A few announcements before I discuss our texts for this coming week.
* Sauk Centre UMC is hosting a Movie Night and will be showing the documentary film “A Killer in the Dark”. The movie starts at 7:00 PM on Friday, April 20 at their church which is located at 504 Elm Street South. There will be refreshments and they will take a collection for “Imagine No Malaria.” I encourage you to go, see the movie, and give a donation. Then, when you come to church on Sunday, leave a larger donation to your church earmarked for “Imagine No Malaria”. Both churches are also raising money to fight malaria in Africa.
* On Sunday, April 22, at Grey Eagle UMC we will be taking a special offering for “Native American Ministries Sunday”. For more information about this Special Sunday offering go to http://www.umcgiving.org/site/c.qwL6KkNWLrH/b.3833863/.
* On Sunday, April 22, at Peace United Church we will have a “Hymn Sing” during worship which will be followed by a pot luck dinner. The service will still be a time of worship so we will still have the “Call to Worship”, the Scripture, Prayer Time and an Offering, and maybe even a sermon (“ette”?), but we will also have quite a few of the “Old Time Gospel” hymns. Bring your friends and neighbors.
Our lessons this week are:
Acts 3:12-19 – Peter and John heal a cripple man at the temple in the passage just before this one. A crowd gathers at the commotion and Peter sees the opportunity to witness to them. Who healed the man according to Peter? Whom has God glorified? What did the people and the authorities do to that person? Many are bothered by Peter’s accusatory stance and his use of “You” when he could have just as easily said “We”. Why would “We” have been a better choice of words than “You”? What did the prophets foretell? What is the answer for their sins (including Peter and John’s)? The entire sermon/witness goes until the end of the chapter. Please feel free to read the rest of it and the response of the authorities in chapter 4:1-22. (The entire story is 3:1-4:22)
Psalm 4 – Who is the psalmist speaking to in verse 1? For what is the psalmist asking? Who is the psalmist speaking to in verses 2-5? What are they doing to the psalmist and of what does he remind them? And finally, who is the psalmist speaking to in verses 6-8? What will be the result of the psalmist’s faithfulness?
1 John 3:1-7 – This passage actually starts in 2:28 and is about remaining in relationship with God. What is the metaphor John uses in verses 1 and 2 about that relationship? What is the hallmark of our participating in that relationship? Who will appear someday? What will we be like when he appears? What is sin, according to John? Who has no sin? Who removes our sin? What is the characteristic of the person who remains in relationship with God? Really?
Luke 24:36b-48 – This past Sunday I assumed that the Luke reading would be about the appearance of Jesus to the two disciples on the way to Emmaus. Silly me. This passage is what happens on the evening of that walk. When Jesus leaves the two at the table in Emmaus, they rush back to Jerusalem to tell the others about the appearance. The story picks up in verse 36. What did the disciples think when Jesus appeared? What were Jesus’ first words to them? (Compare with John 20:19, 21, and 26b.) How did Jesus calm their fears? What was his proof of life? What do you make of verse 45 (compare this to verse 27 with the two disciple on the road to Emmaus)? What will Jesus send to the disciples?
Life in and with the risen Jesus is all about community. It is in community that we have the power of the Spirit that brings peace (Luke). It is in the community of believers that we have power to heal (Acts). And it is in the community of sisters and brothers of Christ in which we have no sin (1 John). Why to we come to church on Sundays to worship? Community.
May the Lord bless you in your community of believers.