Easter!

Apr. 16th, 2017 09:03 am
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he is risen



Have a joyous Resurrection Sunday!
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I had to attend a meeting at the library tonight, so I missed the Maundy Thursday service (Maundy Thursday was the night of the Last Supper).

Here's a chant often meant for Holy Thursday:



Latin Text

Ubi caritas et amor, Deus ibi est.
Congregavit nos in unum Christi amor.
Exsultemus, et in ipso jucundemur.
Timeamus, et amemus Deum vivum.
Et ex corde diligamus nos sincero.
Ubi caritas et amor, Deus ibi est.
Simul ergo cum in unum congregamur:
Ne nos mente dividamur, caveamus.
Cessent iurgia maligna, cessent lites.
Et in medio nostri sit Christus Deus.
Ubi caritas et amor, Deus ibi est.
Simul quoque cum beatis videamus,
Glorianter vultum tuum, Christe Deus:
Gaudium quod est immensum, atque probum,
Saecula per infinita saeculorum. Amen.

English Translation

Where charity and love are, God is there.
Love of Christ has gathered us into one.
Let us rejoice in Him and be glad.
Let us fear, and let us love the living God.
And from a sincere heart let us love one.
Where charity and love are, God is there.
At the same time, therefore, are gathered into one:
Lest we be divided in mind, let us beware.
Let evil impulses stop, let controversy cease.
And in the midst of us be Christ our God.
Where charity and love are, God is there.
At the same time we see that with the saints also,
Thy face in glory, O Christ our God:
The joy that is immense and good, Unto the
World without end. Amen.

(From ThoughtCo.)
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Today's devotional from The Upper Room.

Luke 10:25-37 (NRSV)

10:25 Just then a lawyer stood up to test Jesus. "Teacher," he said, "what must I do to inherit eternal life?"
10:26 He said to him, "What is written in the law? What do you read there?"
10:27 He answered, "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbor as yourself."
10:28 And he said to him, "You have given the right answer; do this, and you will live."
10:29 But wanting to justify himself, he asked Jesus, "And who is my neighbor?"
10:30 Jesus replied, "A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell into the hands of robbers, who stripped him, beat him, and went away, leaving him half dead.
10:31 Now by chance a priest was going down that road; and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side.
10:32 So likewise a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side.
10:33 But a Samaritan while traveling came near him; and when he saw him, he was moved with pity.
10:34 He went to him and bandaged his wounds, having poured oil and wine on them. Then he put him on his own animal, brought him to an inn, and took care of him.
10:35 The next day he took out two denarii, gave them to the innkeeper, and said, 'Take care of him; and when I come back, I will repay you whatever more you spend.'
10:36 Which of these three, do you think, was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of the robbers?"
10:37 He said, "The one who showed him mercy." Jesus said to him, "Go and do likewise."


Today's Devotional

Many people know the story of the good Samaritan and his compassion for the man who was in crisis. I find it interesting that the verb in today’s quoted verse is “showed.” It doesn’t say “the one who spoke about mercy” but rather the one who actively “showed him mercy.” The Samaritan demonstrated his mercy by stopping his own journey, binding up the man’s wounds, transporting him to safety, and providing money so that his care would continue after he left. The Samaritan also returned and visited with the man once his journey’s obligations were finished.

The good Samaritan did not just pat the man on the head, pray over him, and then go on his way. He devoted significant time and effort, especially as someone who was considered an outcast. His involvement cost him time, money, and personal risk. Jesus told the story to teach us what being a neighbor means and what a neighbor does, even when — or especially when — it calls for great sacrifice.

Virginia Ruth (Maryland, USA)

Thought for the Day:
To whom can I show God’s mercy today?

Prayer: Heavenly Father, teach us to be good neighbors, and guide us as we show compassion to others. Amen.
Prayer Focus: For a more compassionate society
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John 12:20-36
12:20 Now among those who went up to worship at the festival were some Greeks.

12:21 They came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida in Galilee, and said to him, "Sir, we wish to see Jesus."

12:22 Philip went and told Andrew; then Andrew and Philip went and told Jesus.

12:23 Jesus answered them, "The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified.

12:24 Very truly, I tell you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains just a single grain; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.

12:25 Those who love their life lose it, and those who hate their life in this world will keep it for eternal life.

12:26 Whoever serves me must follow me, and where I am, there will my servant be also. Whoever serves me, the Father will honor.

12:27 "Now my soul is troubled. And what should I say--' Father, save me from this hour'? No, it is for this reason that I have come to this hour.

12:28 Father, glorify your name." Then a voice came from heaven, "I have glorified it, and I will glorify it again."

12:29 The crowd standing there heard it and said that it was thunder. Others said, "An angel has spoken to him."

12:30 Jesus answered, "This voice has come for your sake, not for mine.

12:31 Now is the judgment of this world; now the ruler of this world will be driven out.

12:32 And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself."

12:33 He said this to indicate the kind of death he was to die.

