The Rev. Cindy Stansbury
Luke 19:1-10
10 mins 10 secs
Views: 46
From the time we are children, we are taught the difference between right and wrong, between acceptable and unacceptable behavior, between good guys and bad guys. We have expectations on how teachers and leaders behave and who they hang out with. This week, in our Gospel, Jesus once again turns everything upside down, breaks the accepted conventions and honors a rich tax collector by inviting himself to Zaccheasus’ house. In our Old Testament reading, God also turns things upside down by saying that He is tired of the sacrifices and offerings of Israel and tired of their various purifying fasts and rituals. Instead He says: Wash yourselves; make yourselves clean; remove the evil of your doings from before my eyes; cease to do evil, learn to do good; seek justice, rescue the oppressed, defend the orphan, plead for the widow. Come now, let us argue it out, says the LORD: though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be like snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall become like wool. Isaiah 1:16-18 Ultimately, it is not our efforts but the redemptive work of God that forgives our sins, makes us acceptable and washes us white as snow. This Sunday at the second service we will share in the joy of the angels as we baptize a new member into the family of God.
The Rev. Cindy Stansbury
Luke 19:28-40
15 mins 54 secs
Views: 33
This Sunday is Palm Sunday… the Sunday of emotional whiplash. A joyous procession leading to the most incredible miracle of all. We will begin in the courtyard and gather palms to process into the church, praising God and rejoicing in the arrival of the Messiah. But then we will hear of hardship even in the face of obedience to God. We will hear of Christ emptying himself, taking on the form of a servant and humbling himself by being obedient unto death. And finally we will walk through his final hours to the cross and the silence that follows. This is how we enter Holy Week. Palm Sunday is a foretaste of Holy Week. The path to Easter morning passes through the Passion, when our Lord laid down his life for ours. But we live in the light of the resurrection, and we are sustained by that light even in the face of the cross. I hope you will join us this Sunday for Palm Sunday and also join us for the rest of Holy Week .
The Rev. Cindy Stansbury
Luke 20:27-38
16 mins 2 secs
Views: 6
If there is no justice in this world, then where is our just God? Resurrection and justice are tied together in many of our readings this week. When Job is afflicted without cause, and the wicked prosper despite their wickedness, how do we not despair? But if our Redeemer lives, if He attends to our cry, then there is access to justice, even if it is not accomplished in this lifetime. If He is our protection, our hiding place, then all is not lost. In our Gospel this week, the Sadducees, who don’t believe in the resurrection, and who therefore believe that all justice and redemption will be accomplished in this life, on this earth, try to show how confusing marriage laws become in the context of the resurrection. Jesus dismisses their argument by explaining that there is no marriage in Heaven. But beyond, this easy dismissal, Jesus’ insistence on the resurrection speaks to His upcoming resurrection and speaks as an answer to the horrific violence of the destruction of the temple shortly after his death. Despite the injustice of this life, the hope of the resurrection, and our experience of God’s presence, are core, not ancillary, to our life in Christ.
The Rev. Carole Anderson
Luke 21:5-19
13 mins 36 secs
Views: 11
Our readings this week take a different turn as Jesus moves away from his controversies with the Jewish Leaders and returns to the teaching of his disciples. Jesus knows that the time is short and his disciples must be prepared for what is ahead. Our reading from the Gospel of Luke (21:5-19) is a portion of what is known as "The Olivet Discourse," because Jesus delivered it on the Mt. of Olives. Jesus' words are a stern warning to the disciples and to us of what lies ahead. “Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be great earthquakes, and in various places famines and pestilences. And there will be terrors and great signs from heaven. But before all this they will lay their hands on you and persecute you, delivering you up to the synagogues and prisons, and you will be brought before kings and governors for my name's sake. This will be your opportunity to bear witness. Settle it therefore in your minds not to meditate beforehand how to answer, for I will give you a mouth and wisdom, which none of your adversaries will be able to withstand or contradict. You will be delivered up even by parents and brothers and relatives and friends, and some of you they will put to death. You will be hated by all for my name's sake. But not a hair of your head will perish. By your endurance you will gain your lives." The last line is worth repeating, "By your endurance you will gain your lives." The NIV Bible says, "by standing firm you will gain life." If we compare this to Paul's letter (2 Thessalonians 3:6-13), we have a more complete picture of how we are to live as Christians. Paul urges the Thessalonians, "do not grow weary in doing good" So our message for this week seems to be: Do not grow weary in doing good and stand firm- because in doing so we will gain life. A good reminder to us all to, “be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that we can take our stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” (Eps. 6:10-12) And all the more as we see the Day approaching. Blessings to you, Deacon Carole
The Rev. Cindy Stansbury
Luke 23:33-43
5 mins 27 secs
Views: 25
From our readings this week: The Lord is our shepherd, the Lord is our righteousness, God is our refuge and strength… He has rescued us from the power of darkness and transferred us into the kingdom of his beloved Son, in Whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins… For in Him the all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him God was pleased to reconcile to Himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, by making peace through the blood of His cross… “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in Paradise.” The rescue mission of mankind from darkness and death into righteousness and peace, through the blood of the Crucified, continues this week as we celebrate the baptism of five children into the family of God.
The Rev. Cindy Stansbury
Luke 24:44-53
13 mins 36 secs
Views: 47
In one more week we celebrate Pentecost and the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, but this week we look at Ascension. After the teaching and healing ministry of Jesus; after his suffering, death and burial; after his glorious resurrection; Jesus appeared to his followers, ate and drank with them, opened the scriptures and gave them instructions to prepare them for what was next. And then, almost mid-sentence, he ascended into heaven and was removed from their sight. That unexpected moment is neither the end of the story nor an afterthought. The implications of the Ascension and enthronement of our Lord are far reaching and profound. We are called to embrace and live out God’s mission in this age between Ascension and the second coming of Christ.