Worship at Home for May 1

Dear Friends,

Welcome to the third Sunday of Easter. We are continuing to celebrate the good news that Jesus lives this Easter season. This Sunday we will gather to share the communion meal in remembrance and rejoicing.

If you would like a home visit, conversation, or home communion, please call me at 573-437-2779 (church) or 573-832-2475 (cell).

Announcements:

  • Confirmation Bible Class begins this Sunday after worship.
  • Community Prayer Service at St. James Charlotte at 1pm
    with lunch beginning at 11:45
  • Dorcas meeting on Monday at 7pm
  • Casa informational meeting at Simply Sweet from 7-9am on May 3
  • Hand Bell Choir Practice Wednesday at 4:15
  • Choir practice on Wednesday at 6:30pm
  • Confirmation Class on Wednesday at 6:30pm

Prayers and Blessings,

Pastor Stephanie DeLong

Scripture Lessons: Acts 9:1-6 (7-20), Psalm 30, Revelation 5:11-14, John 21:1-19

Sermon:  Follow God

There is a saying among for those who want to write to write what you know. There might be a saying for ordinary people living their lives to do what you know. Peter, Thomas, and Nathanial are doing what they know. They return to where Jesus originally found them in Galilee and what they were doing, fishing. Fishing is what they know how to do. Fishing is how they make their living.

Peter, Thomas, and Nathaniel have been through a roller coaster of emotions. First there was the Triumphal Entry. Then things became contentious. The Passover meal had some unexpected twists. Jesus spoke of sacrificing himself and added new meaning to the bread and the wine. Peter promised never to betray or deny Jesus but failed just a few hours later. Then at the crucifixion all hope was gone as Jesus died on the cross.

The first day of the week brought strange news of an empty tomb which put the funeral plans on hold. Jesus’ appearances brought hope of new life. But confusion as what to do next.

When a loved one dies there are check lists of what needs to be done. Plans for celebrating the life of the one who has passed from this life to the next are made. Rituals of grief are practiced. Friends and family members gather to share stories and remember.

We may have experienced this recently in our lives. When the person who passes has served a leadership roll in the community there is confusion. Sometimes we have been given instructions before death by the one who has passed. My father had a whole step by step list of instructions that we followed. One woman who was a member of a church that I served even arranged for pizza to be brought to the funeral home during her visitation so her grieving family would be fed. Other times there is complete confusion.

Jesus gave instructions to his disciples before he died. But the instructions did not make sense at the time. Jesus spoke of giving himself over to die so that the world might be changed through him. It was not something that could be understood until after the resurrection. But even then, what to do next was confusing.

When we are confused, we return to what we know. We feel that we need to do something, so we may clean our homes, plant a garden, take a walk, go back to work, or go fishing. I read somewhere that when we are confronted by a seemly impossible set of problems but see one thing that we can accomplish. Do the one thing that we can do.

So that is what Peter, Thomas, and Nathaniel did. They knew how to make a living fishing. So, they returned to Galilee to fish. Only their fishing that night proved to be an empty catch until they saw a figure on the shore. “Jesus called to them, ‘Children, have you caught anything to eat?’” John 21:5 (Common English Bible)

Their answer was no. These men who had fished for a living had a night that would not provide them with food. But the risen Jesus who walked on the earth for 40 days before his ascension holds the power to provide for them abundantly. Hope is renewed as they cast their nets on the right side of the boat and haul in nets full of fish. Hope is restored. They will be fed.

The rejoicing Peter rushes into shore while Thomas and Nathaniel haul in the nets of fish. They then break bread and eat fish on the beach with Jesus who already had a fire going with roasting fish and bread to eat. Jesus breaks the bread and gives it to them. He does the same with the fish. A picnic meal that feeds both body and soul.

This Sunday is Communion Sunday at St. Peter’s. Together we will break the bread and share the wine/grape juice. Perhaps this meal should be one with Goldfish crackers to remember the fish and bread on the beach. When we take communion hope is restored in our hearts. We are doing something that is possible. We are sharing a meal together. For a moment our worries are set aside in the knowledge that no matter how confusing things maybe that Jesus will supply our needs abundantly.

 

Prayer: God who provides us abundantly with what we need we offer up to you our thanks and praise. May we always trust in you to provide. Amen.

Prayer list: All who have been on our list in the past and Elizabeth, Cheryl, Peggy, Mindy, Dave, David, Ken and Evelyn, Jason, Paulette, Jaqueline, Friends of Shelby, Bobby, Kevin, Jim, and for peace in the world in Ukraine and other war-torn places.

Prayers for the family of Peggy Emde who passed away and whose life we celebrated this past week.

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