OUR LENTEN OBSERVANCE
Whoa now, Fr. Ben. We just got started with Lent, and you're talking about Palm Sunday?
In the past couple of years, it has struck me how much is crammed in such a short time frame during Holy Week. Trying to digest it all in the course of 8 days is a bit like trying to get a sip of water from a fire hose. Sure, you might get some water, but you just as easily get blown away in the process. So this year, I'm starting early, not to rush through Lent but to savor the deep moments when they each come in due time.
Palm Sunday begins with the blessing of palms and our procession into the church. Palms are quite appropriate for the occasion of Jesus's triumphant entry into Jerusalem, as they were a sign of victory brought out to welcome the victor.
Those who welcome Jesus see him as a savior but not the one that they are expecting. Many think the Messiah is come to overthrow the Roman oppression and restore the glory of the Temple like unto the days of David and Solomon.
Jesus fails to meet their expectations, and we see the mob turn on the Lord. Those who shouted "Hosanna" now cry out "Crucify him." In the course of our liturgy we see this link as we transition from the Liturgy of the Palms to solemnity of the Passion narrative. Victory seemingly gives way to defeat.
But there is more than meets the eye in the story of Palm Sunday. In Revelation 7:9-10, we hear:
- After this I looked, and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and before the Lamb. They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands. And they cried out in a loud voice: “Salvation belongs to our God, who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb.”
The fullness of the Gospel shows us that the triumphant entry foreshadows the ultimate triumph that will occur just one week later in the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
And just as the palms which are waved have a greater significance than is first imagined, Jesus has indeed come to triumph over the oppressor, overthrowing an even greater enemy than Rome in his victory over sin and death. And he has indeed bestowed a new glory on the chosen people of God, not in the form of a building, but on those who rightly worship God as he makes them a Temple of the Holy Spirit.
But it is not for us to rush through the events of Holy Week on a tear towards Easter, because there is no resurrection without their first being death. So, we slow down that we may see and hear anew the cost of this great victory. We remember once more the fullness of the Passion of our Lord.
Palm Sunday, triumph to tragedy.
Easter Sunday, tragedy to triumph.
VESTRY MEETING NEWS
We touched on a number of things at this past Sunday's Vestry meeting. But it was the meeting after the meeting that I'd like to talk about today.
One of the things that needs to happen from time to time is to take stock of where you are in order to know where you might go. Well, we took time on Sunday afternoon to take a long, hard look at the various ministries we have here at Trinity.
To guide our conversation, we sought to consider the various categories in which a ministry might be designated. The six areas we used come from an acronym in use by some in the Episcopal Church SWEEPS:
- S - Service
- W - Worship
- E - Education
- E - Evangelism
- P - Parish Life / Pastoral Care
- S - Stewardship
In the course of the afternoon, we categorized each ministry at Trinity while recognizing the potential, even the necessity, of touching multiple categories, thereby tying together the whole of our ministry map. And then we also took the time to generate ideas for how we might expand in each area.
It was a great conversation that is one step along the way of continuing to renew our commitment to serve Christ faithfully at Trinity, in Mt. Vernon, and to the ends of the earth.
I invite you to ask a Vestry member about our time together. Ask about how God is at work in us already and how he might be calling us to go forward. Ask about how you might get involved in one or more of these areas contributing to an existing ministry or beginning a new one.
I'm pretty excited about where we are headed, and I'm betting the rest of the Vestry is too. So ask us.
Stations of the Cross: Friday, March 17, we will walk the Stations of the Cross with St. Mary's Catholic Church. This week will be at Trinity beginning at 7:00 p.m.
Parish Dinner: Being the third Sunday of the month, we will have a Parish Dinner following the service Sunday. Join us for worship and then head over to the Parish Hall for food and fellowship.
Easter Flowers: Well if it's not too early to talk about Palm Sunday, then it's not too early to talk about Easter flowers. Envelopes will be available starting this Sunday. In addition to beautifying the church at Easter, it is a great occasion for a special memorial or thanksgiving which you would like to commemorate in our Paschal celebration of the Resurrection.
Feast of St. Joseph: The feast of St. Joseph, typically March 19, is getting bumped this year since it falls on a Sunday. That means we will celebrate Joseph, the adoptive father of our Lord, on Monday, March 20, with Holy Eucharist at 5:30 p.m.
5:30 PM - Mass
6:00 PM - Soup and Study
5-7 PM - Knights of Columbus Fish Fry
7:00 PM - Stations of the Cross at Trinity
Sunday, 3/19 - Third Sunday in Lent
9:15 AM - Anglican Rosary
9:30 AM - Sunday School
10:30 AM - Mass
Parish Dinner Following
Monday, 3/20 - St. Joseph
5:30 PM - Mass
8:30 AM - Mass @ Good Samaritan Hospital
Mark Your Calendar
3/27: The Annunciation (transferred)
Monday: 9 AM-12 PM, Panera Bread
Tuesday: 1-4 PM, Church
Wednesday: 3-5 PM King City Books
Sunday, March 19
Lay Eucharistic Minister
Monthly Ministry Schedule Here
Hear, read, mark, learn, and inwardly digest
March 19, 2017 - Third Sunday in Lent, Year A
Almighty God, who seest that we have no power of ourselves to help ourselves: Keep us both outwardly in our bodies and inwardly in our souls, that we may be defended from all adversities which may happen to the body, and from all evil thoughts which may assault and hurt the soul; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
All the congregation of the people of Israel moved on from the wilderness of Sin by stages, according to the commandment of the Lord, and camped at Reph′idim; but there was no water for the people to drink. Therefore the people found fault with Moses, and said, “Give us water to drink.” And Moses said to them, “Why do you find fault with me? Why do you put the Lord to the proof?” But the people thirsted there for water, and the people murmured against Moses, and said, “Why did you bring us up out of Egypt, to kill us and our children and our cattle with thirst?” So Moses cried to the Lord, “What shall I do with this people? They are almost ready to stone me.” And the Lord said to Moses, “Pass on before the people, taking with you some of the elders of Israel; and take in your hand the rod with which you struck the Nile, and go. Behold, I will stand before you there on the rock at Horeb; and you shall strike the rock, and water shall come out of it, that the people may drink.” And Moses did so, in the sight of the elders of Israel. And he called the name of the place Massah and Mer′ibah, because of the faultfinding of the children of Israel, and because they put the Lord to the proof by saying, “Is the Lord among us or not?”.
