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March 26 – Fourth Sunday in Lent
John 9:1-41
The Reverend Dr. Eric C. Smith
The disciples’ question was incredibly presumptuous: Whose sin caused this person’s disability? The assumption was that it had to be someone’s fault; bad things didn’t just happen to people for no reason. Jesus’ response, and the story that unfolds after, is a rebuke to that way of thinking, and an invitation for us to think differently about the question of why the world is the way it is. In his conversations with those around him, Jesus challenges their assumptions–and ours–about the man blind from birth, and about the nature of God’s action in the world.

April 2 – Fifth Sunday in Lent                                              
John 11:1-45
The Reverend George Anastos
Sometimes the assigned lection for the day and the needs of a parish church conflate to create an ‘unusual’ day. Yes, this is one of them. The lesson for this fifth Sunday in Lent is the raising of Lazarus. It is also New Member Sunday so we will rejoice as we welcome people who have chosen this community of faith as their community of faith. Then it is Stewardship Sunday. How any preacher is supposed to use Lazarus as a basis for a stewardship sermon is, at this point, an enigma to me. This could get interesting.

April 9  – Palm/Passion Sunday
The Reverend George Anastos
Today we will begin our service by recognizing Jesus’ triumphant, and politically dangerous, entry into Jerusalem. We shall wave our coats and jackets and sing the victorious and glorious music of that morning: All glory, laud and honor, to you, redeemer king! And then abruptly, as happened nearly two millennia ago, our joy will descend into perplexed sorrow as we read the passion narrative and hear of Jesus’ arrest, trial and crucifixion. It is not the easiest of Sundays, but then again, who ever said worship was to be easy or entertaining? It is to be challenging and transformative.

April 16 – Easter Sunday
SERVICES AT 9:00 A.M. and 11:00 A.M.
Despite our culture’s fascination with Christmas it is not the most important holiday in the church year.  The newborn Savior captivates the warm imagination far more than a suffering and bloodied Christ.  Incarnation is prettier than resurrection.  Oddly, however, both are stories of birth, and birth, as any mother can tell you, isn’t exactly a walk in the park.  Resurrection, like any birth, is a painful and messy business.

Easter calls us from a place where faith is assuredly comfortable to a place where faith us vertiginously real.  And perhaps we don’t know the difference between the two until the stark reality of life hits us squarely in the face.  And when we arrive at that place where faith can no longer be comfortable, we pray that we can claim faith that will always be real.

April 23
John 20:19-31

The Reverend Dr. Eric C. Smith
Out of all the words in this passage, five stand out as the most consequential, and not for any good reason. In verse 19 the reading tells us that the doors were locked “for fear of the Jews,” and those five words have done more damage and caused more harm than most in the history of Christianity. This passage, and others like it, have been used to justify violence against Jews through the years, and they have sparked mistrust and misunderstanding even to this day. But these words are profoundly misunderstood and mischaracterized by Christians, especially in the Easter season as we focus on Jesus’ death and resurrection. Today we will look at the ramifications of those five words and the ways we can understand them in better and more neighborly ways.

April 30  
Luke 24:13-35                                             
The Reverend George Anastos
This week’s scripture story is of the road to Emmaus where two of Jesus’ disciples walk with the risen Christ but do not recognize him. For some reason people just love this story. Perhaps it has to do with walking with Jesus and not recognizing him. That is actually an interesting thought. Christian theology has always taught that we can see Christ in our neighbor, our enemy, the stranger on the street if we but look. One of my professors in seminary used to say that we would be happy to look if we knew in advance it was Jesus. But since we do not know in advance, how do we look and what do we look for?