Zis-N-Zat From Pastor Asher

God is my conscience, Jesus lives in my heart… this blog is about what I see, what I think, what I do and how I serve God

Why Do We Color Eggs at Easter

One of my former seminary professors and mentors, Rev. Dr. Susan Minasian, posted this information oh her facebook wall explaining why we color Easter Eggs.

The sound that cracking egg shell makes reminds us of  the triumphal echo of the cracking open of the stone which had been rolled in front of the tomb in a feeble attempt to seal the body of Jesus after the Crucifixion and to contain the power of God.

The cracked shell, reveals the white part of the boiled egg. When the women took oil and spices to the tomb on Sunday morning, they saw the white shroud which has been used to wrap the body of Jesus.

When we remove the egg-whites, we discover the golden yolk. The yolk is the symbol of Life and Resurrection. Jesus has risen from the dead and the golden yolk of the hard boiled egg reminds us of this and gives us the Hope of eternal Life.

So next time you crack a hard boiled egg remember that, Christ has risen!

Happy Easter!

Good quote

Honesty, a willingness to accept responsibility for my actions, a desire to forgive and an intention to trust, love and help others as much as possible are the attributes of the people I want around me and the kind of person I am doing my very best to be.

 

~~ Author Unknown

Good Friday, 2014

GoodFriday

Today is Good Friday.

Good Friday is a Holy Day that commemorates the crucifixion of Jesus Christ and his death at Calvary. Good Friday is a part of the Paschal Triduum(* See explanation of that word below) on the Friday before Easter Sunday.

We don’t know why Good Friday is called “Good.” There is a school of thought that declares that it comes from “God’s Friday”; others maintain that it is from the German “Gute Freitag,” and not especially English

Although the historical origins of why Good Friday is called “Good Friday” remain unclear, we can surmise that Good Friday is good because the death of Christ, as terrible as it was, led to the Resurrection on Easter Sunday, which brought new life to His followers (a.k.a. his Church which includes you and me).

Looking ahead to Holy Week Worship Services and Celebrations

  • Stations of the Cross/Cross Walk: Today, Friday April 18, 12 noon.
    Held at the Garden Chapel of First United Methodist Church.

  • Good Friday Service: Today, Friday April 18, 7pm, Service of the Seven Last Words.
    This service will be held at Potter’s House Ministries with several speakers (Pastor Asher and Pastor Tonya are among the speakers).

  • Youth Group Pilgrimage to the Franciscan Monastery on Saturday, April 19.
    We will leave from the church at 9:30 am. We are scheduled to tour the Monastery, the Church and the Catacombs at 1 PM. After visiting the Monastery we will stop at Olive Garden for dinner (everyone is responsible for paying for their own meals and for getting there). Some of our members expressed a desire to rent a mini-bus and drive together. If you are interested in that, let me know as soon as possible and I will put you in touch with the person who did the research.

  • Easter Sunrise Service: Sunday April 20, 7am, at Wilmer Park with Pastor Tonya McClain speaking. Everyone is invited to come for breakfast at Christ United Methodist Church immediately following the service. Bring a dish to share.

  • Breakfast after the Sunrise Service at Christ United Methodist Church. Everybody is invited to bring a dish to share.

  • Easter Worship at 10 AM will be an awesome Easter Celebration at CUMC.  We will see a skit performed by seventeen (17) members of Christ United Methodist Church.

     

 

(*)Paschal Triduum, is the period of three days that begins with the liturgy on the evening of Maundy Thursday (the vigil of Good Friday) and ends with evening prayer on Easter Sunday, the three-day period therefore from the evening of Maundy Thursday (excluding most of Thursday) to the evening of Resurrection Sunday. It recalls the passion, death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus, as portrayed in the canonical Gospels.

Maundy Thursday, 2014

ZZ_08

Ecumenical Maundy Thursday Service will be held at 7 pm at Christ United Methodist Church today (Thursday April 17, 2014). We will remember Jesus’ last meal and actions during that meal.  We will then share in Holy Communion and reflect on Jesus’ final hours before crucifixion.

Maundy Thursday is always observed during Holy Week on the Thursday before Easter. To put it in other words, there is no Maundy Wednesday, or Maundy Friday.

