Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Lazarus Raised from the Dead

John 12:11 "So the high priests plotted to kill Lazarus, because so many of the Jews were going over and believing in Jesus on account of him."
Lazarus never did anything famous we know of; he was known for what Jesus did for him, i.e. raising him from the dead.  And he is known for his sisters, Mary and Martha, two women well-remembered for worship and work, respectively. Lazarus, himself, never weighed in on the virtues of worship and work.

Yet Lazarus is famous, more famous than the many other sick people healed by Jesus. Apparently he had a notoriety in the greater Jerusalem area that moved the high priests to plan his murder. He was known as the man Jesus raised from the dead.

For someone who came back from the dead, Lazarus had nothing quotable to report. The Gospel only notes that "Lazarus and his sisters hosted a dinner for him [Jesus]." Yet it was his sister Mary who stole the moment by using the expensive perfume to anoint the feet of Jesus. Lazarus does nothing more than "host" the occasion.

Yet being speechless could be the most fitting response to receiving the ultimate gift from Jesus. John,  the "disciple who Jesus loved," is seldom quoted in the Gospel. Instead he goes down in history for what Jesus did for him, i.e. loved him.  Nothing about how he turned that love into a productive career. How do you begin to repay unmerited love? With worthy actions? How do you repay the gift of a second life? With a better use of your time? With an impressive resume of helpful service later in life?

Becoming the target of a religious/ political "hit" is more than enough fame for most people.  You have become a symbol of God's power and grace through Jesus.  That is a heavy, but worthy burden to carry. We don't know if Lazarus had to dodge any bullets, but I suspect he knew his new life was a gift, and he accepted his mortality, even vulnerability to attack.

To be famous, like Lazarus and John, for what Jesus has done for me has not been my goal. How would it look on my business card or my tombstone?

William Tucker
Heart softened by Jesus
That could work.

Monday, April 29, 2019

Chesterfield Earth Day

The Chesterfield Earth Day Festival is celebrating its 28th anniversary this year on Saturday May 4 from 10AM-2PM at Chesterfield Mall near Sears! This festival is one of the region’s largest Earth Day events and offers a convenient recycling drive-thru, eco-friendly and up-cycled products, information exhibits, plus cultural entertainment!  The Chesterfield Citizens Committee for the Environment will host this FREE community event for all ages to enjoy! There will be tree seedling giveaways and wood carving by Wood Den.

Partner for a Just Trade will have a booth along with other participants will be inside the mall.  Participants can enjoy visiting with informational exhibitors and vendors selling upcycled and recycled art and craft items and nearly anything that can be recycled will be collected at the drive-thru recycling area on the parking lot in front of Sears. Most items are free of charge, but certain fees may apply to TVs. Items that are not accepted include thermostats, smoke detectors and alkaline batteries.

The popular recycling drive-thru takes place on the Sears parking lot from 9:00 am to Noon The following items are being accepted:
•Bicycles (St. Louis Bicycle Works)
•The Citizens Alliance for Positive Youth (CAPY) and the Chesterfield Police Department will be collecting prescription and over-the-counter medications, ointments and patches. No inhalers or 'sticks'.
•Cardboard (Republic Services)
•Electronics, TVs, computers, and small appliances (MRC) *Fees for some TVs apply.
  • ID theft is the largest crime in the United States.  One way to protect yourself is to properly dispose all of your data bearing devices i.e. computers, printers, cellphones. 
     ** This also applies to business owners and their equipment
  • All equipment that is gathered will undergo complete data destruction as we are required to perform this service per our R2 Certification
  • It is actually illegal to dispose of electronic waste through traditional disposal methods  as e-waste contains numerous toxins that leach into the earth 
  • Proper disposal reduces environmental damage and enables reuse, re-purpose & recycle opportunities which optimizes end of life use for the best.
  • Its a great thing to do for the community and the earth as MRC  complies to 0% Landfill use
•Used clothing, linens, and paired shoes (Remains, Inc.)
•Buttons, beads, board games, and children’s books (St. Louis Teacher’s Recycle Center)
•Fabric and sewing machines (TheSharity.Org)
•Prescription and over-the-counter medications (Chesterfield Police Dept. and CAPY)
•Documents for offsite shredding by Pedro's Planet. *Note - documents will NOT be shredded on-site.  Five-box limit for drop off. 

