|First United Methodist Church ENews
Sunday, February 25
Lent reminds us that we are preparing ultimately for a resurrected life. That we put to death what is holding us back from God and trust in what God’s desire is for our lives. Peter was still focused on the things of this world, on what others would think, on what long-term sustainability looked like for an itinerant preacher (not good if he’s going to talk about his own death). Abraham and Sarah longed for a child to pass on their inheritance, as in those days, that is what living forever looked like. But we know that eternal life with God is something somewhat indescribable. It both includes life now and life beyond death. But if we are focused only on one or the other-only on being saved and life after death, or only on the desires of this world-our vision is short-sighted. God’s covenant with Abraham and Sarah was with their descendants forever. They only saw a glimpse-in the birth of their only child-but that promise endures now and forever, and lives in us.
God promises Abram and Sarai that they will be parents of many nations, that they will be blessed with many descendants and that kings will come from them. Therefore, God changes Abram’s name to Abraham, and Sarai’s name to Sarah – Princess.
God is praised and celebrated because God cares and provides for the oppressed, and all nations will come to worship God, both poor and prosperous, healthy and those close to death.
Abraham did not receive God’s promise through obeying the law, but through faith, and this faith was considered to be his righteousness – his approval by God. In the same way, when we place our faith in Christ, who died and was raised, it is considered our righteousness – our approval by God.
Jesus predicts his death, but Peter objects. Jesus, then reprimands Peter, and tells all his followers that they must take up their crosses and follow him, not trying to save their lives, but willingly giving them up for the sake of the Gospel.
We are in too deep, O God. We are too invested in our own way of life. We are too entrenched in our own habits. We are too deeply attached to the things of this world that will fade away. Call us into eternal life, O God. Call us into the practices of love, peace, justice, and mercy. Lead us in the ways of wisdom, and plant in us the desire to seek and study and learn anew. Lead us out of the depths of our own desperate ways, and help us to find the deep life and deep love with You. In Jesus’ name. Amen
In our Prayers Today:
All of our members, especially: Bonnie Campbell; Lucille Edwards; Bunny Corrough, Louise Anderson, Pat Matzek, Loretta Tanis, Rich Rardin, Amy Castleberry, Jan Elsner
Those with health and family issues:
Missy Iannella; Kayson Schumacher; Barb McLeod, Denise Karhoff King’s sister; Virginia Thomasma, Pat Shaver’s mother; Tony, brother in law of Christine Marousek; Linda Shaver-Gleason; Chris Gleason; Linus Gleason; Ann Efflandt, niece of Jack and Denise Karhoff King; Marilyn Blake, sister of Carol Wixson, Darrell Singelaub, brother of Jean Bubert; Kate Benner, friend of the Landerholms; John Tomlin, brother of Pat Baker; Jerry Buffenmeyer, Susan Friend’s Father; Sarah Wilkin, niece of Carol Wixson; Janet, extended family of Dennis Subach
8:00am Worship in the Chapel
8:45am Conversation with Pastor
10:00am Worship in the Sanctuary:
Music by: Aldersgate Ringers
Ushers: Steven Flint, Mike Johnson, Pat Price, Al Reiman, Mike Thorpe, Jeff Kaiser
Liturgist: Amy Marzullo
Reception of New Members: Christine and Rachel Smith-Kozlowski
As we go forward into 2018, we at Congregation Etz Chaim know that interfaith work is a priority. Passover offers a unique opportunity to learn about Judaism and create relationships which we can use to better our communities.
This year, congregation Etz Chaim wanted to offer a learning Seder. This is so all who are unfamiliar with the service can have time to learn about the process and ask as many questions as wanted. In this Seder, we will learn all about the process, history, and reasons for the holiday. Our learning Seder will be on Thursday, March 8th at 6pm in the synagogue. The cost to register is $25 for adults and $18 for children, and please come hungry. Cash or check will be accepted
Please let Pastor Luis no later than Sunday, February 25th to make the reservations.
One of the big values Passover teaches us is to be welcoming and to transmit knowledge, we are so excited to be able to hold both of those values with this Seder.
Congregation Etz Chaim
1710 S Highland Ave, Lombard, IL