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Devotionals

Easter Sunday Devotion – Indeed!

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Easter Sunday Devotion – Indeed!

Easter Sunday, April 16 Resurrection Day Matthew 28:1-10 Christ is risen! He is risen, indeed! The family sat down at the dining room table, getting ready to enjoy their Easter dinner. The father exclaimed, “Boy, am I hungry!” To which his five-year-old child responded, “I am hungry, indeed!” “What do you mean, ‘I am hungry, indeed!’” the father asked. The five-year-old replied, “The preacher said in church today, if you feel something really strongly, you should say, ‘Indeed!’ – and I am hungry, indeed!” Indeed –...

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Holy Saturday Devotion – I Will Rise Again

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Holy Saturday Devotion – I Will Rise Again

Holy Saturday, April 15 The Burial of Jesus Matthew 27:57-66 Waiting is probably one of the most challenging disciplines we all face as we are eager to get news about one thing or another. It could be something like the report of a test result from the doctor or waiting for a loved one to return from a trip away from home. Often it seems as though waiting and anxiety go together. During the time between Good Friday and Easter, I’m sure there was a lot of anxiety among the disciples and even unbelievers about the reality of the death of Jesus...

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Good Friday Devotion – We Did It

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Good Friday Devotion – We Did It

Good Friday, April 14 Jesus Is Crucified Matthew 27:33-50 He saved others; he cannot save himself. (Matthew 27:42a) Even though the religious elite knew that Jesus was the son of Mary and Joseph, they joined the bullying mob in taunting the crucified Jesus into coming down from the cross. Didn’t they care that his mom was right there? As gravity pulled on his inflamed wounds, the noon sun thickened the smell of blood, sweat, and bitter wine. Many just remained at the foot of the cross like spectators at the end of a lynching mob; unmoved to...

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Maundy Thursday Devotion – Communal Communion

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Maundy Thursday Devotion – Communal Communion

Maundy Thursday, April 13 Jesus Is Mocked and Stripped Matthew 27:27-31 Maundy Thursday is traditionally when the church memorializes the first communion: Jesus gathering with his disciples in an upper room to share bread, wine, and unity in faith. But the insult, injury, and solitary suffering described in today’s scripture sound like they belong to another story altogether. Certainly, Jesus foretold of his own fate when he described that Last Supper’s bread as his body broken for us. He must have known the violence that waited for him....

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Holy Wednesday Devotion – Truly Listen

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Holy Wednesday Devotion – Truly Listen

Holy Wednesday, April 12 Jesus Is Sentenced to Death Matthew 26:57-66 I struggled with this whole passage from Matthew and our theme of “Faithful Living.” Jesus’ faithfulness is so apparent in this scripture in his willingness to go forward onto the Passion. But where are there other signs of how to live faithfully in this text? There is Peter, lurking on the edges of the proceedings. He is too invested to leave, but not brave enough to come forward. And then there are the chief priests and the council, waiting, expecting to hear just...

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Holy Week Devotion – Choose Wisely

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Holy Week Devotion – Choose Wisely

Holy Tuesday, April 11 The Betrayal of Jesus Matthew 26:47-56 As I read this scripture, I thought of the saying: Live by the sword, die by the sword. Any glimpse of Roman history is colored by bombastic battles, gladiators fighting in the Colosseum with animals and using spears, swords, and other tools of war in death matches. It is fascinating to me that it seems that the one who is drawing his sword is not one of the disciples but a person in the crowd who was willing to take whatever action he deemed necessary to prevent the arrest of...

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Holy Week Devotion – Learn of Jesus to Pray

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Holy Week Devotion – Learn of Jesus to Pray

Holy Monday, April 10 Jesus Prays at Gethsemane Scripture: Matthew 26:36-46 Since I have sung in choirs for 72 years, I am going to take liberty and quote the words from the Hymnbook for Christian Worship: Go to dark Gethsemane, Ye that feel the tempter’s power, Your Redeemer’s conflict see, Watch with him one bitter hour: Turn not from his griefs away; Learn of Jesus Christ to pray. After the supper, Jesus wanted to pray, so Peter, James, and John accompanied Him to the olive grove garden called Gethsemane. Jesus asked them to wait...

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Holy Week Devotion – All Glory, Laud, & Honor

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Holy Week Devotion – All Glory, Laud, & Honor

Holy Week Palm/Passion Sunday, April 9 All Glory, Laud, and Honor Chalice Hymnal No. 192 The Palm/Passion Sunday processional is a lengthy one. It stretches from the streets of ancient Jerusalem in the week that Jesus died. It moves across approximately nineteen hundred and eighty years on up to this very Sunday. There is much to enrich our pilgrim processional along the way. We stop first in the eighth century and hear the faithful sing (in Latin) the very words we sing today: “All glory, laud and honor, to you, Redeemer King!” Our words...

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Lenten Devotion – The Art of Living Faithfully

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Lenten Devotion – The Art of Living Faithfully

Saturday, April 8 Scripture: Matthew 26:14-30 A part of living faithfully is to participate in rituals that are important to one’s belief. The Passover meal is an example of a ritual that has been practiced by believers to remember that they were once slaves in Egypt and were delivered from bondage. It was a reminder of where the Jewish people were and who they are to become. The disciples began to prepare for the seder meal with Jesus. It was to be a relaxing time as dictated in tradition, a night to be with loved ones. These chosen twelve...

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Lenten Devotion – Many Names, One Meaning

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Lenten Devotion – Many Names, One Meaning

Friday, April 7 Scripture: Matthew 26:14-30 Why would Judas want to betray Jesus? Judas like the other disciples expected Jesus to start a political rebellion and overthrow Rome. As treasurer, Judas assumed, as did the other disciples, that he would be given an important position in Jesus’ new government. When Jesus praised Mary for pouring out a perfume worth a year’s salary, Judas may have realized that Jesus’ Kingdom was not physical or political, but spiritual. So, Judas became greedy and unfaithful and betrayed Jesus in exchange for...

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