Maundy Thursday commemorates the Paschal Seder meal that Jesus shared with his disciples before he was arrested and crucified. That meal became known as the Last Supper in the Christian tradition and liturgy. Traditionally Maundy Thursday services are more solemn occasions, marked by the shadow of Jesus’ betrayal.

Maundy Thursday derives its name from the Latin word “mandatum.” “Mandatum” is the first word of John 13:34 “Mandatum novum do vobis ut diligatis invicem sicut dilexi vos” – “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.” That is the phrase that Jesus used to explain to his Disciples the significance of his action of washing their feet.

Two important historical events are the primary focus of Maundy Thursday worship service:

  1. Before the Passover meal, Jesus washed the feet of his disciples. By performing this lowly act of service, Jesus “showed them the full extent of his love” (John 13:1). By doing this Jesus mandated to us to love one another through humble service and to serve God by serving the world in which we live.

  2. During the Passover meal, Jesus took bread and wine and blessed it. He broke the bread into pieces, giving it to his disciples and said, “This is my body, given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” Then he took the cup of wine, shared it with his disciples and said, “This wine is the token of God’s new covenant to save you–an agreement sealed with the blood I will pour out for you” (Luke 22:19-20). By doing this, Jesus established the Sacrament of the Holy Communion.

Christ United Methodist Church is located at 401 High Street, Chestertown, MD. Hope to see you at the worship service.

 

Looking ahead to Holy Week Worship Services and Celebrations

  • Stations of the Cross/Cross Walk: Friday April 18, 12 noon.

    Held at the Garden Chapel of First United Methodist Church.

  • Good Friday Service: Friday April 18, 7pm, Service of the Seven Last Words.

    This service will be held at Potter’s House Ministries with several speakers (Pastor Asher and Pastor Tonya are among the speakers).

  • Youth Group Pilgrimage to the Franciscan Monastery on Saturday, April 19.

    We will leave from the church at 9:30 am. We are scheduled to tour the Monastery, the Church and the Catacombs at 1 PM. After visiting the Monastery we will stop at Olive Garden for dinner (everyone is responsible for paying for their own meals and for getting there). Some of our members expressed a desire to rent a mini-bus and drive together. If you are interested in that, let me know as soon as possible and I will put you in touch with the person who did the research.

  • Easter Sunrise Service: Sunday April 20, 7am, at Wilmer Park with Pastor Tonya McClain speaking. Everyone is invited to come for breakfast at Christ United Methodist Church immediately following the service. Bring a dish to share.

  • Breakfast after the Sunrise Service at Christ United Methodist Church. Everybody is invited to bring a dish to share.

  • Easter Worship at 10 AM will be an awesome Easter Celebration.  We will see a skit performed by seventeen (17) members of Christ United Methodist Church.

Outline and Approximate Notes for the Sunday Message; 13 April 2014; Palm Sunday

April 13, 2014 is the Palm Sunday.

Scriptures for Palm Sunday is Matthew 21:1-11

Also see  Mark 11:1-11; Luke 19:28-44; John 12:12-19

You can read these Scriptures here: NIV

 

This is an eighth (8th) and concluding sermon in the series. Here are links to preceding sermons:

Sermon #1

Sermon #2

Sermon #3

Sermon # 4

Sermon # 5

Sermon # 6

Sermon # 7

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Today marks the beginning of Holy Week. Holy Week starts with Palm Sunday, progresses to Maundy Thursday and Good Friday – the Friday when our Lord and Savior was crucified – and then culminates with the confusion, frustration and celebration of Jesus’ Resurrection on Easter Sunday.

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Today is all about Jesus entering Jerusalem and crowds cheering as he passed by. It is a familiar story that we have heard a gazillion times. Almost 2000 years of history separates us from that historical event when Jesus rode a donkey into Jerusalem. We think we know the rest of the story.

Today I want to talk about Palm Sunday and what we can learn from the events described in today’s Scripture reading.

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2000 years ago the people of Judea wanted freedom and independence from Rome. People wanted that freedom more than anything else. Their hope was that freedom from Rome would bring the promise of a better future.

