Alleluia! Christ is Risen!
Christ being raised from the dead will never die again;
death no longer has dominion over him.
The death that he died, he died to sin, once for all;
but the life he lives, he lives to God.
So also consider yourselves dead to sin, and alive to God in Jesus Christ our Lord.
When it was evening on that day, the first day of the week, and the doors of the house where the disciples had met were locked for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you.” After he said this, he showed them his hands and his side. Then the disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord. Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you.” When he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.”
But Thomas (who was called the Twin), one of the twelve, was not with them when Jesus came. So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord.” But he said to them, “Unless I see the mark of the nails in his hands, and put my finger in the mark of the nails and my hand in his side, I will not believe.”
This month the Crown focuses on spirituality and community. Michael writes about Lent and the spirituality of Lenten devotions. While Senior Warden Jill Joseph explores the opportunity for small group ministries. There is two page spread of fellowship events that are coming up including the Spring Event on May 3rd. This Crown also includes a note from the Daughters of the King and a report on Empty Bowls. Finally Junior Warden David Jurkovich updates everyone on some unexpected repairs. Read on below.
This is our current sign, obviously advertising the fun craziness that is Lent Madness. Yesterday we marked the first Sunday of Lent with the Great Litany at the beginning of each service. Meditation booklets from Episcopal Relief and Development are available at the back of the church, or you can sign up here to receive them by email. In the bricks-and-mortar world, All Saints is offering our annual Lenten Soup Supper Series, every Wednesday beginning at 5:30 PM. Come and enjoy a simple meal of soup and bread, and then move into the church, which will be set up for a time of contemplative prayer.
Whatever your own Lenten discipline is, we wish every blessing upon you!
All Saints Episcopal Church
2076 Sutterville Road
Sacramento, California 95822
8:00 am Sunday Holy Eucharist, Rite II
9:15 am Sunday Adult Bible Study
10:00 am Sunday Holy Eucharist, Rite II
Nursery and Sunday School at the 10 am service.
All Saints Church is located across the street from Sacramento City College. Each semester we offer students the opportunity to purchase a pass to park in our parking lot Monday through Friday from 7:00 to 4:00. For more information see our parking pass information page.
Easter Sunday 2014
Alleluia! Christ is risen!
This is the day of the Resurrection, the central day of the Christian faith.
Jesus, dead on the cross just three days ago, has been raised from the dead. It is a great victory, a stunning reversal. It is a triumph of life over death, of truth over falsehood, of hope over despair, and above all, a sign that love is ultimately stronger that the human idols of power, greed, selfishness, and fear. It is a sign, too, through all of that, of God’s power to subvert evil, to take human folly and destructiveness and turn it toward good.
Its all of that, the great event of our faith.
But, partly because it is such a great event, it is easy to lose our perspective on it. Its very easy, I think, to make Easter into this moment of blazing light, this huge divine push-back that sweeps all the rest of Holy Week away. All of that pain can be forgotten; all of that hard story of Jesus’ betrayal and death can be forgotten. The grimness of the last few days can be buried under an avalanche of easter eggs and pastel-colored fuzzy bunnies! All of those minor-key hymns that we have been singing can be cleared from our brains by a chorus of alleluias! Its as if the scary Darth Vader theme ends as Luke blows up the Death Star and the major-key trumpets begin to blow!
Good Friday, 2014
The Passion of Jesus, according to John
A couple of years ago, I heard a reference to Good Friday on the radio. The commentator described Good Friday as “an ancient Christian day of observance, commemorating the death of Jesus.” It wasn’t disrespectful or anything like that; it just assumed that the audience might have no idea what Good Friday was at all.
Now, I could attribute this to secularization, and the decreasing knowledge of various religious symbols in our culture. And that certainly may be part of it. But other ‘days of observance’ are still remembered; Easter, just three days after Good Friday still gets noticed, not to mention Christmas. But these other days all can be tamed and made comfortable. They can all be reduced to warm, fuzzy, and marketable things, like bunnies and presents, and displayed to us in soft pastel colors.
Who are we? We started out shouting hosannas, “All Glory, Laud, and Honor,” waving palm branches, behaving as though we are so excited that Jesus was coming into town in that parody of a royal procession. “This is the one who will overthrow the Romans and free us from oppression. Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!”
And then we shifted. Let him be crucified!
And in a few more moments, we will eat and drink the body and blood of that same one, the one we cheered and the one we shouted to crucify. In eating and drinking, in being together as a community of disciples, we, together, become that one. The Body of Christ.