I'll Weep When You Are Weeping

I'll Weep When You Are Weeping

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By Ruth DuCharme

published in Family Matters eNewsletter, April 26, 2018

Do you remember a moment when you came to the realization that your life was not your own? For me, it occurred when our first child was born. We had this beautiful, healthy baby girl that we were crazy in love with, yet we were terrified of her at the same time. Caitlyn was totally dependent on Cass and me to meet her every need. We were her providers and protectors. We were responsible for her physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being. There were moments when that realization overwhelmed me, and I questioned whether or not I was up for the task.

As time passed, and we became more at ease with our new daughter, we became lifelong learners of the notion that being a family means sacrifice and hard work. We learned that our lives were not our own – that we were a part of something big, beautiful, and bright that stretched beyond our individual lives. It was a choice we had made to become parents, to give life, and to nurture life, and that decision would set the course of our life in a new direction. Decisions are like that. Every day we make decisions – some are small and some are large. Those daily choices fill our lives with possibilities and probabilities. The decisions we make today determine our tomorrows and the tomorrows of those with whom we are connected.

In the church, as in a family, lives are woven together and individual decisions affect the whole. The suffering of one becomes the suffering of all. The joy of one becomes the joy of all. Author Wes Moore calls this empathetic love. He says, “sympathetic love is that love when I am doing something for you because I feel bad for you. Empathetic love is when I am doing something for you because your pain is my pain.” The hymn writer Richard Gillard says it another way, “I will weep when you are weeping, when you laugh I’ll laugh with you; I will share your joy and sorrow, till we’ve seen this journey through.”

We stand on the shoulders of others who made sacrifices and decisions that gave us the opportunity to be a part of a faith community. We journey in this place with each other and for each other. If we are true to the calling of Christ to be the church in this world, then we must be connected to each other. There is power in our decision to be Christ’s church in this place that we call Highland Hills. We determine the direction and life of this church by the decisions that we make both as individuals and as a corporate body. Our voices and our presence matter. With all of the choices that you will make today, will you decide to be a part of something big, beautiful and bright?

Graced Lightning

Graced Lightning

By Jake Hall

published in Family Matters eNewsletter, April 19, 2018

A few weeks ago we reflected on a passage from John 12 where the crowds wondered about the voice of the Lord in the thunder. Last week we saw the communal grace in the lightning.... well, in Graced Lightning.

Races and Resurrection

Races and Resurrection

By Jake Hall

published in Family Matters eNewsletter, April 12, 2018

On Saturday, you are invited to attend the Magnolia Soapbox Derby. For the past ten years, teams of homemade soap box racers have competed in a race of speed and a competition in creativity. Racers gather at the crest of the hill on Magnolia Street beside Macon's Washington Park, as Shadetree derby teams and High School S.T.E.M. programs, alike, participate in this annual race. This year, HHBC will sponsor a car and our race is a real resurrection story. 

Finding the Good in Good Friday

Finding the Good in Good Friday

By Carol Brown

published in Family Matters eNewsletter, March 29, 2018

I love to celebrate Easter, but I would rather skip Good Friday. Easter has bright, pretty clothes, flowers in bloom, and candy. Good Friday has darkness, sad songs, and death. Easter is the happy ending, the empty tomb, and shouts of “He is risen, indeed!” Good Friday is somber and serious, with shouts of “Crucify him!” How can there be anything good about the day that Jesus was crucified? How can we sit in darkness, reflecting on Christ’s pain and suffering, and call this a good day? 

Jesus Nearing the Spring Street Bridge

Jesus Nearing the Spring Street Bridge

published in Family Matters eNewsletter, March 22, 2018

Carol Penner's work, "Coming to a City Near You" grounds Jesus' triumphal entry into Jerusalem here and now. Read this reflection and the re-read it as a way to prepare for Sunday. I will see you out front, palm in hand.

~ Jake

Macon Conversations Pt. 4

Macon Conversations Pt. 4

By Jake Hall

published in Family Matters eNewsletter, March 15, 2018

I was privileged to participate in the first episode of this series by GPB Macon. We have been following along as each episode drops. Preachers, lawyers, and educators have each offered their own professional perspective; this episode creates space for two local Macon poets to discuss race.

Caught Doing Good

Caught Doing Good

By Jake Hall

published in Family Matters eNewsletter, March 8, 2018

Click the link below to see a few of our members who got caught doing good in our community. Here is a hint: one of them is in front of the camera and one of them is behind it.

Great job Paul and Michael!

https://www.unitedwaycg.org/blessing-and-kid

Theology & Art

Theology & Art

By Jake Hall

published in Family Matters eNewsletter, March 2, 2018

I have long been fascinated by the way that art embodies theology. With the right inspiration a sculptor may help us understand the incarnation in ways that vowels and consonants cannot. By using contrasting colors a painter may frame an image in ways that our eyes may never have noticed. Musicians inspired by the poets and prophets of the texts have written symphonies that add an aural canon to the words of holy writ. This kind of artistry teaches us how to, in the words of the Psalmist, taste and see that the Lord is good.