St. John’s was the first Protestant church established in Casablanca. It was built in 1906. It is the oldest church building in use in Casablanca and one of the historical buildings in the city.
During World War II St. John’s was attended by a number of the American Service personnel based in Casablanca. Major General George Patton, a regular attender at St. John’s, gave the pulpit in memory of those who died in this area during WWII. After General Patton’s death, the carved frontal for the communion table was presented to St. John’s by his family.
- We started the service by singing songs that were familiar to my Western ear. The music was provided by a guitar and a bongo drum.
When I Survey the Wondrous Cross
Days of Elijah
What a Friend We Have in Jesus
And all the people said amen (This song was neat because we all shouted amen every time that we sang it.
Next Pastor Virgilio Fernández asked the children to come forward where he offered a prayer for them.
This is the 5th Sunday of Lent and the pastor has been preaching about love. Today’s sermon title was
To love or not to love. That is the question.
Therefore, six days before the Passover, Jesus came to Bethany where Lazarus was, whom Jesus had raised from the dead. So they made Him a dinner there, and Martha was serving; and Lazarus was one of those reclining at the table with Him. Mary then took a pound of very expensive perfume of pure nard, and anointed the feet of Jesus and wiped His feet with her hair; and the house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume. But Judas Iscariot, one of His disciples, the one who intended to betray Him, said, “Why was this perfume not sold for three hundred denarii and the proceeds given to poor people?” Now he said this, not because he cared about the poor, but because he was a thief, and as he kept the money box, he used to steal from what was put into it. Therefore Jesus said, “Leave her alone, so that she may keep it for the day of My burial. For you always have the poor with you, but you do not always have Me.
Love guides how we live and the words that we speak. Love is not blind. Blindness keeps us from loving. Apathy is the difference. Mary is free of emotions such as self interest, indifference, and regret. Judas is blind and unable to love.
Love looks at each person as a unique person created by the same God who cherishes you. Is that how you look at a nameless person? The way that we love tells about us.
Mary’s heart has been awakened and sees Jesus. Judas cannot see. Mary holds back nothing. Judas holds everything back and cannot see. Mary loves while Judas calculates.
They are at the same dinner with the same people. However, Mary and Judas see two different Jesuses with two different responses.
Jesus did not dismiss Judas. He is as much a part of us as is Mary. Both live within us. Both teach us something about ourselves. Who we love and how we love? There is a choice in whatever we are doing and whoever we encounter. To love or not to love?