Outstanding day today. Started with worship at St. Martins Lutheran in Sugar Land, Texas for Palm Sunday. Led a Bible study on Mark 8: Who do people say I am? Beef stroganoff and homemade bread at Pastor Steve Kelly’s house. Then to two congregations in Rosenberg, TX who are grieving over churchwide assembly decisions. Then ended the day in the best possible way: with Bach. The St. John passion with the Bach Choir and period instruments at Christ the King, Houston, TX. Ahhh. Good for the soul. 179 miles.Ach Herr, lass dein lieb Engelein
Am letzten End die Seele mein
In Abrahams Schoß tragen,
Den Leib in seim Schlafkämmerlein
Gar sanft ohn eigne Qual und Pein
Ruhn bis am jüngsten Tage!
Alsdenn vom Tod erwecke mich,
Dass meine Augen sehen dich
In aller Freud, o Gottes Sohn,
Mein Heiland und Genadenthron!
Herr Jesu Christ, erhöre mich,
Ah Lord, let thine own angels dear
At my last hour my spirit bear
To Abraham’s own bosom,
My body in its simple bed
In peace without distress and dread
Rest till the day of judgment!
And then from death awaken me,
That with mine eyes I may see thee
In fullest joy, O God’s own Son,
My Savior and my gracious throne!
Lord Jesus Christ, give ear to me,
I would thee praise eternally!
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Dear Gulf Coast Leaders,
The Three Days
There has been a strong resurgence of congregations reclaiming the ancient rhythm of The Three Days, including an Easter Vigil. Some congregations have even found that their Easter Vigil services rival Easter Sunday services in attendance. If you do not have an Easter Vigil and would like to see one, I encourage you in the midst of a busy week of planning and leading services, to consider going to worship at one of these congregations for Easter Vigil:
· Christ the King Lutheran Church, Houston (www.ctkelc.org )
· Hosanna Lutheran Church, Houston (www.welcometohosanna.com )
· Salem Evangelical Lutheran Church, Houston (www.salemhouston.org)
· Holy Comforter Lutheran Church, Kingwood (www.godeeperwithchrist.org)
· St. Peter’s Episcopal Church in Brenham (www.stpetersbrenham.org)
· Elizabeth Lutheran Church in Caldwell (elizabeth-lutheran.org)
April 1, 2010 – MAUNDY THURSDAY
Holy God, source of all love, on the night of his betrayal, Jesus gave us a new commandment, to love one another as he loves us. Write this commandment in our hearts, and give us the will to serve others as he was the servant of all, your Son, Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.
Exodus 12:1-4, (5-10), 11-14– Passover. Yahweh to Moses and Aaron: This month shall be the beginning of months for you. This day shall be a day of remembrance for you.
Psalm 116:1-2, 12-19– What shall I give the Lord for his benefit to me? I will lift the cup of salvation, and call upon the name of the Lord. I will pay my vows to the Lord in the presence of all his people.
1 Corinthians 11:23-26– Paul’s Eucharistic theology: I passed on to you what I received: The words of institution.
John 13:1-17, 31b-35– Jesus washes the disciples’ feet. A new commandment I give you: Love one another.
April 2, 2010 – GOOD FRIDAY
Merciful God, your Son was lifted up on the cross to draw all people to himself. Grant that we who have been born out of his wounded side may at all times find mercy in him, Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.
Isaiah 52:13 – 53:12 – Suffering servant: Surely he has borne our infirmities and carried our diseases; yet we accounted him stricken, struck down by God, and afflicted. 5But he was wounded for our transgressions, crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the punishment that made us whole, and by his bruises we are healed.
Psalm 22– My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? Why are you so far from helping me, from the words of my groaning?
Hebrews 10:16-25– Christ offered for all time a single sacrifice for sins. By a single offering he has perfected for all time those who are sanctified. This is the covenant: I will put my laws in their hearts, and I will write them on their minds. I will remember their sins and their lawless deeds no more.
or Hebrews 4:14-16; 5:7-9– For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who in every respect has been tested as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore approach the throne of grace with boldness, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
John 18:1 – 19:42– Jesus’ arrest, trail and crucifixion, all the way to his burial by Joseph of Aramathea and Nicodemus.
April 1, 2010 – EASTER VIGIL
Eternal giver of life and light, this holy night shines with the radiance of the risen Christ. Renew your church with the Spirit given us in baptism, that we may worship you in sincerity and truth and may shine as a light in the world, through your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.
Hebrew Bible Readings:
Romans 6:3-11– We have been buried with him by baptism into death, so that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life. For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we will certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his.
John 20:1-18 – Jesus’ resurrection and appearance to Mary Magdalene
April 4, 2010 – RESURRECTION OF OUR LORD
God of mercy, we no longer look for Jesus among the dead, for he is alive and has become the Lord of life. Increase in our minds and hearts the risen life we share with Christ, and help us to grow as your people toward the fullness of eternal life with you, through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.
Acts 10:34-43 – Peter’s sermon: We are witnesses to all that he did both in Judea and in Jerusalem. They put him to death by hanging him on a tree; but God raised him on the third day and allowed him to appear…
or Isaiah 65:17-25– I am about to create a new heaven and a new earth.
Psalm 118:1-2, 14-24 – God’s steadfast love endures forever.
I Corinthians 15:19-26– Paul’s discourse on the resurrection. Death as the final enemy.
or Acts 10:34-43– Peter’s sermon: We are witnesses to all that he did both in Judea and in Jerusalem. They put him to death by hanging him on a tree; but God raised him on the third day and allowed him to appear…
John 20:1-18 – Jesus’ resurrection and appearance to Mary Magdalene
or Luke 24:1-12– Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James, and other women with them find the stone rolled away, encounter an angel, and run to tell the apostles.
We’ll all be at Synod Assembly for Easter 3C. The link above will take you to a proposal for a lay-led Service of the Word. Starting on Tuesday, it will include a message from the bishop that may be read from the pulpit at the sermon time.
· 6/27-7/21: DISCIPLE PROJECT at TLU! This year there will be two tracks for adults: Preaching as God-Speech and Children’s and Family Ministry. Pastors and lay rostered leaders: Come with youth and young adults of their congregation. Private rooms. Preaching track by Paul Wilson, author of The Four Pages of the Sermon. $325 inclusive if by Monday, April 19. Questions to email@example.com.
Listening to and praying the Passion has become an important part of the observance of Holy Week for many people. Christ the King, Houston (Rice Blvd. and Greenbriar) and the Bach Society offer the Passion three times:
March 28, 2010 · 6:00 p.m. (Palm Sunday)
March 30, 2010 · 7:30 p.m.
April 2, 2010 · 3:00 p.m. (Good Friday)
There is no admission charge, but a free-will offering is taken. Arrive early, as the nave usually fills to capacity for these events. Bach Vespers exceprt.
German Easter Service
Also note: Ostermesse auf Deutsch at Christ the King, Houston. 2 p.m.
Almighty and everliving God, in your tender love for the human race you sent your Son our Savior Jesus Christ to take upon him our nature, and to suffer death upon the cross, giving us the example of his great humility: Mercifully grant that we may walk in the way of his suffering, and also share in his resurrection; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen. (BCP)