What a great Resurrection Sunday we had at Peace United Church and Grey Eagle UMC! We started slow with only 13 in worship at 7:00 AM, but things got better at 9:00 am and 10:30 am with around 90 people at the Grey Eagle service (just an estimate on my part as I have gotten the count yet) and 82 at Peace United. The children at both services were wonderful even if my 2 1/2 year old granddaughter had a bit of a fit. We had many relatives from far off towns and cities with us and we had several local guests at both churches that will be back in worship, God willing and the Holy Spirit prompting.
The church season of Easter is 7 Sundays long including Resurrection Sunday. During the next six Sundays our Old Testament Lesson will actually be from the New Testament book “Acts of the Apostles”. Our Epistle Lessons will all come from “The Revelation to John”. Our Gospel Lessons will come from the “The Gospel According to John”.
Our readings this week are:
Acts 5:27-32 – Just before this passage the apostles are arrested and thrown into prison because they were preaching the Gospel of the Resurrected Savior. At night, an angel releases the apostles and tells them to go back to the temple and keep preaching, which they do in the morning. When it is discovered they are out of prison and preaching in the temple the guards bring the apostles to the Council. The high priest questions them and Peter simply says that they must preach because that is what God is telling them. He also testifies to the death and resurrection of Jesus.
Psalm 118:14-29 – This section is the last half of this Psalm and is one of the most quoted in the New Testament. Verses 17-18: I will not die but live for the Lord will not give me over to death. Verses 22-23: The rejected stone is the new cornerstone and this is God’s doing. Verse 24: The Lord made this day so let’s rejoice and be glad. Verse 26: The one who comes in the name of the Lord is blessed. Verse 29: The Lord is good and his steadfast love endures forever.
OR Psalm 150 – It is all about praising God. All of creation praises God. We praise God with all of our musical instruments.
Revelation 1:4-8 – The servant John greets the seven church in Asia Minor (now Turkey) in the name of God and Jesus Christ, who is coming with the clouds. All from the Lord who is the Alpha and Omega, who is and who was and who is to come.
John 20:19-31 – On the day of Resurrection, Jesus appears to 10 of the 11 disciples and says “Peace be with you.” Jesus then shows them his hands and feet, says “Peace” once again, and he send them out into the world. When he says that he breathes on them and says “Receive the Holy Spirit.” (For John the Resurrection, the commission, and Pentecost happens all on one day unlike Luke/Acts.) The disciple Thomas was not with them and when they tell him he wants what they got, confirmation of the resurrection. A week later, Jesus appears again to all 11 disciples including Thomas. When Jesus offers to allow Thomas touch his wounds, Thomas declares “My Lord and My God!”.
How has the Resurrected Jesus affected your life? Have you experienced Resurrection? Tell me about it in your comments.
Peace in Christ,
Pastor Gary Taylor