Apr 1, 2018
Surprise, Jesus is Alive

April 1, 2018 Easter Sunday - Jesus is Alive

There's tremendous irony in the coming of Easter on April Fools Day.

      Here's why: After Jesus' death, his followers scattered and shrank away into the dark shadows of Jerusalem. Only a few women had the courage to approach his tomb, not to see if he had risen but to anoint his body. In everyone's eyes, Rome, as always, had triumphed and the religious authorities had rid themselves of one more false messiah.

      Jesus was dead. Period. That was the universal perception of what had happened. So much so that when the women ran to tell Peter and the disciples that Jesus was alive, the disciples thought they were hysterical; spreading an idle tale. They rebuked the women using the Greek word for nonsense. You might say their response was "This is an April Fools joke, right?"

      Despite six predictions in the Gospel of Luke that Jesus would rise from the dead, it seems that not a single disciple - including the women who were initially shocked and disbelieving at the sight of the empty tomb - believed that Jesus would actually rise from the grave. It was the greatest April Fool's prank of all time and it fooled everyone. No one thought it could be true. Yet it was. Eventually the Apostle Paul reports that there were 500 witnesses to the resurrected Christ and the foolishness of the cross and resurrection became the centerpiece of his preaching.

      Happy April Fool's Day and Happy Easter! May we all believe in the foolishness of the world's wisdom, and in the wisdom of Christ's foolishness.

                                                       In Christ's Grace and Peace,

                                                                               Pastor Bob

I Cor. 15:1-11; 1:18-25

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  • Apr 1, 2018Surprise, Jesus is Alive
    Apr 1, 2018
    Surprise, Jesus is Alive

    April 1, 2018 Easter Sunday - Jesus is Alive

    There's tremendous irony in the coming of Easter on April Fools Day.

          Here's why: After Jesus' death, his followers scattered and shrank away into the dark shadows of Jerusalem. Only a few women had the courage to approach his tomb, not to see if he had risen but to anoint his body. In everyone's eyes, Rome, as always, had triumphed and the religious authorities had rid themselves of one more false messiah.

          Jesus was dead. Period. That was the universal perception of what had happened. So much so that when the women ran to tell Peter and the disciples that Jesus was alive, the disciples thought they were hysterical; spreading an idle tale. They rebuked the women using the Greek word for nonsense. You might say their response was "This is an April Fools joke, right?"

          Despite six predictions in the Gospel of Luke that Jesus would rise from the dead, it seems that not a single disciple - including the women who were initially shocked and disbelieving at the sight of the empty tomb - believed that Jesus would actually rise from the grave. It was the greatest April Fool's prank of all time and it fooled everyone. No one thought it could be true. Yet it was. Eventually the Apostle Paul reports that there were 500 witnesses to the resurrected Christ and the foolishness of the cross and resurrection became the centerpiece of his preaching.

          Happy April Fool's Day and Happy Easter! May we all believe in the foolishness of the world's wisdom, and in the wisdom of Christ's foolishness.

                                                           In Christ's Grace and Peace,

                                                                                   Pastor Bob

    I Cor. 15:1-11; 1:18-25

  • Mar 25, 2018The Gate of the Lord
    Mar 25, 2018
    The Gate of the Lord

    March 25, 2018 The Gate of the Lord

    This Sunday's worship services will include the procession of the palms as we shout "Hosanna!" to the King Jesus Christ. We'll hear from God's Word why into the Kingdom of God through Jesus Christ who is the Way, the Truth, and the Light. Our worship will prepare us for the events of that holy week when Jesus walked the final steps toward his death and resurrection, opening the way for our salvation.

     

    Plan now to participate in a week of prayer and praise during this Holy Week, March 25-30. 

    WHY ATTEND HOLY WEEK SERVICES?

    There's an interesting phenomenon concerning the week before Easter. Many churches will focus on Palm Sunday the week before Easter, and then go home and rest up for Easter. What is missing from this equation? The last days of Jesus' life on earth, including the Last Supper, the betrayal, the trial, the crucifixion and burial. In other words, much of the heart of the Gospel is missing from our teaching and worship.

    That's why I encourage you to spend time this week reading those last chapters of the Gospel accounts of the life of Jesus - and why I encourage you to come and be part of our Holy (Maundy) Thursday at 7 p.m. and Good Friday worship service at 7:30 p.m. I encourage you to invite a neighbor, friend, or co-worker!

    In Christ's Grace and Peace,

    Pastor Bob

    Psalm 118:1-2; 19-29

  • Mar 18, 2018The Joy of Your Salvation
    Mar 18, 2018
    The Joy of Your Salvation

    March 18, 2018 The Joy of Your Salvation

    "Create in me a clean heart, O God."  

