The Rev. Cindy Stansbury
Luke 24:44-53
13 mins 36 secs
Views: 36
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.
Pentecost Sunday is the birthday of the church, the day we celebrate the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the disciples gathered in Jerusalem after the Ascension of Jesus. The Holy Spirit equips, empowers and directs us, both individually and as the Body of Christ. Our worship and our unity are sustained by the Holy Spirit. The presence of the Holy Spirit is how God dwells in our midst as we gather, proclaim the Word, and sing praises to our God and King. This Pentecost we have the added joy and honor at the 10:30 service, to welcome a new Christian into the family of God. Please come join us!
Dan Olson. PHD
John 16:12-15
14 mins 54 secs
Views: 37
Often we are told that we humans have a grotesquely inflated sense of our importance. We are reminded that our planet is but a tiny speck of dust within a vast universe of stars and galaxies which present us with sizes and distances beyond our ability even to imagine. Is it really believable that the Lord of all the Cosmos should be personally concerned with such microscopic creatures as ourselves, floating as we are within the immense, dark oceans of space? The author of Psalm 8 wonders about this too, and yet he recognizes that our smallness is only half of the story. What does he know that we don't?
The Rev. Carole Anderson
Luke 8:26-39
13 mins 11 secs
Views: 54
Ever have one of those days when everyone around you seems to turn their back on you, ignore you or even worse, act like you don't exist? Well, in our readings for Sunday, God seems to be having one of those days with Israel. God responds to Isaiah's prayer asking for divine deliverance by saying, "I was ready to be sought by those who did not ask for me; I was ready to be found by those who did not seek me. I said, “Here I am, here I am,” to a nation that was not called by my name. I spread out my hands all the day to a rebellious people, who walk in a way that is not good, following their own devices; a people who provoke me to my face continually, sacrificing in gardens and making offerings on bricks; who sit in tombs, and spend the night in secret places; who eat pig's flesh, and broth of tainted meat is in their vessels; who say, “Keep to yourself, do not come near me, for I am too holy for you." In other words, where were you Israel when I was ready and waiting for you? But what comes next is very scary for Israel, because God now lets them know how angry he is with them. " These (things that you did) are a smoke in my nostrils, a fire that burns all the day. Behold, it is written before me: “I will not keep silent, but I will repay; I will indeed repay into their lap both your iniquities and your fathers' iniquities together, says the Lord; because they made offerings on the mountains and insulted me on the hills, I will measure into their lap payment for their former deeds.” So Israel, be prepared because judgment is coming. But, and this is a big but, God also acknowledges that there will be a righteous remnant left that is worth saving. Thus He declares, "As the new wine is found in the cluster, and they say, ‘Do not destroy it, for there is a blessing in it,’ so I will do for my servants' sake, and not destroy them all. I will bring forth offspring from Jacob, and from Judah possessors of my mountains; my chosen shall possess it, and my servants shall dwell there." This will be a long time coming, but in Jesus we are restored as Abraham's offspring, and heirs according the promise. In Galatians, Paul reminds us, "In Christ there is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus and heirs through hope of His everlasting covenant." Go in peace to love and serve the Lord!
The Rev. Cindy Stansbury
Luke 9:51-62
14 mins 17 secs
Views: 19
This week, our readings are about following God into his mission --even when it is inconvenient, difficult or at odds with our plans. The Samaritan village doesn’t want to receive Jesus because his face is set for Jerusalem; they don’t like where he is going. Elijah throws his mantle on Elisha while he is plowing and watches to see his reaction to this call. Others want to follow Jesus, but on their own terms, in their own time. But when we choose to follow Christ, we choose to live by the Spirit and also to be guided by the Spirit into the ministry and mission to which God has called us.