Will not accept paint or chemicals.

For more information on the event, call 636.812.9500 or go to the website https://www.chesterfield.mo.us/chesterfield-earth-day-festival.html

Photo:  Miriam Espacio on Unsplash.

Sunday, April 28, 2019

Worship Prayers for April 7

CENTERING PRAYER (St. Augustine of Hippo)

“Look upon us, O Lord, and let all the darkness of our souls vanish before the beams of thy brightness. Fill us with holy love, and open to us the treasures of thy wisdom. All our desire is known unto thee, therefore perfect what thou hast begun, and what thy Spirit has awakened us to ask in prayer. We seek thy face, turn thy face unto us and show us thy glory. Then shall our longing be satisfied, and our peace shall be perfect.”


When the Lord restored the fortunes of Zion,
we were like those who dream.
Then our mouth was filled with laughter and shouts of joy.
We rejoiced: “The Lord has done great things for us.”
May those who go out weeping, earing the seed for sowing,
come home with joy, carrying their sheaves.
Come! Let us worship our God together!


Purifying God, we grow comfortable with the way things are in our lives, in the church, and in the world. We do not always welcome the new life you offer in Christ, for you overturn our notions of power and protocol. Sure of our own righteousness, we are critical of others. Wanting to control our assets, we hoard the gifts you give us. Forgive us, we pray, for seeking our gain at the expense of others. Help us bend our lives toward your own life of self-giving and sacrifice. Fill our lives, our homes, our churches, and the whole world, with the abundant love of Christ until you make all things new. We continue to pray in Jesus’ name. (Silent Confession)


“…We thank you, O God: You are making all things new!

Saturday, April 27, 2019

Scripture for Worship April 27

Luke 24:13-35 New International Version (NIV)

On the Road to Emmaus

13 Now that same day two of them were going to a village called Emmaus, about seven miles[a] from Jerusalem. 14 They were talking with each other about everything that had happened. 15 As they talked and discussed these things with each other, Jesus himself came up and walked along with them; 16 but they were kept from recognizing him.
17 He asked them, “What are you discussing together as you walk along?”
They stood still, their faces downcast. 18 One of them, named Cleopas, asked him, “Are you the only one visiting Jerusalem who does not know the things that have happened there in these days?”
19 “What things?” he asked.
“About Jesus of Nazareth,” they replied. “He was a prophet, powerful in word and deed before God and all the people. 20 The chief priests and our rulers handed him over to be sentenced to death, and they crucified him; 21 but we had hoped that he was the one who was going to redeem Israel. And what is more, it is the third day since all this took place. 22 In addition, some of our women amazed us. They went to the tomb early this morning 23 but didn’t find his body. They came and told us that they had seen a vision of angels, who said he was alive. 24 Then some of our companions went to the tomb and found it just as the women had said, but they did not see Jesus.”
25 He said to them, “How foolish you are, and how slow to believe all that the prophets have spoken! 26 Did not the Messiah have to suffer these things and then enter his glory?” 27 And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself.
28 As they approached the village to which they were going, Jesus continued on as if he were going farther. 29 But they urged him strongly, “Stay with us, for it is nearly evening; the day is almost over.” So he went in to stay with them.
30 When he was at the table with them, he took bread, gave thanks, broke it and began to give it to them. 31 Then their eyes were opened and they recognized him,and he disappeared from their sight. 32 They asked each other, “Were not our hearts burning within us while he talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us?”
33 They got up and returned at once to Jerusalem. There they found the Eleven and those with them, assembled together 34 and saying, “It is true! The Lord has risen and has appeared to Simon.” 35 Then the two told what had happened on the way, and how Jesus was recognized by them when he broke the bread.