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So here they were, just a few days before Passover, the holiest of all high holidays. During Passover every Jewish man, woman and child remembered how their ancestors were oppressed in Egypt. During Passover every Jewish family remembered how Moses was transformed by his relationship with God, and how that transformation in turn brought liberation and freedom to all of the Jews during Exodus.

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I am sure that there were many ideas about who Jesus was, what he was doing in Jerusalem and why he was coming to Jerusalem. One of those ideas that took hold was that Jesus was coming into Jerusalem to physically overthrow the Romans.

That idea took hold because it matched most people’s expectations. People wanted a divinely appointed king, such as David or Alexander the Great. The figure of the Jewish Messiah was one who would deliver the Jews from oppression, give them independence and usher in what was called an “Olam Haba” (literal translation is “the world to come”) or the Messianic Age. As a side note, there were others claiming to be the Messiah.

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Following is an incomplete list:

· Simon of Peraea (c. Unknown – 4 BCE), a former slave of Herod the Great who rebelled and was killed by the Romans.

· Athronges (c. 3 CE), a shepherd turned rebel leader.

· Menahem ben Judah, led a revolt against Agrippa II before being slain by a rival Zealot leader.

· Simon bar Kokhba (died c. 135), founded a short-lived Jewish state before being defeated in the Second Jewish-Roman War.

That is why Jesus was constantly telling his disciples not to reveal His true identity as the Son of the Living God (Mark 1:43-45, 4:11, 8:29-30). Jesus did not want to be distracted from his real mission: to redeem you and I on the Cross.

Mark 1:43-45; Mark 4:11; Mark 8:29-30 NIV2010


Mark 1:43 Jesus sent him away at once with a strong warning: 44 See that you don’t tell this to anyone. But go, show yourself to the priest and offer the sacrifices that Moses commanded for your cleansing, as a testimony to them.” 45 Instead he went out and began to talk freely, spreading the news. As a result, Jesus could no longer enter a town openly but stayed outside in lonely places. Yet the people still came to him from everywhere.


11 He told them, “The secret of the kingdom of God has been given to you. But to those on the outside everything is said in parables

Mark 8:29 But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?”

Peter answered, “You are the Messiah.”

30 Jesus warned them not to tell anyone about him.

We see the evidence of false Messiahs in the Scriptures as well:

Matthew 24:23-26 NIV2010

Matthew 24:23 At that time if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Messiah!’ or, ‘There he is!’ do not believe it. 24 For false messiahs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect. 25 See, I have told you ahead of time.

26 “So if anyone tells you, ‘There he is, out in the wilderness,’ do not go out; or, ‘Here he is, in the inner rooms,’ do not believe it.

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In Acts 8:9-24 we read the story of the Simon Magus – a false prophet exposed by Peter. Simon Magus is also mentioned in the writings of Josephus, as well as Justin Martyr and Irenaeus. The word “simony” – sale of clerical positions and offices – is rooted in the name of Simon the Magus.

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The Jews in First Century Palestine were oppressed and frustrated. They wanted an immediate solution. The people wanted a Messiah who would fix all their problems, the biggest of which they perceived to be Roman rule and presence. The only way THAT THEY SAW to accomplish that goal was a revolt. They were hoping that a great Messiah Warrior would come, claim the throne of Israel and free them from Romans without changing anything else.

So here is Jesus, whose story is strangely similar to the story of Moses, and whose name is strangely similar to the name of Joshua of Exodus. And now, a few days before the Passover, the story of the Exodus was on their minds, and there was Jesus, riding into Jerusalem on a donkey.

At least some of the Jews expected Jesus to incite a revolt against Rome and usher the Messianic Age. We see the evidence of that in the Scriptures that describe what happened on Good Friday.

Luke 23:35 NIV2010

35 The people stood watching, and the rulers even sneered at him. They said, “He saved others; let him save himself if he is God’s Messiah, the Chosen One.”

Matthew 27:42-43

42 “He saved others,” they said, “but he can’t save himself! He’s the king of Israel! Let him come down now from the cross, and we will believe in him. 43 He trusts in God. Let God rescue him now if he wants him, for he said, ‘I am the Son of God.’”

