Our Lord, Jesus, is the Firstborn of the dead, the First and the Last.
Today’s “sermon” tells the Easter story in the words of Scripture. Verses from the Gospels and other texts are woven together in a way that recounts Jesus’ resurrection as it happened. I pray that the simple wonder of the story moves your heart and encourages faith in Jesus as your Messiah.
Here are some suggestions to help you get the most out of this Gospel story:
· Don’t try to follow along in your Bible. The narrative will be jumping around from Gospel to Gospel. Instead, sit back and listen. This is what the earliest Christians did, since many could not read, and none of them had Gospels or a Bible as we know them today.
· While you are listening, take note of repeated phrases. These are clues to what God might be saying to you.
· As people in the story respond to what God is doing, ask, “In what ways am I like them? In what ways am I different?”
· Other questions you can ask yourself and others (after the service!) are:
· What shocked or surprised or impressed you most?
· What didn’t you understand?
· What does the story teach about God? Jesus? Yourself?
· If this story is true, how will you believe or think or live differently?
· Pay special attention to God’s faithfulness. God is the Great Promise-Keeper. He always does what he says he will do. The Easter story reminds us of this in order to encourage faith in God and his many promises. Chief among those promises is this one, that God gave his only Son that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life (John 3:16). Allow God’s faithfulness to work faith in Christ as your Great Promise-Keeper.
· Remember also that by raising Jesus from the dead, God has begun to make all things new. Because of the resurrection, we can look forward to a world to come. In that world, God will do away with the presence and power of evil, personal sin, and injustice. In their place, Jesus will provide universal peace, safety, righteousness, and eternal life.
May God bless his Word this morning. May he accomplish remarkable things in your life and mine. And may this happen to the glory of the Risen Christ.
GO Conference: At our Global Outreach (GO) Conference., guest speakers Todd and Susan Peterson introduced us to illumiNATIONS and the work they are doing in Bible translation. They are working to eradicate Bible poverty by 2033. One of the GO Weekend goals is to raise $20,000 towards this incredible project. We've raised nearly $19,000 already! Please consider contributing. Choose the option "GO Conference Project" from the drop down menu on the giving page. You can give towards this project through today.
Communiversity: Stone Hill is participating in Communiversity on Sunday,
April 28, from 1 - 6 p.m. If you have not attended Communiversity before, it's a great afternoon of music, art, food, and activities for the whole family, sponsored by the Arts Council of Princeton and Princeton University. Our booth this year will include two ways for people to interact in addition to handing out water. They can drop a prayer request in a Prayer Box, and they can answer the question, "If you could ask God one question, what would it be?" Answers will be written on the big board as we've done in the past. We're in a new location this year. Look for us at the top of Palmer Square, along Tiger Park. Be sure to stop on by! Please contact email@example.com to sign up as a volunteer.
· Two or three people to help set up and take down the booth
· Two or three people each hour to meet and greet
· Truck or large van needed to transport the equipment for the event. We need to load at 11:00 a.m. and will return to the church at 6:30 p.m.
Spring Baptism: Baptism Sunday is May 19. We are offering a Baptism Class that will help you understand the what, why, and how of baptism. It is a good way to assess if you are ready for baptism. Pastor Tracy will be teaching the two-session class on Sunday, April 28 and May 5 at 11:10 a.m. Attendance at the class does not demand that you be baptized. We encourage you to take the class if you are considering baptism. Sign up for the class online: https://tinyurl.com/SpringBaptism2019. If you have any questions please contact Pastor Tracy at firstname.lastname@example.org.
DR Luncheon: Please join us for a Team Report about the recent short term missions trip to the Dominican Republic. Team members will reflect on their experiences and show pictures from the trip. The luncheon will be on Sunday, May 5 after the second service in Harris Hall. Hope to see you there!
Adult Education Class: Parenting Children Who Reject Our Faith: This four week class will examine how we parent through this difficult and emotional situation. Pastor Jim Erickson will facilitate the four week sessions using a combination of lecture, testimony, and discussion. We will cover some takeaways for parents and things we can do for our children. The first class will begin May 5 at 9:30 a.m. in the Adult Education room. Contact email@example.com if you would like to find out more information.
Bread for Cafe: It's BREADS Sunday next Sunday and we are looking for a few folks to make a loaf or two of sweet or savory bread to serve in the Cafe on April 28th. Please either bring it that morning by 8:45 a.m. or put it in the freezer at church. Please label with the type, date made, and CAFE. Please let Grace Henrie firstname.lastname@example.org know if you are able to bake. Thank you!
Handi*Vangelism: We are again gathering items for Handi Camp. Tim and Kathy Sheetz from Handi*Vangelism Ministry International will be our Extended Family speakers on May 8. All items must be at the church no later than noon that day. A complete list of items being collected is available at the Welcome Desk.
Stone Hill Learning Center: Invites you to an extraterrestrial evening to explore, "God's Grand Design of the Solar System." Please join Dr. Jamie S. Rankin, Department of Astrophysics, Princeton University, to learn more about our special place in the cosmos, current and past space exploration, and her research as a post doctorate research scientist. This event is geared toward Middle/ High School students. Join us on April 25 at 7 p.m. in Harris Hall. Refreshments will be served.
Roar Camp 2019: Send your kids on a roaring adventure where kids will discover that even though life gets wild, God is always good. July 8-12th. You can register online at bit.ly/SHCamp2019. If you want to go wild as a volunteer, register at http://bit.ly/campvols2019.