April 13, 2017
for Sunday, April 23
This Week's Reflection Comes From
Karin van der Burg
Graduate Student at Cornell University
Lutheran Campus Ministry in Ithaca
With Easter, we remember that even though Jesus died for us, God raises him from the dead. And in Paul's letter to the Colossians, we read that we are raised with Christ, as God's dearly loved people. Each year at Easter, I feel awed and humbled by Gods power, and also his love for us. The bible readings for this week really reinforce this message. In Acts, Peter writes that God shows no partiality or favoritism, and that all who believe in him will be forgiven. In Colossians we read that we are raised with Christ, and thus we are called upon by him to 'set our minds to things above', and that 'Christ is all, and is in all'. These texts are so full of love and hope, that I cannot help but notice the stark contrast between the words of Peter and Paul, and the current feelings of fear and hopelessness on campus.
For this reflection, I do not intend to write a political piece. Yet it is blatantly clear that the current political climate has affected the lives of many students on campus. Not a day goes by without some news emphasizing major political clashes that affect millions of people, some of whom walk beside us daily. The rifts between the political positions seem insurmountable. When reconciliation seems so far off, it is hard not to be worried. For so many people, life is very uncertain right now. I am often worried and afraid for the future, and from conversations with fellow students it seems I'm not the only one. But, whenever the hopelessness is overwhelming, I find myself turning to God, and I remind myself of this endless love for us, and it gives me hope.
Easter is a time of hope. On this day, Jesus, who made the ultimate sacrifice for the sake of us all, rises up and conquers death. The imagery from John is apt: Mary went to the tomb of Jesus, only to find it open and empty. She's afraid, and cries outside the tomb. Is she losing hope? While she is so overcome with grief, Mary doesn't even recognize the resurrected Christ as he stands before her. Not until he calls her by her name, at which she cries out: 'Rabboni!', or teacher. This story evokes an emotional response that should be familiar to us all: God calls us all by name, and asks us to live with kindness and compassion, gentleness and humility and patience. And above all, He asks us to live with love for one another.
For me, Easter is also a time of looking ahead. Jesus conquering death gives me hope. He does not show favoritism, but loves us all. And we can do the same. We can reach out to people who are worried, or to the people who may not think the same as oneself. Although I don't believe the political climate is going to change significantly anytime soon, we don't have to be the same; we can continue to be kind to one another. Jesus shows us that anger and hatred and fear are not the end, and that we can forgive each other, like we are forgiven. And it gives me hope that we can make this world a better place.
34Peter began to speak to [the people]: “I truly understand that God shows no partiality, 35but in every nation anyone who fears him and does what is right is acceptable to him. 36You know the message he sent to the people of Israel, preaching peace by Jesus Christ—he is Lord of all. 37That message spread throughout Judea, beginning in Galilee after the baptism that John announced: 38how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power; how he went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with him. 39We are witnesses to all that he did both in Judea and in Jerusalem. They put him to death by hanging him on a tree; 40but God raised him on the third day and allowed him to appear, 41not to all the people but to us who were chosen by God as witnesses, and who ate and drank with him after he rose from the dead. 42He commanded us to preach to the people and to testify that he is the one ordained by God as judge of the living and the dead. 43All the prophets testify about him that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name.”
Names will remain of the Prayer List for a month - at which
time it will be taken off unless, or course, there is still a continued need
for our prayers and we’re asked to keep the name on.
HOLY WEEK OBSERVANCES
Maundy Thursday – April 13th
11:30 am - Community worship and luncheon at Bemus Point United Methodist Church, everyone is invited to come, even if not signed up.
5:30 pm - Worship service at St. Mark Lutheran Church in Mayville with Reverend Richard Elberfeld (St. Paul’s Episcopal Church).
7:00 pm - Worship service at St. Timothy Lutheran Church with Pastor Heather Allport-Cohoon.
Good Friday – April 14th
12:00 pm – Ecumenical worship service hosted by the Mayville Ministerium at Mayville United Methodist Church, S. Erie St. Speaking will be Jon Bogue, a 37 year addict who came to Christ and changed his life dramatically. He presently works with Impact Christian Fellowship in Jamestown (with high school kids) and is a very dynamic speaker.
Easter Sunday – April 16th
9:30 am – Celebration of the Resurrection of Our Lord at St. Timothy’s. (No youth Sunday School)
*** Due to storms and the aftermath of cancelling/rescheduling flights, the flight the Honduras team was scheduled on was not able to leave Buffalo on the designated day. Their flight was rescheduled 5 days later for Tuesday, April 11th. Desmond Drischell was able to fly in from Iowa as scheduled and did what he could in the absence of the team. Please keep the team and entire mission in your prayers.
*** Pastor Ivy has returned home and is continuing to receive home care/physical therapy. If you would like to visit, please call the parsonage first (386-1022) so as not to have a conflict. Thank you all for your prayers; keep them coming for her continued recovery.
***The Caring & Sharing Ministry is still gathering items for Lutheran World Relief Personal Care Kits. All of the items for kits are needed at this time. Monetary donations are also requested for buying in bulk and shipping. When we package, each kit needs to contain the following:
• One light-weight bath towel, dark colors (20”x40” to 27”x52”).
• Two bath-size bars (4-5 oz.) of soap, in original wrapping.
• One adult-size toothbrush in original packaging.
• One sturdy comb (no picks or fine-toothed combs), remove packaging.
One metal nail clippers (attached file is optional), remove packaging.
- for our community of faith as we seek to do God's work in the world.
- for those in our congregation and community who suffer silently with illness, financial
burdens, and family obligation.
- for victims of violence and their families in all places.
- Lutheran Church of the Redeemer in Rochester due a fire on February 18th.
- for The mission team in Honduras, Ron Simpson, Bob & Audrey Markwart, Pastor Ivy Gauvin, Marilyn See, Gloria Gardner, Grace Wakefield, Al Lamb, Eleanor Burgeson Orman, Arden Johnson, Ralph Prieur, Todd Reel, Helen Cogliano, Joanne Aron, JoLynn Stearns, Scott Stearns, Zachary Frazier, Maj-Britt Traynor, Matt Isaacson, Sandra Kelderhouse and Thom Shagla.
- those serving in the military and those caught up in violence and war who have no safe
home in which to live.
- For all children, that the love of Christ may reach them through all of us who have
resources to love, protect, pray and provide for them.