This is an image I ran across some
years ago. If you stare at the center
of the image for 15 seconds, then
close your eyes, you will see an
image of Jesus. What you see at
first is not what you get in the end.
We return this Sunday to the
reading of Mark.
Mark, unlike John, does not do a lot
of explaining of miracles and signs.
Instead, he would have you stare at
the actions of Jesus and in that way
catch an image of the Creator.
Mark freely writes of the conflicts Jesus encounters with Pharisees, scribes, and
other detractors. In chapter seven, they express concerns about the disciples
eating without washing their hands before they eat in the tradition of the elders.
Recently, the importance of washing one’s hands has been highlighted. What was
it? Singing happy birthday twice? So many un-birthdays. In this case, however, the
washing had more meaning than just cleanliness. In the washing you were
connecting with the elders, following the rules, showing you were righteous. Jesus
suggests the show on the outside is less important than the production from
He says: Listen to me, all of you, and understand; there is nothing outside a person
that by going in can defile, but the things that come out are what defile.”
Mark 7: 14b-15.
Many of you know that Connie is recovering from knee surgery and doing well,
each day better. Prior to surgery, she watched a video on the procedure. I am not
sure she would recommend it to everyone facing knee replacement. There were
knives, forceps, mechanical devises. It does not look like going in with a knife and
beating on bones would bring a good result. But it does. What comes out is so
much better, not yet for her, but better every day.
I have experienced in my ministry, people who have had a tough life. What went
into their lives was less than ideal. I remember a stalwart member of Trinity in
Hemet, who had a wonderful sense of humor, compassionate demeanor, and a
close-knit family. They all there for his funeral, down to the great grand kids. Yet
the start of his life was tough. He left home at 16, wander the streets, hitched a
ride on the rails, finding himself in New Orleans where he finally found a job. At
17 he joined the army and served in WW2. What went into his life did not match
what came out of it. Joy and faith and family came from abandonment and war.
Yet another active member served in the navy in WW2. He was gay, but never
shared his orientation with the world. He married and stayed married over the
decades. He was there to wish his wife of 50 plus years a final farewell. His
daughter was there for him as he aged into his 90’s. She, herself, was a pillar in
her own church. The culture of the time stood against he and his daughter. But
what came out of their lives was joy and peace.
I, myself, have had a wonderful life. Caring parents and gracious churches. The
children Connie and I brought into this world make us prouder every day. My son
was the Temecula Valley Chamber of Commerce, young professional of the year.
My daughter works for Airbnb which is helping to house Afghan refugees. We
tried to put our best into their growing up and delight in what they bring to the
world. They and their partners were here for our 39th wedding anniversary.
Bringing a lift to Connie in her recovery.
I know there are no assurances. I have seen caring families torn apart by what
comes out of their children, even when much good has gone in.
But either way we have the call of Jesus to let the past fall away if it must, what is
outside cannot defile, only what comes from our life matters. A word of promise
and hope for those who have experienced a less than ideal beginning or middle.
Gracious God, you led us from death to life, from falsehood to truth, from despair
to hope, from fear to trust. Let your peace fill us and pour out from us to the
world to your universe.
Grace and Peace, Pastor John Bunge
Reminder: Set aside 12 minutes of devotional time each day during the month of
August to enrich your lives. Almost done. Your prayers might include this TRIP:
Thankfulness, Release, Intercession and Purpose.
Sunday @ 10 am. Indoors, masks still optional for the vaccinated. We also offer a
special time for the children. The live stream at 10 am click on our website. We
have about 30 people who join us in this way. Refreshments after services have
returned. Join us. There will be no live service on the 5th of September.
CHURCH OFFICE HOURS: This coming Week office hours, Monday and Tuesday,
9:30 to 3 p.m. August 24 and 25. Pastor will be leaving to celebrate his mother’s
100th early birthday. Glen Egertson from camp will be here on September 5.
Welcome our new Director in Heather Uribe who will be in the office during the
week. Spread the word we will be opening the preschool September 13. We have
flyers to hand out and people can call the church at 909-790-1816 for tours and
more information. Teachers Dee, Jennifer and Joy are back cleaning their rooms.
Children’s Church continues. Are you interested in assisting? Let us know at the
church office or give Robyn Blue a call.
They had a great meeting in August – next up we meet September 4 and first
Saturdays of the month @ 9:30 am in the Fireside Room for a continental
breakfast, devotions, and prayer.
Next pantry Saturday, September 11. Thanks to all who are assisting. The pantry
needs Tuna Helper (we’ve got the tuna) and GROCERY STORE SHOPPING
BAGS. We know most of us reuse the shopping bags at the store, but if you have
extras, please turn them into the office.
We are getting close to finishing the front. It should be nearly complete next
week. Thanks to all who have helped along the way. Blessings on Joe and Jeanne
Koenig who assist in the office, with upkeep and with the new security system.
Quilting continues 59 quilts 46 lap blankets –vaccinated volunteers are returning.
• Pray for Eloise Jensen her back pain is unrelenting. She sees her primary on
Monday and had to call in paramedics on Friday.
• Kim Guevara’s brother and sister-in-law are suffering from respiratory
failure. Her parents both have low oxygen levels.
• Thanks for your prayers for my wife Connie. She is recovering well at home
having replaced her right knee.
• Gerri Witwer is at Highland Care 700 E Highland Ave. in Redlands, CA
recovering and can have visitors for 30 minutes.
• Bill and Judy Martin’s daughter, Laura, who lives in Kansas started her
radiation treatments.
• Suze Jaracz passed away after years of complications. As her husband Dave
said: She was ready to go.
• Robyn Blue requested prayers for Mike Washbotten, who was injured in a
motorcycle accident three weeks ago. He suffered a broken hip, upper arm
and shoulder and will require surgery when he is strong enough.
• Friend of the Cady’s, Leslie, is doing well in combatting throat cancer.
• Motschall’s niece, Linda Odde, with a brain tumor.
• Roxanne Foss’s niece, Ginny.
• erwin for strength and Lynda for healing. I saw him and Lynda last week
delivering eggs to the pantry.
• Jerry Mills working through chemotherapy.
• Continued Godly journey for Brendan, son of Bonnie Strack and Rebecca,
daughter of Michael Shea.
• Pattie, a friend of the Halls is doing well after treatment for thyroid cancer.
• Cesar Guevara will have a cardiac ablation on Sept. 7. Mike Koger and
Michael Shea will be facing surgery in September as well.