April 15, 2021
In last Sunday’s sermon, I reflected on how Jesus shows up, appears in person, walks through the locked doors of our hearts and minds and breathes new life and peace on us. I reflected that Jesus appears every time words of hope, prayer, praise is shared by the followers of Jesus. Jesus appears in person every time bread is broken, and people are fed.
Today, I give thaks for the ways in which our congregation and other congregations, are showing up for our community. One of the many strengths of Frederick is the many ways in which businesses, non-profits, and government turn to the faith communities as partners in creating a healthier, safer, and more equitable Frederick. In the past year, I have participated in discussions with members of the Chamber of Commerce and the Downtown Frederick Partnership on equity and inclusion in our community. The faith community has continued to be a voice for justice and care for our homeless population and the Hayward Road Emergency Family Shelter is a great example of partnership between churches, foundations, businesses, individuals, and government. Most recently, I have participated in numerous discussions about equity and accessibility in the distribution of COVID-19 vaccines.
The faith community brings a needed and necessary voice to these discussions and I am grateful that we are being included in the conversation.
Last week, 135 of our neighbors showed up at ERUCC to receive a COVID-19 vaccine. ERUCC embodied the love and care of Jesus as we offered our usual hospitality. People felt safe entering our building and their experience continued to be positive. As we talked about prior to opening the new space, one of our core values was to offer radical hospitality for everyone who came through our doors, that we would see each person as a beloved child of God, and we would embody the love and care of Jesus.
Thanks, ERUCC, for the many ways you show up.
Worship Notes: Love Means Showing Up
Luke 24:36b–48 “Peace be with you.”
Here it is again – another story like last week from John’s gospel (John 20:19–31) when Jesus encounters the disciples after the Resurrection and greets them with a word of peace. This encounter, however, doesn’t seem to calm the disciples but stirs them up. When does being a Christ-like peace bearer stir things up?
Acts 3:12–19 recounts Peter’s sermon following his and John’s healing encounter with a person who has been lame since birth (v. 2).
Food for Thought:
When there is shattered glass in my heart,
when the road is long and dull,
when the past has bent, the future vanished,
when I seem to walk from darkness toward darkness—
I pray not that the story be changed
but that my eyes be open
here beside us,
opening our eyes.
Rev. Dr. Barbara Kershner Daniel, Senior Pastor
Evangelical Reformed Church, United Church of Christ
15 West Church Street, Frederick, MD 21701