Palm Sunday worship — This week at ELC

palms 2The people celebrating Jesus had no idea what lay ahead that week.  But what was about to unfold would show how much Jesus’ love could overcome.

Worship this week:  Saturday – 5:00 p.m. in the chapel

Sunday – 8:30 a.m. -Traditional Worship

9:30 a.m. – Sunday School

10:30 a.m. – Contemporary Worship

March 29, 2015

Devotion: Use this resource at home to guide your household’s daily devotions. You can do this alone, as a couple, as a family; in the morning, during the day, or at night. Find a routine that works best for you.

Pray: Light a candle and open your devotion time with a prayer.

Hosanna! Today we celebrate your coming into the city of Jerusalem, and into our lives. Sustain this joy in us today and all days, for the glory of Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.

Reflect:Reflect on the key verse from Sunday’s reading.

The crowds that went ahead of him and that followed were shouting, “Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest heaven!” Matthew 21:9

Study: Study the reading and consider the background.

Jesus entered Jerusalem for the last time, venerated and adored as the king who would redeem Israel and save her from the oppression of Rome. The people had no way of knowing that Jesus’ purpose was much greater; to save people from sin and death.

Many things in this story indicated that the people were celebrating Jesus as a king. The donkey and the colt, the spreading of cloaks and the branches were all signs of royalty. The people shouted, “Hosanna!” which means “save, rescue, savior.” They acknowledged Jesus as a prophet, which meant that his actions were directed and blessed by God. A good king would protect the people from harm, provide basic human needs (food, shelter, safety) for his kingdom, and rule with justice.


Read:Read the following daily readings to deepen your understanding of Sunday’s text. After the reading, ask the follow-up questions.

Follow the stories of Jesus’ final days on the earth.

Sunday, Matthew 21:1-13, Triumphal Entry

Monday, Psalm 118:26-29, Psalm

Tuesday, Matthew 27:1-14, Passion

Wednesday, Matthew 27:15-26, Passion

Thursday, Matthew 26:17-30, Words of Institution

Friday, Matthew 27:27-61, Crucifixion

Saturday, Matthew 27:62-66, The Guard at the Tomb

What unique details stand out in Matthew’s account of Jesus’ passion? Which are familiar? Which are not?

Connect: Connect in conversation with others in your household. Discuss the following questions, or simply check in with “Highs” and “Lows.”

  • What was a high point of your day? What was a low point?
  • Where do you see the presence of a dying Jesus in the world today? Where do you see the presence of a resurrected Jesus?
  • What are you most afraid of? How can Jesus’ presence in your life help you overcome your fear?

Do: By acting on what we learn, we make God’s word come alive. Do the following activity this week.

Attend Holy Week worship services this week. Write down one thing you get from each service. Carry it with you and reflect on it throughout the weekend.

Bless: Close your devotion with a blessing.

God who comes in peace, sharpen our awareness to hear what is not said in your word today. Amen.

Who do you see? — This week at ELC

sheep goats

Jesus says he is with us in unexpected places and people. Do we see the face of Jesus in the hungry, the lonely, and the hurting?

Worship this week:

Saturday – 5:00 p.m. in the chapel

Sunday – 8:30 a.m. Traditional Worship

9:30 a.m. Sunday School

10:30 a.m. Contemporary Worship

Devotions for this week:

March 22, 2015                                                                “Sheep and goats”

   Jesus told this parable to help people see God in the faces of those we typically would not acknowledge; the hungry, thirsty, poor, naked, sick, and imprisoned. Jesus was intentional about indicating that we are expected to act. Our world has needs, and our actions are crucial to creating in this world an environment that more closely resembles the kingdom God intended for this world.

Read: Follow the parables and teachings of Jesus, as Jesus moved ever closer to the cross.

Sunday, Matthew 25:31-46, Last Judgment

Monday, Psalm 98:7-9, Psalm

Tuesday, Matthew 24:29-51, Teachings of Jesus

Wednesday, Matthew 25:14-30, Parables of Jesus

Thursday, Matthew 26:1-5, The Plot to Kill Jesus

Friday, Matthew 26:6-13, The Anointing at Bethany

Saturday, Matthew 26:14-16, Judas Agrees to Betray Jesus

  • How did the actions of Jesus and his disciples lead him toward the cross?
  • What are some signs you observe in today’s culture that indicate we are in need of Jesus’ presence now more than ever? How would Jesus be received if he walked on the earth today?
  • In what ways have you betrayed Jesus? How could you make a change so that Jesus is first in your life?

