Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Readings for Sunday, April 23, 2017

Hello Everyone,

Christ Is Risen! Christ Is Risen, Indeed!

Thank you for the wonderful worship services that happened this past Sunday, Resurrection Sunday (aka Easter). We had great attendance, some new guests who were not connected as family to members of our churches, great music, and Blessed Celebration of the Risen Savior.

This Sunday is Confirmation Sunday. Grey Eagle UMC is confirming Mickey, Olivia, and Peyton. Peace United is confirming Hunter. I enjoyed working with these wonderful students and I am so glad that they will be confirming their baptismal vows.

In other news: the Long Prairie Chamber Orchestra will be in concert on Saturday, April 22, at 7:30 PM at the Long Prairie Grey Eagle High School Auditorium. The concert is called "Earth Tones" and will feature guest singers from Concordia College, Moorhead. Come join us. (Admission is $6 for adults, $4 for students/seniors, $15 for families, and Free for music students and children 12 and under.)

Finally, "Choosing the Faithful Path" at Peace United Church will resume this Sunday following worship. Please read chapter 8 and honestly answer the questions on page 88.

Our readings for this Sunday are:

Acts 2: 14a, 22-32 – This is part of Peter’s first sermon which he gave to the crowd in Jerusalem on Pentecost. After a long quote from Joel, Peter attests that death could not hold Jesus and he quotes other Old Testament passages in support. This reading is really too short. It should be the entire sermon which is verses 14-36.

Psalm 16 – Verses 8-11 are quoted by Peter in his sermon in Acts 2, above.

1 Peter 1:3-9 – Peter talks about a “new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus and we are being protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation to be revealed in the last time.” A difficult and dense statement. The resurrection brings us a new way of living (a new birth) and this new living is hope filled. In this new life we are protected by the God’s power “through faith”. Whose faith is unclear. Ours? God’s? Both? The answer is probably both but I lean towards God’s faith. Our faith wavers but God’s faith is trustworthy, true, and steadfast. This faith protects us for a salvation. However, this statement in verse 5 seems to say that the salvation will come at the last time. This seems curious. Peter then goes on to talk about our sufferings to be a test of our faith and the “outcome of our faith is the salvation of our souls.” So, whose faith protects us?

John 20:19-31 – Jesus appears to the disciples two times 7 days apart. The first is on Easter Sunday evening and there are 10 disciples present in the room where they are staying/hiding/cowering. In this meeting Jesus greets the disciples with "Peace be with you" and he gives the Holy Spirit by blowing on them. One week later, Jesus reappears and this time there are 11 disciples. Thomas, who was not at the first appearance, must have not gotten the email notice about the first meeting. We often call Thomas “Doubting” but what he really wanted was what the other 10 experienced a week earlier. What would be a better nickname for Thomas? “Missouri” (The Show Me State)?

Peace in Christ,
Pastor Gary Taylor
Peace United Church, Long Prairie
Grey Eagle UMC, Grey Eagle

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