In a way, people were saying, “if he is the real thing, let him prove it.”

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We know the rest of the story. Easter is a story of renewal and regeneration. Our God is in the renewal business. The story of Easter is the story of us (as in you and I) struggling in “Egypt,” and finding our way to redemption and wholeness in the “promised land” in a way that we could not even imagine.

Our brains have a way of making traumatic experiences seem like distant dreams to those who survive them (Sheppard). The truth is that the path between “Egypt” and the “Promised Land” goes through the desert.

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As a church we are in “Egypt.” I know that eventually we will get to the “Promised Land.” But there is a desert between here and there. Most of us do not cherish the idea of facing the desert, but I have no doubt in my mind that in the long run the Church will be OK.

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We will be OK because God understands our past, believes in our future and accepts us just the way we are. We will be OK because God holds our future and because God works with us where we are.

Jesus did not wait for any of us to become model citizens before dying on the Cross to redeem each and every one of us.

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We may not know what lies ahead, but we know that when we keep our eyes on God and when we are with God, all things are possible.

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{Palm Ceremony}

Holy Week at a Glance.

  • Christian Seder: Tuesday April 15, 6pm,

    at First United Methodist Church.

    Traditional meat dishes provided, but please bring a covered side dish to share. Pastor Tonya will teach about the Passover roots of the Last Supper.  Please RSVP to FUMC.

  • Maundy Thursday Service: Thursday April 17, 7pm,

    at Christ United Methodist Church.

    Members of CUMC and FUMC will perform a skit.  We will then share in Holy Communion and reflect on Jesus’ final hours as he gathered with his friends for the Last Supper.

  • Stations of the Cross/Cross Walk:

    Friday April 18, 12 noon.

    Held at the Garden Chapel of First United Methodist Church.

  • Good Friday Service: Friday April 18, 7pm,

    Service of the Seven Last Words. This service will be held at Potter’s House Ministries with several speakers (Pastor Asher and Pastor Tonya are among the speakers).

  • Youth Group Pilgrimage to the Franciscan Monastery on Saturday, April 19.

    We will leave from the church at 9:30 am. We are scheduled to tour the Monastery, the Church and the Catacombs at 1 PM. After visiting the Monastery we will stop at Olive Garden for dinner (everyone is responsible for paying for their own meals and for getting there). Some of our members expressed a desire to rent a mini-bus and drive together. If you are interested in that, let me know as soon as possible and I will put you in touch with the person who did the research.

  • Easter Sunrise Service: Sunday April 20, 7am,

    at Wilmer Park with Pastor Tonya McClain speaking. Everyone is invited to come for breakfast at Christ United Methodist Church immediately following the service.

  • Breakfast after the Sunrise Service at Christ United Methodist Church. Please bring a dish to share.

  • Easter Worship at 10 AM will be an awesome Easter Celebration.  We will see a skit performed by seventeen (17) members of Christ United Methodist Church.

Works Cited

Sheppard, Ferrari. “I Traveled to Palestine-Israel And Discovered There is no ‘Palestinian-Israeli Conflict’.” 24 01 2014. Stop Being Famous. 24 01 2014. <http://stopbeingfamous.com/2014/01/24/there-is-no-palestinian-israeli-conflict/_3308199.html&gt;.

May you be renewed and inspired this Easter; an e-note from Pastor Asher to the community of Christ UMC

An e-note fromPastor Asher                            

This weekend is Palm Sunday.  Palm Sunday marks the beginning of Holy Week.

Each year I look forward to Palm Sunday because on that day we remember Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem, we hear children shouting “Hosanna!” (a Hebrew word which means, “Save us now!”) and see people waving green palm branches in the air. Loud “Hosannas” and palm branches were signs that the people believed Jesus was going to claim the Jewish throne, raise up an army, and deliver them from the Romans. Instead, Jesus went to the Temple, overturned the tables of the moneychangers, and taught in the Temple Courts. Jesus was not after the Earthly/Temporal power that the Romans wielded over Judea; Jesus is about bringing people to God.

