SUNDAY, MARCH 22, 2015
9:00am Becoming a Contagious Christian Class
Sunday School for Children and Youth
Fifth Sunday in Lent
“Dying to Live”
WEDNESDAY, MARCH 25
12 noon Wednesday Worship with Communion
The Largest Table Community Meal
FRIDAY, MARCH 27
50th Anniversary Triune Concert Series:
The High Street Stompers at 7:30pm
Dear Members and Friends of St John’s,
THANK YOU for your generous donations to our Family Fund, which helps our church members in need! We exceeded our goal last week, raising a total of $ 1045.00, to provide for our elderly and homebound members who struggle to meet their basic needs on limited incomes. As promised if we reached our fundraising goal, I preached in my St Patrick’s Day Green Wig. We had an uplifting service on Sunday, and we appreciate everyone who made it possible!
This Sunday is the Fifth Sunday in Lent, as we continue on our Lenten journey at St John’s, and prepare for Palm Sunday and Holy Week at the end of the month. On Sunday, our Scripture texts are Jeremiah 31:31-34 and John 12:20-33. In our Gospel text, we learn that Jesus was preoccupied with his impending death in six days, and when some Greek travelers wanted to see him, Jesus said to Andrew and Philip “Very truly, I tell you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains just a single grain; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.”
My sermon is entitled “Dying to Live,” as we seek to understand Jesus’ pronouncement that the key to life is death. This might sound morbid, but it’s really not, as Jesus seeks to help his followers find true life—in this life and the next. This dying and rising provides a paradigm for discipleship, then and now.
For example, what does it mean to cherish the faith of our forefathers and foremothers at St John’s, without getting stuck in the past? What does it mean to embrace new paradigms and expressions of faith without losing sight of where we’ve come from – and where we’re going? As I have heard it said, are we trying to share an eight-track Gospel in an MP3 culture? Or as my husband Gery would explain, are we still trying to be a six-volt battery in a twelve-volt world?
During this final week of Lent, I encourage you to ponder this teaching from Jesus and ask yourself: In what ways am I adding new ideas and experiences to what I already know to continue to grow in my faith? In what ways is my old life of faith giving way to something new?
Lent is a time for turning toward God anew, and for living into the hope that with God, all things are truly possible. Nothing is impossible for God, even triumphantly transforming a 142 year old church on the corner of Third and Mound Street in Columbus, Ohio!
With abundant hope for our transformative future,