1 O come, let us sing unto the Lord; * let us heartily rejoice in the strength of our salvation.
2 Let us come before his presence with thanksgiving, * and show ourselves glad in him with psalms.
3 For the Lord is a great God, * and a great King above all gods.
4 In his hand are all the corners of the earth, * and the strength of the hills are his also.
5 The sea is his and he made it, * and his hands prepared the dry land.
6 O come, let us worship and fall down * and kneel before the Lord our Maker.
7 For he is the lord our God, * and we are the people of his pasture and the sheep of his hand.
8 Today if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts * as in the provocation, and as in the day of temptation in the wilderness;
9 When your fathers tempted me, * proved me, and saw my works.
10 Forty years long was I grieved with this generation, and said, * It is a people that do err in their hearts, for they have not known my ways.
11 Unto whom I sware in my wrath, * that they should not enter into my rest.
Therefore, since we are justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Through him we have obtained access to this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in our hope of sharing the glory of God. More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit which has been given to us. While we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. Why, one will hardly die for a righteous man—though perhaps for a good man one will dare even to die. But God shows his love for us in that while we were yet sinners Christ died for us. Since, therefore, we are now justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God. For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life. Not only so, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received our reconciliation.
So he came to a city of Samar′ia, called Sy′char, near the field that Jacob gave to his son Joseph. Jacob’s well was there, and so Jesus, wearied as he was with his journey, sat down beside the well. It was about the sixth hour. There came a woman of Samar′ia to draw water. Jesus said to her, “Give me a drink.” For his disciples had gone away into the city to buy food. The Samaritan woman said to him, “How is it that you, a Jew, ask a drink of me, a woman of Samar′ia?” For Jews have no dealings with Samaritans. Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is that is saying to you, ‘Give me a drink,’ you would have asked him, and he would have given you living water.” The woman said to him, “Sir, you have nothing to draw with, and the well is deep; where do you get that living water? Are you greater than our father Jacob, who gave us the well, and drank from it himself, and his sons, and his cattle?” Jesus said to her, “Every one who drinks of this water will thirst again, but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst; the water that I shall give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” The woman said to him, “Sir, give me this water, that I may not thirst, nor come here to draw.” Jesus said to her, “Go, call your husband, and come here.” The woman answered him, “I have no husband.” Jesus said to her, “You are right in saying, ‘I have no husband’; for you have had five husbands, and he whom you now have is not your husband; this you said truly.” The woman said to him, “Sir, I perceive that you are a prophet. Our fathers worshiped on this mountain; and you say that in Jerusalem is the place where men ought to worship.” Jesus said to her, “Woman, believe me, the hour is coming when neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem will you worship the Father. You worship what you do not know; we worship what we know, for salvation is from the Jews. But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for such the Father seeks to worship him. God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.” The woman said to him, “I know that Messiah is coming (he who is called Christ); when he comes, he will show us all things.” Jesus said to her, “I who speak to you am he.” Just then his disciples came. They marveled that he was talking with a woman, but none said, “What do you wish?” or, “Why are you talking with her?” So the woman left her water jar, and went away into the city, and said to the people, “Come, see a man who told me all that I ever did. Can this be the Christ?” They went out of the city and were coming to him. Meanwhile the disciples besought him, saying, “Rabbi, eat.” But he said to them, “I have food to eat of which you do not know.” So the disciples said to one another, “Has any one brought him food?” Jesus said to them, “My food is to do the will of him who sent me, and to accomplish his work. Do you not say, ‘There are yet four months, then comes the harvest’? I tell you, lift up your eyes, and see how the fields are already white for harvest. He who reaps receives wages, and gathers fruit for eternal life, so that sower and reaper may rejoice together. For here the saying holds true, ‘One sows and another reaps.’ I sent you to reap that for which you did not labor; others have labored, and you have entered into their labor.” Many Samaritans from that city believed in him because of the woman’s testimony, “He told me all that I ever did.” So when the Samaritans came to him, they asked him to stay with them; and he stayed there two days. And many more believed because of his word. They said to the woman, “It is no longer because of your words that we believe, for we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this is indeed the Savior of the world.”
IN THE SECOND WEEK OF LENT
O God, who didst so love the world that thou gavest thine only-begotten Son to reconcile earth with heaven: Grant that we, loving thee above all things, may love our friends in thee, and our enemies for thy sake; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.