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Grace Notes

Grace Notes               April 8, 2018
Second Sunday of Easter
Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have come to believe.
(John 20:29)
 At Peace with His Wounds
Do you know that you are a peace breather? At your baptism, God breathed the Holy Spirit onto you, meaning that right now you have the peace of God in your lungs. Is that how you experience yourself? Your congregation? When you walk out the doors on Sunday morning after worship, do you breathe peace into the places you go?
Jesus shows up unannounced at the home where the disciples have barricaded themselves. He offers them peace. He reveals his scars to them. Then he breathes the peace of the Holy Spirit onto them.
It is astounding that after the agony and the trauma Christ endured on the cross he can show up with any peace at all, let alone enough peace to share with precisely the people who left him high and dry on the night before the crucifixion. Christ can breathe peace onto others because he has made peace with his own woundedness. He is at peace with his scars. He finds power in telling their story.
When Jesus meets the disciples they too are bearing the marks of that night. Fear has lodged like a splinter under their skin. The marks of isolation and terror are all over them, and these marks send them running for cover. Even if they had the courage to begin to speak, they would not find power in telling the story of their wounds.
The peace that God breathes into our lungs is a peace that begins with the revelation that our wounds and our woundedness, like Christ’s, are not to be feared. At the revelation of Christ’s wounds, our own lose their power. They no longer ruin us.
Breathe in that peace. Breathe it out into the places you go.
 From sundaysandseasons.com.    Copyright © 2018 Augsburg Fortress. All rights reserved. Reprinted by permission under Augsburg Fortress Liturgies Annual License #SAS002981.  New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989, Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved

Lectionary Notes by Gail Ramshaw—Readings for Sunday, April 8, 2018
John 20:19-31
In this the first conclusion to the Gospel of John, the Spirit handed over at the death of Christ (John 19:30) is distributed to the disciples. The narrative indicates that by the time of the writing of the gospel, Christians were regularly assembling on the first day of the week. The chapter moves the Easter proclamation from the disciples, through the unbelievers, to those who encounter this good news. The evangelist claimed that the gospel book, proclaimed at the Sunday assembly, manifests Jesus as Christ, the Son of God, who gives life in his name.
Acts 4:32-35
Writing in perhaps the late 80s, Luke presents in Acts 4 a triumphal picture of the church as the ongoing sign of Christ’s resurrection. In this excerpt, the primitive community, in its extraordinary care for other believers, even replaces private property with communitarianism. Paul also repeatedly writes about Christian collections for the needy. However, Acts 5 tells of Ananias and Sapphira, who were not involved in communitarian living, and there is no outside historical evidence that such financial arrangements characterized early Christianity.
1 John 1:1—2:2
Written anonymously in the late first or early second century, the letters named 1, 2, and 3 John share many themes with the Gospel of John. First John 1 shares much vocabulary with John 1. Yet in language not found in the fourth gospel, Christ is himself “the atoning sacrifice,” and Christ’s work of atonement is the fount of the love that now is to characterize the Christian community. Christ, rather than the Spirit, is called our advocate.
  Copyright © 2018 Augsburg Fortress. All rights reserved.  Reprinted by permission under Augsburg Fortress Liturgies Annual License #SAS002981.

Almighty God, with joy we celebrate the day of our Lord’s resurrection. By the grace of Christ among us, enable us to show the power of the resurrection in all that we say and do, through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.  Amen.
Copyright © 2018 Augsburg Fortress. All rights reserved. Reprinted by permission under Augsburg Fortress

Comments from the Cloud of Witnesses
I think there is no suffering greater than what is caused by the doubts of those who want to believe. I know what torment this is, but I can only see it, in myself anyway, as the process by which faith is deepened. A faith that just accepts is a child’s faith and all right for children, but eventually you have to grow religiously as every other way, though some never do. What people don’t realize is how much religion costs. They think faith is a big electric blanket, when of course it is the cross. It is much harder to believe than not to believe. When we get our spiritual house in order, we’ll be dead. This goes on. You arrive at enough certainty to be able to make your way, but it is making it in darkness. Don’t expect faith to clear things up for you. It is trust, not certainty.                       —Flannery O’Connor
[Flannery O’Connor, The Habit of Being, ed. Sally Fitzgerald (New York: Vintage, 1980), 353-354.]From sundaysandseasons.com. Copyright © 2018 Augsburg Fortress. All rights reserved. 
