Easter, New Life for Us All

April 5, 2015
Opening Hymns:
322 Up from the Grave He Arose

Scripture Reading:
John 20:1-18

20:1 Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene came to the tomb and saw that the stone had been removed from the tomb.

20:2 So she ran and went to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one whom Jesus loved, and said to them, "They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid him."

20:3 Then Peter and the other disciple set out and went toward the tomb.

20:4 The two were running together, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first.

20:5 He bent down to look in and saw the linen wrappings lying there, but he did not go in.

20:6 Then Simon Peter came, following him, and went into the tomb. He saw the linen wrappings lying there,

20:7 and the cloth that had been on Jesus' head, not lying with the linen wrappings but rolled up in a place by itself.

20:8 Then the other disciple, who reached the tomb first, also went in, and he saw and believed;

20:9 for as yet they did not understand the scripture, that he must rise from the dead.

20:10 Then the disciples returned to their homes.

20:11 But Mary stood weeping outside the tomb. As she wept, she bent over to look into the tomb;

20:12 and she saw two angels in white, sitting where the body of Jesus had been lying, one at the head and the other at the feet.

20:13 They said to her, "Woman, why are you weeping?" She said to them, "They have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid him."

20:14 When she had said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not know that it was Jesus.

20:15 Jesus said to her, "Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you looking for?" Supposing him to be the gardener, she said to him, "Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have laid him, and I will take him away."

20:16 Jesus said to her, "Mary!" She turned and said to him in Hebrew, "Rabbouni!" (which means Teacher).

20:17 Jesus said to her, "Do not hold on to me, because I have not yet ascended to the Father. But go to my brothers and say to them, 'I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.'"

20:18 Mary Magdalene went and announced to the disciples, "I have seen the Lord"; and she told them that he had said these things to her.

Today death has been conquered. Weeping has turned into shouts of joy. For though our Lord and Savior died for us, he has risen! Death had no hold on Him. We are freed from our sin, and we are saved from the death and punishment that was to befall us.

We celebrate Easter in the spring. Looking outside, and seeing the green start to poke through the dirt is so exciting. Though the weather seems to change slowly, it’s easy to see that spring is finally on its way. Life is coming back into the ground. Something in my spirit lifts when I smell the new smells, and see the new sights that spring brings.

However, sometimes the challenges of life, and the struggles that we face make it difficult to celebrate. Through our guilt from sin we might not understand how God can forgive us. We might not know how great God’s love is. It can be hard to let go of our winter, and accept the new life that can sprout in us.

Today as I read the scriptures and sing the hymns I try to let the winter in my heart melt. Accepting the forgiveness that comes from Jesus, and allowing the new life to grow through my sin and mistakes. There is a Savior. He brings us something more beautiful than spring. A new life for each and every one of us.      

Time of Prayer
Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for the changing of the seasons in our world, and in our lives. Let us accept the beautiful gift of love and forgiveness that You have given us through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen

The Lord’s Prayer

Closing Hymn
327 Crown Him with Many Crowns

Christ is risen!
He is risen indeed! Alleluia!


Jesus' Sacrifice

April 3, 2015
Opening Hymns:
Where You There When They Crucified My Lord

Scripture Reading:
John 18:1-19:42

18:1 After Jesus had spoken these words, he went out with his disciples across the Kidron valley to a place where there was a garden, which he and his disciples entered.

18:2 Now Judas, who betrayed him, also knew the place, because Jesus often met there with his disciples.

18:3 So Judas brought a detachment of soldiers together with police from the chief priests and the Pharisees, and they came there with lanterns and torches and weapons.

18:4 Then Jesus, knowing all that was to happen to him, came forward and asked them, "Whom are you looking for?"

18:5 They answered, "Jesus of Nazareth." Jesus replied, "I am he." Judas, who betrayed him, was standing with them.

18:6 When Jesus said to them, "I am he," they stepped back and fell to the ground.

18:7 Again he asked them, "Whom are you looking for?" And they said, "Jesus of Nazareth."

18:8 Jesus answered, "I told you that I am he. So if you are looking for me, let these men go."

18:9 This was to fulfill the word that he had spoken, "I did not lose a single one of those whom you gave me."

18:10 Then Simon Peter, who had a sword, drew it, struck the high priest's slave, and cut off his right ear. The slave's name was Malchus.

18:11 Jesus said to Peter, "Put your sword back into its sheath. Am I not to drink the cup that the Father has given me?"

