We conclude our reading of the Gospel of John, John 20-21, the Resurrection. This will be the focus of our last Midweek study of John via Zoom @ 5 p.m.
Holy Week starts March 28 with Palm Sunday 10 am worship, Good Friday worship at 7 p.m. and Easter at 10 am. All indoors now. (with masks and proper social distancing) Maundy Thursday April 1, we will have a zoom in home worship service.
SUMMARY OF JOHN 20-21
Mary Magdalene – Is named in all four Gospels as one of the women who goes to the tomb early Sunday morning. In John’s Gospel, she is the only one named. She is also named by John as one of three women named Mary at the cross, John 19:25. In Luke 8 we read that she had seven demons. A demon in the first century could refer to an unexplained physical illness or a psychiatric disorder. It could also indicate a deep spiritual wrestling. Her troubles are eased by Jesus and she has a deep connection with him. She seems to have had some financial means because after her deliverance, she supplied some of the financial resources for his ministry (Luke 8:1-3). Her first thought after she finds the empty tomb is that the body of Jesus had been stolen. She ran to tell the disciples. Peter and the beloved disciple came running and indeed found the tomb empty. Although the beloved disciple believed, the disciples do not understand “that he must rise from the dead.” Mary returned to weep. Despite seeing angels, she still thought that the body of Jesus had been stolen. Now, Jesus himself came to her and asked the same question the angels did: “Woman, why are you weeping?”. She does not recognize Jesus and asks him if he took the body. It is only when Jesus says her name that Mary’s eyes are opened. She is told not to cling to Jesus, but rather share the Good News with the disciples.
The Disciples – Jesus appears next to the disciples, all but Thomas. They are fearful at first, but the wounds of Jesus brought them peace and joy. They are now to be sent out into the world bringing forgiveness and new hope. Thomas is there a week later when Jesus came again. Once his faith is confirmed, Thomas calls Jesus “Lord and God”. This is the highest confession of faith in the Gospel.
The purpose of the Book – There are other stories that could be told of Jesus and are in the other gospels. John wrote these so that “You may believe the Jesus is the Christ” and in doing so have life in his name. The book seems to end here, but John adds one more chapter.
John 21 After all that has happened, Peter is ready to go fishing. Several of the disciples go with him. Peter has a “come to Jesus moment” when Jesus asked him three times “do you love me?” Why three times, is it meant to offer a new path after the three denials? Peter also wondered about his future and how it was different from that of the Beloved Disciple.
Questions You can contemplate on your own or better yet, join our discussion on Zoom on Wednesday nights @ 5 p. now through March 24.
- What do you imagine Mary Magdalene’s life was like before meeting Jesus?
- How did she respond to Jesus’ healing?
- What do you think she was thinking or feeling as she approached the tomb?
- How do you feel when you approach a cemetery?
- Do you remember the assassination of JFK or Martin Luther King Jr.? Did you weep for them, pray for them? Who have you wept for?
- Have you known people whose lives have been “turned around” and now live dedicated lives?
- Peter and the beloved disciple would take different paths in life. Peter perhaps wondered at time is life was fair. Have you wondered that?
- Have you known people who have experiences of the afterlife?
- How differently did the disciples live their lives, in light of the Resurrection?
- Do you live life differently when you consider life eternal?
- How do you live your life differently knowing that hate, sin, and death do not have the final word?
- Jesus comes to Mary as a gardener, God was the gardener in Genesis 3:8.
IS God creating a new garden in the resurrection of Jesus?
- Where do you see the Kingdom of God breaking through like spring time in our world?
We will discuss this March 24, thanks to all for your participation. April 1 will be Maundy Thursday at home.
God Bless you!
Pastor John Bunge
Loving God of Light and Life, thank you for the Resurrection. Thank you for the hope of salvation and eternal life. Guide and strengthen us so that we may be your faithful witnesses of this Good News. Amen.
Wednesday 5 pm Study of John – assignment for March 24, chapters 20-21. The Zoom link each week for the study and for Maundy Thursday at home is https://us02web.zoom.us/j/81752203011?pwd=dXU0VUVNSXVEYjRuZGcvMWlvOEFKQT09 — Meeting ID: 817 5220 3011 — Passcode: 030439
WORSHIP – Sundays at 10 am on our campus and via Zoom. We are now worshipping in the sanctuary. The Zoom link each week on Sunday will be https://us02web.zoom.us/j/89118792862?pwd=WUF6aHB3dmFHOXp5SWZ4ZnRDVUtJdz09 You can also go into Zoom each week and enter Meeting ID: 891 1879 2862 with the Passcode: Faith. We also record the service.
Sunday, March 21 – The Mission not Me – Jesus and the Greeks
Wednesday March 24 at 5 p.m. Wednesday night Bible Study via Zoom
Sunday, March 28 – Palm Sunday Holy Week begins
Thursday April 1 5 p.m. – Maundy Thursday at home worship.
Friday, April 2 – Good Friday Service 7 p.m.
Church Office Hours Tuesday and Wednesday this week, March 23 and 24. Holy Week Thursday and Friday April 1 and 8.
Reminder — people who have Thrivent, remember to designate your 2020 Choice dollars before the end of March. $1050 has been received thus far.
Sunday, April 4 – Easter Sunday
MEMBER UPDATES AND CONTINUAL PRAYERS
- A cyst was found during an exam on Carol Jensen’s daughter, Karen. They were found to be a cluster of tiny cysts and will just need to be rechecked in 6 months.
- Roxanne Foss would like prayers for her niece Ginny.
- Donna Cady, suffered a stroke. She is the mother of Steve Cady and his sister Sherry. They are attempting to arrange more secure housing for her.
- Thank you for your prayers for Jerry Mills, he is recovering well from surgery at home.
- Jeanne Koenig was back at work this week and feeling much better after a tough reaction to her Johnson and Johnson vaccine.
- Michael Shea’s daughter, Rebecca has a new chapter in her life journey opening to her. Thanks for your prayers.
- The new cancerous tumor found within Glenda Kirker’s is contained.
- Jan Wheeler received Good News. All cancer was removed and all markers are clear.
- The disabled friend of the Halls, Mike, is on the mend.
- Carol Fultz’ sister, Barbara Colangelo, is leaving rehab. Her husband Ed is having some squamous removed. Their granddaughter-in-law Vanessa is undergoing tests related to her high-risk diabetes.
- Continue prayers for erwin for strength and Lynda for healing.
- Glenn Egertson and a crew from camp will be here in the next few weeks to complete the covered walkway to the fellowship hall.
- Landscaping improvements will be continuing out front; next comes some planting in the middle of the river and a cross for Easter.
- Our next pantry day is this Saturday, March 27.
- Eleanor Diaz has completed NINE quilts in addition to lap robes
You are special people! We are a special congregation of FAITH!