 

This Lent, in preparation for Easter I preached a series of messages focusing on the roots of our Easter traditions. This Sunday we will share the last message from the series. During Holy Week (especially at the Maundy Thursday service and at the 10 am Sunday worship service) we will tie all the messages into one coherent whole.

This will be a powerful week in worship. I encourage you not to miss any of the events or services because it is hard to experience  the joy of Easter without first experiencing the agony of the Cross.

Here is a list of events that will be taking place during Holy Week:

  • Christian Seder: Tuesday April 15, 6pm, at First United Methodist Church. Due to circumstances beyond her control, Pastor Tonya had to cancel the Christian Seder. Apologies for any inconveniences it may bring.
    Traditional meat dishes provided, but please bring a covered side dish to share. Pastor Tonya will teach about the Passover roots of the Last Supper.  Please RSVP 410-778-2977.

  • Maundy Thursday Service: Thursday April 17, 7pm, at Christ United Methodist Church.
    Members of CUMC and FUMC will perform a skit.  We will then share in Holy Communion and reflect on Jesus’ final hours as he gathered with his friends for the Last Supper.

     

  • Stations of the Cross/Cross Walk: Friday April 18, 12 noon.
    Held at the Garden Chapel of First United Methodist Church.

     

  • Good Friday Service: Friday April 18, 7pm, Service of the Seven Last Words.
    This service will be held at Potter’s House Ministries with several speakers (Pastor Asher and Pastor Tonya are among the speakers).

     

  • Youth Group Pilgrimage to the Franciscan Monastery on Saturday, April 19.
    We will leave from the church at 9:30 am. We are scheduled to tour the Monastery, the Church and the Catacombs at 1 PM. After visiting the Monastery we will stop at Olive Garden for dinner (everyone is responsible for paying for their own meals and for getting there). Some of our members expressed a desire to rent a mini-bus and drive together. If you are interested in that, let me know as soon as possible and I will put you in touch with the person who did the research.

     

  • Easter Sunrise Service: Sunday April 20, 7am, at Wilmer Park with Pastor Tonya McClain speaking. Everyone is invited to come for breakfast at Christ United Methodist Church immediately following the service.

  • Breakfast after the Sunrise Service at Christ United Methodist Church. Please bring a dish to share.

  • Easter Worship at 10 AM will be an awesome Easter Celebration.  We will see a skit performed by seventeen (17) members of Christ United Methodist Church.

  •  

    At Easter we celebrate that God understands our past, believes in our future and accepts us just the way we are in the present.

    At Easter, we celebrate because God holds our future and because God works with us where we are; Jesus did not wait for us to become model citizens before dying on the Cross and redeeming each and every one of us.

    At Easter we celebrate the fact that we may not know what lies ahead, but we know that when we keep our eyes on God, and when we are with God, all things are possible.

    That is a message that all of us need to hear.

    May you be renewed and inspired this Easter.  Spread the word! Invite 1,000 of your closest friends to church this Easter!

     

    Philos

    Asher

    =========================================
    God is my conscience, Jesus lives in my heart!

Christ UMC Yard Sale

YardSale_Ad

Saturday, April 12, 2014

8 am – 1 pm

Rain or shine

The yard sale will be held in Fellowship Hall

Christ United Methodist Church is located at 401 High Street, Chestertown, MD 21620

Holy Week Services; April 16–20, 2014

Please join us during this Holy Lenten Season for a series of special events sponsored by Potter’s House Ministries, Holy Trinity AME, First United Methodist Church and Christ United Methodist Church. It is a true blessing to be able to share our fellowship and our joy in the Lord with our larger community of neighbors and sisters and brothers in Christ.

  • Christian Seder: Tuesday, April 15, 6pm @ First United Methodist Church. Traditional meat dishes provided, but please bring a covered side dish to share. Please RSVP 410-778-2977.

  • Maundy Thursday Service: April 17, 7pm, @ Christ United Methodist Church. Pastor Asher Tunik speaking.

  • Stations of the Cross: Friday, April 18, @ 12noon. Held at the Garden Chapel of First United Methodist Church.

  • Good Friday Service: April 18, 7pm, Service of Seven Last Words @ Potter’s House with several speakers.

