Have you been craving a night out with fine Italian cuisine in a romantic location?  So are we, but until then, come to Café Amore at First Christian Church on May 2nd from 5:30-8:00, and let us serve you homemade marinara sauce over spaghetti with salad, garlic bread, beverage and dessert for only $5 per person ($2.50 for children under 8 years of age).  Support the Chi Rho/CYF as they raise funds for the Youth-a-Palooza this coming January.  Our youth will welcome and serve you a nice dinner among family and friends.  See you Sunday night in the Café Amore.

There are, among many others, three events on my calendar this month:  National Day of Prayer, Mother’s Day and Pentecost.  These are listed in the order they occur, not in the order of importance.  If we begin with the most important, I would start with the birthday of the church, Pentecost.

On the National Day of Prayer, people of all faiths are encouraged to offer prayers for guidance and blessing upon all servants of the political community from the local level to the national and international levels.  Prayers are the conversations we hold with God and share our deepest desires and concerns.  Since as Christians, we are encouraged to pray for everyone, especially those for whom we have the least reason to lift up in prayer, every person in government, regardless of party or positions, needs our prayers.

May 9th we will honor the people in our lives who fulfilled the role of mother.  These include more than merely the biological connection of mother and child, but all relationships where a woman has offered love, guidance, protection, and compassion in our lives.  Remember the times they made a difference for you and thank them.  Honor their memory by carrying on the best traits they demonstrated to you.  Reach out to those who may need a mother figure and become that person for someone.  My children have one mother, but innumerable special aunts and grandmothers through the generosity of church families throughout my years of ministry.  Thanks to all those special women and a prayer of blessing to all the generations of women stepping forward to continue the name of  “Mother”.

Of the Church holidays (holy days) Christmas gets the most attention.  Easter comes in a distant second.  Pentecost gets lost amidst the ending of the school year, graduations, and the beginning of summer with Memorial Day.  Yet, without Pentecost, would we even know to celebrate the other two holy days?  Up until Pentecost, the remaining disciples were in hiding.  They contemplated returning to their former lives and homes.  Some event triggered their release from the fear that had gripped them for the preceding 50 days.  On Pentecost, fishermen, tax collectors, and others became ministers and witnesses and preachers.  They had not spent the previous days taking seminary classes, or attending small group seminars.  Suddenly they knew they were able to share the wonder they had discovered in following a Nazarene carpenter and the intimate God he worshiped.  They found a voice and a calling.  They founded what we call church.

Thousands of years later we are still following the same format and seeking the Spirit of God’s guidance as we each offer our gifts to the service of the Church.  We do this not for notoriety, but rather to help each other walk and live as did the original teacher (rabbi) Jesus.  Easter should be a most important holy day, followed by Pentecost.  These events mark the power of the presence of God in the world and in our lives.

Shalom, Darrell