Easter Sunday at ELC

by john on April 19, 2014


The resurrection of Jesus means that darkness and death will not have the last word, but that God’s love conquers all things!

Join us in celebrating the resurrection this Sunday at ELC.

7:00 a.m   — Sunrise worship in sanctuary

9:00 a.m. Traditional Festival worship with Holy Communion

10:30 a.m. Contemporary Festival worship with Holy Communion

Easter breakfast served in fellowship hall from 7:30 – 10:30 a.m.

April 20, 2014
John 20:1-18

Key Verses: “Jesus said to [Mary], ‘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.’ Jesus said to her, ‘Mary!’ She turned and said to him in Hebrew, ‘Rabbouni!’ (which means Teacher).” John 20:15-16

Time: 30 CE

Background: Although Jesus had told them he would return, Mary Magdalene and the disciples had no context for believing that he would be raised from the dead. Such a thing had never happened before. (Even the raising of Lazarus earlier in John’s gospel was a miracle performed by the miracle-worker, Jesus. Who was left to perform the miracle for Jesus?) When the disciples “believed,” but didn’t yet “understand,” they may have believed only that the body had been removed.

What a shock it must have been for Mary to recognize Jesus! The story doesn’t tell us whether or not the disciples believed her story. Perhaps more important is whether or not we believe it, and if so, who will we tell?

Community: What traditions will you celebrate today? Who will you celebrate with? What new traditions might you begin that remind you that today is a celebration of new life—yours and others’?

At Home: How has Jesus shocked or surprised you? If you are in need of a surprise or miracle, ask God for one. Be open to God’s response.

Read This Week:
Monday, Apr 21, Jesus Appears to Seven Disciples, John 21:1-14

Tuesday, Apr 22, Jesus and Peter, John 21:15-19

Wednesday, Apr 23, Jesus and the Beloved Disciple, John 21:20-25

Thursday, Apr 24, Ananias and Sapphira, Acts 5:1-11

Friday, Apr 25, The Apostles Heal Many, Acts 5:12-16

Saturday, Apr 26, The Apostles Are Persecuted, Acts 5:17-42

Next Week: Sunday, Apr 27, Thomas, John 20:19-31


Good Friday Worship

by john on April 18, 2014

Last words

1:00 p.m. – Community Worship of Seven Last Words at Immanuel Lutheran Church

7:30 p.m. – Tenebrae Worship at ELC

“Tenebrae” is a service of readings and increasing darkness, a powerful experience of Good Friday story

 April 17, 2014
John 19:23-30

Key Verses: “When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple whom he loved standing beside her, he said to his mother, ‘Woman, here is your son.’ Then he said to the disciple, ‘Here is your mother.’ And from that hour the disciple took her into his own home. After this, when Jesus knew that all was now finished, he said (in order to fulfill the scripture), ‘I am thirsty.’ 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. When Jesus had received the wine, he said, ‘It is finished.’ Then he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.” John 19:26-30

Time: 30 CE

Background: Jesus’ mother appeared twice in John’s gospel. First, when she encouraged Jesus to perform his first miracle turning water into wine at a wedding in Cana. Second, here at the end of Jesus’ life on earth, where Jesus entrusted his mother to his beloved disciple and his disciple to his mother.

Many of the events of Jesus’ death occurred to fulfill scripture. Placing Jesus in the context of God’s word helped believers understand who Jesus was, in light of the history, tradition, and writings of the people of Israel. Even with the benefit of scripture and tradition, no one could or can fully grasp the mystery of Jesus.

Community: How does your community’s history, tradition, or writings shape the way your community believes, behaves, or speaks? How are your community’s actions shaping future traditions or behaviors?

At Home: What kind of legacy do you wish to leave your family and friends? What can you do now to begin to shape your legacy for future generations? How does Jesus’ role in your life affect how you live?



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