Easter, 2018

March 25 - Passion Sunday
Mark 11:1-11, Isaiah 50:4-9a, Psalm 31:9-16, Philippians 2:5-11, Mark 14:1-15:47

Hope: Emptiness Fills; Fullness Empties

We most find hope in the imitation of Jesus. The Gospel of Mark has been described as “The Passion of Jesus, with a long introduction.” For that reason, the centerpiece of today’s worship is the Passion Story.

March 29 - Maundy Thursday
Exodus 12:1-14, Psalm 116:1-2, 12-19, 1 Corinthians 11:23-26, John 13:1-17, 31b-35

Hope: Love Finds a Way

Jesus washes the disciples feet on his last night on earth, tells them to do likewise, and then gives them a new commandment, love one another. His act of servanthood and humility provides a method for us to follow was we seek to find hope in the world. Hope generally comes not with a thundering ovation but with quiet acts of mercy and kindness.

March 30 - Good Friday
Isaiah 52:13-53:12, Psalm 22, Hebrews 10:16-25, John 18:1-19:42

Hope: Image is NOT Everything.

Isaiah reminds us that Jesus was despised and rejected, a man of sorrow and suffering. Contrary to the ways of the world, which celebrates the glamorous, the glitter and the glistening, Jesus comes unexpectedly and unremarkably.

April 1 - Easter Day       
Acts 10:34-43, Psalm 118:1-2, 14-24, 1 Corinthians 15:1-11, Mark 16:1-8     

Was Raised

On Easter Day we celebrate the Resurrection of Jesus. What is resurrection? How did it happen? Why do we say “Jesus was raised from the dead?” Where does resurrection happen? What difference does it make for our daily life? What difference does it make for the cosmos?

April 8 - Easter 2 - Receive New Members at both Worship Services (8:15 has a baptism) 
Acts 4:32-35,
Psalm 133, 1 John 1:1--2:2, John 20:19-31

One Heart, One Soul

We welcome new members into our fellowship this day. Luke recorded the Acts of the Apostles that after Peter gave his Pentecost sermon there were more than 3,000 men—not including women and children—who joined The Way, which is how the first Christians described themselves,  Luke says, “Now the whole group of those who believed were of one heart and soul.” So, are we of one heart and soul? What is our part in making this happen? What is God’s part?

April 15 - Easter 3       
Acts 3:12-19,
Psalm 4, 1 John 3:1-7, Luke 24:36b-48

Thou Shalt Kill

There is a worldwide expectation that if someone murders another, then murder back is the appropriate response. We live by this principle whether we acknowledge it or not, whether we  dress it up with qualifications or not, whether we make it part of our religion or not. Since we—Yes, we—murdered the Son of God, God expects us to murder. God says, “Thou shalt kill!” (Hint: Nearly all of us want to kill wrongly instead of rightly.)

April 22 - Easter 4 - Blessings of the Seeds, & Soil, Water & Weather         
Psalm 148, Genesis 1:1 - 2:2, John 20:1-18

Rogation Sunday is a church festival which thanks God for the gifts of soil and seed, water and sunlight. On this day we invite you to bring in your seeds, water from your well, and your garden tools. During the worship service we will express our gratitude for all the gifts of creation, recall our connectedness with creation, and ask God’s blessing upon the land, the sea, and the entire eco-system.

April 29 - Easter 5       
Acts 8:26-40,
Psalm 22:25-31, 1 John 4:7-21, John 15:1-8

There is No Other

Today’s story from the Acts of the Apostles is Phillip’s remarkable encounter with the Ethiopian Eunuch. Obedient to the Spirit’s prompting to go done a wilderness road, Phillip finds commonality with a man who is totally different from him because that man is reading the same Scriptures that Phillip loves. From that small point of contact comes, not only the transformation of one person, but the first movement of the good news into the continent of Africa.

May 6 - Easter 6 - Honor Seniors
Acts 10:44-48, Psalm 98, 1 John 5:1-6, John 15:9-17     

Go and Bear Fruit

Today we are recognizing our high school seniors as we send them out from our midst. This month marks a significant transition for them, and our Gospel lesson assigned for today has a final word that Jesus spoke to disciples on his last night on earth. Last words are highly significant, and if our seniors (and we) can live by these words Jesus’ spoke we will be blessed and will be a blessing.

May 13 - Easter 7 - Mother’s Day   
Acts 1:15-17, 21-26, Psalm 1, 1 John 5:9-13, John 17:6-19     

Not Your Mother’s Advice

Psalm 1 is the first of the psalms and one of the greatest of the psalms. Easily learned, it introduces the prayers and practices of the psalm writers. On this Mother’s Day we pray Psalm 1, and perhaps we can hear the echo of a godly mother’s words.

May 20 - Pentecost - Confirmation at 10:30
Acts 2:1-21, Psalm 104:24-34, 35b, Romans 8:22-27, John 15:26-27; 16:4b-15

(Continual) Coming of the Spirit

Pentecost was a Jewish festival which celebrated the covenant God made with the Hebrew people on Mount Sinai. The Holy Spirit came busting in to disrupt the celebration with the Spirit’s own presence. on this day on which we confirm Zach Schmidt and Maddie Seibel, we ask that the Spirit continue to burst into their life (and ours) so that we might have the peace, power and presence of God within us all.

May 27 - Holy Trinity & 1st Sunday after Pentecost
Isaiah 6:1-8, Psalm 29, Romans 8:12-17, John 3:1-17

Three Persons, One Heresy

On this Sunday devoted to the teaching that there is one God in three persons we encounter a mystery and a dilemma. How can we say Three-in-One in any kind of correct or true way? Nearly every description we give of the meaning and the relationship of the Trinity the Church has labeled a heresy, that is, against our common understanding of the truth about God. We cannot describe it but the church teaches that understanding the Trinity is foundational to our faith and life together. What a dilemma!