the gardener, she said to him, “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have laid him, and I will take him away.” Jesus said to her, “Mary!” She turned and said to him in Hebrew, “Rabbouni!” (which means teacher). John 20:15,16
Have you ever wondered why Mary did not recognize the risen Christ on Easter morning? Why did she mistake Jesus for a gardener? Was it because the morning sun was in her eyes? Was it because her eyes were filled with tears because her beloved Jesus had died? Mary even talks with Jesus, but still does not recognize him. It is the same with Cleopas and his companion when they encounter the risen Christ on the road to Emmaus the first Easter evening (Luke 24:13-35). Did the resurrected Jesus look different than he did before he was crucified, dead and buried?
Mary is able to recognize the resurrected Jesus when he calls her name. Cleopas and his unnamed companion recognize the resurrected Jesus after they invite him to dinner. The risen Christ took the bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to them – communion. Could it be that the risen Christ becomes visible and recognizable to us when we hear Jesus speaking to us, calling our name, and being in communion with him, the church and the world? What about those of us who have witnessed the resurrected Jesus, tasted the victory of life over death and love over hate? Do we become so different from our old life, our pre-Easter life, that we too become unrecognizable until we reach out and name those who are hurting, grieving, suffering? Will those who hunger for new life, a new world, a kindom on earth as it is in heaven, recognize the risen Christ through us? Will they see the risen Christ as we offer hospitality especially to strangers and share together in communion, in the breaking of the bread? In this moment, Easter transforms tears of sorrow into tears of joy as a new day dawns for us and for the world. Christ is Risen. Christ is Risen Indeed! I look forward to being with you in worship this Sunday and celebrating Easter with you on Sunday, April 21. Yours in Christ, Pastor David
Upcoming Grace Events
April 3 - Care Van. Free Immunizations for all children 0 -18 years. 4 - 6:30 pm
April 8 -- Graceful Diners at Tru India Restaurant, 11720 W. Airport Blvd (note the date change to the 2nd Monday)
April 9 -- Sr. Fellowship Bus trip to Bayou Bend Gardens at 9 AM
April 13 -- Community Easter Egg Hunt, 3-4 pm, volunteers should be at church by noon to help set up.
April 14 -- Palm Passion Sunday
April 14 -- Council meeting
April 18 -- Maundy Thursday, Fellowship 6 PM, Worship with Communion 7 PM
April 19 -- Good Friday Worship 7 PM
April 21 – Easter Sunday
Pot Luck Easter Breakfast 9 AM
Easter Worship with Holy Communion and Flowering Cross (please bring cut flowers)
SCC Women's Retreat
This year's theme is "Be All You Can Be!" Event will be held on April 26- 28, 2019, at Slumber Falls Camp in New Braunfels, TX. Cost is $100 per person. Applications can be found on Slumber Falls Camp: https://slumberfalls.org/
Senior Fellowship for April 9th
You are invited to join me on our next outing on Tuesday, April 9th, to go by bus to the Bayou Bend Gardens, a beautiful 14 acre garden nestled in River Oaks here in Houston, originally planned and developed by one of our original Houston philanthropists, Ima Hogg, starting in 1926. The self-guided tour will be $6 plus $1 for the bus. Here's a link to the website: https://www.mfah.org/visit/bayou-bend-collection-and-gardens/bayou-bend-gardens/ This tour takes about an hour. If you are in a wheel chair or use a walker you may find it difficult to go through all the gardens. You may opt to go through the really impressive shop instead, but we'll have people who will probably be able to get you up and down stairs and such if you want to do that.
We will then go on to lunch at the Spaghetti Western Italian Cafe in the Heights. Here's the website and menu: https://www.spaghettiwesterntx.com/ The food is not your usual italian, but has a western flair.
After that we'll run by August Antiques (http://www.bensantiquegardening.com/augusta.html), also in the Heights, and not your usual antique store. We'll enjoy browsing through some very interesting things you may find fascinating and unusual.
We'll get back to the church by approximately 3 to 3:30 p.m. at the earliest, depending on much time we want to spend at August Antiques.
Where to meet: Grace UCC, 8515 Brookwulf Dr.; Houston, TX 77072. If you go south on Dairy Ashford you would turn right on Beechnut, then the next left on Brookwulf. The church will be the 2nd church on your left, and an elementary school will be on your right, in front of the church. Look for the bus in the parking lot.
When: Please be there Tuesday, April 9th, by 9 a.m. so the bus can leave by 9:15 a.m. We'd like to get to Bayou Bend Gardens to see a video at 10 a.m. Please have your $1 for the bus ready to give me at that time. We'll be going on a Harris County Precinct Bus. We have to have a miniumum of 15 people, so if you sign up to go, but for some reason can't go after all, please let me know as soon as possible, by email, text, or phone (713-591-7164).
Who: You and whomever you want to invite, just please let me know as soon as possible. All are welcome! (If you know someone who would like to be on this email list, please let me know.) Also, please let me know if you'd like to come by email, text, or phone (see above) asap, and/or by signing up on the signup sheet in the church.
Bing P Gail H and Fred S 4/03, Lisa Lum 4/14, Sonny P 4/15, Alice F 4/18, Rameen Z 4/19, Gene S 4/21, Jericho M 4/23, David J 4/28, Gabriel O, 4/28, Jane E 4/29, Rev. Barney F 4/30
It was our joy to welcome the following guests in March: Deb Staal, Vincent Nzemeke, and Catherine Popovici - WELCOME!!