  • Easter Sunrise Service: Sunday, April 20, @ 7am, at Wilmer Park with Pastor Tonya McClain speaking. Everybody is invited to come for breakfast immediately following service @ Christ United Methodist Church.

  • Easter Services on Sunday, April 20, at the respective churches per their own schedules.

Thinking Towards Sunday; 13 April 2014; Palm/Passion Sunday

April 13, 2014 is the Palm Sunday.

Scriptures for Palm Sunday is Matthew 21:1-11

Also see  Mark 11:1-11; Luke 19:28-44; John 12:12-19

You can read these Scriptures here: NIV

Hymns:

UMH 102 – Now Thank We All Our God

UMH 280 – All Glory, Laud and Honor

Affirmation: UMH 888

Outline and Approximate Notes for the Sunday Message; 6 April 2014

Scriptures for the Sunday are: Mark 1:16-20; Mark 3: 13 –19

You can read these Scriptures here: NIV

This is a seventh sermon in the series. Here are links to preceding sermons:

Sermon #1

Sermon #2

Sermon #3

Sermon # 4

Sermon # 5

Sermon # 6

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In the last few weeks we looked at the Exodus and the traditions surrounding the Observance of Passover, and what it meant to the Jews living in first century Judea and Galilee.

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The Exodus and the birth of Jesus are separated by approximately 1,300 years. By taking into consideration the life expectancy in the ancient world, I estimate the length of time of a generation to be approx. 18-20 years. That means that in the 1,300 years since Exodus, there would have been approximately 65-70 generations of men, women and children observing the Passover. During these celebrations, every Jew remembered how their ancestors were oppressed in Egypt. During these celebrations every Jewish family remembered how Moses was transformed by his relationship with God, and how that transformation in turn brought liberation and freedom to all the Jews during Exodus.

Our brains have a way of making traumatic experiences seem like distant dreams to those who survive them (Sheppard). Jews living in first century Judea were descendants of those who survived the bitter fighting and civil wars of the Exodus. Not only were they descendants of those who survived this ordeal, they were 65 generations removed from the Exodus. That is a lot of history. That is a lot of tradition.

{Illustration: Passover observance as a transmission/preservation/renewal/regeneration of tradition}

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In these 65 generations, Moses and Joshua had become national heroes, much like George Washington and Benjamin Franklin are today. They came to symbolize everything that was great with the nation. They came to symbolize the grit, the will to live, the drive to survive, and everything that was right, true and beautiful with their world in first century Judea. The bitter infighting and genocide that happened among the Hebrews in the desert was swept under the rug, overshadowed by more immediate suffering that had happened in the last 1300 years, and was still happening at the time. We see evidence of it in the Scripture reading that we heard last week. In John 9:28-29 we hear the Pharisees and Scribes say, “We are disciples of Moses! We know that God spoke to Moses, but as for this fellow [Jesus], we don’t even know where he comes from.” Our guest preacher last week, Pastor Tonya delivered an awesome message based on John 9.

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And today we heard that Jesus was walking by the Sea of Galilee, probably around the village of Bethsaida (25 miles from Nazareth, see John 1:44), and he called Peter and Andrew to join him. We heard a “cliff notes” version of the events and encounters that ignited the Disciples’ imagination and inspired them to take off from everything that they knew and loved for something unknown and entirely different.

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It can be hard for us to relate to the invitation that Jesus offered to his first followers because the Bible was written from the point of view of the oppressed.

Hebrews in Egypt were oppressed and the events of Exodus were the answer to that oppression. Most of the Hebrew Scriptures were written in the face of imminent danger and national peril. God inspired the prophets to bring the message calling people to change their ways, to repent, and unite around God. Eventually those messages were written down and they became part of the Hebrew Scriptures.

Jesus came just as the Jewish nation faced imminent danger and peril. There was a real possibility of the nation being taken apart and destroyed by the Romans. The Gospels and the Early Christian Writings were inspired by God, and written down to show us how God brought renewal and regeneration at this time of national crisis. The Gospels and the Early Christian Writings were written down as a message of hope that was big enough not only for the Jews but also for the rest of the world.

