Roanoke Church of Christ

Month: April 2019


   That cross,    Stained with sins
    To painful to tell
    As it stands stark 
    Against the darkening sky;
    Pronouncing its judgement 
    To the world

    That hill,
    With its history of
    Past victims to numerous
    And shameful to tell.
    A monument to man’s
    Or inhumanity.

    That hand 
    With fingers extended.
    Then clinched tight,
    Almost obscuring the nail
    Driven deep into the palm.
    Beads of sweat dot the face
    Of this dying man.

    That head
    Hanging heavily,
    Swaying from side to side;
    Its thorny crown
    Grotesque against the sun.
    From the heaving chest 
    Come the sighs of death.

    That face,
    Eyes tightly shut.
    Then wide open;
    As though seeking
    A comforting word.
    The tongue wets the lips
    Against the fever.

    That man,
    Hanging on that cross
    Hears the weeping,
    The scornful laughter,
    Tastes the hyssop  
    As a voice from somewhere
    Says he was a son of God.

    That peace,
    The rest of death.
    When pain and time stops.
    Life is over.
    It is finished.
    Its purpose fulfilled.

    That tomb,
    Dark and foreboding;
    Mouth gaping wide,
    Ready to consume its 
    First guest.
    Ashes to ashes 
    Dust to dust.

    That stone,
    Rolled into place.
    The grave has its prize.
    Now sealed tightly against     
    Intruders and even God.    Now things can return
    To normal.

    That moment,
    A stirring.
    Life surges in.  
    Arms and legs
    Stretch as if from sleep.
    The stone resists,
    But begins to move.

    That morning,
    A bird sings,
    As  the first rays of sunlight
    Kiss the spring flowers
    Near the open tomb. 
    Footprints in the dew
    Lead to a risen Savior.


CONCERNS: Judy McWhorter had knee replacement surgery last week. She us doing fine. Debbie McRoy will not have surgery. No blockage was found in Doug Bolin’s heart. Doug is Del’s brother. However, he still has a problem. These people are dealing with cancer: Teryn Gaynor’s mother (her husband has advanced Parkinson’s). Jeff Bland’s mother, Patricia.  Ray Barns, (his wife, Darnel also so has heath problems) Judy Powell and Harold Clark. Former members, Ray and Debbie Reiss’ son-in-law, David. Deanna McRoy, Debbie McRoy’s cousin, Linda Alsup and husband, Prentice. Others to remember are the parents of Joni and Alan Beach and Wayne Flora. Joni Beach’s niece, Jamie Cole. Gary Overstreet, Jim Hunter, Bill Albert, Sheila Jansen and daughter, Amber Weaver. Donte McCadden (CF) Marjorie Wilson, Tim Elder, Melanie Gentry, Wayne Phlegar, and Melanie Gentry 
    On Saturday, April 13, at 1:45 AM, Lucas James Downing arrived in this world. He weighed in at 6lbs, 14oz and 19 inches long.
    Needless to say, James and Megan are proud as punch, as are grandparents and extended family. Lucas is the first Great-grandchild of Keith and Jo Wagner. 

    Jonathan Densby and his family are with us once again. He will be teaching the  adult class and presenting the morning sermon. Jonathan is one of the men the steering committee is interviewing to become the minister as Keith retires. Be sure to meet the family today.

    There will be an Easter egg hunt following the morning service. It will take place in the yard behind the annex. Holly Wagner will give the go signal. Children should meet her at the back door of the building. This is for all preschool children.

    Today, April 21, is Super Sunday. Plan to stay for the fellowship meal following the morning service. If you haven’t met the Dansby’s, this would be a good time.

    Thanks to everyone who came out on the work day. You may also notice as you come into the building that the landings and porches have been resurfaced as well as the side walks power-washed.Erma and Garrett Williams and Wayne Flora painted lines on the parking areas.

    Vivian Dugan will be away longer than she expected due to Cathie and Jeff traveling.


