Sunday, May 23rd is the birthday of the Christian church.
The ancient Jewish church celebrated Pentecost (Greek word for fifty)
or the Harvest Feast 50 days after Passover.
Christians celebrate this day because the Holy Spirit visited the disciples
and many others gathered in Jerusalem (Acts 2).
On Friday, April 16th, the United Church of Christ made use of the world wide web. Their new ad campaign is called “The Language of God” and will be released via the internet. With the help of the UCC’s 60,000 on-line subscribers, we will share the ad with our friends on Facebook, blog sites and other social media. Go to ucc.org to watch it!
I love the movie, Pay It Forward, starring Haley Joel Osment, Kevin Spacey, and Helen Hunt. I think the take-home message of Easter is ‘Pay it Forward’. Jesus’ death is not the last word. The experiences of Jesus’ followers who witnessed his love and healing compelled them to tell others of God’s tremendous, unconditional love. It is the Risen Christ spiritually alive in our world that gives us hope for a better world. When you and I love another as Jesus loved us [John 13:34] then we are ‘paying it forward!’
I love Easter! After a long cold and snowy winter, the new life of spring is blossoming, birds are arriving from their winter migrations and the earth is singing! Such is the promise of Easter and the resurrection of the Risen Christ – NEW LIFE!
Easter worship begins Sunday at 9:30 a.m., but come first for breakfast at 8:00 a.m. We’ll be having homemade pancakes, sausage, and scrambled eggs with juice and coffee. YUM! Then the sanctuary will buzz with music, flowers, and sounds of great joy! Join us and celebrate …
As the sun sets on Maundy Thursday, the three days of the Easter Triduum begin. Since the 4th century, Christians have gathered to mark this day as a time of remembering the Last Supper through the betrayl of Jesus.
“Maundy” comes from the Latin word meaning a new commandment. The emphasis of this service is on the actions and words of Jesus narrated in John 13. Our worship will begin with washing of each other’s hands [not feet this time] as a symbol of building a community of servanthood, a service of Light to Darkness, Holy Communion, and a service of Tenebrae, meaning shadows.
Jesus’ new commandment to “love one another even as I have loved you” is the meaning of Maundy Thursday. This love is demonstrated in Jesus’ example of servanthood and the gift of Jesus’ self in Holy Communion. On the Thursday evening before Jesus’ death, he commemorated Passover with his disciples, instituting what we now call the Lord’s Supper. ALL are invited to share in this service of remembering at 7:00 p.m. in the sanctuary. Our choir will be singing!
Palm Sunday marks the end of Jesus’ journey to Jerusalem and the beginning of Holy Week. I look forward each year to the children processing into the sanctuary waving their palms and singing. Their sweet and spunky smiles remind me of a God who loves parades and parties. However, Palm Sunday is also Passion Sunday when we enter into the days leading up to Jesus’ betrayal and execution. For many of us, the intensity of the scriptural images of Jesus’ suffering are easy to avoid but the events of Holy Week such as Maundy Thursday carry us to the enormous joy that is Easter. Join us in journeying with Jesus to the cross …