Matthew 21:9 The crowds that went ahead of him and that followed were
shouting, “Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is the one who comes in
the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest heaven!”
Jesus wasn’t the only one parading into Jerusalem that
day. On the other side of town, Herod rode in on a gleaming stallion,
surrounded by his military, the very symbol of power and might. The two could
not be more different. Jesus shows us the power of love. Love never
manipulates, marginalizes, and does not destroy. Love builds up. It is what is
real. Power and control are illusions.
Prayer: By your grace, O God, let your love fill
me; and let my gratitude spill out to others in acts of kindness. AMEN
Do something kind for
someone today – write a note, send a text, make a call, put a flower on a
neighbor’s porch, say a prayer, etc.
Holy Monday April 6
John 12:3 Mary took a pound of
costly perfume made of pure nard and anointed Jesus’ feet, and wiped them with
is the same Mary who saw her brother, Lazarus, raised from the dead. Mary’s
gratitude to Jesus knows no bounds. Judas objects to the expensive oil used in
this way, but Jesus allows it. He knows what is behind this action and what is coming.
Mary has the conviction of how she wants to express to Jesus, her adoration and
gratitude. She withstands Judas’ criticism of being wasteful. Mary’s faith
tells her she is doing the right thing at this moment and time.
Prayer: Teach me to act, Lord with the confidence and
faith of your presence. Let my actions follow my convictions. I pray in
Christ’s name. Amen.
Think back to times in your
life when your faith has been strong. Share a part of your faith journey with
someone else today.
Holy Tuesday April 7
John 12:24 Jesus says, “Unless
a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains just a single grain;
but if it dies, it bears much fruit.”
Jesus continues to teach his
listeners in his last hours. During his three years of ministry Jesus sows the
seeds of God’s kingdom on earth. Now the time has come to allow God’s message
to germinate, take root and grow. At this time of staying home, we need to
discover ways of how we grow the seeds of God’s message to the world. It is a challenge
to love our neighbor when they are at least six feet from us. In this time of
containment, our actions and those of others reflect Christ’s message in ways
we would have not thought possible.
Prayer: I pray for clear sight and an open heart so that
I can hear your voice in my life and see what I can do to serve you. Help me
not to miss your presence by my own fears and insecurities. Amen.
Spend some time in prayer asking God what God’s intention is for your
Holy Wednesday April 8
John 13:21, 27-28 “Jesus said,
“One of you will betray me.” Jesus said to Judas, “Do quickly what you are
going to do.” No one around the table knew why Jesus said this to Judas.
They were having a meal
together. Only Jesus and Judas knew what was going to happen. Jesus shows his authority
as he tells Judas that he knows of the conspiracy against him and does nothing
to stop Judas. The show of strength is not always through force. Jesus allows
things take their course. What would have happened if Jesus’ disciples were
clued into Judas’ plan to arrest Jesus? It would not have been hard physically to
stop Judas; then the plot against Jesus would have failed. We are confounded when
God’s ways are not our ways.
Prayer: Help me God to step
back and rely on your ways. Help me trust that your care for me is greater than
I can comprehend. Amen.
Find ways to connect with
others through a phone call or email or letter. Try to see how God is working
in your life today.
Maundy Thursday April 9
John 13:34 “I
give you a new commandment that you love one another. Just as I have
loved you, you also should love one another.”
The word Maundy means
mandate. It comes from this passage in John when Jesus says “Truly I tell you
to love one another.” I remember a psychology professor saying that the last
words in a conversation are often the most important. As Jesus’ time draws to a
close, he tells his disciples to love one another — maybe one of the most
important teachings that we have. But it continues to be an elusive lesson for
so many of us. Love rather than hate; love rather than excluding or seeking
vengeance. Love one another as Jesus has loved us.
Prayer: Help me to love, Lord, because when I follow
love, hope comes alive. Help me to take on your mandate. Amen.
Watch the Maundy Thursday
Service online (oakgrv.org) any time after Noon. Think about how God shows love
to the world.
Good Friday April 10
John 19:33-34 When they
came to Jesus and saw that he was already dead, they did not break his legs.
Instead, one of the soldiers pierced his side with a spear.
A great deal happened
between the time Jesus shared his last meals with his disciples and he died on
the cross. To a disciple’s eye, things have gone terribly wrong. The teachings,
the miracles and cheering crowds do not seem to matter. Jesus was tried,
convicted and is now dead. How could any good come of this? I give thanks to
God that because we know the rest of the story, we never have a day as hopeless
as this was for all who followed Jesus.
