New Church Life March/April 2017 - Page 5

In This Issue S adly, suicide, mental illness, grief and tragedy are insistent issues – throughout our society and in the Church. Within these pages are an editorial, two sermons, an article and several Life Line items dealing with these topics. We encourage a useful and doctrinally based discussion among the clergy and the laity. In a Palm Sunday sermon – “The Stones Would Immediately Cry Out” – the Rev. Eric H. Carswell says: “Palm Sunday represents a quality that the Lord wants in our lives in all we care about, think, speak or do. It represents our conscious choice to make a path for the Lord to come not just into our own hearts and minds but that His presence and His blessings may be ever more present through our choices.” (Page 85) In a doctrinal presentation the Rev. Michael D. Gladish looks at “What the Lord Actually Accomplished by His Incarnation” – for us and for Himself. “When the Lord took on His own natural human body and mind among the Jews,” he writes, “He Himself was able to bridge the gap between God and the world. He Himself was able to restore the circuit that was almost broken for all life on earth.” And He still does this for us: “He subjugates or controls the hells for us. We don’t. We can’t. But He did and He can – every day.” (Page 91) How well do we really know Judas Iscariot, the disciple who betrayed Jesus? The Rev. Christopher A. Barber, in a comprehensive study, says that seeing Judas as a three-dimensional character offers us a new lens on redemption – his own and ours. He cites The Word Explained 3158 as a reason for us “to reconsider everything we know about Judas. If there is hope for Judas, then there is hope for us.” (Page 103) The Rev. David C. Roth offers a sermon “In Support of Mental and Spiritual Health,” which came in response to a recent suicide in the Church. He was greatly saddened by this and “left with the realization that we need to turn up the light [on mental health issues]. To turn it up very brightly. To turn it up so brightly that hell has nowhere to hide.” (Page 118) Mr. Roth also wrote a six-step message on “Coping With Grief ” for his society newsletter in the Boulder (Colorado) New Church which offers helpful strategies in dealing with grief for anyone who has lost a loved one. (Page 129) 71