Prayer for the Week

O God, whose Son Jesus Christ is the Good Shepherd of your people: Grant that, when we hear his voice, we may know him who calls us each by name, and follow where he leads; who, with you and the Holy Spirit, lives and reigns, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Showing the Love of the Shepherd

4th Sunday of Easter | April 25, 2021

Acts 4:5-12 • Psalm 23 • 1 John 3:16-24 • John 10:11-18

John 10:11-18 | New Living Translation

11 “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd sacrifices his life for the sheep. 12 A hired hand will run when he sees a wolf coming. He will abandon the sheep because they don’t belong to him and he isn’t their shepherd. And so the wolf attacks them and scatters the flock. 13 The hired hand runs away because he’s working only for the money and doesn’t really care about the sheep.

14 “I am the good shepherd; I know my own sheep, and they know me, 15 just as my Father knows me and I know the Father. So I sacrifice my life for the sheep. 16 I have other sheep, too, that are not in this sheepfold. I must bring them also. They will listen to my voice, and there will be one flock with one shepherd.

17 “The Father loves me because I sacrifice my life so I may take it back again. 18 No one can take my life from me. I sacrifice it voluntarily. For I have the authority to lay it down when I want to and also to take it up again. For this is what my Father has commanded.”

Prayer for the Week

Almighty God, you gave your only Son to be for us both a sacrifice for sin and an example of godly living: Give us grace thankfully to receive his inestimable benefits, and daily to follow the blessed steps of his most holy life; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

You Are Witnesses

3rd Sunday of Easter | April 18, 2021

Acts 3:12-19 • Psalm 4 • 1 John 3:1-7 • Luke 24:36b-48

Luke 24:36-48 | New Living Translation

36 And just as they were telling about it, Jesus himself was suddenly standing there among them. “Peace be with you,” he said. 37 But the whole group was startled and frightened, thinking they were seeing a ghost!

38 “Why are you frightened?” he asked. “Why are your hearts filled with doubt? 39 Look at my hands. Look at my feet. You can see that it’s really me. Touch me and make sure that I am not a ghost, because ghosts don’t have bodies, as you see that I do.” 40 As he spoke, he showed them his hands and his feet.

41 Still they stood there in disbelief, filled with joy and wonder. Then he asked them, “Do you have anything here to eat?” 42 They gave him a piece of broiled fish, 43 and he ate it as they watched.

44 Then he said, “When I was with you before, I told you that everything written about me in the law of Moses and the prophets and in the Psalms must be fulfilled.” 45 Then he opened their minds to understand the Scriptures. 46 And he said, “Yes, it was written long ago that the Messiah would suffer and die and rise from the dead on the third day. 47 It was also written that this message would be proclaimed in the authority of his name to all the nations, beginning in Jerusalem: ‘There is forgiveness of sins for all who repent.’ 48 You are witnesses of all these things.

Sunday Thoughts

This weekend, I have spent watching the Phillies play the Braves in baseball. We finally live back in the Philadelphia market. I have enjoyed it, even though the Phillies have struggled while playing the Braves. It’s seems like the Braves have been their nemesis for years.

One of the things that I have enjoyed is the Braves wearing their 70’s throwbacks – the same uniforms they were wearing when Hank Aaron broke Babe Ruth’s home run record. They are wearing them to honor both Aaron and Phil Niekro. It seems we have lost quite a few of the 60’s and 70’s baseball legends in the last year. I love this Braves uniform. Seeing what teams wear what uniforms it a bit of a hobby of mine.

This week started a little rough as I was exhausted from the last weekend’s activities – four services in four days. It was a great weekend though. But as the week progressed, I gained my energy back.

Since Anna was on Spring Break, we took a trip over to the outlets in Rehoboth Beach. It was a beautiful day for it and spring is very much alive here in Delaware. For the second day in a row we made it into the 80’s. Which is a change of pace from Good Friday when we had just a few snow flurries.

I have enjoyed our Wednesday evening Praise and Prayer service at the Journey. This is the first time that I have ever done a “dig deeper” Bible study based on the Sunday sermon. It’s been good.

After a bad start running and exercise-wise for April, this week I kicked it back in gear. (Edit – as I was typing the Phillies got a home run!) I’ve got a way to get caught up and get to where I want to be mileage wise for the month.

We had a good service this morning at The Journey. I was on piano for worship and the worship team did a great job. I am thankful for the great team we have that leads us in worship – including our great tech team.

I think that’s about all I have for the night. Have a great week!

Prayer for the Week

Almighty and everlasting God, who in the Paschal mystery established the new covenant of reconciliation: Grant that all who have been reborn into the fellowship of Christ’s Body may show forth in their lives what they profess by their faith; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

In the Power of the Resurrection

Second Sunday of Easter | April 11, 2021

Acts 4:32-35 • Psalm 133 • 1 John 1:1-2:2 • John 20:19-31

John 20:19-31 | New Living Translation

19 That Sunday evening the disciples were meeting behind locked doors because they were afraid of the Jewish leaders. Suddenly, Jesus was standing there among them! “Peace be with you,” he said. 20 As he spoke, he showed them the wounds in his hands and his side. They were filled with joy when they saw the Lord! 21 Again he said, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I am sending you.” 22 Then he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit. 23 If you forgive anyone’s sins, they are forgiven. If you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.”

24 One of the twelve disciples, Thomas (nicknamed the Twin), was not with the others when Jesus came. 25 They told him, “We have seen the Lord!”

But he replied, “I won’t believe it unless I see the nail wounds in his hands, put my fingers into them, and place my hand into the wound in his side.”

26 Eight days later the disciples were together again, and this time Thomas was with them. The doors were locked; but suddenly, as before, Jesus was standing among them. “Peace be with you,” he said. 27 Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here, and look at my hands. Put your hand into the wound in my side. Don’t be faithless any longer. Believe!”

28 “My Lord and my God!” Thomas exclaimed.

29 Then Jesus told him, “You believe because you have seen me. Blessed are those who believe without seeing me.”

30 The disciples saw Jesus do many other miraculous signs in addition to the ones recorded in this book. 31 But these are written so that you may continue to believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing in him you will have life by the power of his name.