18:12 So the soldiers, their officer, and the Jewish police arrested Jesus and bound him.

18:13 First they took him to Annas, who was the father-in-law of Caiaphas, the high priest that year.

18:14 Caiaphas was the one who had advised the Jews that it was better to have one person die for the people.

18:15 Simon Peter and another disciple followed Jesus. Since that disciple was known to the high priest, he went with Jesus into the courtyard of the high priest,

18:16 but Peter was standing outside at the gate. So the other disciple, who was known to the high priest, went out, spoke to the woman who guarded the gate, and brought Peter in.

18:17 The woman said to Peter, "You are not also one of this man's disciples, are you?" He said, "I am not."

18:18 Now the slaves and the police had made a charcoal fire because it was cold, and they were standing around it and warming themselves. Peter also was standing with them and warming himself.

18:19 Then the high priest questioned Jesus about his disciples and about his teaching.

18:20 Jesus answered, "I have spoken openly to the world; I have always taught in synagogues and in the temple, where all the Jews come together. I have said nothing in secret.

18:21 Why do you ask me? Ask those who heard what I said to them; they know what I said."

18:22 When he had said this, one of the police standing nearby struck Jesus on the face, saying, "Is that how you answer the high priest?"

18:23 Jesus answered, "If I have spoken wrongly, testify to the wrong. But if I have spoken rightly, why do you strike me?"

18:24 Then Annas sent him bound to Caiaphas the high priest.

18:25 Now Simon Peter was standing and warming himself. They asked him, "You are not also one of his disciples, are you?" He denied it and said, "I am not."

18:26 One of the slaves of the high priest, a relative of the man whose ear Peter had cut off, asked, "Did I not see you in the garden with him?"

18:27 Again Peter denied it, and at that moment the cock crowed.

18:28 Then they took Jesus from Caiaphas to Pilate's headquarters. It was early in the morning. They themselves did not enter the headquarters, so as to avoid ritual defilement and to be able to eat the Passover.

18:29 So Pilate went out to them and said, "What accusation do you bring against this man?"

18:30 They answered, "If this man were not a criminal, we would not have handed him over to you."

18:31 Pilate said to them, "Take him yourselves and judge him according to your law." The Jews replied, "We are not permitted to put anyone to death."

18:32 (This was to fulfill what Jesus had said when he indicated the kind of death he was to die.)

18:33 Then Pilate entered the headquarters again, summoned Jesus, and asked him, "Are you the King of the Jews?"

18:34 Jesus answered, "Do you ask this on your own, or did others tell you about me?"

18:35 Pilate replied, "I am not a Jew, am I? Your own nation and the chief priests have handed you over to me. What have you done?"

18:36 Jesus answered, "My kingdom is not from this world. If my kingdom were from this world, my followers would be fighting to keep me from being handed over to the Jews. But as it is, my kingdom is not from here."

18:37 Pilate asked him, "So you are a king?" Jesus answered, "You say that I am a king. For this I was born, and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone who belongs to the truth listens to my voice."

18:38 Pilate asked him, "What is truth?" After he had said this, he went out to the Jews again and told them, "I find no case against him.

18:39 But you have a custom that I release someone for you at the Passover. Do you want me to release for you the King of the Jews?"

18:40 They shouted in reply, "Not this man, but Barabbas!" Now Barabbas was a bandit.

19:1 Then Pilate took Jesus and had him flogged.

19:2 And the soldiers wove a crown of thorns and put it on his head, and they dressed him in a purple robe.

19:3 They kept coming up to him, saying, "Hail, King of the Jews!" and striking him on the face.

19:4 Pilate went out again and said to them, "Look, I am bringing him out to you to let you know that I find no case against him."

19:5 So Jesus came out, wearing the crown of thorns and the purple robe. Pilate said to them, "Here is the man!"

19:6 When the chief priests and the police saw him, they shouted, "Crucify him! Crucify him!" Pilate said to them, "Take him yourselves and crucify him; I find no case against him."

19:7 The Jews answered him, "We have a law, and according to that law he ought to die because he has claimed to be the Son of God."

19:8 Now when Pilate heard this, he was more afraid than ever.

19:9 He entered his headquarters again and asked Jesus, "Where are you from?" But Jesus gave him no answer.

19:10 Pilate therefore said to him, "Do you refuse to speak to me? Do you not know that I have power to release you, and power to crucify you?"

