Fourth Sunday of Easter

I think I need to embrace my natural schedule of getting these posts up Saturday night, and maybe even just do the post during class time Sunday, and we can then use the week’s post as a forum to continue our discussion from class and to talk about the readings in the context of the sermon. What does everyone think of that idea? Please think about it and leave a comment!

The theme for April 17th, 2016 is Resurrection Impact: Sing with Angels.

I always like Bible stories that don’t differentiate the roles of women and men, and the first reading is one of those. Tabitha is just a disciple, like any other disciple.

Good ol’ Psalm 23…I can just hum my way through it, don’t even really need to click the link.

I said it last week…I never know what to make of Revelation. Works best for me as maybe a kind of artistic stream of consciousness expression of devotion? Something like that. What do you think? Chunks of it make for good sacred music lyrics–I certainly recognize a bunch of phrases from this reading.

Jesus’ answer to the people asking if he’s the Messiah reminds me a lot of John Steinbeck’s response to accusations leveled at him after publishing The Grapes of Wrath, which you can read here:

John Steinbeck on Racism and Bigotry

It’s a strategy we’d all do well to keep in mind…don’t rise to the bait of those who have already proved they’re not willing to listen to what you have to say. Have you ever noticed that Jesus is really, really awesome about not taking the bait? He’s always responding to people similarly to how he responds in this week’s Gospel. “Hey, I can see right through what you’re trying to do here, so let me respond to what’s really going on.” And then he always knows when to stop, too: he says his piece, and he’s done. Onus is on you to listen or not; he makes it clear he’s put the ball in your court.

Third Sunday of Easter

Welp, I’m real late again this week. Goal for next week: get this post up Wednesday evening!

The theme for April 10th, 2016 is Resurrection Impact: Be a Name Changer.

Here are the readings:

The conversion of Saul! And I never know how to feel about Revelation. And the gospel, seems to me, boils down to “actions speak louder than words” or “let your actions speak for themselves.

Come tell us what you think!

Second Sunday of Easter

All caught up! Those weeks before Easter really got busy. But Easter is all about new beginnings, right? So here we go!

The theme for April 3, 2016, the second Sunday of Easter, is “Resurrection Impact: Blind Faith.”

Reading biblical passages where Peter or Paul stand by their convictions regarding Jesus often makes me wonder if things are more or less complicated or difficult today. It feels more difficult and messy from where I’m standing, but I think the early apostles would look at me and say, “well at least you know you won’t lose your life or your liberty for talking about Jesus!” But what else is at stake for us that’s different than what was at stake for early Christians? Who do you think has a harder job? Maybe it’s just hard in different ways and we’re comparing apples and oranges here.

Let’s talk about it! Write a comment; tweet @UnClassTLC #BlindFaith; or join us in room 125 this Sunday at 9:30. Many of us bring one or both kids to this class when they’re not in the mood for kid Sunday School, so if you think you can’t make it because your kid doesn’t do SCS, just bring ’em! Hope to hear from you one way or another!

Easter Sunday!

There was no Sunday School on Easter Sunday anyway, but I didn’t want a missing blog post! I’m also including the readings for the week leading up to Easter here:

Maundy Thursday, March 24, 2016: “One Cup”

The format of the Maundy Thursday service was really neat, with a bunch of stuff around the Nave to participate in–a group art project that was displayed on Easter; foot washing; lighting candles; seashells in the baptismal font; communion at the altar; individual prayers and blessings with the pastors; and written prayers placed on a wooden cross. My 4 year old daughter PJ prayed that her friend would learn how to ride her bike, and then she and I washed each others’ feet, which was quite moving for me.

Easter Vigil, March 26, 2016: “One Hope”

 

Easter Sunday! March 27, 2016: “Resurrection Days”

I like the new schedule for Easter started last year, with the extra service at 9:30. It’s perfect for our family! How did you celebrate Easter this year? I hope you had a happy, joyful weekend!

Passion Sunday/Palm Sunday

Playing catch-up…

The theme on March 20th for Passion/Palm Sunday was “Today You Will Be With Me In Paradise.” The readings were:

If you didn’t hear it in church, I really recommend listening to the mp3 of one of the “readings and reflections based on Luke” part of the service. The gospel lesson and the sermon were combined into this one section of the service, and the words you’re used to hearing were just a bit different and updated without being a huge change, but more than enough to get you thinking about things and experiencing it in a new way. I really enjoyed and appreciated the unexpected format.

To listen to it, follow the link in the header to Trinity’s sermons and look for March 19 & 20, 2016.

Fifth Sunday in Lent

Just catching up now…see the next post for my lateness excuses!

The theme for the Fifth Sunday in Lent, which was last week, March 13, 2016, was “Outpouring Love” with the emphasis on the Gospel lesson of Mary washing Jesus’ feet with expensive perfume:

Scripture Readings:

You can find the sermons in the usual spot on Trinity’s website (link is also above, under the header of the blog!) I liked Pastor Easton’s sermon and the way she tied in the word “Prodigal” again and its meaning, which I had never thought about before. I really liked thinking about how the *father* was also prodigal in the previous gospel lesson, and how Mary was being prodigal by using the expensive oil on Jesus.

Fourth Sunday in Lent

I’m so late this week! The busy schedule of evening activities & a sick kiddo has been catching up with me. Also, I’m on a bit of a reading bender, trying to keep up with the books I’ve reserved as they become available on my Kindle!

This Sunday’s theme is Coming Home:

The emphasis is on the Gospel lesson from Luke. It’s the parable of the prodigal son! I also like the message in 2 Corinthians, that everyone is a new creation in Christ. I think it could be a very powerful thing if we all tried to view each other, and ourselves, with that in mind!

Third Sunday in Lent

The theme for this Sunday, February 28, 2016, the Third Sunday in Lent, is:

Time for Grace

The emphasis will be on the first lesson from Isaiah, and the Gospel.

The Isaiah passage puts me right back to our discussion from two weeks ago, about mindlessly using our phones: “Why do you spend your money for that which is not bread, and your labor for that which does not satisfy?” Why, indeed. What else do we spend our time and money on that doesn’t truly satisfy us? So many things!

Then from the Psalm: “My soul is satisfied as with a rich feast” when I praise God and meditate on God’s plan for my life; can you think of a strategy to help redirect your thoughts when you’re tempted to “spend your labor on that which does not satisfy”?

Yet more talk of food in Corinthians…kinda cruel for everyone giving up favorite food items for Lent!

Luke breaks the food theme, although I suppose the fig tree kinda counts. Where is there time for grace given in the Gospel reading? When have you given or been given time for grace?

If I quit spending my time and money on “that which does not satisfy,” and instead turned my heart to God as in the Psalm, maybe then I’d have more time for grace in my life, both to give and to receive it!