Sunday, April 2, 10:30am
5th Sunday of Lent, Communion
TEACH US TO PRAY
Scripture: Luke 11:1-13
Prayer is one of the most simple and difficult things you will ever experience. How many things are both simple and difficult at the same time? Jesus’ disciples asked a great question in Luke 11 and Jesus’ response here is different from the more commonly recited “Lord’s Prayer” in Matthew’s Sermon on the Mount. Whereas Matthew is primarily focused on end-time ramifications of God, here, Luke is dealing with the daily difficulty of faithfully journeying with God.
Here, we must remember the Temptation of Christ in the wilderness, back in Luke 4. Where Jesus faced the temptations of the material world, power, and status, Jesus teaches us to pray with those three temptations on our minds, in reverse—“hallowed be your name” (status)—“your kingdom come” (power)—“give us our daily bread” (material). Then we can forgive, not to coerce God into a transactional forgiving of us, but as a lived expression of our trust in God being met by God’s loving mercy toward us. The final expression of Jesus’ teaching prayer is not a plea for God not to mislead us, but as wee remember the temptation, we see the Holy Spirit guiding Christ into the wilderness where he was tempted. Being faithful to God is no guarantee that we will not face trials, but it is a promise of God’s sustaining presence in the midst of struggle. This portion is such a fundamental prayer that he will evoke it upon his disciples again at the Mount of Olives (Luke 22:40, 46).
Teach us to pray? Oh, how simple and difficult it is. Talking to God, sharing our struggles, leaning into the Spirit no matter the circumstance—that is what it means for the Community of God to pray.
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Palm Sunday, April 9, 10:30am
Readings: Psalm 118:1-2, 19-29, Luke 19:28-40
Jesus’ triumphant entry into Jerusalem is what we celebrate on Palm Sunday. Where the great crowds bear witness to his Kingship, his authority, his message of faith, hope, and love. I have always been struck by Jesus’ response to the Pharisees, who are only worried about proper decorum and religious observance, telling Jesus to quiet his excited disciples. His comeback is “I tell you, if these were silent, the very stones would shout out!”
Jesus is Lord! Hosanna in the highest! Nothing will stop the fullness of the people’s adoration and praise in this moment! If we were there and were able to keep quiet, would we have felt the paving beneath our feet begin to move and stony mouths yawning open to voice praises? “Stones” play an interesting role in Luke. In Luke 3:8, because it is such stones as these that God is able to “raise up children to Abraham.”
A stone is offered to tempt Jesus’ relationship to the material world in the wilderness of chapter 4 - “command this stone to become a loaf of bread.” The stones in Luke are metaphors for vice and possibility, temptation and hallelujahs. The question for our ears becomes, how much more is God able, how much more does God want, to raise up children of Abraham out of our stoned hearts? Your stoned heartedness can be forgiven and corrected. Your stoned heartedness can be empowered and commissioned just as he did with the disciples. Will you allow Jesus to work in and through you or will that privilege pass you by?
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Thursday, April 13, 7pm
MAUNDY THURSDAY SERVICE
Easter Sunday, April 16, 6:14am
SUNRISE SERVICE AND BREAKFAST
A joint worship service on the lawn with Misión Bautista.
Breakfast in Wilson House follows the service.
Easter Sunday, April 16, 10:30am
FROM SORROW TO HEARTS BURNING WITHIN!
Scripture: Psalm 118:1-2, 14-24, Luke 24:1-35
Luke’s telling of the Emmaus Road story was well known to early Christians. Luke places it at the climax of his gospel, the first encounter with the risen Christ. This journey to Emmaus with two disciples has been countlessly reflected upon by the faithful. This passage is moving from their sorrow and imperceptions, through joyful recognition, and ultimately to eager and urgent proclamation. All this happening along the road, today, we too are on a journey with God through sorrow and joy. Easter is about recognizing that God is alive and active in our lives and desires to set our hearts on fire! To welcome the stranger, love the enemy, to break down the barriers that keep us apart and create real connections of lasting hope!
Join us as we celebrate Easter Sunday with special choir music! Guest vocalists will be singing a number of beautiful hymns, edifying the congregation with a powerful choral anthem, and giving a thrilling performance of Handel's Hallelujah Chorus.
Worship song titles and composers for Easter:
Sunday, April 23, 10:30am
WHERE IS YOUR TREASURE?
Scripture: Psalm 16, Luke 12:22-34
Are you a “worrywart”? Do you tend to dwell on difficulties or troubles? Not to be dismissive of legitimate concerns that we all have, but Jesus has some good news for you the occasional worrier to the chronic one! All that worry, that general feeling of anxiety, that guilt we hold inside can be let go. Truly! It doesn’t add a second to your life, in fact research shows that it ends our lives prematurely.
Just like we looked at the encounter of the nameless disciples with Jesus on the Emmaus Road, Christ is longing for a relationship with you. When we share our hurts and fears with God in prayer, it lightens the load. We begin to reach out, know that we are not alone. We learn that we are loved, forgiven, empowered to share this hope with others. Jesus points us to consider the care that God gives to the birds and the lilies of the filed. How much more does God love you? (That’s a rhetorical question!) So, the thought that Jesus gives us to ponder is about where you keep your treasure—that which is most dear to you, that which occupies your thoughts and desires. Where do you keep these dear “things” because that is where your heart is. Jesus desperately wants our hearts on God. That treasure will never “wear out, no thief can steal, no moth can destroy.”
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