What is Love? – Pastor Ed

Mother Teresa said, “Give the world the best you have and you’ll get kicked in the teeth. Give the world the best you have anyway.”

Wait a minute! I need a moment to process that statement. We do not like to be kicked in the teeth, especially if we are doing good to others. The authority of Mother Teresa’s words boldly brims over from the devout way she lived her life for God and for others.

What is Love? In the book of 1 Corinthians 13 we find a list of what Love is all about. We can start there. We may at times look at that list of expressions of Love and check off the ones we are able to live out as we compare our everyday life against them.

Ask Jesus what Love is. When we look at Jesus and the way He showed love, what comes to mind is His life doing good, suffering and dying on the Cross for us. And, of course, His Resurrection. Christ showed love by giving up His life. But there is no Resurrection without His denying Himself in favor of others. There is no Resurrection without His speaking truth to power in favor of the outcast. And there is no Resurrection without His laying down His life for you and for me. You see, living for others involves self-denial and sacrifice, and those can be painful. The question is, to what extent are we willing to put in the effort and to sacrifice?

Thinking about the Covid-19 pandemic, it feels like we are about to turn a corner, but I cannot get over the fact that more than five hundred thousand lives were taken so far. We are the survivors. And while we wait for most people to be vaccinated (and not everybody will), how will we continue to show love to others in light of 1 Corinthians 13, especially verse 7 that reads, “love always protects?”

John Wesley, the founder of Methodism, called us to “do no harm, do good, and stay in love with God.” How can you and I protect the lives of those we love until everybody is safe from this virus? Are we willing to put in the effort and sacrifice even if it means we may be kicked in the teeth? God gave us God’s best. Jesus was willing to pay the price so that you and I could have life, and life in abundance.

What is Love?
Your turn.

Peace and good health,
Pastor Ed Volfe


Putting on Christ – Pastor Ed

When Isabelle and Stephanie were toddlers, they loved playing dresses. They would change dresses every five minutes as they played. Sometimes they were Ariel, and the next time they were Belle or Pocahontas, and some other times they were the Powerpuff Girls. My wife Daniele and I cherished those fun moments with the girls as they were growing up.

Paul, the Apostle, encourages our brothers and sisters at Colossae to clothe themselves with Christ, that is, to put on compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience (Col 3:12). Paul is talking about being transformed into Christ’s likeness every day as we take on Christ’s character and sacrificial life to bless others. But in order to “put on Christ,” we need to take off the “old self” first. It is like changing clothes – first you have to take off the clothes you are wearing. You cannot simply pile up clothes on top of the others already on your body! That would not look good and it would be very uncomfortable.

We take off the old self by putting to death whatever belongs to our earthly nature (Col 3:5a). Take racism, for instance. We are all racist to a certain degree. We can be so racist and not realize we are being racist. And, to be honest, perhaps we may be so comfortable benefiting from our position of privilege that we do not want to bother ourselves as to pay attention to how we see and treat other people. 

How do we take off the old self when it comes to racism? A good start is to seek to understand what “systemic racism” and “social equity” mean and have honest and fierce conversations about those topics. Social equity goes beyond skin color. It touches upon Cultures within Cultures and how we treat each other as human beings in society day in and day out.

Isabelle and Stephanie were just having lots of fun while playing dresses as toddlers. But in their minds, for that short period of time, they became the princesses embodied in those dresses. Likewise, Paul is commanding us to become one with the new Creation we find in Christ, to put on kindness, compassion, humility, gentleness, to be people of the Resurrection and become agents of Peace on Earth.

Grace and Peace!

Ed Volfe


Do You Not See It? – Pastor Ed

From Isaiah 43:16; 18-19:
This is what the Lord says – he who made a way through the sea, a path through the mighty waters, “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.”

Israel was constantly harassed by the peoples around them, and they were always at war against each other. There was lots of suffering due to the wars and instabilities. One thing was certain for Israel: God was present with them, even in the midst of despair. In this Bible verse, God is encouraging Israel not to dwell on the past but look into the future and the new possibilities God has for them. “Do you not see it?”

The year 2020 is definitely going down in history! How can we forget it, right?

Those of us who lived through this pandemic and are still alive in this body can tell the stories of their losses and pain.

Unfortunately, there are those who will deny people suffered and died from a virus called COVID-19 because, of course, it was just a “hoax.” Hard for me to believe my wife Daniele’s father died from a hoax on December 12th and was rushed to be buried on December 13 to avoid the spreading of the virus. My wife, daughters and I had COVID-19 in September/October and it was really tough. I can still feel the lingering effects of the disease in my own body. Some relatives in Brazil had to be in the hospital for many days because of the virus. I’ve seen and heard our church people in their personal struggles in 2020 as well.

Reading from Isaiah today, God called my attention to the verses about forgetting “the former things” and to look at the “former things” in a different way. Maybe, if we reinterpret that passage for our days, God may be talking about all the pain and losses we all had in 2020.

However, in addition to that, I believe God is inviting us also to pay attention to the “former way” God has been present with us through it all and to see His hand at work in our midst this past year. We hear God saying, “You’ve seen me at work in the midst of your pain and suffering. You’ve seen how present I was with you, how I gave you strength, how you saw the seemingly impossible happen, how I blessed you with what you needed… that was big and amazing, right? Well, wait until you see what I am about to do…”

God does not want us to forget the pain and sufferings of the past. God does not want us to turn our backs on what has been and will be part of our history. But God does want us not to dwell on them.