19:11 Jesus answered him, "You would have no power over me unless it had been given you from above; therefore the one who handed me over to you is guilty of a greater sin."

19:12 From then on Pilate tried to release him, but the Jews cried out, "If you release this man, you are no friend of the emperor. Everyone who claims to be a king sets himself against the emperor."

19:13 When Pilate heard these words, he brought Jesus outside and sat on the judge's bench at a place called The Stone Pavement, or in Hebrew Gabbatha.

19:14 Now it was the day of Preparation for the Passover; and it was about noon. He said to the Jews, "Here is your King!"

19:15 They cried out, "Away with him! Away with him! Crucify him!" Pilate asked them, "Shall I crucify your King?" The chief priests answered, "We have no king but the emperor."

19:16 Then he handed him over to them to be crucified. So they took Jesus;

19:17 and carrying the cross by himself, he went out to what is called The Place of the Skull, which in Hebrew is called Golgotha.

19:18 There they crucified him, and with him two others, one on either side, with Jesus between them.

19:19 Pilate also had an inscription written and put on the cross. It read, "Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews."

19:20 Many of the Jews read this inscription, because the place where Jesus was crucified was near the city; and it was written in Hebrew, in Latin, and in Greek.

19:21 Then the chief priests of the Jews said to Pilate, "Do not write, 'The King of the Jews,' but, 'This man said, I am King of the Jews.'"

19:22 Pilate answered, "What I have written I have written."

19:23 When the soldiers had crucified Jesus, they took his clothes and divided them into four parts, one for each soldier. They also took his tunic; now the tunic was seamless, woven in one piece from the top. 19:24

So they said to one another, "Let us not tear it, but cast lots for it to see who will get it." This was to fulfill what the scripture says, "They divided my clothes among themselves, and for my clothing they cast lots."

19:25 And that is what the soldiers did. Meanwhile, standing near the cross of Jesus were his mother, and his mother's sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene.

19:26 When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple whom he loved standing beside her, he said to his mother, "Woman, here is your son."

19:27 Then he said to the disciple, "Here is your mother." And from that hour the disciple took her into his own home.

19:28 After this, when Jesus knew that all was now finished, he said (in order to fulfill the scripture), "I am thirsty."

19:29 A jar full of sour wine was standing there. So they put a sponge full of the wine on a branch of hyssop and held it to his mouth.

19:30 When Jesus had received the wine, he said, "It is finished." Then he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.

19:31 Since it was the day of Preparation, the Jews did not want the bodies left on the cross during the sabbath, especially because that sabbath was a day of great solemnity. So they asked Pilate to have the legs of the crucified men broken and the bodies removed.

19:32 Then the soldiers came and broke the legs of the first and of the other who had been crucified with him.

19:33 But when they came to Jesus and saw that he was already dead, they did not break his legs.

19:34 Instead, one of the soldiers pierced his side with a spear, and at once blood and water came out.

19:35 (He who saw this has testified so that you also may believe. His testimony is true, and he knows that he tells the truth.)

19:36 These things occurred so that the scripture might be fulfilled, "None of his bones shall be broken."

19:37 And again another passage of scripture says, "They will look on the one whom they have pierced."

19:38 After these things, Joseph of Arimathea, who was a disciple of Jesus, though a secret one because of his fear of the Jews, asked Pilate to let him take away the body of Jesus. Pilate gave him permission; so he came and removed his body.

19:39 Nicodemus, who had at first come to Jesus by night, also came, bringing a mixture of myrrh and aloes, weighing about a hundred pounds.

19:40 They took the body of Jesus and wrapped it with the spices in linen cloths, according to the burial custom of the Jews.

19:41 Now there was a garden in the place where he was crucified, and in the garden there was a new tomb in which no one had ever been laid.

19:42 And so, because it was the Jewish day of Preparation, and the tomb was nearby, they laid Jesus there.

The most powerful service that I’ve ever gone to always took place on Good Friday. At my old church they would go through the final words of Jesus. The pastors and lay leaders would each take one of the final words, and give a sermon on it. There was also special music, and we would all cry hearing some of the most moving songs like “Where You There When They Crucified My Lord.”

The service was much longer than any other church service I’ve gone to, and lasted 3 hours. People would come and go as they could since it was during the day on Good Friday. I remember staying for the whole thing, and how much my spirit was moved.
In today’s scripture we hear three of the final words of Jesus. We hear Jesus looking out for His mother, and ensuring there is someone to take care of her. We hear Jesus say “I am Thirsty” in order that the scripture is fulfilled, and we hear Him at last say “It is finished.”

