What a awesome Sunday we had yesterday at Grey Eagle. Confirming 10 students and welcoming 7 adults into membership brought a lot of guests to church. We had to open up the wall into the fellowship hall to be able to seat all 184 people. That is the largest Sunday worship we have ever had including, I think, our Island Services of the past. The only other times we have a larger congregation were at a couple of funerals. Thanks to all who made the day successful. And thank you Zach, Makayla, Jordan, Shelby, Erica, Jayden, Chloe, Seth, Cody, and Mackinze for being wonderful confirmation students. May God bless you throughout your lives.
This Sunday we will be celebrating another baptism at Grey Eagle UMC. Abbigail Johnson, daughter of Valerie and Mitch Johnson, granddaughter of Cindy and Art Johnson, great-granddaughter of Virginia and Jim Johnson and great-great-granddaughter of Nona Walker (whew) will become a member of the family God through Holy Baptism.
Our readings this week, the Third Sunday of Easter, are:
Acts 3:12-19 – Peter and John go to the temple and heal a man who was lame from birth (3:1-10). The people are amazed so Peter takes the opportunity to tell them who actually did the healing – Jesus Christ. A point to consider: Peter places the blame for the killing of Jesus on his audience but he was as complicit as they were when he denied Jesus. Would his testimony be more effective if he said “We killed Jesus, but God raised him from death”?
Psalm 4 – The psalmist addresses God in verses 1, 7, and 8 and he addresses his enemies in verses 2-6. He pleads for God to help him and chastises the people for not being faithful to God. At the end of the psalm and in the knowledge that God will keep him safe, he has peace.
1 John 3:1-7 – I am not so sure that the Lectionary Committee who chose this passage gave us enough of it. I may expand it to 2:29-3:11. To abide in Jesus is to be a child of God. If we are children of God then we have no sin. (Except see 1:8.) The Elder goes so far as to say that everyone who does right is righteous like Jesus is righteous (verse 7). The true message to the followers of Jesus is that we should love each other (verse 11).
Luke 24:36b-48 – The “Walk to Emmaus” occurs on Easter Day and you can find it at 24:13-35. Our reading picks up immediately after the two disciples run back to Jerusalem and tell the other disciples what they have experienced. Verse 36a says, “While they were talking about this . . .” and that is where we pick it up. Jesus appears and says . . . wait for it . . . “Peace be with you.” Jesus invites the startled disciples to look and him and touch his wounds. He then eats a piece of fish. Jesus then proceeds to teach them about how his death and resurrection was a fulfillment of their scriptures (our Old Testament). If you keep reading to the end of Luke you will encounter a conundrum. All of chapter 24 reads like it all happened on the same day. In Acts 1:3 Luke says that Jesus appeared for 40 days. Did Luke forget what he said in the Gospel when he wrote Acts? Or did he leave out a seemingly important detail at the end of Luke?
Have a great week serving and loving God by serving and loving others.
Peace in Christ,
Pastor Gary Taylor