On Wednesday of this week, in Morning and Evening Prayers, we heard the story from Daniel of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego in the fiery furnace. King Nebuchadnezzar sets up an idol and commands the people to bow down before it in worship. Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego refuse. Nebuchadnezzar, in his rage, throws them into a furnace. And then…” Was it not three men that we threw bound into the fire? But I see four men unbound, walking in the middle of the fire, and they are not hurt.”
Bernadette was listening to the reading of this story. Afterwards she said, “A health care worker, a First Responder, and Shelf Stocker…three thrown into the fire.”
May we with special intention be raising up in prayer those who are at risk during these times; who are walking into the fire. In our own prayers, as we pray for our families and friends, and our church, and our community, may we also be raising up those who serve the public good and in doing so stand in harm’s way.
In a sense, of course, we are all in the fire.
But be assured we are not alone in it. The Lord’s promise is to be with us always. The truth we observe this Sunday…the Sunday of the Passion…is that God will go to any lengths, including the cross, to be with us. He does not shy away from our pain or grief or fear, but enters into it fully, standing with us in the furnace, and bringing us through to the other side.
It’s a message I’ve offered before, I know. But it is the truth, and one for us to be reminded of daily. In all this…in all that we, individually; and our nation; and our world are walking through right now…still, the Lord is present. And though this Sunday the story finishes with Jesus in the tomb, we know that’s not how the story ends…
God bless you this day, friends.
This Sunday—Palm Sunday; the Sunday of the Passion
Holy Week begins with Palm Sunday, also known as the Sunday of the Passion. We will again be gathering virtually. The ZOOM information is below, and we’ll also be on Facebook Live (www.facebook.com/ecclaketravis). Worship begins with the remembrance of Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem. Normally, we would have palms to distribute. We can’t do that this year. So I invite you to take a branch from a tree or shrub in your own yard, and wave it there in your very own home as we observe Jesus’ entrance into Jerusalem.
In this worship service, at the scripture readings the tone of worship changes dramatically and we take our place in the story of the Cross. We read the entire Passion of Jesus…the agony in the garden; the trial; and the final journey to the cross. It’s a long story, and we’ll listen to the whole thing. It gives us the chance to go deep with Jesus as he goes to the cross and ponder the mysteries and grace of his sacrifice.
Blessings, friends, and I look forward to being with you this Sunday morning.
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Holy Week Worship
Next week is Holy Week, and we are still working through the exact times of worship for the week. Please check your emails and the website for information about prayer times on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday; Maundy Thursday; Good Friday; and Easter Day. Thanks, friends.
Resources for Children and Families for Keeping Holy Week at Home
Many good groups are working to ease the suffering of our friends in the area. We invite one another to kindly consider an offering to: Lake Travis Crisis Ministries; 107 RR 620 S., Suite 114; Austin, T 78734. Spicewood Helping Hands; PO Box 142; Spicewood, TX 78669. El Buen Samaritano; 7000 Woodhue Drive; Austin, TX 78745. Partners in Hope; 15104 North Flamingo Drive; Austin, TX 78734.
As well, it is possible to serve those in need in our community in various ways through Partners in Hope. Please go to www.partnersinhopelaketravis.org and click on the “Sign up here to volunteer” tab.
Finally, Lake Travis One is a gathering of churches in Lake Travis dedicated to being of service to this community during these times. If you know of someone in need, please direct them to be in touch with Lake Travis One at firstname.lastname@example.org. As well, one can also indicate there an interest to help.
Thank you for the grace with which you reach out to your neighbors and share the love of Christ.
Giving to Church of the Cross
We thank one another for continuing to support Church of the Cross, as we are able. Information regarding electronic offerings is found at the end of this email. If you would like to send a check, please send to our Treasurer, Shelley Putney, at 7 Lost Meadow Trail; The Hills, TX 78738. Thank you!
Daily Scripture Readings
Friday, April 3
Psalm 18:1-7; Jeremiah 20:7-13; John 10:31-42
Saturday, April 4
Psalm 85:1-7; Ezekiel 37:21-28; John 11:45-53
Sunday, April 5
Psalm 31:9-16; Zechariah 9:9-12; Luke 19:41-48
Monday, April 6
Psalm 36:5-11; Isaiah 42:1-9; Hebrews 9:11-15; John 12:1-11
Tuesday, April 7
Psalm 71:1-14; Isaiah 49:1-7; I Corinthians 1:18-31; John 12:20-36
Wednesday, April 8
Psalm 70; Isaiah 50:4-9a; Hebrews 12:1-3; John 13:21-32
Thursday, April 9
Psalm 142; Lamentations 2:10-18; I Corinthians 11:27-32; Mark 14:12-25
Friday, April 10
Psalm 22; Lamentations 3:1-9, 19-33; I Peter 1:10-20; John 19:38-42
Saturday, April 11
Psalm 31:1-4, 15-16; Job 14:1-14; I Peter 4:1-8; Matthew 27:57-66
The Lord bless you and keep you;
The Lord make his face to shine on you, and be gracious to you;
The Lord lift up his countenance upon you and grant you peace.
The ministry of Church of the Cross is supported by the Episcopal Diocese of Texas and the tithes and offerings of the community and friends. Gifts in support of Church of the Cross can be set up online, through text messaging or checks/cash. Click here for more information and links.