Weekly Update

Greetings, everyone –

Yesterday was Ascension Day. In the history of Western art, the ascension scene has been a favorite among artists. Jesus is often depicted rising in clouds toward heaven, being escorted or carried by angels, or even reaching out his hand to that of his Father. But there is also a tradition that depicts Jesus’ ascension by showing only his feet.

 

(See attached: The Ascension of Christ by Hans Süss von Kumbach (1513) or The Ascension of Christ by Salvador Dali (1958).)

 

These “feet only” scenes draw the onlooker directly into the moment, providing not an illustration of the ascension but an experience of it. These artists leave open the question of what happened next (angels, clouds, heaven) to focus on what the disciples would have seen and invite the viewer to feel what they felt.

 

THIS SUNDAY AT CENTRAL

 

Reminder: Council meets at 9am in the pastor’s office.

 

Van Driver: There is no van service this Sunday.

 

Education Hour (9:45 in the Fireside Room): Come study the Gospel text for the day.

 

Coffee Hour: TBD

 

In Worship: The gospel for Easter’s seventh Sunday is always taken from the long prayer Jesus prays for his followers in John’s gospel on the night before his death, and always includes Jesus’ desire that his followers will be one as he and the Father are one. This oneness is not mere doctrinal agreement or institutional unity, but mutual abiding, interpenetrating life, mutual love and joy. This oneness is the work of the Spirit whom we have received but also await. Come, Holy Spirit!

 

Readings and Psalm

Acts 1:15-17, 21-26

Matthias added to the apostles

Psalm 1

The Lord knows the way of the righteous. (Ps. 1:6)

1 John 5:9-13

Life in the Son of God

John 17:6-19

Christ’s prayer for his disciples

 

Move In Day

Even as students are moving out of dorms to head home (or wherever) for the summer, it doesn’t seem that long ago that the teary farewells of fall were in the air. Legions of parents descended with carloads that included tiny refrigerators, Ikea furniture, electronics, area rugs, and posters. They unloaded the one they birthed, raised, nursed, instructed, and reproved for eighteen years or so, to prepare him or her for independence. Then, just like that, the parents are gone, perhaps wiping away tears. Perhaps their final words were ones they hoped would stick. “Study well.” “Make good choices.” “Watch your time.” “Don’t stay up too late.” But in every parental heart is a simple prayer: “O God, be with them.”

 

In the final portion of Jesus’ great prayer for the disciples (John 17:6-19), he entreats the Father to love and protect the disciples as a parent who knows their time for direct supervision is coming to an end. In this preparation we hear his pleading like a loving parent who wants the best for the ones he has sheltered, taught, loved, reproved, and sent. Jesus begs for God to hold them in the truth that is to do as they have been taught, to follow the model established for them. Jesus asked for the disciples to be protected and surrounded so that they may not be lost. He prays for the disciples to have their joy completed, and to live what they have seen and understood from their rabbi. May we, like the disciples, live in the truth of the gospel, love as we have been loved, have our joy complete, and, above all, know that God is with us.

 

THEATER TRIP

We have only three tickets remaining for our trip to see “Bye Bye Birdie” at Lake City Playhouse in Coeur d’Alene. There are also just a few seats remaining on the van. Remaining tickets are $19 and checks should be made out to “Central Lutheran.” Our group is attending the show on Sunday, May 20th at 2pm.

 

CHOIR ANTHEM SUNDAY

A perennial favorite, our Anthem Sunday is on May 20th. Our choir will feature their favorite anthems from the past year during worship. Don’t miss it!

 

SUMMER SCHEDULE

In the past, we have seen a change in worship time for the summer. At the adult forum where we discussed moving our worship time, the 40+ people in attendance suggested that we keep the same 11am worship time for the whole year and then re-evaluate in the fall. That said, there IS an early service available for those of you for whom the earlier time is the important factor. In talking with Asher, he is more than happy to have you attend the 9am service with Communitas. You will find that their worship has recognizable elements (they were opening worship with “A Mighty Fortress” last week) and you can drop your offering for Central in the lockbox by the mailboxes. He will be encouraging Communitas members who prefer a later time during the summer to join us at 11am. We might even do our own little version of a “pulpit swap” during the summer. So…you have options.

 

GOD HAS MADE US HIS STEWARDS

As God’s stewards, our first assignment was given to us in Genesis 1:28: “God blessed them and said to them, ‘Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and over every living creature that moves on the ground.’”  God delegated us as his representatives to rule the earth in his place. We have been given dominion over God’s creation. Because God has retained his ownership of all things, we are stewards who are responsible and accountable to God. God is the owner; we are the stewards or managers.

Prayer: Lord, I thank you for the awesome and challenging privilege you have been given me to be a steward of your creation. To think that the God of creation is giving me this opportunity is very humbling and exciting. Grant me the faith that I need so all I do honors you. In Christ’s name I pray. Amen.

Blessings on your stewardship journey!

See you in worship!

 

Peace,

Pastor Dave

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