Dietrich Bonhoeffer, theologian, died 1945
Monday, April 9, 2018
Bonhoeffer was a German theologian who wrote profoundly, yet in an accessible manner. In the Second World War, he became a leader of the Confessing Church in Germany that resisted the Nazi movement. Linked to a plot to kill Hitler, he was hanged shortly before the end of the war.
Mikael Agricola, Bishop of Turku, died 1557
Tuesday, April 10, 2018
Consecrated bishop of Turku, Finland, without the approval of the pope, Agricola began a reform along Lutheran lines. In only three years, he translated the New Testament and worship texts into Finnish, in the process establishing the rules of Finnish writing that are still used today.
From sundaysandseasons.com.  Copyright © 2018 Augsburg Fortress. All rights reserved. Reprinted by permission under Augsburg Fortress Liturgies Annual License #SAS002981.
Daily Reading
Monday         Psalm 135; Daniel 3:1-30; 1 John 2:3-11
Tuesday        Psalm 135; Daniel 6:1-28; 1 John 2:12-17
Wednesday   Psalm 135; Isaiah 26:1-15; Mark 12:18-27
Thursday      Psalm 4; Daniel 9:1-19; 1 John 2:18-25
Friday            Psalm 4; Daniel 10:2-19; 1 John 2:26-28
Saturday        Psalm 4; Acts 3:1-10; Luke 22:24-30
Third Sunday of Easter
                        Acts 3:12-19; Psalm 4; 1 John 3:1-7; Luke 24:36b-48
                                                                Taking faith home
 CARING CONVERSATION: Discuss in your household or small group:   
Share about a time when you felt close to those in your household, or to another group of people.   
•    1 John 1:3-4 speaks about “fellowship.” What is fellowship? What does it mean to have fellowship with God?   
· How does our fellowship with God give us fellowship with other people?  Share some examples from your own life.
DEVOTIONS: 1 John 1:9 tells us of God’s wonderful forgiveness. In your home devotion time this week, confess your sins together and celebrate God’s grace given through Jesus.
Words of Confession: All say together: Almighty God, we admit that we are sinners. We have sinned against you and others by what we have thought, said and done. We ask for your mercy. Please be kind to us for Jesus’ sake. Amen.
Assurance of Forgiveness:  A leader says: The Bible says that if we think that we haven’t sinned we are fooling ourselves. But if we admit our sins to God, he can always be trusted to forgive us. God has been kind to us. He has given his only Son Jesus to die for us, and we are forgiven because of him. We can go in peace. Amen. Give each other hugs or handshakes as a sign of God’s forgiveness.
SERVICE: Acts 4:32-34 says that the first followers of Jesus shared their belongings with other one another and made sure that all those in their community were cared for. Is there someone in your community who is in need at this time – socially, emotionally or physically?  Plan a way you can respond to that need as a household.
RITUALS AND TRADITIONS: What does your household stand for?  What gives your household a sense of togetherness or unity?  Take time out to discuss these questions with each other. Then, design a Household Shield or Household Logo, incorporating symbols that reflect your household’s unique identity and purpose. You may wish to include reference to a Bible verse, such as Psalm 133:1. Place your finished shield or logo design in a prominent place. Use it to help you remember what is most important in your home life.
If we say that we have not sinned, we are fooling ourselves, and the truth isn’t in our hearts. But if we confess our sins to God, he can always be trusted to forgive us and take our sins away. 1 John 1:8-9 (CEV)
A Prayer for the Week:  Lord Jesus, please lead us through our doubts to stronger faith in you. Amen.
Mealtime Prayer:  Loving God, thank you for your good gifts. Unite us as we gather together. Make us one with you and one another. Amen.
