Monday Reflections: April 4, 2016
Happy Monday from the desk of your pastor. Yesterday, I invited you to submit any questions or wonderments you might have, promising I would respond to them. (Remember, not always answering them but offering my thoughts which may be different than the thoughts of others but I hope aid in your faith growth journey.) Each week I will offer my responses in this Monday Reflections post.
So, thank you for doubting, questioning and wondering.
- How would you react today if someone came to you and said they were Jesus and showed you their holes in their hands and sides?
Pastor Deb: In all honesty, my first reaction would be to question this person. I might have trouble believing he was really Jesus.
- How do you picture heaven?
Pastor Deb: I picture heaven as a beautiful place with green grass, mountains, running water, planted fields and sunshine with people of all shapes, sizes, ages and races intermingling with each other with peaceful expressions on their faces. I picture lots of singing and praising God. I see no one in pain or hurting or in hunger. No one lonely or in need. Simply being in the presence of God – Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
- What is the difference between ‘alleluia’ and ‘hallelujah’ and ‘Emmanuel’ or ‘Immanuel’?
Pastor Deb: Short answer – Same meaning – different spellings
Longer answer – Alleluia is a Latinized version of the Hebrew Hallelujah which means praise Yahweh (God). Immanuel comes from the Hebrew language and Emmanuel from the Greek language both referring to the name of a child whose birth symbolizes the presence of God.
- As for eternal life, is that something that comes when you get to heaven or is it received when Christ enters your heart?
Pastor Deb: I am going to give my thoughts to this from a very Lutheran perspective. According to Luther’s explanation of the sacrament of Holy Baptism the gift of salvation is granted in our baptism. “Baptism brings about forgiveness of sins, redeems from death and the devil, and gives eternal salvation to all who believe it, as the words and promise of God declare.” This gift is made real on the cross. Remember God chooses us. We don’t choose God. See also Mark 16:16 and Romans 6:3-5.
- I know someone dealing with such depression. It’s ruining a life, family – My God, My God – to find joy again…
Pastor Deb: This is not a question but in my eyes a lament! I know from personal and professional experience how difficult that disease is to cope with. My heart goes out to you. If the writer of this note wishes to visit more, please contact me. Our conversation will remain confidential. Depression is not an illness you need to walk with alone! Prayers surround you and all dealing with depression.