Palm Sunday – This Week at ELC

by john on April 11, 2014


palms 2The cheering of the crowds as Jesus enters Jerusalem turns quickly to shouts of condemnation, leading us to wonder about the nature of their loyalties, but also to consider ours as well.

Worship this weekend:   Saturday, 5:00 p.m. in the chapel

                                    Sunday  — 8:30 a.m. traditional worship

                                                         10:30 a.m. contemporary worship

9:30 a.m.  Fellowship and education hour.

April 13, 2014
John 12:12-17, 19:16b-22

Key Verse: “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!’” John 12:13

Time: 30 CE

Background: In John’s gospel, Jesus’ entry in Jerusalem was brief. The people gathered with palm branches and shouted “Hosanna!” They acknowledged Jesus as “King of Israel,” and he arrived on a young donkey to fulfill the scripture concerning the coming Messiah.

This adoration stood in stark contrast to the mocking Jesus received just a few chapters later, where Jesus was crucified with the inscription, “Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews.” By this time the people had turned on him and didn’t even want the inscription to imply that they had ever received him as their king. They no longer accepted him as their king, yet Pilate’s refusal to change the inscription wrote into history words that still hold true today. Jesus is truly the King.

Community: Who are treated as royalty in today’s society? What have they done to earn the title? What does it take for them to fall from grace? How might we shift our loyalties so that we praise and emulate Jesus more than those in the public spotlight?

At Home: What prevents you from fully bowing down to Jesus as king? What power over your own life do you cling to? What might happen if you relinquish power to Jesus?

Read This Week:
Monday, Apr 14, Jesus Prays for His Disciples, John 17:1-19

Tuesday, Apr 15, Jesus Prays for His Disciples, John 17:20-26

Wednesday, Apr 16, The Betrayal and Arrest of Jesus, John 18:1-11

Thursday, Apr 17, Jesus’ Last Words, John 19:23-30

Friday, Apr 18, Passover Lamb, John 19:31-37

Saturday, Apr 19, Passover Lamb, John 19:38-42

Next Week: Sunday, Apr 20, Resurrection, John 20:1-18


heroes 001Come enjoy our Youth Choir as they tell the story of “Heroes of the Faith” through song and story this week at all worship services!

Worship with Holy Communion – Saturday, 5:00 p.m. in Sanctuary this week

Sunday – 8:30 a.m. Traditional Worship

10:30 a.m. Contemporary Worship

9:30 a.m.  Sunday School and Fellowship

We will continue with the story of Jesus’ Passion in John’s Gospel as we read of Jesus’ condemnation by Pontius Pilate.

April 6, 2014
John 19:1-16a

Key Verses: “And the soldiers wove a crown of thorns and put it on his head, and they dressed him in a purple robe. They kept coming up to him, saying, ‘Hail, King of the Jews!’ and striking him on the face.” John 19:2-3

Time: 30 CE

Background: Pilate was still trying to find a reason not to condemn Jesus, but the Jews were adamant about finding him guilty. Their cruel mocking of him showed the depth of their hatred for Jesus. Jesus’ words of truth may have touched some deep shame to make them react so violently against him.

Even when it appeared Pilate held all power over Jesus, Jesus knew who held true power. He knew that Pilate could only harm him if God gave him ability to do so. Such faith may have given him strength to continue down this terrifying path so he could complete his mission.

Community: What makes a crowd move or turn? Have you ever been in a crowded stadium, concert hall, or mall when tension is building? What is it about being in a group that makes certain unacceptable behaviors seem more acceptable? How can you keep your head, when you’re in a crowd that is behaving questionably?

At Home: What shame do you carry that keeps you from being free? How might you turn that over to Jesus this week? Does it make a difference that Jesus has died to free you from shame and guilt?

Read This Week:
Monday, Apr 7, The Promise of the Holy Spirit, John 14:15-31

Tuesday, Apr 8, Jesus the True Vine, John 15:1-17

Wednesday, Apr 9, The World’s Hatred, John 15:18-16:4

Thursday, Apr 10, The Work of the Spirit, John 16:4-15

Friday, Apr 11, Sorrow Will Turn into Joy, John 16:16-24

Saturday, Apr 12, Peace for the Disciples, John 16:25-33

Next Week: Sunday, Apr 13, King, Crucified, John 12:12-17, 19:16b-22



April 2nd

Worship at 11:00 a.m. in Fellowship Hall

7:30 p.m. in chapel

The Parable of the Rich Fool

“So it is with those who store up treasures for themselves but are not rich toward God.”

 –Luke 12:21

Read the Parable from Luke 12:13-21

Some questions to consider:

  • Do you like to collect things?  If so, what?  What do you have a lot of in your house?
  • What would your ideal life be like 20 years from now?

What do you think Jesus is trying to say in this story?

  • It’s okay to be successful, but remember your highest priority.
  • To prepare for the future to have look beyond finances.
  • You can’t take it with you
  • Having material things can test your devotion to God
  • Other ideas?  ____________________

What is your reaction to:  “a person’s life does not consist in the abundance of their possessions?”

  • It sounds good, but clashes with the reality of life
  • Instead it should say “the one with the most toys wins”
  • Yes, the important things in life aren’t things
  • I need this reminder to be more faithful and generous toward God and others
  • Other ideas?   _____________________________________


What is Truth? — This Weekend at ELC

by john on March 28, 2014


Sunday, March 30th

One Worship – Fellowship – Learning event

9:30 a.m. Sunday morning (Saturday worship remains at 5:00 p.m.)

How do we evaluate what is true? Jesus stands before Pilate and claims that his words are  truth. Do we trust Jesus’ words to be true about our lives today?

March 30, 2014
John 18:28-40

Key Verses: “Pilate asked [Jesus], ‘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.’ Pilate asked him, ‘What is truth?’” John 18:37-38a

Time: 30 CE

Background: The Jewish leaders wanted to kill Jesus, but didn’t want to get their hands dirty. Instead, they brought him to Pilate, who ruled under Rome, in the hopes that Rome would have some law by which to kill him. Pilate’s conversations with Jesus were intended to uncover something that he could use against him.

Although Jesus had plenty of truth to speak to defend himself against the accusations, he knew it was his time to die. He said little, while his accusers continued to speak lies.

Community: Whose voices do people listen to today? What gives those voices credibility? Who holds those voices accountable for what they say? How might you listen with different ears so that you can better discern fact from fiction?

At Home: How closely do you follow Jesus’ words in your day to day life? Choose one favorite Bible verse to carry with you this week, and spend time with those words several times throughout each day.

Read This Week:
Monday, Mar 31, The Unbelief of the People, John 12:36-43

Tuesday, Apr 1, Summary of Jesus’ Teaching, John 12:44-50

Wednesday, Apr 2, Jesus Foretells His Betrayal, John 13:21-30

Thursday, Apr 3, The New Commandment, John 13:31-35

Friday, Apr 4, Jesus Foretells Peter’s Denial, John 13:36-38

Saturday, Apr 5, Jesus the Way to the Father, John 14:1-14

Next Week: Sunday, Apr 6, Jesus Condemned, John 19:1-16a