Pastor Henry's Memo

July 2019

Let There Be Light

"Then, God said, 'Let there be light.'  And there was light." (Genesis 1:3)  How straightforward.  No dithering or debating.  No trial and error.  According to the Hebrew text, a command and the result.  Light is the first thing God ordered.  That is, placed in creation as the beginning of what would eventually be all there is.  Without light no other living thing can exist.  By Divine decree light exists as the source of all we can see, know, and feel.  Is it no wonder Jesus is known to the Church as the Light of the World.  The theological foundation for that statement is a discussion for another day.  For this memo, light is the figment that excited my imagination in the week of America's Apollo 11 moon landing.  As every school kid eventually learns, the moon only reflects the sun's light.  It does not generate any solar-energy at all.  Without the sun and its light, the moon would be invisible.  For that, matter, without light, nothing else would be visible at all.  Love may make the world go 'round, but light makes all that going 'round perceptible.  Jesus is the light and the love and the center of God's creative ingenuity.  Without Jesus, the second Person of the Trinity, there would be no creation.  Now I'm broaching the theological underpinnings of The Light of the World business I stated was meant for another day.  Let it be known, by decree we have light and by love we have Jesus.  That could be a bumper sticker.  If anyone sees one like that, let me know.

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Fifty Years!

Fifty years is long time.  But, it seems like yesterday Apollo 11 was launched from Cape Canaveral and began a voyage that changed history.  The human imagination has forever been enthralled by our moon.  Myth and superstition and romantic inclinations have their source in that globe.  Only twelve humans have ever been there. Only four remain alive; aged 83-89.  Old men now, who when they were young, were chosen to make real the wishes of millions of humans across time come to pass.  Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldren were the first and second humans to walk on our moon.  They spent just over 21 1/2 hours on the surface; barely 2 1/2 of those hours collecting what they could and leaving foot prints that will remain crisp in the lunar dust for millions of years.  They left other things there, as have the other 10 men who followed them.  One odd bit of trivia about all that stuff.  The American flag planted by Armstrong and Aldren still stands unfurled near Tranquility Base.  But because of its fifty years of constant exposure to a very hostile climate and radiation from the sun, it's thought that flag no longer reflects red, white, and blue.  Those colors have long since faded and what remains attached to that flag pole is a bleached white cloth.  It, too, will remain in place for millions of years.  Our memories will also remain, as will our admiration for those daring astronauts and countless thousands of others who made that "one small step" a reality fifty years ago.

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Houston Astros!

Baseball is a great game and I love it.  Each of thirty teams is scheduled to play 162 games over a complete season.  One of the most widely known superstitions in Major League baseball is this: The two teams with the best record in their respective league on the 4th of July will end up in the World Series that year.  If that holds, it's a Yankees vs Dodgers Series in 2019.  That would be great for television, as both New York and Los Angeles have fan bases that will light up the Nielson Ratings.  This particular match-up has happened 11 times: first, back in 1941 and most recently, in 1981.  That's approximately every four years!  However, half the season is still to be played and this superstition is only right just over 60% of the time.  So, there’s hope for at least a half dozen other teams in contention for their respective Pennants.  My Houston Astros are among those other teams; currently with the 3rd best record in the Majors.  With every team having about 80 more games to play, I'm keeping a week's vacation un-declared until October.  I might have to find tickets at Minute Maid Park in Houston.

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HAPPY BIRTHDAY AMERICA!  It's been 243 years since that hot, muggy 4th of July in Philadelphia.  After considerable debate and several strategic compromises, The Declaration of Independence was signed and soon delivered to the press for colony-wide distribution.  However, according to the Declaration, we were no longer colonies.  We were a free and independent nation of like-minded states who severed ties with England.  War continued.  You see, we were already at war with King George III.  The Declaration was a formal setting forth of the reasons why we should no longer be under his royal thumb.  After a time (and many deaths) we won a victory that established a new nation on the earth.  Abraham Lincoln described us as a nation "conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal."  Well, it was a start toward that still laudable goal.  A great civil war offered a redirection toward that goal.  And we still strive toward it in our 243rd year.  Pray God before the next 243 passes, we will have attained that lofty and, dare I say it, heavenly goal.  That day would surely be cause for celebration with parades and fire works and picnics and patriotic concerts across this blessed land.

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