April 28, 2019

Easter 2   April 28, 2019 (Ps 150, Revelation 1:4-8, Acts 5:27-32) John 20:19-31 Peace be with you **************************************************************** Later on that first day of resurrection… followers of Jesus are gathered together behind locked doors…. They’ve heard the amazing story told by Mary Magdalene, the first eyewitness… Heard about the stone, rolled away – the tomb, empty – the grave clothes, empty and rolled up… Heard about angels in white, asking Mary “why are you weeping?”  Heard about the man who Mary first thinks must be the gardener – who, like the angels, asks, “Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you looking for?”… They’ve heard Mary tell how she recognized him, finally – alive! – as he called her name, and said, ‘go, tell the others – I’m ascending to my Father and your Father, my God and your God’… The disciples have all heard the story. And they’re still afraid… The powers-that-be of church and state have laid Jesus in the tomb… The disciples figure they may be next… But now Jesus passes through their locked doors, and greets them –  “Peace be with you.” Giving the same ordinary-greeting everyone in those days gave and received…every day… Except now this everyday greeting – Peace be with you – is the voice of new life, risen from the dead… As Jesus shows disciples the marks of the nails imprinted in his hands – the mark of the spear that pierced his side… Still carrying the death of the world in his body of resurrection life.*** In the beginning was the Word,  and the Word was with God, and the word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through him, and without him not one thing came into being. What has come into being in him was life– and the life was the light of all people. …And the Word became flesh and lived among us – and we have seen his glory – the glory as of a Father’s only Son, full of grace and truth…. These verses from the beginning of John’s gospel remind us – Jesus coming into the world is cosmic – effecting everyone – everything – everywhere. And the new creation in Christ is every bit as awesome – beautiful – and hard to get our heads around… as the first creation that sets everything in motion… John’s gospel, from the beginning, tells us the mystery of God-in-human-flesh- living-among-us – changes everything. Now all the world’s sorrow and joy, pain and blessing, are all bound together in one body. Love’s body. Christ’s body. *** And Jesus says “Peace be with you” now a second time. Adding “As the Father has sent me, so I send you.” I wonder how would that sound to his first followers? Imagine– Jesus telling us he’s sending us – as he’s been sent by God the Father – showing us, as he speaks – the fresh scars of the wounds on his hands and side. But – he breathes the breath of resurrection-life – like God, breathing first-life, first-breath, into Adam, in the garden, in the beginning… (And Jesus is the Gardener… Mary wasn’t wrong last week.) Jesus says“Receive the Holy Spirit.” The same word in Hebrew (ruah) and in Greek (pneuma) means...

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April 28, 2019 – Cataumet

ANNOUNCEMENTS Bible study continues to meet every Thursday at 1:00 pm. The group discussion of the Book of Joy will meet again on April 29. EVENTS EVERY WEEK Sunday   7:45 am  Choir practice Sunday   9:00 am  Worship Sunday     7:30 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   NA Meeting Saturday  9:00 am  Osteo Exercise

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April 28, 2019 – Bourne

                         THIS WEEK IN THE LIFE OF THE PARISH Sunday,  April 28th:                  11:00 AM     Worship Service Tuesday, April 30th:                    7:00 PM     SPRC Meeting Wednesday, May 1st:               10:00 AM      BWC Thursday, May 2nd:                    1:00 PM      Bible Study Saturday, May 3rd:                   10:00 AM     Children’s Clothing Exchange Sunday, May 7th :                      11:00 AM     Worship Service                                       OTHER ANNOUNCEMENTS THE NEXT SPRC MEETING is Tuesday 4/30 at 7PM. THE BACKPACK LIST has been updated please, see new list in Crain Hall or May Newsletter. DINNER WITH FRIENDS IS BACK! Friday and Saturday nights, please sign up in Crain Hall. PLEASE FIND HEALTH KIT shopping lists on the table in Crain Hall. PRAYER GROUP meets the second and fourth Wednesday of every month. BIBLE STUDY meets Thursday at 1pm.          ...

