Messiah’s fair trade display provides coffee and tea, olive oil, nuts and snacks – all from fair trade distributors. Fair trade is a trading partnership that seeks greater equity in international trade. When you buy fair trade coffee and chocolate and other products, more of the money you spend reaches the hands of the farmers and families who grew them.
Last year’s Palm Sunday palms have become the ashes for our Ash Wednesday worship with Holy Communion. Join us at 6:45 pm when we will be marked with ashes to remind us of our mortality. The Reading the Bible Together discussions will be begin at 6:00 pm. Choir practice will follow worship at 7:45 pm. Tonight there will be no fellowship supper.
10 Suggestions for making your Lent (and your life) better
- Take part in Messiah’s “Reading the Bible Together” program . The list of readings is in the hallway by the coat rack, and Pastor Franz sends a daily email reminder. It’s okay to jump in at any point; don’t worry about catching up or keeping up.
- The email reminder includes a “Thought for the Day from Martin Luther.” You may not always agree with him, but Luther’s thoughts on the Christian life are always earnest and seek to make you strong in your faith in God’s grace in Christ.
- Start your day with a devotion. Use Christ in Our Home or the booklet provided by the Prison Congregations of America, both available in the narthex.
- Join in the Wednesday night bible study, meeting at 6:00 p.m. during Lent. Ten to 15 of our Messiah friends have been meeting every week since September, enjoying learning and fellowship. You will be blessed by the time together.
- Worship at the weekly 30-minute Lenten evening Holy Communion services. It’s at 7:00 P.M. Wednesdays, and we are using a beautiful liturgy setting by Marty Haugen and Susan Briehl: “Unfailing Light.” Very short sermon.
- Set aside a little money each day for the hungry. Global offering boxes for just this purpose are in the narthex. Pick one up. Cutting back a little on one of your personal luxuries will make it possible.
- Pray for others each day. It might be a friend or loved one who needs special care, those on our Messiah prayer list, or those you know are just not getting along with very well.
- Take on a volunteer opportunity at Messiah: Outreachers, the mentoring program, the lawn mowing crew, the Sunday school and the choir; and Pastor Franz can always use your help. Community groups outside Messiah need help, too.
- Forgive someone.
- Trust in God. For everything.
We’re Reading the Bible Together
February 17, 2015
The Oil for the Lamp
You shall further command the Israelites to bring you pure oil of beaten olives for the light, so that a lamp may be set up to burn regularly. In the tent of meeting, outside the curtain that is before the covenant, Aaron and his sons shall tend it from evening to morning before the Lord . It shall be a perpetual ordinance to be observed throughout their generations by the Israelites.
We’re Reading the Bible Together!
February 16, 2015
The Ark of the Covenant
They shall make an ark of acacia wood; it shall be two and a half cubits long, a cubit and a half wide, and a cubit and a half high. You shall overlay it with pure gold, inside and outside you shall overlay it, and you shall make a moulding of gold upon it all round. You shall cast four rings of gold for it and put them on its four feet, two rings on one side of it, and two rings on the other side. You shall make poles of acacia wood, and overlay them with gold. And you shall put the poles into the rings on the sides of the ark, by which to carry the ark. The poles shall remain in the rings of the ark; they shall not be taken from it. You shall put into the ark the covenant that I shall give you.
Then you shall make a mercy-seat of pure gold; two cubits and a half shall be its length, and a cubit and a half its width. You shall make two cherubim of gold; you shall make them of hammered work, at the two ends of the mercy-seat. Make one cherub at one end, and one cherub at the other; of one piece with the mercy-seat you shall make the cherubim at its two ends. The cherubim shall spread out their wings above, overshadowing the mercy-seat with their wings. They shall face each other; the faces of the cherubim shall be turned towards the mercy-seat. You shall put the mercy-seat on the top of the ark; and in the ark you shall put the covenant that I shall give you. There I will meet you, and from above the mercy-seat, from between the two cherubim that are on the ark of the covenant, I will deliver to you all my commands for the Israelites.
Reading the Bible Together
February 14, 2014
You shall not spread a false report. You shall not join hands with the wicked to act as a malicious witness. You shall not follow a majority in wrongdoing; when you bear witness in a lawsuit, you shall not side with the majority so as to pervert justice; nor shall you be partial to the poor in a lawsuit.
When you come upon your enemy’s ox or donkey going astray, you shall bring it back.
When you see the donkey of one who hates you lying under its burden and you would hold back from setting it free, you must help to set it free.
You shall not pervert the justice due to your poor in their lawsuits. Keep far from a false charge, and do not kill the innocent or those in the right, for I will not acquit the guilty. You shall take no bribe, for a bribe blinds the officials, and subverts the cause of those who are in
You shall not oppress a resident alien; you know the heart of an alien, for you were aliens in the land of Egypt.
Reading the Bible Together
February 13, 2015
You shall not wrong or oppress a resident alien, for you were aliens in the land of Egypt. You shall not abuse any widow or orphan. If you do abuse them, when they cry out to me, I will surely heed their cry; my wrath will burn, and I will kill you with the sword, and your wives shall become widows and your children orphans.
If you lend money to my people, to the poor among you, you shall not deal with them as a creditor; you shall not exact interest from them. If you take your neighbour’s cloak in pawn, you shall restore it before the sun goes down; for it may be your neighbour’s only clothing to use as cover; in what else shall that person sleep? And if your neighbour cries out to me, I will listen, for I am compassionate.
We’re Reading the Bible Together
February 12, 2015
The Ten Commandments
Then God spoke all these words:
I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery; you shall have no other gods before me.
You shall not make for yourself an idol, whether in the form of anything that is in heaven above, or that is on the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I the Lord your God am a jealous God, punishing children for the iniquity of parents, to the third and the fourth generation of those who reject me, but showing steadfast love to the thousandth generation of those who love me and keep my commandments.
You shall not make wrongful use of the name of the Lord your God, for the Lord will not acquit anyone who misuses his name.
Remember the sabbath day, and keep it holy. For six days you shall labor and do all your work. But the seventh day is a sabbath to the Lord your God; you shall not do any work—you, your son or your daughter, your male or female slave, your livestock, or the alien resident in your towns. For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but rested the seventh day; therefore the Lord blessed the sabbath day and consecrated it.
Honor your father and your mother, so that your days may be long in the land that the Lord your God is giving you.
You shall not murder.
You shall not commit adultery.
You shall not steal.
You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.
You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or male or female slave, or ox, or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor.
Reading the Bible Together
February 11, 2015
Water from the Rock
From the wilderness of Sin the whole congregation of the Israelites journeyed by stages, as the Lord commanded. They camped at Rephidim, but there was no water for the people to drink. The people quarreled with Moses, and said, ‘Give us water to drink.’ Moses said to them, ‘Why do you quarrel with me? Why do you test the Lord ?’ But the people thirsted there for water; and the people complained against Moses and said, ‘Why did you bring us out of Egypt, to kill us and our children and livestock with thirst?’ So Moses cried out to the Lord , ‘What shall I do with this people? They are almost ready to stone me.’ The Lord said to Moses, ‘Go on ahead of the people, and take some of the elders of Israel with you; take in your hand the staff with which you struck the Nile, and go. I will be standing there in front of you on the rock at Horeb. Strike the rock, and water will come out of it, so that the people may drink.’ Moses did so, in the sight of the elders of Israel. He called the place Massah and Meribah, because the Israelites quarrelled and tested the Lord , saying, ‘Is the Lord among us or not?’