MARCH 30, 2022

MARCH 30, 2022

Dear Friends,
 
Imagine for a minute you’re in a movie theater (remember those?) watching a new romantic comedy.  You’ve spent the last 95 minutes watching a couple meet in some awkward way that gets them off to a rocky start.  You’ve watched as they’ve begun to open up to one another and to develop a fondness in the process.  Of course, you’ve seen the big misunderstanding that has threatened to derail everything.  Now you’ve arrived at the moment where the male lead has heroically overcome whatever obstacles have come between him and his beloved, explained the misunderstanding, and is ready to pledge his undying love for the female lead and ask her to marry him. 
 
Imagine this proposal:
 
“I can’t imagine my life without you in it.  I want to spend some parts of the rest of my life with you.  I want to fit you in around everything else I have going on in my life.  I want you to be one of my priorities.  I want to give some of my leftover love to you.  Please marry me and become one of my wives.”
 
I don’t think that kind of proposal would play well with the test audiences.  I think they’d bring in a script doctor to fix some of the dialogue. 
 
If anyone tried a proposal like that in real life, I think the results would be disappointing.
 
Singer/songwriter Paul Overstreet, who co-wrote the classic Randy Travis country song “Forever and Ever Amen” admits that when he proposed to his wife Julie, he did a pretty lousy job of asking for her hand in marriage.  In the song (which he wrote after he and Julie had tied the knot) he gets the idea right:

You’re not just time that I’m killin’
I’m no longer one of those guys
As sure as I live, this love that I give
Is gonna be yours until the day that I die
Oh, baby, I’m gonna love you forever
Forever and ever amen
As long as old men sit and talk about the weather
As long as old women sit and talk about old men
If you wonder how long I’ll be faithful
I’ll be happy to tell you again
I’m gonna love you forever and ever


Forever and ever, amen His own marriage proposal was far less eloquent.  Both he and Julie had been previously married, so Paul said was a little gun shy popping the question.  What came out was “what do you think about the two of us getting married?  I mean, if it doesn’t work out, we could get a divorce.”  Paul says Julie looked him straight in the eye and said “No Paul!  That’s not what I want!  When I get married, it’s gonna be forever!  Forever and ever!  Amen!” Country songwriters are always on the lookout for a great song idea.
 
No one wants a lukewarm marriage proposal.  We would all be rightly concerned if a marriage ceremony included wedding vows filled with loopholes and wiggle room.
 
Ephesians 5 tells us that one of God’s purposes for marriage is to provide us with a living picture of the relationship between Jesus and His bride, the church.  With that in mind, what should we think about how we articulate and how we live out our commitment to Christ? 
 
I don’t know what you were thinking when you first trusted Christ, but I think many people see a relationship with Jesus as something they add onto their already full lives, instead of seeing that relationship as the new center of their lives.  God gets their leftovers instead of their best.  Their relationship with Him is wedged in with everything else they have going on.
 
In the same what that our lives become reoriented and our priorities are completely readjusted when we say “I do” in marriage, a relationship with Jesus is a life changing, identity changing, priority changing commitment.  To sign up for something less than that – to make a half-hearted commitment to Christ – is ultimately no commitment at all.  
 
Years ago, Wilbur Rees described a lukewarm involvement with Jesus this way.        
 
“I would like to buy $3 worth of God please, not enough to explode my soul or disturb my sleep, but just enough to equal a cup of warm milk or a snooze in the sunshine. I don’t want enough of him to make me love a black man or pick beets with a migrant. I want ecstasy, not transformation; I want the warmth of the womb, not a new birth. I want a pound of the eternal in a paper sack. I would like to buy $3 dollars worth of God please.”
 
Has your relationship with Jesus turned your life upside down?  If not, maybe it’s time to review and renew your commitment to Him. 

EASTER WEEKEND INVITATION CARDS

This Sunday, don’t forget to pick up your Easter weekend invitation cards at church so you can pass them on to friends, neighbors, co-workers, or anyone who you’d like to invite to join you at one of our services or activities that weekend.
 
Our Good Friday service starts at 7:00 pm on April 15.
On Saturday, it’s our 2pm Resurrection Rally, featuring an Easter egg hunt
 And of course, on Easter morning, we’ll gather to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus.
 


Don’t forget.  If you have any spare plastic eggs to donate to the cause, bring them with you Sunday and add them to the collection basket you see in the lobby at church. 

You’ll want to bring a little extra cash with you to church this weekend.   .  As part of our Youth Blast discipleship weekend for students this weekend, students will be having a bake sale at church on Sunday to raise money for the upcoming youth mission trip to St. Louis.

THIS SUNDAY is GOSPEL ZONE SUNDAY

WOMEN’S GATHERING ON APRIL 25

 Ladies, plan now to attend the Women’s Gathering happening on April 25. This will be a great time of fellowship, spiritual refreshment and encouragement for every woman at Redeemer.  Plan now to attend.

And note the location. 
It’s NOT at Maumelle Park
It’s at the Big Maumelle Pavilion inside Pinnacle Mountain State Park. 

 Starting next week, our kid’s ages five to fifth grade are going to be learning about how God created the heavens and the earth.
 KIDS CONNECT includes singing, crafts, games, teaching, snacks, and playing outside!!!
Again, here are all the deets!
Who: 5 y/o-5th grade (friends are welcome)
Dates: April 7, 14, 21, 28
Time: 5:00-6:30 (drop off begins at 4:55)

Our six week look at what it means to abide in Christ wraps up on Sunday.  We’ll see that our connection with Jesus includes bearing fruit, but adds to it a deep and very personal relational connectedness.

See you in church.

Soli Deo Gloria!
Pastor Bob

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