April 18, 2020

Today I’m sharing yesterday’s Daily Devotional from the UCC.  I’ve always found Tony Robinson to be enormously thoughtful – and thought-provoking.  I hope you do too.

Easter blessings, Pastor Virginia

He Called My Name
Tony Robinson
April 18, 2020
Jesus said to her, “Mary!” She turned and said to him in Hebrew, “Rabbouni!” (which means Teacher). Jesus said to her, “Do not hold me…” – John 20:16 (NRSV)

There’s a difference between resurrection as a doctrine, and resurrection as word addressed to us, with our name on it.

We may sing the Easter hymns dutifully, even enthusiastically. But it is more often in the dark nights and the lonely places, like a deserted garden early the morning, amid grief and confusion, that it becomes personal. When we hear our name called.

The disciples (two of them) had come and gone. But Mary lingered. Mary stayed, seeing everything and seeing nothing. Then he (the one she thought was a gardener) spoke her name, “Mary!” And then she turned, which doesn’t only mean she turned around to see who was talking. It means she turned from death to life, from doubt and confusion to faith.

She had heard him call her name. He was a gardener, after all, a gardener of souls, and it was time for hers to bloom.

Perhaps you too have heard your name called, by One who spoke so powerfully to you that you too knew yourself summoned from death to life. It might have happened in church. It might have been on a hike. It might have been as you looked into the eyes of someone you loved. It might have been at the birth of a child or as thunder and lightning heaved the heavens. And it might have been in the depths of a pandemic.

Note this: called by name changes everything. But you don’t stay there. “Don’t cling to me,” he told Mary. Let me go, and you too must go. With every call comes a commission, a task. That’s the way it is with this God. Every turning moment turns us outward, toward the journey, toward others who need us, toward the world that needs us.

In this hard time, speak to us O Lord, call us by name. Break us open and make us new. Amen.

Tony Robinson, a United Church of Christ minister, is a speaker, teacher, and writer. His newest book, Useful Wisdom: Letter to Young (and Not So Young) Ministers is available from Wipf and Stock. You can read and sign up for his blog at www.anthonybrobinson.com.

As you know, our Thrift Shop is closed, and we are losing that income.  If you could send in additional money this month, we’d really appreciate it.  All our staff is still on the payroll, we still have utility bills.  Your gifts make it possible for us to continue.  Checks may be mailed to the church at 5 Gibbs Avenue, Wareham MA  02571.

NEED SHOPPING HELP?  Nancy MacNeill reports that her two granddaughters are offering to do shopping for anyone who can’t get out.  Just contact Nancy at 508-280-3716 or <nlmacneill@comcast.net


Want to add a concern or joy to the list?  Email me at pastorchild02914@gmail.com

  • from Oonagh Brault: Please add my friend Lindsay to the prayer list.  She has just been diagnosed with COVID-19.
  • from Oonagh Brault: my sister-in-law, Kathy, and her father, Jim, to the prayer list. Jim was diagnosed with covid 19. He is now on hospice care. Kathy is suffering because she cannot be with her father during this trying time.
  • from Elaine Johnson: (Elaine reports Janice is better, but still needs our prayers) Please add my sister Janice to the prayer list. She fell and has a small brain bleed and concussion and severed her ear which needed to be stitched back into place. She is home recovering.
  • Prayers for all who work in the medical field as they deal with this crisis.
  • from Nancy MacNeill, prayers for her cousin Pam Bergeron
  • from Lydia Sherman: Please add Carrie Andrews to the prayer list. She’s the cousin to my nephew Christopher’s wife… She currently is on life-support and is only in her 30’s.