  1. Luke 24:13 Or about 11 kilometers
New International Version (NIV)
Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
Gang nach Emmaus, Gemälde von Robert Zünd, 1877, 119 x 158 cm, Kunstmuseum St. Gallen 

Friday, April 26, 2019

Daily Prayer April 26

I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, and in God's word is my hope.

Brightness of God‘s glory and exact image of God’s person, whom death could not conquer nor the tomb imprison, as you have shared our frailty in human flesh, help us to share your immortality in the Spirit. Reveal yourself to us this day and all our days, as the first and the last, the Living One, our immortal Savior and Lord. Living God, by the Passover of your Son you have brought us out of sin into righteousness, and out of death into life. Grant to those who are sealed by your Holy Spirit the will and power to proclaim you to all the world. Holy God, giver of peace, when in our families and churches we are divided and at odds with one another, take from us mistrust, party spirit, contention, and all evil that divides us. Work in us a desire for reconciliation, so that, putting aside personal grievances, we may go about your business with a single mind, devoted to our Lord Jesus Christ. (Add your prayers.) Amen.

May God in endless mercy bring the whole church, the living and departed, to a joyful resurrection in the fulfillment of the eternal kingdom.

(Opening sentences, prayers, and blessings are from the Book of Common Worship. Readings are from the daily lectionary in Daily Prayer. Both are published by Westminster/John Knox Press.)

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

A Place to Pray

Photo by Kyle Johnson on Unsplash
When He had sent them away, He departed to a mountain to pray. Mark 6:46 9 (MEV)
Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth. Psalm 46:10 (MEV)

Away, away, to find a place to pray. Away from the needful, the devoted, the crowds. Up into the mountains, the solitude, the silence. "Be still, and know that I am God" said the Psalmist, and that vacancy, when filled with the presence of the divine and the wonder of creation, would become an exaltation. 

My own efforts to find the stillness, though rewarded when successful, are always difficult to achieve. I find that even if I manage to tune out the usual distractions, or actually get away to the mountainside, I have carried a burden of internal clutter, mental noise, vagrant memory, anxious anticipation- all of which must be "sent away" before I can be "still." I've found that in moments of wonder the stillness comes more readily- the exaltation of a brilliant night sky, the infinite beauty of waves on the shore, and the stunning expanse of the mountainside all leave me feeling the connection, grateful for the Grace, and ready to listen, but how do I find this place to pray everywhere and always?  God is already there.

Dear God, please help me find you in all the places, in all the goodness, all the time.  Amen

John Northrip

Monday, April 22, 2019

Achieving the Impossible

Marion Medical Mission has operated over 30 years in obedience to God’s call to “love your neighbor as yourself.”  We are blessed over and over again as we step out in faith to do the impossible. God meets us and helps us accomplish things that have never been done before.

As we grow and move forward, we promise to----

  • Continue to step out in faith, going beyond what we can do for ourselves.
  • Maintain our donation system where 100% goes where it’s designated and 100% of all undesignated funds go to the field in Africa.
  • Do everything we can with what we have where we have it.
  • Use everything that God has given us while leaving room for God to work.
  • Remember that we are doing our work WITH God’s people, not FOR them.
  • Reach across the ocean, connecting people on both sides and being a “light that shines” leading them in the right direction.
  • Achieve the impossible with God’s blessing and provision.

Sunday, April 21, 2019

Worship Prayers Easter Sunday

CENTERING PRAYER (The Gelasian Sacramentary, c. 500)

 “The moment we have longed for has come; the night of our desires is here. What greater occupation could there be than for us to proclaim the power of your resurrection! This was the night when you shattered the gates of hell, and you took up the victory banner of Heaven. This was the night when you set us among the stars. When your mother Mary gave birth to you, she was overwhelmed with joy at your beauty. Now we are overwhelmed with joy at your power. The blood which flowed from your side has washed away our sins. Your body rising from the tomb has promised us eternal life. Eternal are the blessings which in your love you have poured upon us.”