Jesus’ sacrifice had been complete. He died for all of us that we might live. It is hard to ponder this without tearing up. It is hard to imagine this story, without being deeply moved. That Jesus, who was without sin, would willing die for our sake… it can be beyond comprehension.

Time of Prayer
Dear Heavenly Father, You sent Your son to die for us on the cross. As we remember His sacrifice today, help us draw ever closer to You. Let us remember the love that You have shown us through Jesus’ ministry and death. Amen.

The Lord’s Prayer

Closing Hymn
298 When I Survey the Wondrous Cross

May the Lord bless you and keep you: May the Lord make His face shine upon you, and be gracious unto you: May the Lord lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace." Amen.


Sharing God's Love

April 2, 2015
Opening Hymns:
144 This is My Father’s World

Scripture Reading:
John 13:1-17, 31b-35

13:1 Now before the festival of the Passover, Jesus knew that his hour had come to depart from this world and go to the Father. Having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end.

13:2 The devil had already put it into the heart of Judas son of Simon Iscariot to betray him. And during supper

13:3 Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he had come from God and was going to God,

13:4 got up from the table, took off his outer robe, and tied a towel around himself.

13:5 Then he poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples' feet and to wipe them with the towel that was tied around him.

13:6 He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, "Lord, are you going to wash my feet?"

13:7 Jesus answered, "You do not know now what I am doing, but later you will understand."

13:8 Peter said to him, "You will never wash my feet." Jesus answered, "Unless I wash you, you have no share with me."

13:9 Simon Peter said to him, "Lord, not my feet only but also my hands and my head!"

13:10 Jesus said to him, "One who has bathed does not need to wash, except for the feet, but is entirely clean. And you are clean, though not all of you."

13:11 For he knew who was to betray him; for this reason he said, "Not all of you are clean."

13:12 After he had washed their feet, had put on his robe, and had returned to the table, he said to them, "Do you know what I have done to you?

13:13 You call me Teacher and Lord--and you are right, for that is what I am.

13:14 So if I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another's feet.

13:15 For I have set you an example, that you also should do as I have done to you.

13:16 Very truly, I tell you, servants are not greater than their master, nor are messengers greater than the one who sent them.

13:17 If you know these things, you are blessed if you do them.

13:31b When he had gone out, Jesus said, "Now the Son of Man has been glorified, and God has been glorified in him.

13:32 If God has been glorified in him, God will also glorify him in himself and will glorify him at once.

13:33 Little children, I am with you only a little longer. You will look for me; and as I said to the Jews so now I say to you, 'Where I am going, you cannot come.'

13:34 I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another.

13:35 By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another."

Jesus lived a humble life. He was born in a stable, in His victory march into Jerusalem He rode in on a donkey, and here we see Him washing His disciple’s feet. In this scripture He calls us to do the same for each other.

What does it mean to wash each other’s feet? Partly, we need to empty ourselves of our own pride. We need to be willing to care for those around us with love. We are to take on the role of a servant to others. Humbling ourselves like Jesus, we can begin to recognize the needs of others. We can set our own wants and desires aside to help those who are truly in need.   

Most of all we need to follow Jesus’ new commandment to us. We need to love one another. Through love, our pride and selfishness can melt away. Through love comes healing, forgiveness, and strength.  

Time of Prayer
Dear Lord, thank You for the love that You have shown us. Help us to share Your love with others, and be a servant to those in need. Amen.

The Lord’s Prayer

Closing Hymn
414 Thou Hidden Love of God

May the Lord bless you and keep you: May the Lord make His face shine upon you, and be gracious unto you: May the Lord lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace." Amen.


Face Challenges Together

April 1, 2015
Opening Hymns:
699 Come and Let Us Sweetly Join

Scripture Reading:
Hebrews 12:1-3

12:1 Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight and the sin that clings so closely, and let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us,

12:2 looking to Jesus the pioneer and perfecter of our faith, who for the sake of the joy that was set before him endured the cross, disregarding its shame, and has taken his seat at the right hand of the throne of God.

12:3 Consider him who endured such hostility against himself from sinners, so that you may not grow weary or lose heart.

This scripture that was written for the Hebrews is just as wonderful for us to hear today. The example that Jesus left for us to follow is perfect. He is perfect. His love for us, and all the trials that He went through can help give us confidence and strength for the trials that we have to face. When we grow weary, and the challenges seem to be too big, thinking of God’s love and guidance can help us through.

