April 15, 2020
All four Gospels record that women went to the tomb, where Jesus’ body had been placed, early on the first day of the week. Mark tells us the women go there to anoint his body with spices, presumably because that did not happen when Joseph of Arimathea took the body of Jesus from the cross, wrapped it in a linen cloth, laid it in a tomb, and rolled a stone against the door to secure it. The women were eyewitnesses to the actions of Joseph (Mk 15:46-47).
The Gospel of Mark is the oldest one, and with each subsequent written account of that “third day” the story becomes more expansive. However, there is at least one other common thread in all four (besides women being the first to learn of the resurrection); an empty tomb.
The synoptic Gospels tell us that a young man, an angel, or two men inform the women that “he is not here”. In the Gospel of John, Mary Magdalene comes to that conclusion on her own. Whether it is because of the missing body or the unexpected encounters, reactions across the four Gospels range from alarmed to fearful to perplexed to weeping. We the reader can understand that an empty tomb is not a convincing argument for the resurrection.
In the Synoptic Gospels the women are also told that “he has been raised” or “he has risen”; the Gospel of John resolves with Mary Magdalene experiencing an intimate moment with the resurrected Jesus. The women, and through their report the disciples, come to learn that the resurrection has taken place.
I think the empty tomb, whether as the initial backdrop or as evidence of something going on or as the place where the resurrection of Jesus is announced, caught my attention this year in ways it had not before. Because of the global pandemic, an empty sanctuary provided the backdrop for our Easter Sunday livestreamed worship service. Empty sanctuaries are evidence that something unusual is going on and, at least this year, were the context from which many proclaimed the good news of the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
It was a much different experience offering the traditional Easter Sunday responsive greeting: Christ is Risen! The Lord is Risen indeed! Where I have previously heard the response of the congregation surround me I received the echo of my own voice; not the same. Yet, I was so profoundly grateful to worship virtually with the Crievewood congregation and Christians all around the world. Thanks be to God.
Starting with an empty tomb the world came to know the news of the resurrection of Jesus Christ. The world learned the amazing power of life over death, of love over hate, of grace over sin. Let us now prepare ourselves for the good news and fresh message that God will bring to life out of empty churches!
Peter van Eys
Crievewood UMC Child Care
Our child care is still open serving “essential workers”. The kids that are here wanted to share their art work with the Crievewood/Crieve Hall community. It’s just our way of spreading JOY not germs!!
Also if you’ve noticed stuffed animals in the windows of the church. The kids made a scavenger hunt and sent the clues out to the families that aren’t coming. Just another way we are staying in touch without touching!!
Crievewood will resume our mission to Community Care Fellowship to provide toilet paper for the facility through TP Sundays. The COVID-19 virus has interrupted our normal method of Sunday collection, but we will adapt and collect rolls the first Sunday of the month in which we are able to gather together. And in the meantime, if you see toilet paper on store shelves, buy one for yourself and one for CCF!
If you enjoy reading and are willing to spend some time with children who struggle with the skill, please consider becoming a Project Transformation volunteer. Project Transformation runs a summer program in multiple Nashville locations to help children improve in their literacy, social-emotional, and spiritual development, and that program will be desperately needed this year. Crievewood is a Project Transformation partner and is scheduled to work at Antioch UMC this June 2-4 (Tuesday through Thursday). Please save these dates and look for more information that will follow in future newsletters.
Nashvile Rescue Mission
The Rescue Mission is seeing an uptick in persons needing help due to unemployment and natural disasters at the same time they are trying to incorporate social distancing practices because of the COVID-19 virus. They need more space, money, and supplies. If you would like to help, check out their website at https://nashvillerescuemission.org/ways-to-give/gifts-in-kind/
|First Quarter Statements|
Continuing efforts to save money, we will email first quarter statements rather than mail them using one of the features of our Realm database. Please monitor your email as you should receive your statement by April 30th.
But we need your help! We know that when we converted to the Realm software, Realm automatically designated a primary email address for anyone who had an email listed in the database. If the church only had one email address for you, everything should be fine. But if the office had more than one email address listed in the old database, Realm may not have chosen as primary the same email address as you most commonly use. So if you don’t receive your statement by April 30th, or if you receive it at an email address you don’t usually open, please let Jan know so that she may correct the database.
CHNA’s farmers’ market is scheduled to begin at Crievewood in May and continue each Thursday throughout the summer. The start and character of the market, however, will be affected somewhat by virus procedures. Please watch the newsletter for updates.
The Tennessee Annual Conference has been rescheduled on September 18th and 19th at Brentwood UMC with the theme By Faith.
Currently Pastor Peter can be contacted at the church office throughout the week, but the rest of the church staff is working from home through the end of April unless it is absolutely necessary to be in the church building. During this time please contact Jan Bassett through the church’s Comcast email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by her home landline phone at 615-371-8476.