Rejoice and be glad: This is the day that the Lord has made! Rejoice and be glad: Heaven and earth will never be the same! Rejoice and be glad: Christ is risen! Alleluia! 

Gracious God, we have heard the good news: how on the third day, Christ rose again. Still we look for the living among the dead. You rolled away the stone from the tomb. Still we look for the living among the dead. You sent messengers to proclaim the gospel. Still we look for the living among the dead. You were faithful to your promise; you have done wonderful things! Still we look for the living among the dead. (Silent Confession) Forgive us, Lord, we pray. Teach us to trust your promise and to believe the good news of salvation: Christ is alive; Jesus is risen from the dead. Amen. 

 The peace of Christ be with you. And also with you. 

Saturday, April 20, 2019

Holy Saturday Prayers

John 19:38-42

38 After these things, Joseph of Arimathea, who was a disciple of Jesus, though a secret one because of his fear of the Jews, asked Pilate to let him take away the body of Jesus. Pilate gave him permission; so he came and removed his body. 39Nicodemus, who had at first come to Jesus by night, also came, bringing a mixture of myrrh and aloes, weighing about a hundred pounds. 40They took the body of Jesus and wrapped it with the spices in linen cloths, according to the burial custom of the Jews. 41Now there was a garden in the place where he was crucified, and in the garden there was a new tomb in which no one had ever been laid. 42And so, because it was the Jewish day of Preparation, and the tomb was nearby, they laid Jesus there.

CALL TO WORSHIP Our Lord has died. The tomb is sealed. We gather today to mourn, to remember, to grieve the thought of a world without Christ. 

 PRAYER OF CONFESSION We have kept our faith in secret. We have distanced ourselves from your flock. For all the times we have denied you, Lord: Forgive us, we pray. We have broken our promises of faithful service. We have preferred confident lies to uncertain silence. For all the times we have betrayed you, Lord: Forgive us, we pray. We have averted our eyes from your suffering. We have chosen not to see your brothers and sisters in need. For all the times we have turned away: Forgive us, we pray. Hear our cries, O Lord. Forgive us! Forgive us! Forgive us! (Silent Confession) 

DECLARATION OF FORGIVENESS Surely Jesus Christ has borne our sin. By his wounds we are healed.
Photo by Kyle Glenn on Unsplash

Friday, April 19, 2019

John 13:36-38

John 13:36-38
36Simon Peter said to him, “Lord, where are you going?” Jesus answered, “Where I am going, you cannot follow me now; but you will follow afterward.” 37Peter said to him, “Lord, why can I not follow you now? I will lay down my life for you.” 38Jesus answered, “Will you lay down your life for me? Very truly, I tell you, before the cock crows, you will have denied me three times.”
Photo by Jehyun Sung on Unsplash

Thursday, April 18, 2019

Talking to Children about the Crucifixion

John 3: 16
Luke 19: 28-40

For God so loved the world. .. .

The story of the crucifixion can be disturbing to children.  They have heard many Bible stories about Jesus.  They are well aware of Jesus' birth and the meaning of Christmas.  They know Jesus helped and healed many people.  They know that God loved Jesus, and that He loves us.

It is God's love for us that we need to impress upon our young ones as we talk to them about the crucifixion.

. . .that He gave his only Son. . . 

God gave Jesus to this world to teach us the true meaning of love.  We learn how to love others and ourselves by following Jesus' example.  We need to model this example of love in our own homes.

. . .that whoever believes. . . 

As terrible as the story of the crucifixion is, we must know it and stress to our children that "happy" ending.   The crux of the story is not the horrible crucifixion itself, but that Jesus did actually live again.

. . .shall not die. . .

The Story of the crucifixion can actually be comforting to a child at times of death and sorrow.  It is important for us to let our children know early on that as Christians, we will all live together in heaven someday.

Re-published from St. Mark Presbyterian's 1998 Lenten Devotion with permission of the author, D. Schiro.