By Alan Dicken - Tuesday March 31, 2020
An update from the Ohio Region
By Rev. Dr. Pamela Barnes-Jackson - Tuesday March 31, 2020
“Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” Romans 15:13 (NKJV) ~ From Ashes to Rejoicing: The Story Is Not Over! ~ We as Christians understand the story of Jesus’ resurrection. Because Christ died on the Cross, we thank God, his story did not end at the cross, it was just the beginning. When thinking of ashes, the ideology that comes to mind is something has been destroyed and the ashes are the remains.
By The Christian Church in West Virginia and Pennsylvania - Monday March 30, 2020
Please read Isaiah 55:1-9 ~ Mighty and merciful God, giver of grace and goodness, we come as grateful children this day. We come confessing that we are not always grateful to you or as gracious to others we encounter in the twists and turns of our lives. We thank you that you have promised your forgiveness to us as we place our trust in you. Hear our prayers that we might be forgiven, renewed and restored to a fuller life—the life you have shown us in Jesus the Christ.
By Rev. Deb Bolen - Sunday March 29, 2020
Please read John 11:1-45 ~ Every single one of us has known death and grief, haven't we? We can put ourselves in the place of Mary and Martha, and the friends who are weeping at the death of Lazarus. We also may be familiar with the disappointment of Mary and Martha, who had sent word to Jesus that Lazarus was ill and he had not come until now, when Lazarus had been dead. For four days the family has been waiting, as their feelings of grief are compounded by disappointment and perhaps anger. We too may feel disappointed and even angry that our prayers have not been answered the way we wanted. After four days, the initial shock and disbelief is still raw but perhaps beginning to fade just a tiny bit. And now, here is Jesus, at last, too late they think. And Jesus, seeing the pain and grief of all those present, wept at his friend's tomb before calling him forth from the tomb.
By The Christian Church in West Virginia and Pennsylvania - Saturday March 28, 2020
Please read John 15:1-8 Jesus said, "I am the vine and you are the branches… Abide in me as I abide in you.” We come to reaffirm and renew our connection with the life-giving Vine. Jesus said, "I appointed you to go and bear fruit… fruit that will last.” We want to be fruitful, productive people whose lives make a difference. Jesus said, "This is my commandment: love one another as I have loved you.” Christ, you are the Vine. We are the branches. We will bear your fruit. We will abide in your love and share it!
By Rev. Cynthia Klingemier - Friday March 27, 2020
“3 So I turned to the Lord God and pleaded with God in prayer and petition, in fasting, and in sackcloth and ashes. 4 I prayed to the Lord my God and confessed: “Lord, the great and awesome God, who keeps God’s covenant of love with those who love God and keep God’s commandments, 5 we have sinned and done wrong. We have been wicked and have rebelled; we have turned away from your commands and laws. 6 We have not listened to your servants the prophets, who spoke in your name to our kings, our princes and our ancestors, and to all the people of the land.” Daniel 9:3-6 (NIV)
By Ohio Regional Staff - Thursday March 26, 2020
As we prepared to write this letter and update, we were reminded of the many openings of the epistles often attributed to Paul. In 1 Corinthians 1:3-9 we read: 3 Grace to you and peace from God and the Lord Jesus Christ. 4 I give thanks to my God always for you because of the grace of God that has been given you in Christ Jesus, 5for in every way you have been enriched in him, in speech and knowledge of every kind— 6just as the testimony of Christ has been strengthened among you— 7so that you are not lacking in any spiritual gift as you wait for the revealing of our Lord Jesus Christ. 8He will also strengthen you to the end, so that you may be blameless on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9God is faithful; by God you were called into fellowship of Jesus Christ our Lord.
By Wendy Taylor - Thursday March 26, 2020
Luke 3:10-11 ~ 10 The crowds asked him, “What then should we do?” 11John replied, “Whoever has two tunics should share with him who has none, and whoever has food should do the same.” ~ Lent is a time for “ALMSGIVING” ~ "The Lenten call to almsgiving means making the needs of other people our own. One of the central lessons of the cross is compassion; the heavy burdens we carry help us to appreciate the suffering in others.” - Teaching Catholic Kids
By ~ From the DHM 2015 Lenten Resource - Rev. Dr. Beth Rupe - Wednesday March 25, 2020
Please read Philippians 2: 1 – 11 ~ "Agree with each other, love each other, be deep-spirited friends." Philippians 2: 2 ~ The Message Bible ~ "Complete my joy by thinking the same way, having the same love, being united, and agreeing with each other." Philippians 2: 2 ~ Common English Bible ~ One need not scroll very far on a news website or listen very long to a news broadcast, before there is a story illustrating the brokenness and factionalization of our world. Over and over again, we are bombarded with “us” verses “them” mentality and an attitude of protectionism and isolationism. Our world is marked by an increased tribalism rather than a sense of unity, and competitive rather than cooperative spirit.
By Rev. Christopher K. Stark - Tuesday March 24, 2020
“And now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; and the greatest of these is love.” 1 Corinthians 13:13 (NRSV) ~ Things were easier in elementary school. Milk came in single servings, we had designated times for naps, and I always knew what season it was just by glancing at the bulletin board boarders. October had jack-o-lanterns, November was turkeys, December evergreens, January snowflakes, and in February little red hearts abounded. I learned in elementary school that February is a month dedicated to love. We would set aside a day to pass out cards letting everyone know that we loved them. We passed out little inspirational sayings on candy hearts that I think were made of chalk dust and sugar. And I learned that love is best expressed by sharing food, preferably sweets.