With a new liturgical year we enter Advent, a time defined by active waiting -- both for the nativity of Jesus and for the second coming of the Christ. This week’s Jeremiah passage offers a thumbnail summation of the season: “The days are surely coming, says the Lord, when I will fulfill the promise I made to the house of Israel and the house of Judah.” But as Jesus reminds us in our gospel text, these days of waiting can often be troubling: “There will be signs in the sun, the moon, and the stars, and on the earth distress among nations confused by the roaring of the sea and the waves.
UPCOMING WEEKS In addition to the lectionary resources there are thousands of non-lectionary, scripture based resources...
While they were still talking about this, Jesus himself stood among them and said to them, “Peace be with you.”
They were startled and frightened, thinking they saw a ghost. He said to them, “Why are you troubled, and why do doubts rise in your minds? Look at my hands and my feet. It is I myself! Touch me and see; a ghost does not have flesh and bones, as you see I have.”
Note: This installment was originally published for April 22, 2012.
During the time of the Reformation, John Foxe of England was impressed by the testimony of the early Christians. He gleaned the pages of early historical writings, and wrote a book that has become a classic in the church: Foxe's Book of Martyrs.
One story he tells is about an early church leader named Lawrence. Lawrence acted as a pastor for a church community. He also collected the offerings for the poor each week and that led to his death.
Call to Worship: Jesus said, "Peace be with you. You are witnesses to the living Christ." Let us welcome the living Christ in our worship today. Invitation to Confession:
Jesus, sometimes we are frightened and anxious. Lord, have mercy. Jesus, sometimes we aren't good witnesses to you. Christ, have mercy. Jesus, forgive us for all those things we think and do which we know are wrong.
The theme of 1 John all along has been the love of God. The author now expands that love in the phrase, "the children of God," and for the first time he considers what it means to be the children of God. Earlier, he presented love within the fellowship and now he speaks of the meaning of God's love for us and its implications for the future. The consequences and proof of the love of God are evident in being called "the children of God." He is careful to point out that the love of God is a gift; we do not earn it.
Here's the scene. The disciples are huddled together and they have just heard Simon's account of experiencing the risen Christ when Cleopas and his companion enter and add word of their encounter with the risen Christ. Luke describes the scene like this: "While they were talking about this, Jesus himself stood among them and said to them, 'Peace be with you.' They were startled and terrified, and thought they were seeing a ghost" (v. 36).
First Lesson: Acts 3:12-19 Theme: Responding to God with repentance
Call To Worship Leader: Let us test and examine our ways, and return to the Lord! People: Let us lift up our hearts and hands to God in heaven! Leader: Let us proclaim in all the world the glory due God's name! People: Let us bring our offerings into the courts of Almighty God! Leader: Let us come together and bring praise for our salvation in Christ! All: Blessed be the name of the Lord!