April 8, 2018

Easter 2   April 8, 2018   Psalm 33, 1 John 1:1-2:2, John 20:19-31 *************************************************** Shalom, Jesus says, Peace be with you. Shalom, he says a second time, adding now – Receive the Holy Spirit. As the Father has sent me so I send you. If you forgive the sins of any they’re forgiven. If you hold onto them – they’re held. As disciples huddle together that first Easter evening, lamenting the absence of Jesus… Here comes Jesus, walking through locked doors, saying Shalom – Hebrew for Peace be with you.  And as God breathed life into Adam in the beginning, now Jesus breathes new life into his disciples… As God has sent Jesus into the world to save the world, so too now Jesus sends his followers… Thomas, one of the original first-round-draft-choice twelve apostles, was away that night. When Thomas returns, the others tell him We have seen the Lord. Thomas tells them Unless I see and touch for myself I will not believe. Now here we are again, a week later, gathered in the same place, doors again shut tight against the outside world. And here comes Jesus again, entering without knocking, saying again Peace be with you. Shalom. Turning to Thomas, saying Put your hands here. Touch and see. Don’t disbelieve but believe. (The word Jesus uses isn’t doubt – it’s disbelieve.) Thomas blurts out My Lord and my God! The best Jesus one-liner in the bible. But Jesus doesn’t seem impressed – he just says Do you believe because now you see? Blessed are those who don’t see but do believe. *** Which has had me pondering this week… Is there really anyone – who has ever really believed… entirely without seeing? Of course it depends on what we mean by seeing. Remember, in John’s gospel seeing rarely means seeing with our eyes. In John seeing nearly always means realizing – getting – what it’s all about… Not meaning fully understanding – but realizing… Jesus is who he says he is – Son of God – Messiah – Christ (same word in two languages). Getting it – that God is good and God is love. Realizing –  trusting in God and in Jesus is the way. Getting who Jesus is – is the seeing that matters. Though for Thomas – seeing with his eyes and being invited to touch with his hands – sure seems to be what gets him on to getting it – that Jesus really is alive. Which, in fairness to Thomas, is also what our first reading from First John says is the church’s basic proclamation about Jesus – we’re testifying to you about Jesus who we have seen and touched. And Thomas doesn’t seem to me to need to see to believe any more than all the rest of the Jesus crew… All of whom except for him have, by now, been able to see and talk with Jesus, alive and risen. And when it comes to faithfully following Jesus, Thomas, if anything, has been above average.  When Jesus tells disciples earlier (in John 11) he’s heading back to metro Jerusalem where he’s almost been stoned to death a little earlier, Thomas is the one who says lets go with him so we can die with him… And of course we...

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April 8, 2018 – Cataumet

ANNOUNCEMENTS Prayer group meets second and fourth Wednesdays, 10 am, at the Bourne church. All are welcome. The group to discuss The Book of Joy will continue Monday, Apr. 16. The Bible Study Group will meet on Thursdays at 1 PM in Bourne. OTHER ANNOUNCEMENTS Bourne Food Pantry has been helping Bourne residents for 25 years, serving over 300 families each month. Please remember to bring in your food items. They are much needed! Backpack Program Kids are back in school and we are collecting items of food and supplies to fill the backpacks that go home with the kids on weekends. EVENTS EVERY WEEK Sunday           8:00 am       Choir practice Sunday           9:00 am        Worship Sunday           7:00 pm        AA Meeting Monday          7:30 pm        N/A Meeting Tuesday          9:00am        Exercise Tuesday          7:00 pm       AA Meeting Thursday        9:00 am       Exercise Thursday        7:00 pm      N/A Meeting Saturday         9:00 am     Osteo...

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April 8, 2018 – Bourne

THIS WEEK IN THE LIFE OF THE PARISH Sunday, April 8th:           11:00 AM      Worship Service Monday April 9th:             9:00 AM      DCOM Meeting                                               4:00 PM      Worship Committee Wednesday, April 11th:    9:30 AM      Tax  Prep                                               10:00 AM    Prayer Group                                                 6:00 PM     Aptuxcet Thursday,  April 12th:       1:00 PM      Bible Study Saturday, April 14th:        8:00 AM      Aptuxcet Flower Workshop Sunday, April 15th:          11:00 AM     Worship Service   PRAYER GROUP will meet this Wednesday in the Perry Room. BIBLE STUDY meets Thursdays at 1:00PM. FREE CHILDREN’S CLOTHING EXCHANGE: We continue to accept gently used children’s clothes, sizes 0-14, which may be dropped off at the Thrift Shop. The exchange is open the first Saturday of each month at 10am. BACKPACK PROGRAM:  There is a list of items needed on the table in Crain Hall.  Thank you in advance!  ...

