Holy Week Schedule

 Holy Thursday ~ April 18 @ 7PM

Community Cross Walk ~ April 19 @ 5:30 PM 

Holy Friday ~ April 19 @ 7 PM

Easter Sunday ~ April 21 @ 9 & 11 AM
 

 Sunday Worship:  9 & 11 AM  /             Hispanic Worship 10 AM 

A soul-nourishing Profession

“You are the Messiah, Son of the         Living God.”

Matthew 16:16

In just few words Peter declared that his focus was on Jesus, at least for a while. Peter’s discipleship ebbed and flowed to be sure; he offered this grand profession when everything was going well, then when it seemed like this “Jesus thing” was coming apart at the seams he dwelled in a state of denial. Confession is all about re-directing our “profession” from ourselves, the me-isms and I-isms, to Jesus, the “Son of the living God.” The challenge is to have our profession of faith in Christ be enduring especially during times of greatest need. It is interesting to hear what others think of Jesus, and if we are honest in our confession, many times what we may hear hits closer to home than we would care to admit. What Jesus proclaims is fairly obvious; grace, peace, hope, joy, and a life of selfless devotion to God. So what happens when our focus is redirected, when we believe we are in charge and everything becomes “me” focused? What happens when we see Jesus as one with a lot of good things to say but forget just who he is? What happens when we fail to truly love our neighbor, especially those we profoundly disagree with or have hurt us. What happens when we love ourselves more than God, failing to love God with all our mind, strength and soul? The answer to these questions is fairly obvious as well; we stop listening and start demanding; we become not only judge but jury; we build barriers around ourselves so we are not able to hear the opinions or see the challenges of others. But when we truly profess Jesus to be “the Messiah, the Son of the Living God,” we relinquish control and put it where it belongs; in the hands of Jesus. Maybe, just maybe our anxiety and stress level is due to thinking we can live life in a bubble or thinking somehow we will eventually be able to solve every one of our issues on our own. A healthy approach to living a life of joy and peace is to let go of trying to control everything and instead proclaim Jesus as the Son of the Living God! In so doing, our souls are freed from the burden of self-righteousness and will truly see people as children of God. Profession of faith in Jesus Christ as the “Son of the Living God” opens a whole new world that is incredibly freeing, calming, and hope-filled. So, what’s in your soul? God is good, all the!
 

Pastor Tom




Pastor Tom’s Prayer for Lent                                                                                                                                                            Gracious and merciful God, as we enter into the season of Lent, in preparation for the grand celebration of the resurrection of your son, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, help us to draw closer to you, not only leaving behind what has been hindering us from a closer relationship with you but also ridding ourselves of those things that keep us from truly loving others as we are loved by you. May we take time to consider your Word of grace, mercy, and peace. So often we give things up during this season only to pick them back up again and continue down the path we have always taken. Forgive us, Lord, for not seeking you out and for taking ourselves more seriously than we take you. Forgive us, Lord for not forgiving others as we have been forgiven, not offering grace as we have been offered grace, for putting ourselves in the position of judge and jury over the people you love. Anoint us by the power of your Holy Spirit to be set free from all that hinders us from you and celebrating the lives of others. May we, from this point forward live lives transformed by your grace, celebrating every moment we have been given as a gift from you. During this season of Lent, help us to take time to be holy and truly live as Easter people, walking in the way that leads to life eternal. In Jesus’ Name.  Amen   During the season of Lent, the Sunday sermon series will be, “For the people Jesus loved.”  Please read and pray over the texts for each week.  Remember the words of Jesus according to John 3:17: “God did not send his son into the world to condemn the world but in order that the world may be saved through him.” Take time, even 15 minutes a day to pray for all of God’s people, especially for those you do not understand or perhaps even dislike remembering they are beloved children of God just as you are beloved. As we “give up” things for Lent, may we continue to give them up beyond these 40 days and “take up” those things that offer peace, love, hope, and joy to others. Sunday Scripture texts: March 10:  Matthew 18:10-14.   March 17: Matthew 18:15-20.  March 24:  Matthew 18:21-22.  March 31: Matthew 20:1-16.  April 7:  Matthew 11:25-30.   Scripture to consider throughout the season of Lent:  Romans 8:34-39, John 3:16-17, Luke 23:34, Philippians 2:1-11.   I invite you to celebrate the holy season of Lent and may you draw even closer to the heart of God so that your witness may offer the hope, peace, grace, and joy of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.                                                                                                                                                          Pastor Tom

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