Pastor's Paragraph for June 2, 2019
JUNE 2, 2019
We had a unique, unforgettable Easter experience this year! We were on a river cruise in Europe and hoped we’d be able to worship in a cathedral Easter Sunday.
In talking to one of our shipmates, Karen shared about going to the doctors several months before the cruise for knee surgery, which oddly led to finding out she had cataracts and breast cancer! I then told her about going to the doctors for migraines which led to finding thyroid cancer. Both seeing God at work in the discoveries, we agreed how important our faith was in getting through the diagnosis, surgeries, and treatment.
When Karen found out we wouldn’t be docking to get off the ship for Easter worship, she asked if I would provide a service of scripture and prayer. We cleared it with ship personnel, who agreed to set up space in a corner of the dining room between meals and make bulletin copies, but wouldn’t allow us to advertise through daily newsletters nor make announcements. We’d have to spread the word by mouth to other passengers we’d met plus have it Saturday afternoon. We thought maybe 10-15 people would attend out of 180 passengers because not all were Christians and some were on excursions. It reminded me of the early Christian church who had to meet in secret for fear of persecution. But Jesus said, “Where two or three are gathered in my name, there also am I.” I had two days to pull the service together, as well as continue on our tours.
Well, it just wouldn’t be Easter without singing, so my supportive husband helped by downloading three hymns and music despite terrible internet service. We read scripture, sang, prayed, and celebrated Holy Communion. Over 60 people from all different church backgrounds attended—Lutheran, Catholic, Methodist, Presbyterian, Orthodox, Baptist, non-denominational….from all over the world….together worshipping our Risen Lord! We were blessed!
That Easter Sunday morning was a picture-perfect day! Cruising up the Rhine river, taking in the beauty of God’s creation, ringing church bells surrounded us on both sides of the river….pealing the Good News that Christ has risen indeed!
Rev. Sharon Miller
Pastor of the Homebound