Please remember in your prayers and thoughts the 6 Christian Martyrs murdered at the Nashville Covenant School and also for their families. The six are three nine year olds: Evelyn Dieckhaus, William Kinney, and Hallie Scruggs; and three school staff members: Mike Hill, Katherine Koonce (head of the school), and Cynthia Peak.

Easter IV

This Sunday’s Gospel reading is part of what is called the Farewell Discourse.  The Farewell Discourse (comprised on Chapters 14 – 17 of John’s Gospel) is given by Jesus to his disciples immediately after the conclusion of the Last Supper, in the upper room, the night before his crucifixion.  Jesus is preparing his followers for what is to come.  In last week’s Gospel he told them he would be departing from them for “a little while.”  This week Jesus is trying to explain why he must depart for the Holy Spirit, the “Comforter,” to come into the world. 

In today’s section of the Farewell Discourse, we specifically focus on three things:

  • Vss. 5-7, Jesus stresses the fact that He must go to God the Father who sent Him (suffering, death, resurrection, ascension). If He does not go through with this plan, the Holy Spirit will not come to mankind.
    Vss. 8-11, the Holy Spirit prosecutes the sin and sinfulness of man, especially unbelief, comforts repentant sinners with the righteousness of Christ, and protects Christians from the devil, who is the ruler of this world;
    Vss. 12-15, the Holy Spirit harmoniously comes, guides, speaks, hears, announces, glorifies and receives from Jesus.

In essence, in these passages we are first learning about the 7 Gifts of the Holy Spirit:

True Godliness (piety)
Holy Fear (of the Lord)

These 7 gifts are vital for Christians to maintain a balanced and healthy life in the Faith. Their importance is evident in our Church’s Confirmation Rite where the Bishop prays an invocation to the Holy Ghost to instill these Gifts unto the confirmands. These specific Gifts also help us understand and differentiate the roles of God the Son and God the Holy Ghost.  Because when Jesus states that he must leave for the Holy Ghost to come, an understandable reaction would be “WHY?”

Well, like many theological tenets, part of it is a mystery. We do not fully understand the dealings of God with man -- and Jesus was trying to explain to his disciples what was necessary for their salvation.  I believe part of the answer lies in the hypostatic union of the Incarnate Word, that Jesus is both perfectly Divine and human.  In this state of being, the human essence of Jesus limits him to specific times and places as shown during his 3-year ministry.  The Holy Spirit, while working through humans, has no physical limits and can be in all places at all times. 

There was also a need for the disciples to be separated from Jesus’ physical presence before they were fully prepared to receive the spiritual aids and comforts of this new Covenant with God.  They needed Christ to ascend to Heaven before they fully understood who it was that had dwelled with them.  Plus we know from John 14:2 that Jesus has another task at hand:  “In my Father's house are many mansions… [and] I go to prepare a place for you.” This is often God's way in Scripture, to bestow His blessings, silently and secretly; so that we do not discern them at the time, except by faith, after the fact.

As Christians we must be patient; we must be open to the fact that no matter the circumstances – God is working around us and through us – and that in time *some* of this *may* be revealed to us.  Too often people are very quick to validate their worldly decisions by stating that the Holy Spirit has moved us!  When you hear that, be very suspect.

With the 7 Gifts of the Holy Spirit, God is giving us the tools to better decipher His relationship with us and the World; to better handle or understand what is happening all around us. And to possess the strength and wisdom to accept that we may never have all the answers we are craving… at least not in this Earthly life. We just have to be open to receiving those gifts.  This openness is the key.

--Fr Deacon Chris
All things come of thee, O Lord, and of thine own have we given thee
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Upcoming Events

Sunday, 7:45 AM, 9:00 AM, and 11:15 AM services (for online participation for the services go to:

Monday May 8, 11:00 AM, Requiem Service for Donald Baldwin, followed by reception in undercroft

Wednesday at Noon – Holy Communion and anointing for healing ( for online participation see above)

May 22, 7:30 PM, Vestry meeting

Your support of the Food Bank and MaRIH Crisis Pregnancy Center is greatly appreciated. The lists below tell what is needed.  The MaRIH Center list has been recently updated.  If you cannot bring items to the church, you can also click on the donate button above and then on the drop down menu that appears on the donation page choose Charity and Mercy to give a cash donation.  In the comment box you can specify if the donation is for the Food Bank and/or for the MaRIH Crisis Pregnancy Center.  Thank you.
Food Donations 
Please help this month with a food donation if you are able. Christ House is very thankful for the food we provide to them each month. Please also buy low sugar cereals (and not the kid's types that have lots of sugar).  Current needs include the following:
• canned meats (chicken, corned beef, spam)
• peanut butter
• jelly
• tuna
• canned vegetables (corn, green beans - (regular and low sodium)
• individual fruit cups (low sugar)
• canned fruit (low sugar)
• cereal (low sugar)
• pasta (regular and gluten-free)
• instant potatoes
• Macaroni & cheese kits
• Coffee, cooking oil, flour, sugar 
Recently Updated List of Needs for MaRIH Center (crisis pregnancy center)
MaRIH Center with its all volunteer staff has been providing help to mothers-to-be and mothers in need.  If you can provide some of the items that are needed, please do so. (You can leave the donations where the food for the food bank is collected on the pew in the undercorft.)

Especially Needed
Baby wipes* (an ongoing great need)
Diapers (sizes 1, 2, 3, 4*, 5*, & 6*)
Diaper rash ointment
Baby shampoo
Baby blankets
Spring/Summer clothing for 0-3 months and 2T*
Sleeping -- Pack-n-Play*
(Bold and  * are a critical need.)

Sleep Sacks: Girls 0-6 mos.
Socks: Boy/Girl 2T
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