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April 21, 2019

Easter Sunday   April 21, 2019   Psalm 116, Isaiah 25:6-9, 2 Corinthians 5:13-19, John 20:1-18        The new creation ***************************************************************** Christ has risen – Alleluia! Christ – risen from the dead – marks the beginning of a new creation – in which everything is made new. Yet – Probably we’ve noticed… so often most of the world doesn’t seem to have received the message. Life on earth still features so much of the same-old-same-old… same-as-it-ever-was patterns of death, denial and dysfunction… It’s not just the obvious dog-eat-dog, nation against nation, neighbor against neighbor symptoms. It’s also even when we’re conscientiously trying to do the right thing – but still see death-sin-evil-wickedness often seeming to have the upper hand. Life on earth continuing as-it-always-was – except speeding faster… How then, are we to hear – this strange report of Jesus risen from the dead? *** Sometimes it helps to revisit and review… from more than one angle of vision… Mary Magdalene comes to the tomb while it’s still dark… Only to find the stone that sealed the tomb rolled away… She runs to find two other disciples – probably wondering – could this empty tomb be the work of grave robbers – who might still be lurking in the tomb? Or could this be the Roman empire – disappearing the body of Jesus to try to make it harder for his followers to make him into a martyr who inspires rebellion? Or – could this possibly be something else… altogether…  too mysterious…for words? Mary runs – gets Simon Peter and the other disciple – who run together to the tomb. One at a time they enter, look into the empty tomb – and now are persuaded by the linen wrappings removed – by the cloth that had been on Jesus’ head, now carefully rolled up – persuaded this is not the work of grave robbers or the empire. The “other disciple” (who many assume is John the gospel writer) now believes…. But disciples don’t yet understand the scriptures like the passage we’ve read from Isaiah – that prophesies God overcoming the power of death. We don’t know exactly what they believed or were thinking… We just know now the two male disciples head home for breakfast… Leaving only Mary Magdalene, alone… at the tomb, weeping… A pair of angels appears now, sitting in the tomb – striking up a conversation almost casually as if we do this everyday– asking Woman, why are you weeping? She tells them she’s looking for the body of Jesus… Either not noticing who they are – or not impressed by these angel visitors… So intently looking only for the body of Jesus… Even when she now sees Jesus standing close by – hears him echo the angel’s question – Woman, why are you weeping? adding Whom are you looking for? – still, not knowing it is Jesus – still thinking he’s the gardener – telling him, Sir, if you know where his body is let me know! I will take him away… It’s only as she hears him call her name – Mary!– that she recognizes Jesus. Alive! And replies and rushes to him…and… Jesus sends her now to tell the other disciples – he is risen – he will be ascending to God the Father… And...

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April 14, 2019

Palm-Passion Sunday  April 14, 2019   Psalm 118, Luke 19:29-40, 22:14-34,39-23:49 *********************************************************** I’ve often found joy in Lent… any time I manage to spend even a little more time in prayer and other spiritual practices… But I need to confess… Sometimes even in holy week…even in Jesus’ last week with disciples in the flesh… I’ve been caught up in hurrying and busyness… as if Holy Week – even Holy Week – is a list of things to do and check off… on the way to Easter… Now to be sure – without Easter and resurrection from the dead – there’s nothing good about Good Friday. Nothing good about Christ’s cross. But because Jesus has risen from the dead – Holy Week – starting with Palm-Passion Sunday today – including Maundy Thursday, Good Friday,  Saturday Easter vigil – Holy Week is virtually as important as Easter – at least for those who are believers… Because resurrection life, yes, is our destination. But unless we can identify with Jesus in his sorrows, suffering, rejection, and death… it’s almost impossible to know and recognize Jesus… risen from the dead…(and…) I’m pretty sure I understand the importance of Holy Week theoretically. But it’s hard to remember all the theory…when life’s feeling like systems overload. So I can identify with the first disciples…Who seem to be getting very anxious, sensing something terrible is about to happen. Which has them now acting rather clueless. Arguing with each other – at-of-all-places, the Last Supper – talk about bad table manners! Arguing about which of them should be considered the greatest. Then, as Jesus is arrested, asking him ‘should we strike with the sword?’Not waiting for his answer – cutting off the ear of a poor slave of the high priest – before Jesus can complete his sentence saying “No more of that!” Then promising solemnly to follow Jesus all the way to prison and death… Not hearing well, as Jesus replies – “tonight you will deny you even know me three times before the cock crows morning…” In order to not be too harsh on these first disciples… remember – life has been a blur for them lately…As they’ve followed Jesus as he parades into Jerusalem on a donkey’s colt (– the same way kings paraded to their inaugurations in Israel of old). Crowds are shouting “Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord…” Covering the streets with cloaks… (other gospels mention palm branches…) And remember – Jerusalem is headquarters for the religious establishment who have been out to get Jesus for a long time now.  We’ve heard Jesus tell disciples three times that he must go up to Jerusalem, where he’ll be rejected, suffer, and be killed… before rising from the dead… So far none of his disciples  seem to have heard or believed Jesus on this one. And at first, everything seems to be going really well… As crowds gather early every morning, listening attentively to his every word… as Jesus teaches in the temple courtyards…And the authorities are afraid to arrest Jesus in public, fearing the crowds… Till Judas Iscariot, one of his disciples, betrays Jesus… Who then is arrested in the dark of night – kept prisoner first at the house of the high priest – then taken early...

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