Hello, Lisa Rygiel here with this week’s e-formation.
While looking for some inspiration after a very busy Sunday, I came upon this passage from Philippians 4. “Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
Some of you know that in my “day job”, I am a safety manager for a consulting company. I am severely challenged by the “do not be anxious about anything” statement because I am naturally anxious about everything! I worry professionally for a living. At work, we have a process we go through before we perform a task that is called 4-Sight. “What am I about to do, what can go wrong, and what can I do about it.” Based on this concept, it seems like we ought to be able to predict everything that could go wrong and therefore prevent it from happening. That may be true for completing a work task, but it sure doesn’t apply to real life!
These are anxious times we are living in. The future of Zion’s, the war in Ukraine, supply chain disruptions, looking forward to another election cycle, and even the incessant wind are enough to have us all a bit on edge. Fortunately, we have the word of God to help soothe us through these times. Rejoice. Be gentle to one another. Do not be anxious. Pray with thanksgiving. And let the peace of God guard your hearts and minds good people of God! Rejoice in the Lord always!
This week (other meetings/gatherings will be taking place as well but here are some things to note):
Sunday, May 15, The 5th Sunday in Easter
Worship leader: Pastor Andrea Doeden
Assistant: Lisa Rygiel;
Organist: Connie Pallone;
Ushering: Joni Jones and Pat Fletcher;
Reading: David Lamb;
Communion prep/cleanup: David Serafini & Pamela Nelson-Serafini
Flowers: Presented by Jeff & Carol Smith in honor of their 43rd Wedding Anniversary and by Connie & Tony Hass in celebration of the baptism of their grandson Liam.
Other important stuff of note:
This coming Sunday is the fifth Sunday of Easter, and our readings testify that God is making all things new. Come to worship, celebrate the resurrection, and reflect on both what is old and what is new.
The Readings in the Bible: Fifth Sunday of Easter
Easter lasts for several more weeks. The three readings continue the unfolding of the meaning of the resurrection: the loving community formed by God’s love and baptized with the water of life includes those who had been previously deemed unacceptable. All things are being made new, for the resurrection continues through the power of the Spirit.
The loving community of the church manifests the glory of God, which surprisingly is seen in the passion and death of Christ. That Christ, the Son of God, submitted to death reveals a loving, sacrificing God who nurtures a community that also is known for its mutual love and service. In about 200 ce Tertullian wrote that outsiders said of Christians, “See how they love one another,” a testimony, especially to Christian care for the poor, the sick, and the dying. In such love is the glory of God.
Throughout the centuries, Christians have debated the meaning of church membership and its openness to nonmembers. So, Peter’s vision continues to challenge the church: what in our time and our religious community are the rules that separate insiders from outsiders? Does Luke intend that Christians have no such barriers? Christians have not agreed to what extent Luke’s call to repentance (v. 18) fits with the elimination of any traditions of religion or morality.
Our hope is in God, who promises to make all things new for the believing community. God’s promises are always realized both now and in the future, and so in some ways, we are already in the new Jerusalem, married to God, living without sorrow and death.
Zion's Lutheran Church