From Interim Pastor Michael Meranda

I am so proud of my briefcase.  I bought it the Summer of l976.  I would enroll in the seminary that September.  I recall specifically purchasing a briefcase thick enough to hold
“Biblia Hebraica” – the thick Hebrew Bible published in Germany.  I still have the Hebrew Bible.  I still have the briefcase.

Purchasing that briefcase involved cultural-economic trends that have all but disappeared.  First, the briefcase was made in the USA.  Samsonite luggage company manufactured it.  I am not sure if Samsonite still exists.  If they do, I am sure they have outsourced their manufacturing to China.  Second, I bought the briefcase in a luggage shop in a mall.  The mall was the Lloyd Center, located in Portland, Oregon.  Lloyd Center was especially appreciated in rainy Oregon because Lloyd Center featured covered walkways and covered parking.

As with many malls in the USA, the Lloyd Center no longer exists.  Third, when I drove to the Lloyd Center to shop for the briefcase, I drove a little MG sedan.  That car, ever so nimble in traffic, had a 4-speed manual transmission.  As with classic American manufacturing and shopping malls, manual transmission cars are a thing of the past.  I recently read that only 2% of new cars purchased in the USA have a manual transmission.

So, lots of changes since that Summer of 1976.  The tan-light brown colored briefcase still works fine.  It has some dings and smudges and scrapes, but it gets my stuff to your pastor’s study at Living Lord and then back to my “Theology Cave” (basement) in Ashtabula.

Lots of changes always.  That is life on this dangerous, beautiful planet.  But the Gospel is still strong and true.  We are made in God’s image.  We turn from God and to ourselves and so tarnish that image.  God in Christ seeks us and claims us.  God brings us back to God’s heart, our source.  God fixes us and restores us.  God makes us useful for love and service.  Therein we are beautiful.  God’s love has been poured into our hearts.  We open-up and receive all the good God has for us – just like a Samsonite briefcase opens-up to receive what is good, precious, memorable, useful, helpful, and valuable.


Thursday Bible Study…Beginning on September 14, Pastor Meranda will lead a Bible Study at 10:00 am in the Activity Room every Thursday.  All are welcome!


Interim Pastor Meranda’s Office Hours…Interim Pastor Michael Meranda will be in the office on Thursdays from 9:30 am to 12:30 pm.  If you need to reach him at times other than on Thursdays, please call his home phone of 440-998-7321.