April 7 – 5th Sunday in Lent
Old Testament – Isaiah 43: 16-21
New Testament – John 12: 1-8
Sermon – “You Do Not Always Have Me”
Just before Jesus is to ride into Jerusalem on a donkey, He is dining with His friends, Lazarus, Martha, and Mary. Mary brings out an expensive perfume to anoint Jesus’ feet. Judas Iscariot fumes that this is a waste—the perfume could have been sold and the money given to the poor. He says this because he is stealing the money, not because he cares for the poor. Jesus foretells his imminent death when he says to Judas, “Leave her alone. She bought it so that she might keep it for the day of my burial. You always have the poor with you, but you do not always have me.”
April 14 – Palm Sunday
Old Testament – Isaiah 50: 4-9
New Testament – Luke 19: 28-40
Sermon – “Blessed is the King”
Things are heating up in Jerusalem among the religious leaders who are wanting to be rid of this radical teacher named Jesus. Jesus makes His triumphal entry into Jerusalem on a donkey, not a stallion as the people had hoped. They assumed the Messiah would be a warrior to free them from oppression, not one coming in peace on a lowly donkey. The joy of Jesus’ entry soon turns to sorrow, however, as the crowds also turn against Jesus, and He ultimately goes to the cross!
April 18 – Maundy Thursday
Service at 7:00 pm
Old Testament – Exodus 12:1-14
New Testament – John 13: 1-17, 31b-35
Sermon – “He Loved Them Till the End”
On the first night of Passover, Jesus and the disciples are in the Upper Room. He knew what was in store for him: “Jesus knew that his hour had come to depart from this world and go to the Father. Having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end.” There is a custom that the lowliest of servants washes the feet of the guests, and Jesus becomes that lowly servant, washing the feet of the disciples. Jesus shows us that we are to be servants to all, to love as we are loved, even to the end!
April 21 – Easter
Sunrise Service at 6:00 a.m. followed by regular service at 9:30
Old Testament – Isaiah 65: 17-25
New Testament – John 20: 1-18
Sermon – “I Have Seen the Lord”
In the early morning before sunrise, Mary Magdalene has come to the tomb to anoint Jesus because she isn’t sure this was properly done. When she arrives, she finds the tomb empty. She runs to tell the others, and Peter and John run back, also finding the tomb empty. As the men run back to tell the others, Mary encounters the risen Christ in the garden, but she doesn’t recognize Him until he speaks her name. She is overjoyed, and runs to tell the others, “I have seen the Lord!”
Old Testament – Psalm 118: 14-29
New Testament – John 20: 19-31
Sermon – “Come to Believe”
Thomas has gotten such a bad rap for being known as “Doubting Thomas.” In reality, he was quite brave, even volunteering to go to Jerusalem with Jesus, knowing full well he likely would die there. Until Thomas sees Jesus risen from the dead, he refuses to believe the other disciples’ accounts of seeing Him resurrected. We are no different—we, too, often need proof before we believe! But John wrote his gospel “so that you may come to believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that through believing you may have life in his name.”
Old Testament – Psalm 30
New Testament – John 21:1-19
Sermon – “Do You Love Me?”
The disciples were fishing but were not catching anything. Jesus calls to them from the shore, telling them to cast their nets on the other side of the boat. Though they did not realize it was Jesus, they followed his directions, and the nets were filled to the breaking point. Jesus invites them to breakfast. After breakfast, Jesus asks Peter “Do you love me?” three separate times, offering Peter forgiveness for the three times he denied knowing Jesus.
May 12 – Mother’s Day
Old Testament – Psalm 23
New Testament – Acts 9:36-43
Sermon – “Many Believed in the Lord”
Peter is in Lydda, but when a well-loved woman dies in Joppa, they send for Peter to see if he can heal her. He sends all the mourners outside, reaches out his hand after praying, and tells her, “Tabitha, get up.” She opens her eyes and gets up. Word spreads quickly, and because of this miracle, “many believed in the Lord.”
Old Testament – Psalm 148
New Testament – John 13:31-35
Sermon – “Love One Another”
These are some of Jesus’ final words to the disciples. He wants them to love others as He has loved them, so he reminds them his time is getting shorter. They must remember how they were loved, and show that same love to everyone else.
Old Testament – Psalm 67
New Testament – Acts 16:9-15
Sermon – “The Lord Opened Her Heart”
One of Paul’s missionary journeys was to Philippi where he met Lydia, a “worshipper of God,” and “a dealer in purple cloth.” Purple cloth was very expensive, so she must have been quite wealthy. When she heard Paul’s preaching, her heart was opened and she believed. Paul stayed with her, and she and her whole household were baptized.
Old Testament – Psalm 97
New Testament – Acts 16: 16-34
Sermon – “Believe on the Lord Jesus”
After exorcizing a demon from a young girl, her handlers were angry with Paul and Silas and turned them in to the magistrate. They were flogged, stripped and put in jail. That night, there was an earthquake that rocked the prison, and the jailer was afraid everyone had escaped. Paul and Silas told him they were still there. The jailer asked what he must do to be saved. They answered “believe in the Lord Jesus.” He took them to his home where the whole household was baptized and they all became believers.
June 9 – Pentecost
Old Testament – Genesis 11: 1-9
New Testament – Acts 2: 1-21
Sermon – “Filled with the Holy Spirit”
While hiding out in the upper room, the disciples were overcome by a rushing wind with tongues of fire, and they were filled with the Holy Spirit. They were able to speak to all who were gathered in their own language, and then Peter began preaching to them. As a result, many were saved that day!
June 16 – Trinity Sunday
Old Testament – Psalm 8
New Testament – Romans 5: 1-5
Sermon – “Poured Into Our Hearts”
Though we have times in our lives when we face suffering, those times help us to develop endurance, which then builds character. That character produces hope, and God’s love then is poured into us. God is always in our hearts as we go through times of trouble.
Old Testament – Psalm 42: 1-5
New Testament – Galatians 3: 23-29
Sermon – “One in Christ Jesus”
When we are baptized in Christ, there is no longer Jew, nor Greek, male nor female, slave or free. We are all One in Christ!
Old Testament – 2 Kings 2: 1-2, 6-14
New Testament – Luke 9: 51-62
Sermon – “He Turned and Rebuked Them”
It isn’t easy to give up one’s life and priorities, so not everyone is cut out to be a disciple. Jesus not only rebuked James and John, he rebuked those who claimed they would follow as soon as they had their lives in order. Jesus tells them they cannot follow if their earthly claims take priority. We must make hard choices if we are to be followers of Christ.