A Blessing to Give:  May the risen Lord Jesus give you peace. May your faith in him stay strong. Amen.
© 2011 Vibrant Faith Ministries. All rights reserved. Written by Pr. Greg Priebbenow and edited by Vibrant Faith Ministries
Pray Without Ceasing
Mighty God, in whom we know the power of redemption, you stand among us in the shadows of our time.  As we move through every sorrow and trial of this life, uphold us with knowledge of the final morning when, in the glorious presence of your risen Son, we will share in his resurrection, redeemed and restored to the fullness of life and forever freed to be your people. Amen.
Almighty God, you have given us this good land as our heritage. Make us always remember your generosity and constantly do your will. Bless our land with honesty in the workplace, truth in education, and honor in daily life. Save us from violence, discord, and confusion; from pride and arrogance; and from every evil course of action. When times are prosperous, let our hearts be thankful; and, in troubled times, do not let our trust in you fail. We pray in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord.
ELCA and NWPA Synod and our Bishops, Bishop Elizabeth Eaton and Bishop Ralph Jones
Our Companion Synods, Protestant Church in Central Germany and Evangelical Lutheran Church Tanzania, Karagwe Diocese
Clarion Ministerium
Loving God, we come to you trusting in your mercy and knowing that your steadfast love endures forever. Look with mercy on those who are homeless, hungry, cold, ill, addicted and those who work and volunteer on their behalf.  Protect the under employed and the unemployed, the uninsured and the under insured.
Sustain this congregation with your Word and Holy Sacraments. Increase in us the urgency of proclaiming the good news of your love for all in Christ Jesus. Bring into our fellowship those who need your Means of Grace.  Reveal to us those in doubt and fear, those who are broken, and those who see your presence. Increase our fellowship that we may extend your grace to more and more who are in need of your care.
Gracious God, out of your love and mercy you breathed into dust the breath of life, creating us to serve you and our neighbors. Call forth our prayers and acts of kindness, and strengthen us to face our mortality with confidence in the mercy of your Son, Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.  Amen.
Mealtime Prayer:  
Praise God, from whom all blessings flow; Praise him, all creatures here below; Praise him above, you heavenly hosts. Praise Father, Son and Holy Ghost.  Amen.
I thank you, heavenly Father, through your dear Son, Jesus  Christ, that you have protected  me through the night from all  harm and danger,  I ask you  to keep me this day, too, from  all sin and evil, so that in all my  thoughts, words and deeds I  may please you.  In your hands I place my body and soul and all that is mine.  Let your holy angel be with me, so that the evil one may have no power over me.   Amen.
I thank you, heavenly Father, through your dear Son, Jesus Christ, that you have graciously   protected me today.  I ask you to forgive all my sins and the wrong which I have done.  And graciously keep me this night. In your hands I place my body and   soul and all that is mine. Let your holy angel be with me, so that the evil one may have no power over me.  Amen.
Sunday Worship, April 1                   8:30AM and 11:00AM Holy Communion
            Assistant                     Norma Knapp
            Reader                        Norma Knapp           
            Altar Guild                  Judy Roberts
Monday, April 9                     7:00-8:00 PM Bible Conversations
Tuesday, April 17                   9:30 AM-Noon Project Group
Wednesday, April 11             5-6:30PM        Experiences of Grace-Yoga with Mel
Bring a mat, towel, water bottle, strap or any props…or just bring you!                              Suggested donations: $5 Students, $10 all others
Wednesday, April 18             4:30-6              Food for Friends
Don’t forget to LIKE us out on Facebook, Follow us on Facebook and Share us with your Friends. Contact Grace Lutheran Church office @ 814-226-7548 or parsonage @814-226-7755.    Contact Pastor Jake Jacobson @ 814-229-0999 or jakejacobson77@gmail.com  Contact Pastor Deborah Jacobson @ 814-229-4610 or djacobsondcm@hotmail.com  If you wish to be removed from this list please contact Pastor Deborah Jacobson @ djacobsondcm@hotmail.com
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