12:34 The crowd answered him, "We have heard from the law that the Messiah remains forever. How can you say that the Son of Man must be lifted up? Who is this Son of Man?"

12:35 Jesus said to them, "The light is with you for a little longer. Walk while you have the light, so that the darkness may not overtake you. If you walk in the darkness, you do not know where you are going.

12:36 While you have the light, believe in the light, so that you may become children of light." After Jesus had said this, he departed and hid from them.
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PALM SUNDAY

Matthew 21:1-11
New International Version (NIV)


21 As they approached Jerusalem and came to Bethphage on the Mount of Olives, Jesus sent two disciples,
2 saying to them, “Go to the village ahead of you, and at once you will find a donkey tied there, with her colt by her. Untie them and bring them to me. 3 If anyone says anything to you, say that the Lord needs them, and he will send them right away.”
4 This took place to fulfill what was spoken through the prophet:

“Say to Daughter Zion,
    ‘See, your king comes to you,
gentle and riding on a donkey,
    and on a colt, the foal of a donkey.’”
6 The disciples went and did as Jesus had instructed them.
7 They brought the donkey and the colt and placed their cloaks on them for Jesus to sit on.
8 A very large crowd spread their cloaks on the road, while others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road.
9 The crowds that went ahead of him and those that followed shouted,
“Hosanna to the Son of David!”
“Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!”
“Hosanna in the highest heaven!”
10 When Jesus entered Jerusalem, the whole city was stirred and asked, “Who is this?”
11 The crowds answered, “This is Jesus, the prophet from Nazareth in Galilee.”

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Lost in love: A Wesley hymn devotion for Lent

A UMC.org Feature by Joe Iovino*
March 27, 2017



This is the third of four hymn devotions for Lent. Read more musical devotions.

What does it mean to live as a Christian? How can we continue to grow in our faith? Charles Wesley’s “Love Divine, All Loves Excelling” is a prayer for God to guide us in our spiritual journeys throughout our lives.

Serving at a health clinic in Florida.

Lent is a time when many choose to grow spiritually by serving their communities. File photo by Mike DuBose, United Methodist Communications.

Lent is a time when many Christians focus intentionally on spiritual growth. Some attend Lenten soup suppers and Bible studies at their church. Others volunteer at the local food bank, join a spring break mission trip, or visit the lonely. Many others choose to donate to ministries near and far that work for justice and support those affected by unjust systems.

John Wesley, a founder of the Methodist movement and Charles’ big brother, called these activities means of grace. They are things we do to put ourselves in a posture to receive God’s grace in our lives (see The Means of Grace, II 1).

Some of these means of grace are worship and our devotional lives. They also include times of serving our neighbors and standing up for justice. Those who participate in these practices experience a deepening of their faith and understanding.

John called this process sanctification, or becoming “perfected in love.” He writes in a sermon, “If thou wilt be perfect… add love… It is not only the first and great command, but it is all the commandments in one” (The Circumcision of the Heart, I 11).

He is echoing Jesus’ answer when asked what the greatest commandment is: “You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your being, and with all your mind... [and] You must love your neighbor as you love yourself” (Matthew 22:37-40 CEB, cf. Mark 12:28-31 & Luke 10:25-28).

For the Wesleys growing as a Christian is all about being filled with love, which happens by the grace of God.

In an episode of UMC.org’s podcast Get Your Spirit in Shape, United Methodist Wesley scholar the Rev. Paul Chilcote describes sanctifying grace as “grace that pulls us forward, magnetically draws us deeper into love—God’s love for us and our love for others.”

“Love Divine All Loves Excelling” is a prayer for God to pull us deeper into love.

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Psalm 18:30-36

As for God, his way is perfect:
The Lord’s word is flawless;
he shields all who take refuge in him.
For who is God besides the Lord?
And who is the Rock except our God?
It is God who arms me with strength
and keeps my way secure.
He makes my feet like the feet of a deer;
he causes me to stand on the heights.
He trains my hands for battle;
my arms can bend a bow of bronze.
You make your saving help my shield,
and your right hand sustains me;
your help has made me great.
You provide a broad path for my feet,
so that my ankles do not give way.
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I've been spending a lot of time in the garden lately, so this verse comes to mind:

Zechariah 10:1

Ask rain from the LORD at the time of the spring rain-- The LORD who makes the storm clouds; And He will give them showers of rain, vegetation in the field to each man.


This is not my current garden, which has barely been started, but a picture from a few years ago, and a promise of blessings to come!

back yard veggie bed
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This is so cute! I love how enthusiastic these little kids are:

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"Grant us, Lord God, a vision of your world as your love would have it:
a world where the weak are protected, and none go hungry or poor;
a world where the riches of creation are shared, and everyone can enjoy them;
a world where different races and cultures live in harmony and mutual respect;
a world where peace is built with justice, and justice is guided by love.
Give us the inspiration and courage to build it, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen."


From the United Church of Christ, Prayers for Justice
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This is such a lovely rendition. I have never heard this instrument before, but it sounds so beautiful.

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