Furthermore, God wants us to be able to see and acknowledge His good, big and amazing presence in the bad things that happened to us in 2020 but also, even more, to expect greater and new things from the Lord in 2021, for God is with us!

The question is: Can you see it?

Blessings to you in 2021!

Pastor Ed Volfe


You Will Live – Pastor Ed

Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die…” John 11:25 NIV

When we talk about Christ, we talk about life, death and resurrection. I talk with many people via phone calls, emails, text messages, messenger, Facebook, WhatsApp and, if allowed these days because of the pandemic, face-to-face (or, mask-to-mask). So many people are hurting one way or another these days. The pandemic this year has made things even harder all around the world. Also, the holidays are particularly hard for people who experienced losses whether recently or a long time ago, especially the loss of a loved one. For those amongst us, while everyone else is celebrating and smiling during the holidays, they may be finding ways and excuses to stay away from others in order to deal with their losses and grief.

While our Christian faith points to a God who is always present and gives us eternal life, the pain of loss drives us to ask the question, “Where is God in all this?”

As I pondered again upon these words Jesus said to Martha and Mary referencing to their brother’s death, I was reminded of a couple of things. First, Jesus felt in his spirit and soul the loss of a close friend and wept. Lazarus had died. And second, Jesus is also referring to the life that is renewed in those who are left behind.

As human beings, acknowledging the pain and suffering of loss can help in the healing process. Weeping is part of the human response to the pain that cannot be explained by words. Though we have questions, the answers will never suffice to appease the void in us left behind when we lose our mom, dad, son, daughter, grandpa, grandma… Jesus wept along with Martha, Mary, and friends.

Jesus’ bold statement to Martha and Mary that “those who die will live” refers to those who died, yet it is also directed to those who are left behind. When a loved one dies, something within us also dies. And Jesus is boldly encouraging all of us by saying what is dead will come back to life – perhaps life in a different way but life, nonetheless, “The one who believes in me will live, even though they die.”

During these holidays, claim the words of Jesus in your life. What has died within you will live, because Jesus is our resurrection for today, as well. You will live!

Peace and Healing,

Rev. Ed Volfe


God Was in the Whisper – Pastor Ed

The word for “whisper” in 1 Kings 19:12 is דְּמָמָה (demamah, originally from damam) in Hebrew. Demamah can be translated as “blowing,” “silence,” “still” and that is why demamah renders “whisper” as a possible translation. Some other translations are “small voice,” “thin sound,” “quiet,” “subdued, small voice.” You get the idea! In 1 Kings 19:12, God was in the whisper.

In the Hebrew Scriptures’ (a.k.a. The Old Testament) Time, the belief was that a god who manifested god-self through thunders, strong wind, storms, earthquakes and fire was considered a powerful god. No wonder the God of the Old Testament is considered by many a scary and angry God because that is the way Yahweh showed up to Israel and through Israel to other nations very often. The word demamah (whisper, silence, still) appears only three times in the Old Testament. God was in the whisper.

It is true we sometimes need God to show up to us in thunderous ways. There are times in our journey we desperately need God to appear as strong and mighty a God as possible because we feel the wheels are falling off our cart and we need a big-time type of deliverance. But there will be times when we will need God to come as gentle as a dove and whisper to our hearts that God is in the midst of our storms and earthquakes in life, right there with us, and ready to save.

As you and I ask the question, “Where is God in all this?” and “How is God at work in our midst?” let us not allow ourselves to be tossed around by the strong winds of negativity and adversity that try to break our hearts to pieces; the earthquakes of challenges to shake even our deepest human structures; and the fire of discontentment, frustration or hatred to burn us to the ground. Let us, instead, focus on the small voice, the whisper of God to us that reassures us, “Do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand” (Isaiah 41:10).

Friend, listen for the whisper of God calling out to you today. God is with us. And God will lead us out of the cave, out of the hindering place, on to the path where God wants us to go.


Pastor Ed


Caring for God’s Creation – Pastor Ed

We have all heard the story of the Creation in the book of Genesis in the Bible. For the longest time growing up, when I thought about Creation I thought about the Moon, the Stars, the Sun, the animals… not so much the humans God had also created. For some reason, for me, these humans belonged in a different category, as if they were more special and above Creation. Do not ask me why!

But then, it dawned on me the humans were indeed part of the whole of God’s Creation! And the Bible highlights that everything God created was “good” and “very good.”

Only God can generate “good” (goodness) in God’s own Creation. We need God to instill in us goodness. Only God’s goodness in us will empower and enable us to care for God’s Creation: the life in the sea, land, and air; and of course, our fellow humans! God has placed you and me, the humans, in a position to care for God’s Creation. That means God wants you and me to care for each other, as well! That means we will do no harm to each other, and we will do everything we can to do good towards our fellow brothers and sisters.

I think when we are able to see other people as God’s beloved and very good Creations, and that they have also been created in God’s own image, we will be able to unleash God’s “good” (goodness) into the world as God intends us to.

Pastor Ed