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April 1, 2018 – Easter Sunday

Easter Sunday     April 1, 2018   Psalm 116,  Luke 23:44-56, Luke 24:1-12, Luke 24:13-35 ************************************************************ Two travelers are talking with each other as they walk along from Jerusalem to Emmaus…When another traveler comes by… and asks what they’re talking about… “Are you the only one around who doesn’t know… all the things that have been happening in Jerusalem?” they ask. “What things?” he asks. “Things about Jesus, of course,” they say – launching into the story of how Jesus of Nazareth – “a mighty prophet of God – the one we had hoped might be the Messiah of Israel – the one we had hoped would deliver us from captivity and oppression… The one in whom we had hoped all our highest of hopes…” “But he was crucified and laid in the tomb. He had told us more than once that he would be executed… But… we didn’t really believe that…. He had said he would be raised from the dead on the third day…We had hoped… even though we didn’t believe, we had hoped…. But… now the third day’s almost over… And we had hoped… But now… all we have for all our hopes is just a strange report from some of the women of our group… who went to the tomb early this morning… And came back saying the tomb was empty – and they had seen a vision of angels who told them he was risen… And… We didn’t believe that…” “How very foolish…” the stranger walking with them says. “How very slow you are to remember all the prophets have said about the Messiah and how he must suffer…  before coming into his glory…” And the stranger talks with them… all the rest of the seven miles to Emmaus – opening the scriptures to them – teaching them what is written about the Messiah… And as they come near the village of Emmaus… the man walks on now a little faster straight ahead… As if he’s going to walk on to wherever he’s going by himself… But they insist – “stay with us, it’s getting dark, day is almost done…”And he does. Now at table, it’s as if he, the stranger, not they, is host – As he takes bread, blesses, and breaks the bread… And they recognize him in the breaking of the bread…. **** Try and imagine – walking with someone you consider your main teacher and guide in life – someone you have put your hope and trust in – and not recognizing him for the whole seven miles you’re walking together… (I’m a relatively fast walker…. and it takes me more than two hours to walk seven miles…) But – we should cut these travelers some slack… Probably they were so deeply disappointed about Jesus being gone… And all their hopes not fulfilled… that even his presence up close and personal… doesn’t quite register – doesn’t quite penetrate their consciousness… And… Probably Jesus had his hoodie pulled up over his hair – his ball cap pulled down over his eyes – his eyes covered with dark sunglasses… Perhaps he was also disguising his voice a little… Having a little fun, messing with his friends minds, and testing their memories. *** I expect these travelers were embarrassed when they finally recognized Jesus. But...

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March 29, 2018 – Holy Thursday

Holy Thursday March 29, 2018 ************************** Reflection Lent began, Ash Wednesday – with the sign of ashes on our brows in the shape of a cross – and the taste of ashes in our hearts – the cries of those slain that day in Parkland, Florida ringing in our ears – with tears of families, friends and people everywhere joined with them in weeping and prayer… Reminded so starkly of our human condition… And the depths of our need for God. Others, around the world, also suffer… just as deeply… But there is something in the loss of a child… that breaks our hearts beyond words… If life lately sometimes feels as if we’re at the end of the world – with the world in disastrous breakdown and perpetual crisis… Probably this is how life felt for Jesus and his first disciples also… that first Holy Week… As if time flowing in all directions – past, present, future all intermingled – as if the world has already ended…  With God our Father’s beloved child… dying on the cross… Yet, Jesus and the apostle’s tell us – this is not the end – this is the birth-pangs of God’s new world coming into being… and… We’re not even formally at the cross till tomorrow – though Jesus has been talking about himself on the cross all the while we’ve been with him… We have see him there already… from many angles… As we’ve journeyed with Jesus through his wilderness temptations and testings… As we’ve journeyed with him vicariously through his years of ministry in Galilee, Judea,  Samaria… And into the holy city, Jerusalem, where Jesus spends his last week, Holy Week, teaching – making ready disciples – to continue his work when he is taken up – lifted up – from among us. Now, tonight, we’re with Jesus at his last supper – hearing again his last instructions – as he prepares to return to God the Father. Jesus reminds us – eat this bread, drink this cup. Eat my body, drink my blood. Do this in remembrance of me. We’ve been reminded by John the gospel writer (as we’ll be reminded by other apostles) – the good Shepherd of the sheep is also the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world – also the bread of life who came down from heaven to give life to the world. Mixed metaphors abound with Jesus. Eat this bread, drink this cup. Come to me and never be hungry. Eat this bread, drink this cup. Trust in me and you will not thirst.  The Word of life is also the bread of life. We need Jesus in our heart, mind and soul. We need Jesus bodily also. We need his life, his teaching, his presence with us in our flesh and blood… Jesus has prayed to God the Father we’ll all be one. (He’s even told us we’ll do greater things than he’s done, together. Which is only possible because he will still be with us…) Together we are the body of Christ, redeemed by his blood. Called and blessed to keep making Jesus real for all the world that God still so loves… despite the world’s denial of God and Jesus… Tonight again we’ve renewed our vows...

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