    Everyone knows the 23rd Psalm, many by heart. Yet it is the 51st Psalm that I believe best translates our common journey as human beings from sin, to redemption, to restoration and joy-filled salvation..

    I'm excited to share this psalm of David this Sunday, to explore the path we must all travel back to God.

    Plan now to participate in a week of prayer and praise during Holy Week, March 25-30. Look for announcements below with information on our Holy Thursday and Good Friday services.

    THE SEASON OF LENT

    Lent is a season of forty days, not counting Sundays, which begins this year on Ash Wednesday (Feb. 14th) and ends on Holy Saturday (March 31st). Lent comes from the Anglo Saxon word lencten, which means "spring." The forty days represents the time Jesus spent in the wilderness, enduring the temptation of Satan and preparing to begin his ministry.

    Lent is a time of repentance, fasting and preparation for the coming of Easter. It is a time of self-examination and reflection. In the early church, Lent was a time to prepare new converts for baptism. Today, Christians focus on their relationship with God, often choosing to give up something or to volunteer and give of themselves for others.

    Sundays in Lent are not counted in the forty days because each Sunday represents a "mini-Easter" and the reverent spirit of Lent is tempered with joyful anticipation of the Resurrection. (from umc.org)

    In Christ's Grace and Peace,

    Pastor Bob

    Psalm 51:1-12

  • Mar 11, 2018They Cried To The Lord
    Mar 11, 2018
    They Cried To The Lord

    March 11, 2018 They Cried To The Lord

    "Let the redeemed of the Lord tell their story!" - Psalm 19:1

    Do you have a story to tell? A time you cried out to the Lord in hope or frustration, in praise or in anger? The psalms describe a God who is always present, always listening, always longing for our return. No matter what your story, join us this Sunday and cry out to the Lord in worship as we praise the One who is with us now and forever.

     

    THE SEASON OF LENT

    Lent is a season of forty days, not counting Sundays, which begins this year on Ash Wednesday (Feb. 14th) and ends on Holy Saturday (March 31st). Lent comes from the Anglo Saxon word lencten, which means "spring." The forty days represents the time Jesus spent in the wilderness, enduring the temptation of Satan and preparing to begin his ministry.

    Lent is a time of repentance, fasting and preparation for the coming of Easter. It is a time of self-examination and reflection. In the early church, Lent was a time to prepare new converts for baptism. Today, Christians focus on their relationship with God, often choosing to give up something or to volunteer and give of themselves for others.

    Sundays in Lent are not counted in the forty days because each Sunday represents a "mini-Easter" and the reverent spirit of Lent is tempered with joyful anticipation of the Resurrection. (from umc.org)

    In Christ's Grace and Peace,

    Pastor Bob

    Psalm 107:1-3, 17-22

  • Mar 4, 2018Reviving the Soul
    Mar 4, 2018
    Reviving the Soul

    March 4, 2018 Reviving the Soul

    "The heavens declare the glory of God and the sky above proclaims his handiwork." - Psalm 19:1

    We have a lot of beautiful sunrises and sunsets here in the valley. On a clear night, as I walk my dog, I often look up at the stars and the ever-changing moon and wandering planets. Those moments, reveling in the beauty of the sky above, give me more understanding of the first verse of Psalm 19 than any Bible commentary can possible provide.

    We need to take care during the season of Lent not to spend so much time with our heads bent down in self-examination that we fail to raise our eyes to the heavens and behold the glory of God. Lent is not a time for our souls to be weighed down - it's a season for our souls to be revived, renewed, and transformed.  I hope you are spending time each day experiencing the joy of the Lord in creation, in His Word, and in the presence of His Spirit.

    THE SEASON OF LENT

    Lent is a season of forty days, not counting Sundays, which begins this year on Ash Wednesday (Feb. 14th) and ends on Holy Saturday (March 31st). Lent comes from the Anglo Saxon word lencten, which means "spring." The forty days represents the time Jesus spent in the wilderness, enduring the temptation of Satan and preparing to begin his ministry.

    Lent is a time of repentance, fasting and preparation for the coming of Easter. It is a time of self-examination and reflection. In the early church, Lent was a time to prepare new converts for baptism. Today, Christians focus on their relationship with God, often choosing to give up something or to volunteer and give of themselves for others.

