The Rev. Carole Anderson
Luke 13:31-35:0
13 mins 34 secs
Views: 20
This week, we skip ahead several chapters to arrive at our Gospel reading in Luke 13:31-35. So much has happened since Jesus began His journey. He has returned to Galilee, met skepticism in His hometown, healed many on the way to Capernaum, called His first disciples, gathered crowds with His profound teaching, made powerful enemies of the Pharisees, comforted and encouraged his cousin John the Baptist who was about to be executed, sent out his 12 disciples on their first solo mission, fed the 5000, and was transfigured on the mountain where he spoke with Moses and Elijah. It may be that Jesus is responding to the Pharisees’ false warning. Jesus already knows what the plan is and He knows who is in charge. Nevertheless, Jesus is filled with compassion for what He knows is coming upon Jerusalem. So He replies, Go and tell that fox, ‘Behold, I cast out demons and perform cures today and tomorrow, and the third day finish my course. Nevertheless, I must go on my way today and tomorrow and the day following, for it cannot be that a prophet should perish away from Jerusalem.' O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to it! How often would I have gathered your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you were not willing! ' Behold, your house is forsaken. And I tell you, you will not see me until you say, ‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!'
The Rev. Cindy Stansbury
Luke 13:1-9
14 mins 57 secs
Views: 22
Appropriate to Lent, our readings this week are filled with invitations to come to God, but also warnings and reminders of our need to repent, to watch, to bear fruit… He asked them, "Do you think that because these Galileans suffered in this way they were worse sinners than all other Galileans? No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all perish as they did. --Luke 13:2-3 So he said to the gardener, 'See here! For three years I have come looking for fruit on this fig tree, and still I find none. Cut it down! Why should it be wasting the soil?' He replied, 'Sir, let it alone for one more year, until I dig around it and put manure on it. If it bears fruit next year, well and good; but if not, you can cut it down.'" --Luke 13:7-9 So if you think you are standing, watch out that you do not fall. 1 Corinthians 10:12 Seek the LORD while he may be found, call upon him while he is near; --Isaiah 55:1-9 We are given grace, and forgiveness, and invitations to a lavish feast. We have been entrusted with the Word of God, with the revelation of the Father in the life of the Son. But we are also called to repent, to bear fruit, to seek God above all else.
The Rev. Cindy Stansbury
Luke 15:11-32
18 mins 59 secs
Views: 23
Last week, our readings pointed to our need to repent. This week our readings are focused on God’s forgiveness. In our Gospel, we hear the story of the prodigal son and the forgiving father. It is a summary of God’s love for us, and the extent to which he will go, to extend grace, to forgive and to rejoice in our return. The purpose of the Incarnation is the redemption and reconciliation of mankind with the Triune God. All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation; that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting the message of reconciliation to us. So we are ambassadors for Christ, since God is making his appeal through us; we entreat you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. 2 Corinthians 5:18-21
The Rev. Carole Anderson
John 12:1-8:0
13 mins 4 secs
Views: 30
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: 40
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!
One day, every creature on earth and heaven will join together to sing God’s praises, and we get to be there! Canon Kimberley Pfeiler returns this weekend to share the Good News, and how our knowing this makes all the difference in the world. Come join us for our 10-year anniversary celebration at a single service at 10 am! Ed McNeill and Steve Kritzer will also help us worship and celebrate.
The Rev. Cindy Stansbury
John 10:22-30
14 mins 5 secs
Views: 54
esus is the Passover Lamb of a new exodus into a new promised land: eternal life. That is one excellent way to interpret the meaning of this Easter season, and this week’s readings are full of references to the ways God rescues us from dark valleys, death and martyrdom, into life and worship. Our readings are also full of references to shepherds, sheep and lambs. He cares for us in ways that are beyond our imagination, and He cares for us in ways we each see in our lives. Come join us this week to celebrate our Shepherd and our Lamb.
The Rev. Carole Anderson
John 13:31-35
12 mins 28 secs
Views: 39
13:31-35), Jesus says to His disciples, “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” Jesus calls all of us to love one another, not just with the love that we can give, but the with the love that only Jesus can give. Think about that for a moment, how many of us are willing to sacrifice our lives for people we don’t even know? In 1st John 3:16 John tells us, “This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers.” John continues on in vs. 19, “if anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him?” Our actions show others how much we love God. In fact, I think, we cannot truly love one another without God. Even when we have God, it is difficult for us. We are too self-centered most of the time. John admonishes us in vs. 18, “Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth. This then is how we know that we belong to the truth, and how we set our hearts at rest in his presence whenever our hearts condemn us. For God is greater than our hearts, and he knows everything.” God knows everything!