Christ is Risen! Christ is Risen Indeed!
I see that I forgot to post last weeks readings. With readings everyday of Holy Week and multiple readings for the Easter Vigil, there were 44 total readings.
Thank you so much for a wonderful Easter Weekend! Believe it or not but Easter continues. This coming Sunday and the five following are all Sunday in the Easter Season which is defined on the church calendar as 50 days including Easter Sunday leading up to Pentecost Sunday. Another way of understanding Easter is that it never ends. Every Sunday is a mini-Easter. The reason Christians worship on Sunday instead of Saturday (our Jewish heritage) is that Christ arose on that day.
A note on this week’s worship services. At Grey Eagle UMC we will confirm 10 students in their faith and they will join the church as full members. We will also receive into membership 6 adults who are transferring in. Both churches will also be celebrating Holy Communion and all are welcome to join in this sacrament.
The next six Sundays we will be reading from “The Acts of the Apostles”, “The First Letter of John”, and the “Gospel According to John”.
Our readings are:
Acts 4:32-35 – The community of believers sharing everything so that none are in need. Is this possible in the 21st century? Why Not?
Psalm 133 – Three verses! “How good it is when kindred live together in unity!” Community united in the love of God which is life everlasting.
1 John 1:1-2:2 – We know Jesus therefore we know God. In Jesus we see that God is light and that there is no darkness in God at all. One of the passages in the New Testament that seems to advance the idea of universal redemption is verse 2:2. “[Jesus] is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world.” Wow! What do you think?
John 20:19-31 – Jesus appears to 10 of the 11 remaining disciples on the day of his resurrection and gives them the Spirit. The missing disciple, Thomas, will not believe without proof (oh how I am so like Thomas). Jesus appears again on the following Sunday and shows Thomas his wounds. Notice that Jesus bears the marks of a victim yet twice declares, “Peace be with you.” It seems to me that too many 21st century American Christians want to claim the marks of victimhood (“We are being persecuted by society/government/advocacy groups!”) yet seem to not want to make or bring peace.
Have a great week serving God by serving others. See you in church!
Peace in Christ,
Pastor Gary Taylor