Notes from the Pastor

  Rev. Dr. Noah Panlilio was appointed pastor of Malta and Northwest Malta Churches effective July 1, 2013. Pastor Noah grew up in Manila, the capital city of the Republic of the Philippines and started as a student pastor after graduating from the university with a Bachelor’s Degree in Liberal Arts. He then continued on to seminary for a Master’s Degree in Divinity and Doctor of Ministry Degree. He has been a pastor in the United Methodist Church over 32 years serving in the city of Manila and Northwestern District of Chicago. Pastor Noah has one daughter, Reanna Grace.

                                          

                                                The Pastor Noah’s March Message

By now, we noticed most everyone has put away Easter decorations and any stuff that pertains to Easter are kept if not thrown away.  I was at the grocery store on the first week of April and noticed that all the remnants of Easter are in the clearance section 90% off.  To our naked eye, Easter is over!  But for the Christian church the celebration of Easter season of Jesus’ miraculous resurrection from the dead, lasts for Fifty days.  We still are in a season of awe, surprise, delight and new life – springing up from blossoming and blooming flowers and greening grass.  Often times however, our busyness, the hustle and bustle, the helter skelter of life, cynicism and fear cloud our faith in God’s power in the world and in us.  We allow ourselves to speak of coincidences, luck, or accidents instead of grace, mercy, blessing and Spirit.

Often times, we find ourselves dumb struck, as did the people when Peter and John went to the Temple.  They saw a man lame from birth begging money outside the Temple.  The story found in the Book of Acts of the Apostles chapter 3 verses 1-16.  This lame man begging for money, received more than money.  He was healed!  Peter said to him…Silver and gold I don’t have, but what I have I will give to you.  In the name Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk!  The crowd of people stood in disbelief upon this man they are accustomed seeing begging by the Temple is now walking without any assistance.  Was it magic?  Was it a trick?  Was it witchcraft?  Was it coincidence?

For Peter and John this is the mighty work of God prophesied in the Scriptures and now was made manifest through the followers and disciples of Jesus – such ordinary man and women God working through them.  We elevate the disciples and followers of Jesus to a level of authority and excellence because of their faithfulness.  We could not imagine that even Peter who denied Jesus three times, still God uses him mightily to show the power of God in Christ Jesus the Son.  In the same token I believe God can use all of us to bring about establishing God’s reign here on earth.

The world news headlines of famine, poverty, economic crumble, and war can deaden our souls and spirit to the truth that God has not abandoned us.  Like the song I sang to you last Easter Sunday worship, the song says…..Behold He comes riding on the cloud, shining like the Sun at the trumpet call.  Lift your voice, it’s the year of Jubilee and out on Zion’s hill salvation comes.

Friends, the fifty days of Easter reminds us that Resurrection experience happens more than once.  New life and new possibilities as a church and as individuals can happen, can be realized, despite our fears, our doubts, and skepticisms and perhaps even in the midst of them.

I would love to see you in church on Sunday.  To God be the Glory for Great things God has done!  Hallelujah Christ is Risen!  Hallelujah He is Risen Indeed!

To God Be the Glory for Great Things God has Done!

Yours because of Jesus,

  +Pastor Noah

Rev. Dr. Noah R. Panlilio