   At some point in my ministry I became more and more fascinated with the person of Jesus. Much of my church life had left me with a view of him as an antheral, otherworldly type, with just enough humanity to keep him on the ground. I think  leaving that view in people’s minds is an insult to the man he was.
   Therefore, I want to stretch our thinking by looking at what Jesus did know, what he did not know, and what he seems to say he wanted.
    What did he not know? We are told in Luke 2 that he “grew in wisdom and stature.” In Matthew, Mark and Luke say when asked about what Jesus warns is coming, he replies that no one knows, including him. Only the Father knows. These warnings, read carefully, refer to the destruction of Jerusalem, which occurred in AD 70. Even though Jesus could see the storm clouds forming, even he did not know the exact time. If you insist on extending these verses to the end of time, the result is still the same. In Hebrews it says Jesus “learned by the things he suffered.”
    What did he know? He knew the will (reign/kingdom) of God was to come on the earth. He prayed, “May your will be done on earth, as it is in heaven.” He said in Lk. 4, quoting Isaiah, that the spirit of the Lord was on him and had anointed him to preach good news to the poor, freedom for prisoners, sight to the blind, release the oppressed and proclaim it was the year of the Lord’s favor. In Lk.11:20, he said if he cast out demons by the finger of God, then the kingdom of god was here. What does it appear he wanted? For God’s will to be done on earth and that he was here to make it happen.
    Did he want to overthrow Rome by force? No. He said the kingdom of God was like a mustard seed which grew quietly. He said the kingdom was like yeast, which also worked from the inside. He said the kingdom was inside of us. And yet, he often does things which seem to be forming an army of resistance. When he fed the five thousand men in Mk.6, he had them sit in groups of fifty and a hundred, which was the way troops were divided. When he feeds the multitude in Jn 6, the crowd saw this as sign that he was the to led them as a military king.
    When he looked at Jerusalem and said, “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem…how often have I longed (wanted) to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing”, did he mean it? (Mt.23.37) Did he come to try, or to die trying?  Did he know it was hopeless, or did he think he might have a chance? 
    From where we stand, we have a hard time imagining he believed he could bring about the will of God on earth. But all through his life and teaching, he taught about how the will (kingdom) of God was supposed to be…on earth. 
   He knew, as all the prophets before him, that God’s will for the earth was not about military force. I haven’t done an exhaustive search, but I can’t find a prophetic book that says war will restore God’s will in Israel. All of them speak of mercy and justice, in one way or another. Jesus know the Messianic goal was as a reformer. Someone to whom the people would listen to and follow. He also knew all prophets suffered for their message, sometimes even dying. Did they hope they would be heard, or did they know they would fail? Why do it if you know it will make no difference. The joke on Jonah is that he wanted to fail at Nineveh, but succeeded. The irony of that story should not be lost on us.
    As for me, looking at the man Jesus, I think from what I read, that he hoped the Jews would listen, and that from Jerusalem to the rest of the world, the will of God on earth would be spread, as the prophets like Isaiah and others had said.  As his story unfolds, for awhile, thousands believed his message. At some point, however, as was the result of all reforming prophets, he saw the cross as a possibility if he kept on proclaiming the will of God. Should he give up? Should anyone give up because they reach the place they know they may not complete the work to be done? That’s not the way we move forward. Jesus may have come to the place he knew God’s will would not be complete in his lifetime. But he never stopped trying to bring it about. In fact, he realized that it takes the supreme sacrifice to make it happen.
    Will the will of God succeed? It’s up to us.
Keith is starting his retirement, but will be working part time during the transition period as the church decides future plans. Therefore, following issues of the bulletin may contain reprints from years past. This will mean some changes in the mailing list.

Announcements: Mike Branch
Serve Communion: Connie Crites
            Joanne Elder
            Martha Foy
            Garrett Williams
Usher: Erma Williams
Communion Care: Blessings
Singing:         Scripture:
7-Del Bolin        Martha Albert
14-Scott Blessing    Mark McRoy
21-Karen Branch    Debbie McRoy
28-Del Bolin        Susan Jordan
Communion:        Nursery:
7-Abraham Sirgy    Susan Phlegar
14-Wayne Flora    Susan Jordan
21-Abraham Sirgy    Holly Wagner
28-Keith Wagner    Connie Crites
If you cannot serve, call Erma Williams
23-Maggie Foy    25-Del Bolin

CONCERNS: Jeff and Sherry Bland have had flu-like symptoms.  Debbie McRoy has back surgery in the near future. Those are suffering from cancer and under treatment are Judy Powell and Harold Clark, (Jo Wagner’s  sister and cousin), Ray Barns, (pray for his wife, Darnell) Teryn Gaynor’s mother, (Teryn’s step-father has advanced Parkinson’s). Ray and Debbie Reiss’ son-in law, David. Debbie McRoy’s cousin’s husband, Prentice Alsup, and Deanna McRoy. Others with health issues are Jim Hunter, Jamie Cole,(Joni Beach’s niece) Donte McCadden, a CF patient, The parent(s) of Wayne Flora, The Beach’s and Del Bolin. Gary Overstreet, Sheila Jansen and daughter, Amber Weaver. Remember, Amber was paralyzed in an accident years ago and cannot speak. Melanie Gentry, Wayne Phlegar, Jim and Mary Smith and Tim Elder.

    (State Farm is used only as an example) A pine tree from our property fell on a neighbor’s swing set up on Laburnum. They called to see what we could do. As you may know, it’s “An act of God” which means nobody is responsible according to insurance companies. Wayne Flora went to the home and with the owners help, cut up the tree. Thanks Wayne. You were like a good neighbor, you were there..

    Our own Bonnie Blessing took home the first prize ribbon for the Viewers Choice Award at the Burgland Center Quilt Show. Each attendee was given material in which a slip of paper was to show the most liked. Bonnie’s won. It was a four year project with about 7,400 hand-stitched pieces. Way to go Bonnie!

                                                        JONATHAN DENSBY RETURNING
    The Steering Committee has invited Jonathan and his family to return. He will be speaking on Easter Sunday, March, 21.
    The steering committee needs feedback from the congregation about Jonathan. If you were not hear when he spoke last time, it can be heard on the church face Book page.

                                                         SPRING CLEAN-UP DAY
    We are looking at a date this month for a clean-up day at the building. April 20, or some later date is suggested.
    Alisa Flora is in Alabama, visiting with her sister, Melanie. She will return this week.
    Easter falls on Super Sunday this year. Plan to stay for the fellowship meal following Jonathan’s sermon.