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It is hard for us to relate to the invitation that Jesus offered to his first followers because the Bible was written from the point of view of the oppressed. We are blessed to live at a time when we are not really oppressed. Surely we face our share of injustice; surely there are pockets of oppression directed to certain segments of our society. All and all we live in pretty calm times, not spending much time being oppressed and discriminated against. In “Bible speak,” we are Egyptians living comfortably, not spending much time thinking about plight of our neighbors. In “Bible speak,” we are Romans living in our comfortable villas not spending much time thinking about what our society is doing to the rest of the world.

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Jesus came to those oppressed. Jesus came teaching that we are not defined by our circumstances. Jesus came teaching that oppression takes many forms. Jesus taught the woman caught in the adultery, “Go forth and sin no more…” (John 8:11). Jesus challenged Zachaeus to stop extorting extra taxes (Luke 19:1-10). Jesus came teaching that it is not the healthy but those who are sick that need the doctor (Matthew 9:11-13).

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It is not an accident that Jesus spent so much time in Galilee, far away from Jerusalem, away from the influence of the Temple. Jesus came seeking those to whom God was real, and those who were willing to look past the established routines of religion.

It is hard for us to relate to Jesus’ invitation to follow him, which we heard today, because we are rooted in our established routines and habits of life and religion. That is one reason we have the season of Lent.

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The season of Lent is not about thinking how unworthy we are and how we deserve to burn in hell. The Season of Lent is about figuring out what we need to do, how we need to change ourselves, how we need to adapt and to adjust, so that the voice of God calling us becomes more real than all the other noise thrown at us by work, by family, by TV and by all the other pressures we face in our daily lives. Lent is about us finding our way back to God.

After the Exodus from Egypt, the Hebrews had to wander in the desert for forty years. Jesus went to the desert prior to starting his ministry. After Jesus was crucified, the Disciples scattered and went back to their old lives until they had a chance to think and come back together again. Lent is about us going into the “desert” to hear the voice of God.

One of the ways we remind ourselves of the invitation that Jesus offers to us is through the celebration of the Holy Communion. {TRANSITION to the Holy Communion}

Works Cited

Sheppard, Ferrari. “I Traveled to Palestine-Israel And Discovered There is no ‘Palestinian-Israeli Conflict’.” 24 01 2014. Stop Being Famous. 24 01 2014. <http://stopbeingfamous.com/2014/01/24/there-is-no-palestinian-israeli-conflict/_3308199.html&gt;.

Thinking Towards Sunday; 6 April 2014

Scriptures for the Sunday are: Mark 1:16-20; Mark 3: 13 –19

You can read these Scriptures here: NIV

also see Matthew 4:18-22 and Luke 5: 1-11

Hymns:

UMH 396 – O Jesus, I Have Promised

UMH 572 – Pass It On

Affirmation of Faith: UMH 887

Scriptures for Wednesday’s Worship Service

Romans 8:26-30; Romans 8:31-39; Genesis 32:24-31;Psalm 23

You will find NIV2010 translation of these Scriptures here: {CLICK ME}

In Memoriam: Roy Blomquist

InMemoriam_DPI

It is with a deep sense of regret I am posting this to inform the community of Christ United Methodist Church and our friends and neighbors in Chestertown and surrounding communities about passing of Roy Blomquist this morning (3/28/2014) at 1:00 am. He died at home, surrounded by friends and family. He will be remembered and missed.

Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends…

Funeral will be held at Christ United Methodist Church on Wednesday, April 2, 2014, at 11 am. Luncheon will be served immediately following the service at the church’s fellowship hall.

April 5, 2014; Lenten Cantata “Colors of Grace”

On April 5, combined choir consisting of members from Christ UMC, First UMC, St Andrews Episcopal Church and Christ IU Church will perform a cantata in our sanctuary. For more information please call the church office.

You will be blessed by the music and meaning! Spread the word!

 

P.S. Thanx to Larry W. for making up the sign and installing it on the front lawn of the church.

Latest Edition of the Lamplighter is on-line

The Lamplighter (periodical publication of Christ United Methodist Church) is published and will be available on Sunday during the Worship service. If you would like to read it on-line, use this link.

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