It’s Monday morning, and we’re enjoying another spectacular April day here in Wake Forest. It’s 63-degrees, sunny, and the spring colors continue to burst out on the trees and the shrubs.
Monday was set up by an equally lovely Sunday. Rebekah and I celebrated Easter-plus-one with our church family, then spent the afternoon enjoying the outdoors on the Hasentree golf course with our friends Ray and Jane.
That’s right, you heard me correctly, Rebekah actually accompanied me on a golf outing! She wasn’t interested in playing, but she did drive my cart, and we were able to enjoy the beauty of the North Carolina countryside together.
COMMUNION: At Wake Forest Presbyterian, we shared communion together. Christ’s last few words before the cross were a prayer that his followers would be one in love and unity, so it was more than appropriate to get together the week following Easter Sunday for “the breaking of the bread.”
Rebekah’s scripture for her message was the “Emmaus Road” story in Luke 24. The account concludes with the words, “[Jesus] had been made known to them in the breaking of the bread” (Luke 24:35).
Traditionally this is a quieter celebration, and the week following Easter is often known as “Low Sunday” because – typically – not very many people show up at church; but the spirit here at WFPC yesterday was vibrant, there was absolutely no sense of let-down, and attendance was solid.
SERMON ON THE MOUNT: In my discipleship class we wrapped up our Lenten study of Christ’s “Sermon on the Mount.” Much of our discussion turned on the closing couple of verses, “Now when Jesus had finished saying these things, the crowds were astounded at his teaching, for he taught them as one having authority, and not as their scribes” (Matthew 7:28-29).
We talked about how Jesus not only carried the authority of God, but that people respond to those who take the trouble to know them, and demonstrate the commitment to love them. Christ’s authority emanated from the proactive love that resided at the root of everything he did, everything he said, and all that he was, all who he is.
Christ’s authority emanated from the proactive love that resided at the root of everything he did, everything he said, and all that he was, all who he is.
There is a lot of wisdom in the cumulative faith, questions, and experiences of the folk in my Sunday morning class, and I am enriched – always – by our time together.
TOGETHER: My last photograph today is the selfie taken on the second green at Hasentree. It doesn’t matter what I’m doing, how much fun it is, and how beautiful the surroundings… the experience is always enriched and magnified when Rebekah and I get to share it.
So it was an extra special treat to have Rebekah along for the fun and scenic afternoon of golf. After the game, the four of us enjoyed dinner together at the clubhouse.
According to Ray and Jane, this outing was to celebrate my recent North Carolina Press Association award. I really appreciated the gesture; but – more than anything – Rebekah and I appreciate the blessing of good friends, and the increasingly deep ties that are bonding us with the people who make up the rich community of faith known as Wake Forest Presbyterian Church.
In love, and because of love – DEREK
Derek has published seven books in the past decade (you can find them at https://www.amazon.com/Derek-Maul/e/B001JS9WC4), and there's always something new in the works.
Before becoming a full-time writer, Derek taught public school in Florida for eighteen years, including cutting-edge work with autistic children. He holds bachelor's degrees in psychology and education from Stetson University and the University of West Florida.
Derek is active in teaching at his church: adult Sunday school, and a men's Bible study/spiritual formation group. He enjoys the outdoors, traveling, photography, reading, cooking, playing guitar, and golf.