We don’t have to go through our challenges alone either. God has given us the gift of family, neighbors, and friends. We can reach out to other children of God to help us through each challenge that we have to face. Likewise, we can help our friends face challenges of their own. Each of us reminding the other of God’s love for us.

Time of Prayer
Dear Lord, thank You for friends and family that You have surrounded us with. Let us be a helping hand to those who are in need, and give us strength to face each challenge ahead. Amen

The Lord’s Prayer

Closing Hymn
555 Forward Through the Ages  http://www.hymnsite.com/lyrics/umh555.sh

May the Lord bless you and keep you: May the Lord make His face shine upon you, and be gracious unto you: May the Lord lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace." Amen.


How We View the World

March 31, 2015
Opening Hymns:
381 Savior, Like a Shepherd Lead Us

Scripture Reading:
John 12:1-11

12:1 Six days before the Passover Jesus came to Bethany, the home of Lazarus, whom he had raised from the dead.

12:2 There they gave a dinner for him. Martha served, and Lazarus was one of those at the table with him.

12:3 Mary took a pound of costly perfume made of pure nard, anointed Jesus' feet, and wiped them with her hair. The house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume.

12:4 But Judas Iscariot, one of his disciples (the one who was about to betray him), said,

12:5 "Why was this perfume not sold for three hundred denarii and the money given to the poor?"

12:6 (He said this not because he cared about the poor, but because he was a thief; he kept the common purse and used to steal what was put into it.)

12:7 Jesus said, "Leave her alone. She bought it so that she might keep it for the day of my burial.

12:8 You always have the poor with you, but you do not always have me."

12:9 When the great crowd of the Jews learned that he was there, they came not only because of Jesus but also to see Lazarus, whom he had raised from the dead.

12:10 So the chief priests planned to put Lazarus to death as well,

12:11 since it was on account of him that many of the Jews were deserting and were believing in Jesus.

Have you ever tried figuring out riddles? Sometimes it can be so challenging to picture the correct answer in your head. Some riddles are challenging because of when we imagine about the riddle that was never said, and isn’t true. Our mind likes to fill in the blanks of a story that is not completely told. When we focus on our own view it can make the riddle impossible, we need to try to see it a different way.

In this scripture we see people who are focusing on their own view, and unable to see the world any different. Judas is frustrated because money is being wasted. Was it because he was the treasurer and was stealing the money that they had? Was it because he was feeling guilty about what he was going to do, and wanted to point out the faults of others? Regardless, he couldn’t understand why such an expensive perfume was being used on Jesus, and why Jesus was allowing it when it could feed many hungry mouths.

We also see the high Priests plotting to kill Jesus and Lazarus… It’s been a while since I read this scripture… I don’t remember the Priests wanting to kill Lazarus, and in a way it’s almost comical. They have WAY missed the book. They are so focused on their mission to discredit Jesus, and to keep people from believing in Him that they miss their chance to believe! How could anyone think to themselves: “okay, so He raised this man from the dead, so we’ll have to kill him too.”

As we enter into Holy week, maybe we too need to see the world differently. Could we be focusing on ourselves so much that we miss the chance to help others in need. Have we decided what priorities should be for us, and missed what the greatest priorities should be? This week let us take a look at our own lives, let us remember Jesus’ love and sacrifice, and let us share that love with others.

Time of Prayer
Dear Lord, let our vision of the world be matched with Your vision. Let our hearts reflect that love that You have given us. In Jesus name we pray. Amen.

The Lord’s Prayer

Closing Hymn
671 Lord Dismiss Us with Thy Blessing
May the Lord bless you and keep you: May the Lord make His face shine upon you, and be gracious unto you: May the Lord lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace." Amen.


God's Story

March 29, 2015
Opening Hymns:
348 Softly and Tenderly Jesus is Calling

Scripture Reading:
Mark 11:1-11

11:1 When they were approaching Jerusalem, at Bethphage and Bethany, near the Mount of Olives, he sent two of his disciples

11:2 and said to them, "Go into the village ahead of you, and immediately as you enter it, you will find tied there a colt that has never been ridden; untie it and bring it.

11:3 If anyone says to you, 'Why are you doing this?' just say this, 'The Lord needs it and will send it back here immediately.'"

11:4 They went away and found a colt tied near a door, outside in the street. As they were untying it,

11:5 some of the bystanders said to them, "What are you doing, untying the colt?"

