Offertory Prayer

April 27, 2014 – Second Sunday of Easter
Living, loving God, we give thanks and praise that the doors of our hearts can't keep you out, and the doors of our churches can't keep you in! May your breath blow anew through the world, may your spirit fill the lives of those who believed they were beyond your reach! May we who have been so blessed with the joy of this Easter redemption be generous in sharing all that we are and all that we have, so that the power of the Resurrection might reach all your children. In Christ's Holy name, we pray. Amen. (John 20:19-31)

Invitation to the Offering
The offering you made last week empowered ministry within our congregation and in response to the needs of our community. It also helped support the work of ministries beyond the local church that reach people who are in desperate need to feel the touch of love and reconciliation. Through the World Service Fund, a talented group of global communicators, lead by United Methodist Communications in Nashville, Tennessee, directs messaging that reaches people who have never set foot in one of our churches. Through billboards, digital advertising, video spots, radio and more, they give people outside the church a glimpse of who we are and what matters to us as Christians. This ministry happens thanks to the generous support of United Methodists like you. I invite you once again to give generously as we worship God through the sharing of our gifts, tithes and offerings.

Learn more about the work United Methodist Communications atwww.umcom.org and www.rethinkchurch.org.


"Copyright General Board of Discipleship. www.GBOD.org Used by permission."

Friday, April 17, 2009

In the Light of Victory

As I reflect on the passage from 1 John, I was thinking about life for those early Christians. And, of course, what we 21st can apply their knowledge to our experiences.

For several days, I have been planning to write an entry outlining the various atonement explanations, but then I came across this article by Alister E. McGrath. And resurrection trumped atonement for me today.

Easter Day has shown us the care and power of God. We wake up today and sin still thrives in the world. McGrath reminds us that many distinguished writers trying to explain this for us used the situation during WWII. Occupying power. Life lived under the shadow of a foreign presence. Then comes the news of a far-off battle that has turned the tide of the war.
In one sense, the situation has not changed, but in another, more important sense, the situation has changed totally.
....
I remember once meeting a man who had been held prisoner in a Japanese prisoner-ow-war camp in Singapore. He told me of the astonishing change in the camp atmosphere which came about when one of the prisoners (who owned a shortwave radio) learned of the collapse of the Japanese war effort in the middle of 1945. Although all in the camp still remained prisoners, they knew that their enemy had been beaten. It would only be a matter of time before they were released. And those prisoners, I was told, began to laugh and cry, as if they were free already.
....
In one sense, victory has not come; in another, it has. The resurrection declares in advance of the event God's total victory over all evil and oppressive forces--such as death, evil and sin. Their backbone has been broken, and we may begin to live now in the light of that victory, knowing that the long night of their oppression will end.

Read "In the Light of Victory" and many other excellent essays in Bread and Wine.

2 comments:

Pastor Joelle said...

Thanks for that story. I've been trying to figure out how to talk about how Easter turns the whole time continuum inside out -- Jesus' Resurrection is about something that took place in the past that is proof of something that has taken place in the future - that changes our life today. So complicated but really the essence of our faith...

Una Malachica said...

You are welcome. I have used that story in at least one sermon--and other portions of the book in many more.