The Rev. Carole Anderson
John 12:1-8:0
13 mins 4 secs
Views: 31
This week, our Gospel (John 12:1-8) continues with Jesus on the road to Jerusalem. It is now six days before the Passover and Jesus and his disciples have come to Bethany to spend time with friends before they reach their final destination. Martha, Mary and their brother Lazarus, whom Jesus had earlier raised from the dead host a dinner for them in their home. What is interesting here is what we learn about each of these people and how they react to Jesus. Mary is moved out of her devotion and probably thankfulness because of the restoration of her brother to life. She takes a pound of expensive ointment and anoints Jesus' feet and wipes them with her hair. Mary's act of devotion was costly and unusual. Costly because the ointment was very expensive, unusual because respectable women did not unbind their hair in public. Further it showed her humility in that it was a servant's work to attend to the feet of the guests. Clearly Mary is devoted to The Lord. Then we have Judas Iscariot, who we know is about to betray Jesus, His reaction to what Mary has done says volumes about his character. He is angry that they did not take the ointment and sell it so they would have money to give to the poor. But, in reality, it seems that he is not interested in the poor at all. Judas, it seems, is in charge of the moneybag and has been helping himself to what is put in it. So he has only his self interest at heart. There are some commentaries that suggest that this may have been the last straw for Judas. It is here that he makes the decision to betray Jesus for the 30 pieces of silver. Jesus every mindful of what is ahead for all of them says, "Leave her alone, so that she may keep it for the day of my burial. For the poor you always have with you, but you do not always have me.”
The Rev. Cindy Stansbury
Luke 19:28-40
15 mins 54 secs
Views: 23
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
John 20:1-18
15 mins 13 secs
Views: 26
Welcome to Holy Week. Tonight at 7:30, we celebrate the evening of the Last Supper and also read about Passover. There will be foot washing for those who are willing, but it is entirely optional. The service starts in celebration, with the palms and purple still up from Palm Sunday, but the service ends in silence as the congregation helps to strip the palms while Altar guild strips the altar. Tomorrow is Good Friday. We have services at noon and 7:30 PM. It is a somber but meaningful marking of the Passion and death that saves us. It is a celebration of the self-sacrificing love of God breaking the power of sin, death and evil. Saturday night at 8 PM, we celebrate Easter Vigil. We light a new Paschal candle from a new fire, processed into the church, we hear more of the whole arc of redemption beginning with creation, we renew our baptismal vows, and then we celebrate with great joy the Resurrection! Sunday morning we celebrate Easter and Resurrection with joyful songs, Eucharist, and readings of the empty tomb. There will also be mimosas at each coffee hour and an egg hunt after the second service. It is my prayer that as much of our community as possible will gather to celebrate as much of this Holy Week as possible. This is our great celebration of the year. These events are the expression and basis of the love and hope that shapes and direct our lives. Please come join us! Maundy Thursday 7:30 PM Good Friday Noon & 7:30 PM Easter Vigil 8 PM Easter Morning 9 & 10:30 AM
The Rev. Carole Anderson
John 20:19-31
12 mins 15 secs
Views: 54
In our gospel for Sunday, John 20:19-31, the women have returned from their trip to the tomb on Sunday filled with excitement at seeing the Lord. Peter and John have also returned home from their trip to the empty tomb. All the disciples, except Thomas, are gathered together in a room with the doors locked, afraid that they are about to become the next victims of the angry Jews. All of a sudden, Jesus is standing there among them. They are expecting to be rebuked or censured because of their behavior on the previous Friday, but Jesus calms them saying, “Peace be with you.” Then, so they do not mistake Him for a ghost, he shows them his hands and side. Jesus was clearly identifying himself to them so that there would be no mistake. Can you imagine the scene? They probably all gathered around Jesus hugging him, touching him, wanting to be close to the Master they have loved and thought they had lost. The disciples are overjoyed at the sight of their Lord. What joy indeed! Again Jesus says, “peace be with you”, which is the normal Hebrew greeting, this time he adds, “as the Father has sent me, I am sending you.” Then Jesus breathes on them and says, “Receive the Holy Spirit." Then He commissions them with these words, "If you forgive anyone his sins, they are forgiven; if you do no forgive them, they are not forgiven.” Now they are prepared for the rest of the story which will begin in 50 days at Pentecost. The Lord is Risen!