By Pat Rhodes
We were excited to see the sun shining on Monday as we entered Wesley Hall at the First United Methodist Church for Evergreen Outreach. It turned out to be a very nice day despite the threat of storms.
Our youngest grandson, Aidan, is visiting with us this week while his parents are on vacation. He enjoys going to all of our activities with us and especially liked the frosted sugar cookie with sprinkles that was given to him by the ladies in the kitchen.
If his mother knew about all the cookies he has when he is here, she probably would not let him come back. You know what they say – “What happens in Vandalia stays in Vandalia.”
As we entered the hall, we noticed that many of our friends from FAYCO had already arrived.
Soon the other buses arrived, bringing the folks from Brookstone and Vandalia Rehab. We missed our friends from Fayette County Long Term Care; we hope they are able to join us next week. The dedicated pinochle players wasted no time getting to their tables to begin their games.
As always, the volunteers were busy preparing and distributing the refreshments. The cookies today were furnished by Patty Donaldson, Joyce Staff and the Victorian Red Hat Ladies. Thank you all for making sure our guests are well fed.
Unfortunately, neither the scheduled pianist nor the entertainment was able to make it to Evergreen on Monday.
After a short meeting, the leaders put ‘Plan B’ into action. Beverly Hood stepped up to the microphone and asked for volunteers to hold up the word cards for the “Welcome” and “Evergreen Outreach” songs.
Since we had no pianist we sang acappella, and I thought we sounded pretty good.
After we finished singing, Beverly recognized the birthday people of the week: Shirley Locke, Cherie Logsdon, Ruth Montecue, Richard Kruenegel, Bob Durbin and Eda Jones.
Everyone joined in to sing “Happy Birthday” to the celebrants.
I also learned that Miles Filer is having a significant birthday in May; we look forward to celebrating with him next month.
Next, Beverly put on her bunny ears to discuss dyed eggs, egg hunts and chocolate eggs with the guests. I think chocolate eggs were determined to be the favorite.
Carl Rhodes, minister at Northside Christian Church, gave the devotion from Luke 19. The day before EO, Christians around the world celebrated Palm Sunday in remembrance of the “Triumphal Entry” of Jesus into Jerusalem, the final days in His journey to the cross.
As Jesus rode into the city, he was greeted with cheers: the crowd lined the street, shouting, “Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord; Peace in heaven and glory in the highest” (verse 38). Matthew makes note that the people shouted, “Hosanna” and they “cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road (Matthew 21:8). John 12:13 identifies the branches as “palm branches.”
With the use of the word “hosanna” (from the Hebrew meaning “Save us now”) and the waving of the palm branches (which were a symbol of Jewish nationalism) it’s plain to see the people were expecting the Messiah to save them from Roman oppression.
The people were expecting the Messiah to come as a military conqueror.
Jesus was met with cheers from the people but their cheers only brought him tears! Luke 19:41-44: As he approached Jerusalem and saw the city, he wept over it (42) and said, “If you, even you, had only known on this day what would bring you peace – but now it is hidden from your eyes. (43) The days will come upon you when your enemies will build an embankment against you and encircle you and hem you in on every side. (44) They will dash you to the ground, you and the children within your walls. They will not leave one stone on another, because you did not recognize the time of God’s coming to you.”
He wept over the city of Jerusalem! Why? Because they did not understand or accept Him as the true Savior, the true Messiah.
He came to bring them forgiveness for sin and victory over death. They wanted freedom from the oppression of Roman rule – he brought them freedom from the oppression to sin.
They wanted a new nationalistic Hebrew kingdom established on earth reminiscent of King David’s time – he brought a new Kingdom in heaven.
Jesus wept, because the people did not recognize the Savior as God’s Messiah!
This week we will celebrate the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus.
This Sunday is not about bunny rabbits, candy or decorated eggs – it’s about the Resurrection of our Savior. His Resurrection brings us victory – victory over sin and death!
Pastor Fackler came to the microphone and asked the audience, “How do we know when Easter is?”
Several folks made a guess before he told us that it was determined by a group of men many years ago to be the first Sunday after the first full moon after spring begins.
I hope I can remember that for next year!
Beverly brought her song book to Evergreen on Monday and shared a few of her favorite Easter songs with us.
She started with “In the Garden,” followed by “He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands,” with many of the guests joining her up front to sing along. The final song of the day was “When the Saints Go Marching In,” to which many joined in to form a marching line.
At the first pinochle table sat Rosamund Hobler, Peggy Lippold, Wolf Schlicht and John Hunsley.
In the end, Wolf and John won two, leaving Rosamund and Peggy with one win.
Shirley Locke and Joyce Mueller played at the other table with Ruth Ann Scott and Mary Wolsey.
Ruth Ann and Mary won two, while Shirley and Joyce were scoreless. Shirley was disappointed that she did not win on her birthday, but said she would not let it keep her from having a good day.