John 20 - But First Jesus...
Preached by Rev. Margaret Wilson-Stayton, while Pastor Andrew was away on Study Leave.
There are somethings you can sing that you can't say. There are other things that you can play that you can't sing. As Darrell Scott sings, "I've been singing about things I should be telling to my shrink, and to my shrink I've been singing Kumbaya."
It's strange and yet true that somehow the meter, rhyme-schemes, and brevity of poetry allow it to say more than pages and pages of prose. So when we come to Church, we assume the music will teach us and shape us and spark us in ways that 30 minutes of preaching never could. Try using evolution to explain that!
So following Easter, I wanted to let music help us think through the Resurrection. These songs vary in style but all share the same subject matter so check it out.
Christ is Risen
I love the celebration of this song, especially the bridge, "Oh Death, where is your sting? Oh Hell, where is your victory?" I particulary love the spoken word in this video. The poem is beautiful in its bleak assessment of Death and of its exhilarating conclusion about Jesus.
Buried in the Grave
I'm in love with All Sons and Daughters. I love their simple arrangements of a guitar, a piano, and (often) a cello. This song is beautiful and haunting in the ways it imagines the disciples' shattered experience of the cross. "There was a day we held our breath,/ and felt the sting of bitter death,/ when all our hopes were buried in the grave.// Our eyes awake, our hearts were torn,/ between our faith and what we knew/ before our King was buried in the grave.// Grace was in the tension of everything we'd lost/ Standing empty handed, shattered by the cross."
Death in His Grave
This song is written by a North Carolinian with incredible worship impulses. He and his church went into a Nightly Revival that lasted months, and so many of these songs were composed spontaneously as he searched for new songs to play. I love the theology of this song, and again the bridge hammers it home, "He has defeated,/ Death and seated/ Us above the Fall.// In desparate places/ He paid our wages/ Once and once for all!"
John 20 - The Return of the King
It is Done. The War is Over. Or it's not, weigh the evidence and you decide.
Pastor Andrew Ruth
April 5, 2015
Questions to Guide You:
1. Why do you think Jesus washed his disciples feet?
2. How would you feel if someone washed your feet? How did the disciples feel?
3. What did Jesus want his disciples to learn?
4. What actions can we do to show love that are as scary, radical, and scandalous as “washing feet”?
5. Who discovers that Jesus is missing? Who first sees Jesus? Why do you think Jesus appeared to them first?
6. One disciple stops at the entrance and one enters the tomb, why the difference? Why does the Bible record the details about the grave clothes?
7. How did the disciples feel when Jesus appeared in the locked room?
8. Which disciple are you like? The beloved disciple? Simon Peter? Mary Magdalene? Thomas?
9. Why was the gospel of John written? Did it succeed?
For a printer-friendly copy of this reading plan, including sample questions to augment your study of Scripture, Download the PDF.
IT IS EASTER!
Time to Celebrate!
Sunrise Celebration @ 6:30AM in the Cemetery
We’ll start our Easter Celebrations in the same kind of place, where Easter began, a graveyard. What makes Easter Easter is the death of death, so we’ll celebrate in the abandoned home of the dead. If that sounds cryptic, it’s not, it’s just that unfathomably good news. This service will be a short and intimate.
Main Easter Celebration @ 9:45AM in the Fellowship Hall
This is going to be a party! We’ll celebrate with breakfast and coffee, as we start the process of wrapping our heads and hearts around Jesus’ Resurrection. We’ll celebrate in some familiar ways and some unique ways including composing a Flowered Cross and a huge Stained Glass Window art project. This celebration will run straight into our 11:00AM worship service to create awesome time of worship. Get there early for a good seat.