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Easter Sunday Devotion – Alleluia!!

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Easter Sunday Devotion – Alleluia!!

“The women were terrified and bowed their faces to the ground, but the men said to them, ‘Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here, but has risen. Remember how he told you, while he was still in Galilee, that the Son of Man must be handed over to sinners, and be crucified, and on the third day rise again.’ Then they remembered his words, and returning from the tomb, they told all this to the eleven and to all the rest.” Luke 24:5-9 Gracious, heavenly God, today we remember the time long ago when faithful women...

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Holy Saturday Devotion – The Burial of Jesus

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Holy Saturday Devotion – The Burial of Jesus

Luke 23:50-56 The Gospel of Luke gives us just a few sentences to get to know Joseph of Arimathea. We learn he was both “good and righteous” and that although he was a part of the Jewish high council that condemned Jesus, Joseph was a believer in Jesus and did not support what had happened. I can imagine that he requested the body of Jesus for burial in his own plot at great personal risk, not only to his standing in the community, but also to his very life. Despite how little we know about Joseph of Arimathea, we know enough to realize...

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Good Friday – The Death of Jesus

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Good Friday – The Death of Jesus

Luke 23:44-49 Easter Day this year is on March 27, which makes a short time between Christmas and the Lenten season. As I was putting away our Christmas decorations, I began to take down the manger scene. First I put away the Shepherds, then the Wise Men, Mary and Joseph were next, then I paused; there was one left. I also was in the process of thinking what would I write for this Good Friday meditation and here I am wrapping up what represented the Birth of Jesus. I was confused to say the least. The song I Wonder as I Wander began to come...

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Maundy Thursday – The Crucifixion of Jesus

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Maundy Thursday – The Crucifixion of Jesus

Luke 23:26-43 At suppertime on Maundy Thursday, Jesus was on top. Revered by friends who called him host to their dinner table, grateful just to break bread with him, he was a man of authority and respect. But outside that room, in other social circles, Jesus knows what it is to be on the margins. He has been spat on, called names, and sentenced to death for his ethnicity and his refusal to submit to the demands of those in power outside his walls. Those who have found him guilty of refusing to obey the law shout, “Crucify him!” But Jesus...

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Holy Week Devotion – Jesus Sentenced to Death

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Holy Week Devotion – Jesus Sentenced to Death

Luke 23:13-15 Of course the politician in the congregation gets this text…. What is the story of the “trial” of Jesus? Luke informed us earlier in verse 2 that the Sanhedrin (who apparently all came along to bring charges) pressed three charges against Jesus, all of which were political (against the state), and none of which were religious. The charges against Jesus were: 1. stirring up unrest and rebellion: “subverting our nation” 2. opposing taxation by Rome 3. claiming to be a king. These, of course, were very serious crimes...

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Holy Week Devotion – The Betrayal and Arrest of Jesus

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Holy Week Devotion – The Betrayal and Arrest of Jesus

Luke 22:47-53 … but Jesus said to him, “Judas, are you betraying the Son of Man with a kiss?” Luke 22:48 Throughout the Bible we are reminded of human fallibility. This is certainly the worst of it. God continues throughout the Bible to use human beings to bring his messages and will to us. Despite this fallibility, God continues to use us to bring His will here on earth. As Christians we struggle to do the right thing. In my old age I hear the explanation that Judas probably thought he was doing the right thing. Jesus would...

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Holy Week Devotion – The Plot to Kill Jesus

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Holy Week Devotion – The Plot to Kill Jesus

Luke 22:1-6 What motivated Judas to enter into the plot to kill Jesus is unclear, but what is clear is that Judas allowed his desires to place him in a position where Satan could influence him. Judas accepted money from religious leaders to set up Jesus to be identified by the guards. Judas has done us a favor!!! Let us think about our commitment to God and the presence of God’s Spirit within us. Are we true disciples and followers, or uncommitted pretenders? We can choose despair and death, but we thank you, Lord, today for your gift of...

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Palm Sunday Devotion – Ah, Holy Jesus, How Hast Thou Offended

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Palm Sunday Devotion – Ah, Holy Jesus, How Hast Thou Offended

Ah, Holy Jesus, How Hast Thou Offended Chalice Hymnal No. 210 Reproaches sting. We’ve all felt the bite when someone points out our wrongdoing, mistakes, or weaknesses. Even admitting these shortcomings to ourselves can be painful. Yet reproach is sometimes a necessary or helpful step to healing and wholeness. In the Good Friday liturgies of many Christian churches, the choir or congregation joins in singing or reciting the “Reproaches” as people come forward to show reverence for the cross. The recurring antiphon sums up well the spirit...

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Lenten Devotion – Overcome Jealousy

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Lenten Devotion – Overcome Jealousy

Saturday, March 19 Luke 19:28-40, 45-48 Everywhere Jesus went, the people followed him. They heard him teach, shared meals with him, and saw him perform wonders beyond belief. He captured the imagination of the people, he was a “celebrity” in his own right and the crowds adored him. Jesus came to Jerusalem at the height of his fame. He would be welcomed into the Holy City with shouts of praise, blankets at his feet and palm branches waving. It was a hero’s welcome, a parade for him. Everything seemed so right. “Blessed is the King who...

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Lenten Devotion – Conquering Through Love

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Lenten Devotion – Conquering Through Love

Friday, March 18 Luke 19:28-40, 45-48 The great hymn Ride On, Ride On in Majesty – composed by Graham George in 1913, based on the hymn tune The King’s Majesty, composed by Henry Milman (1791-1868) – beautifully illustrates Luke’s text for this week: Jesus rides into Jerusalem on a borrowed colt, to acclamation from crowds along the way. This scripture reveals starkly contrasting images. The first image shows Jesus making a humble entrance into Jerusalem, not as a conquering Roman emperor might, with horsedrawn chariots and...

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