11:6 They told them what Jesus had said; and they allowed them to take it.

11:7 Then they brought the colt to Jesus and threw their cloaks on it; and he sat on it.

11:8 Many people spread their cloaks on the road, and others spread leafy branches that they had cut in the fields.

11:9 Then those who went ahead and those who followed were shouting, "Hosanna! Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord!

11:10 Blessed is the coming kingdom of our ancestor David! Hosanna in the highest heaven!"

11:11 Then he entered Jerusalem and went into the temple; and when he had looked around at everything, as it was already late, he went out to Bethany with the twelve.

John 12:12-16 12:12 The next day the great crowd that had come to the festival heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem.

12:13 So they took branches of palm trees and went out to meet him, shouting, "Hosanna! Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord-- the King of Israel!"

12:14 Jesus found a young donkey and sat on it; as it is written:

12:15 "Do not be afraid, daughter of Zion. Look, your king is coming, sitting on a donkey's colt!"

12:16 His disciples did not understand these things at first; but when Jesus was glorified, then they remembered that these things had been written of him and had been done to him.

I don’t often know what to do or say about Palm Sunday. I never seem to be able to celebrate as fervently as the celebration calls for. We know what is to come. It almost seems like we need to pretend not to know. It never feels right. Totally not the way I would have written the story. How would I have written the story? How would the story have gone if it was up to us?

In King Herod’s version of the story, he would have had Jesus perform miraculous works, not for the glory of God, but for his own entertainment. Some of the Jewish people of His day would have Him come as a warrior of God, fighting for God’s chosen people. And some of the religious leaders seem to get the story they want, until three days later…

Yet the scripture from the Old Testament already had Jesus’ triumphant march written. He would come into Israel humbly, riding on a donkey. His triumphant march into Jerusalem would not be the end… like I sometimes wish it was. Jesus would go on to die for us on the cross. The story isn’t even over then though. Jesus will conquer death and our sin through His sacrifice. He will again rise, and show us God’s glory. It is the greatest story of all! Best to leave the story in God’s hands.   

Time of Prayer
Dear Heavenly Father, You are the greatest story writer of all. Let us always to remember You and seek to do Your will. Walk with us this day, in each of our own lives. Let our stories reflect Your love to the world. Amen.

The Lord’s Prayer

Closing Hymn
569 We’ve a Story to Tell to the Nations

May the Lord bless you and keep you: May the Lord make His face shine upon you, and be gracious unto you: May the Lord lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace." Amen.

He Makes All Things New

March 29, 2015
Opening Hymns:
341 I Sought the Lord

Scripture Reading:
Hebrews 10:4-10

10:4 For it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins.

10:5 Consequently, when Christ came into the world, he said, "Sacrifices and offerings you have not desired, but a body you have prepared for me;

10:6 in burnt offerings and sin offerings you have taken no pleasure.

10:7 Then I said, 'See, God, I have come to do your will, O God' (in the scroll of the book it is written of me)."

10:8 When he said above, "You have neither desired nor taken pleasure in sacrifices and offerings and burnt offerings and sin offerings" (these are offered according to the law),

10:9 then he added, "See, I have come to do your will." He abolishes the first in order to establish the second.

10:10 And it is by God's will that we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.

I remember when I was a little girl, and realized for the first time that the Ten Commandments are not the only laws that the Israelites had to follow. Reading through Leviticus you can see so many laws that I break all the time. One being “
you must not wear a garment made of two different kinds of fabric” (Leviticus 19:19).

Many in the Christian faith have forgotten these laws. We don’t think about eating things that are kosher… and some of the laws with your livestock and neighbor’s livestock don’t really apply. When I found out that there were laws I was breaking I was very upset. However, when I grew up more and learned more about the New Testament, I discovered that Jesus changed all that.

This scripture shows us once again that Jesus has made all things new. The old covenant is gone, and God has established with us a covenant through Jesus. We no longer need to sacrifice animals for cleansing from our sins. Jesus’ love and sacrifice has paid the price for us.

Time of Prayer
Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for Your love and forgiveness through Jesus Christ. May we draw ever closer to You throughout all our days. May we seek you out, and always yearn to do Your will. Amen.

The Lord’s Prayer

Closing Hymn
103 Immortal, Invisible, God Only Wise

May the Lord bless you and keep you: May the Lord make His face shine upon you, and be gracious unto you: May the Lord lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace." Amen.