Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Readings for Wednesday, April 5, and Sunday, April 9, 2017

Hello Everyone,

This weekend I wrote a new poem "Life and Death - questions". Check it out below or at https://goo.gl/4OrO9P

One announcement: Good Friday worship at Peace United Church on April 14 will be at 7:30 PM instead of the 7:00 PM time announced in Sunday's bulletin.

Our last Wednesday Lenten Worship "Psalm, Songs, and Passion" in this Wednesday. I hope and pray that you can join us at Grey Eagle UMC (6:00 pm) or Peace United Church (7:15).
Our Reading for Wednesday are:

Psalm 55
1. Why is the psalmist troubled and distraught?
2. How does the psalmist wish to escape his troubles?
3. What does the psalmist want God to do to his enemies?
4. Are there times when you want to express these same emotions to God? Can you? Have you?

Isaiah 53:4-12
1. The last half of 53:6 reads, “. . . and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all.” (NRSV) An alternate translation from the Hebrew might be, “But the Lord permitted us to throw all our sins upon him.” How would that sound in your mind?
2. How is the image of this suffering servant a foreshadowing of Jesus Christ?
3. How does the suffering servant bring righteousness to the many?
4. What does it mean that the suffering servant “bore the sins of many”?

John 19:16b-42
1. Who carries the cross and where are they going?
2. Why do you think Pilate had the inscription “King of the Jews” placed on the cross?
3. What do you think Jesus meant when he said, “It is finished”?
4. In this final scene, where are you, a disciple of Jesus? What do you feel? What will you do?
This Sunday is Palm/Passion Sunday. In decades past, churches focused solely on Palm Sunday knowing that the congregation would be back on Good Friday to hear the Passion story. These days we need to hear the Passion before we celebrate Resurrection Sunday. Here are the reading with some minimal comments.

Palm Sunday
Psalm 118:1-2, 19-29 – Verse 22 is the most quoted OT verse in the NT and verse 26 is quoted as Jesus enters Jerusalem.

Matthew 21:1-11 – Humorous moment: verse 7 has Jesus sitting on both the colt and the donkey at the same time, perhaps a misunderstanding or a too literal reading of Zechariah 9:9.

Passion Sunday
Isaiah 50:4-9a – The third of four “Servant Songs” which probably ends with verse 11. Verse 6 is relevant to the Passion.

Psalm 31:9-16 – VERY relevant to the Passion as the Psalmist is in distress from his torment.

Philippians 2:5-11 – An ancient Christian song that Paul used? Notice the down and up movement in the verses. Christ gives up Godhood to become human and die on the cross. Then he is raised and exalted so we may all confess that Jesus is Lord. Amen.

Matthew 26:14-27:66 (the long Passion story) OR Matthew 27:11-54 (the short version). Jesus is betrayed, arrested, questioned, beaten, and crucified. All the disciples either betrayed, abandoned or denied Jesus. When have we done the same? Were the disciples any less guilty then the priests, scribes, Pharisees, and Romans? Are we?

Have a blessed week serving God by serving others.

Peace in Christ,
Pastor Gary

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