Because of expected ice storm on Sunday January 9, only 8:30 worship will take place onsite.

April 18, 2024

A Pastoral Word. . . An Ongoing Invitation

Pastor Kevin Freeman

April 18, 2024
Did you attempt to view the recent total solar eclipse? Our family enjoyed brief views through the special eclipse glasses to glimpse this rare spectacle. It was a lot of fun, but I learned about another eclipse-watching party that was especially memorable.

In 1978, New York teacher Patrick Moriarty told his earth science students to mark April 8, 2024, on their calendars so that they could all view the eclipse together. Moriarty proceeded to give this assignment for the next 16 years to each successive class. Amazingly, 46 years from his initial invitation, his students came to their former teacher’s home to see the eclipse together. Over 100 people joined him!

Moriarty’s students were grateful for the opportunity. Kevin Thompson was in Moriarty’s 1982 class, and he joked that his teacher had given “the longest homework assignment in the history of any teacher.” Thompson’s classmate, Chuck O-Brien, called Moriarty an “inspirational teacher.”

While the skies were too cloudy to properly enjoy the eclipse, they shared something much sweeter: reuniting to reflect together. These students experienced an unofficial class reunion of sorts, allowing them to rekindle relationships and get to know each other better. Imagine the joyful time this group had! Moriarty explained what the group surely felt: “It’s not about the eclipse anymore to me. It’s all about the reunions.”

The Apostle Paul reminds us of the importance of our relationships precisely because of the unity that we share:
I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. (Ephesians 4:1-3 ESV)

Whereas Moriarty’s students hadn’t seen each other in decades, many of us see one another weekly or even more often. But our gatherings are no less sweet. You could say they are even sweeter. Every time we gather, we remind ourselves of the common bond we have – not in an earthly teacher, though Mr. Moriarty sounds like an amazing one – but in our heavenly Teacher. More than a teacher, Jesus is our Savior who has truly made us one in Him. We encourage and, yes, sometimes bear with each other, because Christ’s limitless love for us is now expressed by us toward one another.

You could say that a gathering in Jesus’ name “eclipses” all other gatherings (sorry, couldn’t help myself). Perhaps, though, something in your life has recently obscured the light of Christ in your life. Maybe gathering to worship with fellow Christians has felt tedious. Maybe it hasn’t happened much lately. It could be time for a reunion. We welcome it! Like Mr. Moriarty, our Lord extends an invitation to you. Come and join in with other believers.

Consider the sweetness of celebrating the hope we have in Christ! I look forward to celebrating with you.

Your partner in ministry,
Kevin Freeman
Image by AstroGraphix_Visuals from Pixabay:
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