Do:    Do one of the following this week: feed the hungry or thirsty, welcome a stranger, give clothing to those in need, visit someone who is sick or in prison. Notice how serving others affects you.

Bless: God who is found in the least of these, by your word, shape our hearts and vision to look for you in humble circumstance. Amen.

How are you managing? — This week at ELC

parable-of-the-talentsAs we await the day of the Lord’s return, how are we using our days for the benefit of our Lord?

Worship this week with Holy Communion:

Saturday – 5:00 p.m. in the chapel

Sunday – 8:30 a.m. traditional worship

9:30 a.m. Sunday School

10:30 a.m. Contemporary Worship

Devotions for this week:

March 15, 2015                                                       “The Parable of the Talents”

Study: In following the theme of abundant invitation and grace of the past few weeks, this story moves now to the expected response to such an invitation.  In the parable, the master was gone for a time, and then returned at an unexpected time. But those waiting were expected to be prepared for the return. The servants were expected to invest what they had been given, so that at the master’s return they would have even more to return. The parable shows that action is expected on the part of those waiting.

Read:  Follow the parables and teachings of Jesus, as Jesus challenged followers to do more for God’s kingdom.

Sunday, Matthew 25:1-13, (25:14-30), Bridesmaids (or Talents)

Monday, Psalm 43:3-4, Psalm

Tuesday, Matthew 22:15-33, Questions for Jesus

Wednesday, Matthew 22:34-46, The Greatest Commandment

Thursday, Matthew 23:1-36, Woes

Friday, Matthew 23:37-39, Lament over Jerusalem

Saturday, Matthew 24:1-28, Teachings of Jesus

  • How is the tone of these later chapters different from earlier chapters? What was Jesus trying to tell people?
  • Do people live as if Jesus might return any day? How might your community look different if people behaved as if Jesus was on his way?
  • What is one thing you can change about your routine or behaviors so that you are behaving as if Jesus was going to return at any moment?

Do: Make a bucket list of 5-10 things you would like to do before Jesus’ return.

 

The Parable of the Wedding Banquet — This week at ELC

wedding

God keeps inviting people into the feast of the kingdom. How do respond to this invitation?

Worship this week — Saturday at 5:00 p.m. in the chapel

Sunday — 8:30 a.m. Traditional Worship

9:30 a.m. – Sunday School  and presentation by LUAD (Lutherans United, Assisting after Disaster) in the fellowship hall

10:30 a.m. — Contemporary Worship

Devotions for the week:

March 8, 2015                                   “The Parable of the Wedding banquet”

Study: The king in the parable of the wedding banquet was a generous king, but also one who refused to be taken advantage of. Initially he invited family and friends to the banquet, but they would not come. This may have been a parallel to the Jewish leaders who refused to walk in God’s ways, even as they were claiming to do just that. The king then invited everyone to come, perhaps an open invitation from God to come into God’s kingdom. A twist near the end shows one man, improperly dressed for the banquet, thrown out of the party. This may have been to indicate that God’s people were expected to behave in a manner fitting of guests of the king; to treat one another with kindness and respect.

Read: Follow the teachings and actions of Jesus. See how his actions angered and frightened those in power.

Sunday, Matthew 22:1-14, Wedding Banquet

Monday, Psalm 45:6-7, Psalm

Tuesday, Matthew 20:17-34, Works of Jesus

Wednesday, Matthew 21:12-22, Jesus Cleanses the Temple

Thursday, Matthew 21:23-27, The Authority of Jesus Questioned

Friday, Matthew 21:28-32, Parables of Jesus

Saturday, Matthew 21:33-46, Parables of Jesus

  • Who are the insiders and who are the outsiders in your community? What happens when the lines get blurred? Who benefits when insiders and outsiders begin to work together? Who is hurt?
  • How is Jesus’ parable of the wedding banquet good news for you? How is it bad news? Which do you prefer to see: the good or the bad?

Do: Invite someone to coffee that you normally would not invite (a co-worker, a neighbor, a parishioner). Come with no expectations. Enjoy the company of someone new.