Messages from Pastor Fred

Sunday, May 17, 2020
Sixth Sunday of Easter

Introduction

Jesus does not abandon his followers. Through the Holy Spirit, Jesus comes to abide with his disciples of every generation. As Pentecost draws near, we are reminded that the risen Christ dwells in us as the Spirit of truth. We receive this Spirit in baptism and pray that in our gathering around the Lord’s table the Spirit will transform us to be the body of the risen Christ in the world.
Readings and Psalm
Acts 17:22-31Paul’s message to the Athenians
Psalm 66:8-20  Bless our God, you peoples; let the sound of praise be heard. (Ps. 66:8)
1 Peter 3:13-22The days of Noah, a sign of baptism
John 14:15-21 Christ our advocate

Sunday, May 10, 2020
Fifth Sunday of Easter

Introduction

As we continue to celebrate the fifty days of Easter, today’s gospel includes Jesus’ promise that he goes to prepare a place for his followers in his Father’s house. Our baptism commissions us to share Jesus’ mission in the world. As 1 Peter reminds us, we are a holy people, called to proclaim the one who called us out of darkness into light. In words and deeds we bear witness to the risen Christ—our way, our truth, our life.

Readings and Psalm

Acts 7:55-60  The martyrdom of Stephen
Psalm 31:1-5, 15-16  Into your hands, O Lord, I commend my spirit. (Ps. 31:5)
1 Peter 2:2-10  God’s people chosen to proclaim God’s mighty acts
John 14:1-14  Christ the way, truth, and life

Music by Rich Barnett and Luci Hughes


Sunday, May 3, 2020
Fourth Sunday of Easter

Introduction

Today is sometimes called “Good Shepherd Sunday.” Jesus is called the “gate” of the sheep in today’s gospel. The risen Christ opens the way to abundant life. He anoints our heads with oil and guides us beside the still waters of our baptism. Each Sunday he spreads a feast before us amid the world’s violence and war. We go forth to be signs of the resurrection and extend God’s tender care to all creation.

Readings and Psalm

Acts 2:42-47  The believers’ common life
Psalm 23  The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not be in want. (Ps. 23:1)
1 Peter 2:19-25  Follow the shepherd, even in suffering
John 10:1-10  Christ the shepherd
Jesus uses an image familiar to the people of his day to make a point about spiritual leadership. Those who listen to Jesus are led to abundant life.


Sunday, April 26, 2020
Third Sunday of Easter

Introduction

Today’s gospel begins with two disciples walking to Emmaus, overcome with sadness, loss, and disappointment. They had hoped Jesus, who was crucified, would be the one to redeem Israel! Yet the risen Christ walks with them and then opens their eyes in the breaking of the bread. Each Sunday our hearts burn within us as the scriptures are proclaimed and Christ appears to us as bread is broken and wine is poured. The story of Emmaus becomes the pattern of our worship each Lord’s day.

Readings and Psalm

Acts 2:14a, 36-41  Receiving God’s promise through baptism
Psalm 116:1-4, 12-19  I will call on the name of the Lord. (Ps. 116:13)
1 Peter 1:17-23  Born anew through the living word of God
Luke 24:13-35  Eating with the risen Christ


Sunday, April 19, 2020
Second Sunday of Easter

Introduction

In today’s gospel the risen Christ appears to the disciples and offers them the gift of peace. Even amid doubts and questions, we experience the resurrection in our Sunday gathering around word and meal, and in our everyday lives. Throughout the coming Sundays of Easter the first two readings will be from the Acts of the Apostles and the first letter of Peter. Even as the early Christians proclaimed the resurrection, we rejoice in the new birth and living hope we receive in baptism.

Readings and Psalm

Acts 2:14a, 22-32  Christ’s resurrection: the fulfillment of God’s promise to David
Psalm 16  In your presence there is fullness of joy. (Ps. 16:11)
1 Peter 1:3-9 New birth to a living hope through the resurrection
John 20:19-31 Beholding the wounds of the risen Christ


Sunday, April 12, 2020
Resurrection of Our Lord: Easter Day

Introduction

This is the day the Lord has made! Christ is risen, and through him all creation is made new! Indeed, “God shows no partiality” (Acts 10:34): Christ’s resurrection truly brings life to everyone. We sing hymns of praise, gather around sacred words, and proclaim God’s faithfulness, power, and love in the feast of holy communion. With the women at the tomb, we are astonished, elated, and grateful. We depart with joy to proclaim the good news of God’s endless love.

Readings and Psalm

Acts 10:34-43  God raised Jesus on the third day
Jeremiah 31:1-6 (alternate)  Joy at the restoration of God’s people
Psalm 118:1-2, 14-24  This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it. (Ps. 118:24)
Colossians 3:1-4  Raised with Christ to seek the higher things
Acts 10:34-43 (alternate)  God raised Jesus on the third day
Matthew 28:1-10  Proclaim the resurrection
**John 20:1-18 (alternate)  Seeing the risen Christ

Listen to Pastor Fred’s Easter Sunday sermon here; music with Rich Barnett and Luci Hughes