    Sundays in Lent are not counted in the forty days because each Sunday represents a "mini-Easter" and the reverent spirit of Lent is tempered with joyful anticipation of the Resurrection. (from umc.org)

    In Christ's Grace and Peace,

    Pastor Bob

    Psalm 19

  • Feb 25, 2018They Will Know The Lord
    Feb 25, 2018
    They Will Know The Lord

    February 25, 2018 They Will Know The Lord

    The latter verses of Psalm 22 declare that one day the whole world will know the Lord and praise his name. What is our role in making our God known to the world? As disciples? As a church? Will the world praise God's name because of the lives we lead and the message we bring?  We'll open God's Word and address these questions during worship this Sunday. Let's all come together to praise the Lord of all!

    Our fifteen-strong mission team of men and women from VUMC and Aisle 7 will be heading to Florida this weekend for their week-long hurricane relief trip. Please keep them in your prayers!

    THE SEASON OF LENT

    Lent is a season of forty days, not counting Sundays, which begins this year on Ash Wednesday (Feb. 14th) and ends on Holy Saturday (March 31st). Lent comes from the Anglo Saxon word lencten, which means "spring." The forty days represents the time Jesus spent in the wilderness, enduring the temptation of Satan and preparing to begin his ministry.

    Lent is a time of repentance, fasting and preparation for the coming of Easter. It is a time of self-examination and reflection. In the early church, Lent was a time to prepare new converts for baptism. Today, Christians focus on their relationship with God, often choosing to give up something or to volunteer and give of themselves for others.

    Sundays in Lent are not counted in the forty days because each Sunday represents a "mini-Easter" and the reverent spirit of Lent is tempered with joyful anticipation of the Resurrection. (from umc.org)

    In Christ's Grace and Peace,

    Pastor Bob

    Psalm 22:23-31

  • Feb 18, 2018Instruct Me O Lord
    Feb 18, 2018
    Instruct Me O Lord

    February 18, 2018 Instruct Me O Lord

        THE SEASON OF LENT

    Lent is a season of forty days, not counting Sundays, which begins this year on Ash Wednesday (Feb. 14th) and ends on Holy Saturday (March 31st). Lent comes from the Anglo Saxon word lencten, which means "spring." The forty days represents the time Jesus spent in the wilderness, enduring the temptation of Satan and preparing to begin his ministry.

    Lent is a time of repentance, fasting and preparation for the coming of Easter. It is a time of self-examination and reflection. In the early church, Lent was a time to prepare new converts for baptism. Today, Christians focus on their relationship with God, often choosing to give up something or to volunteer and give of themselves for others.

    Sundays in Lent are not counted in the forty days because each Sunday represents a "mini-Easter" and the reverent spirit of Lent is tempered with joyful anticipation of the Resurrection. (from umc.org)

                                                                                                                    In Christ's Grace and Peace, Pastor Bob

    Psalm 25:1-10

  • Feb 11, 2018Don’t Get Too Comfortable
    Feb 11, 2018
    Don’t Get Too Comfortable

    February 11, 2018 Don’t Get Too Comfortable

             I've got to confess - I've got a love-hate relationship with comfort. Like most of us, it's a goal in life. To get to that place where you can retire, settle in with the TV remote and finally get to do what you've dreamed of all your life - nothing!

         The fact is, Jesus is often a dis-comforting Lord. Churches want to settle in and avoid the messiness of an often nasty world - but Jesus says go into that world. Christians want to hang around like-minded people - but Jesus says go seek and serve the unlovable. Church members tend to hide behind the stained glass windows -but Jesus asks us to take up our cross and follow him come what may.

         So be prepared to be dis-comforted this Sunday by the message of Jesus.

     

                                                                                                  In Christ's Grace and Peace, Pastor Bob

    Mark 1:29-39

  • Jan 28, 2018Can We See Where The Spirit is Leading Us? Bob Weeks
    Jan 28, 2018
    Can We See Where The Spirit is Leading Us? Bob Weeks

    Jan 28, 2018 Can We See Where the Spirit is Leading Us?

        This Sunday we'll be asking the question "Can We See Where the Spirit is Leading Us?"  This will be a great way to follow up the previous day's regional discussion of "a way forward" for The United Methodist Church at the Bishop's Chat & Chew at VUMC. 

                                            In Christ's Grace and Peace, Pastor Bob

    I Corinthians 2:1-10 -11

  • Jan 27, 2018Chat-N-Chew Bishop Sharma Lewis
    Jan 27, 2018
    Chat-N-Chew Bishop Sharma Lewis

    Jan 27, 2018 Bishop Sharma Lewis Chat-n-Chew

    This service is the conclusion of the Chat-N-Chew Discussions on “a way forward” for our Church.

    John 17:6-9, 20-23