Prayer: God the unspeakable happens to those who know
and love Jesus. Thank you that we can speak of it and know that not even death
can hold back your love. Amen.
Tune in to the live-stream
of the Good Friday Service at Noon on Facebook or our website (oakgrv.org), or
watch it sometime during the day.
Holy Saturday April 11
Sabbath John 19:31 Since
it was the day of Preparation, the Jews did not want the bodies left on the
cross during the sabbath, especially because the Sabbath was a day of great
On Friday, they buried Jesus
before sundown so as not to break the Sabbath rules. Even after they falsely accused,
tried and executed the Son of God, they conscientiously followed God’s law.
Such is the irony of religion. More wars and atrocities are committed in the
name of God/Allah, including the Crusades and the terrorist attacks. The
Pharisees must have observed that Sabbath in good conscience, as being good
Jews. How can we become so misguided? Like the first break with God in the Garden
of Eden, we fail when we are convinced that we know what God wants.
Prayer: God, forgive us when we start to believe we
know better than you. Give us humble and open hearts to hear your Word
and not our own. Amen.
Spend some quiet moments and listen to the sounds outside.
Notice the signs of new life among us.
Easter Sunday/Resurrection of the Lord April 12
John 20:15-16 Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping? For whom are you looking?” Supposing him to be the gardener, she said to him, “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have laid him, and I will take him away.” Jesus said to her, “Mary!” She turned and said to him in Hebrew, “Rabbouni!” (which means Teacher).
Confusion, sadness, despair
– Jesus’ tomb is empty and there is no body. Mary weeps. Jesus calls Mary by
name, a moment of intimate affirmation. Is there a moment in scripture more
tender than this? New life is for all humanity, all nature, the cosmos, and God
of the universe calls us each by name. LOVE WINS.
Prayer: When the night is dark, and fear sets in, call my name, O God. When death seems to be winning, still my heart with the good news of the resurrection – love wins.
Shout “Alleluia! Christ is Risen!” out your window!
Palm branches will be available for pickup outside the church on Saturday, April 4, after 9:00 a.m.
Please tune into Facebook or the web page early on Sunday morning to watch a video of our Oak Grove children in a virtual Palm Sunday processional (see below). Shout Hosanna or sing your favorite Palm Sunday hymn while you watch from home!
Our livestreamed Palm Sunday Worship Service on Facebook and the website will begin at 10:45 a.m.
UPDATE: the church building will be closed March 28-May 4, but we will continue our online presence during the Stay Home period.
Session met Tuesday, March 24, 2020 via Zoom and decided the following:
Sunday Worship Services
Oak Grove will suspend
all on-site worship through the end of April. All Sunday morning worship
services will be online and livestreamed on Facebook and the website at 10:45
a.m., with archived videos available for later viewing.
Holy Week Services
April 5, and Easter Sunday, April 12, will be online and livestreamed on
Facebook and the website at 10:45 a.m. There will be no 6:30 a.m. Easter
April 9, will be online in some form. Details to be announced later.
Good Friday Service, April 10, will be an online worship service at 12:00 noon.
Updates will be
posted on Facebook Events and on the website.
Church office hours will be irregular for awhile, so please call first before coming to the Church. The Church office will close at noon on Fridays. UPDATE: the church building will be closed March 28-May 4 during the Stay Home period.
will continue virtually, with the students presenting their Statements of Faith
and being confirmed on schedule. The recognition of their becoming members will
be celebrated at a later time.
Pastoral Nominating Committee
The Session is
ready to present the nine-member slate for the Pastoral Nominating Committee to
the Congregation. Due to our current
situation that prohibits gathering, the Congregational vote on the Pastoral
Nominating Committee will be conducted by irregular means. A letter will be
sent to all members either by email or regular mail. Members will have ten
days to respond with a yea or nay, either by email to email@example.com , phone
952-888-4621, or mail. This will allow the provisional Pastoral Nominating Committee
to begin their work. When we can gather again, there will be a congregational
meeting to affirm the slate.
UPDATE, March 25, 2020: Holy Week services will all be online.
Ash Wednesday, February 26, 5:45 p.m. Taco dinner, followed by Ash Wednesday Service by Pastor Mary, with imposition of ashes and communion served by the 8th grade confirmands. The Chancel Choir is singing.
WoW! during Lent will feature Bible study on the Beatitudes on March 4, 11, 18, and April 1. [Note: There is no WoW! on March 25 because of Bloomington Spring Break.]
Palm Sunday, April 5, Worship Services at 8:15 a.m. & 10:45 a.m. with Deacons serving brunch for everyone between services.
Maundy Thursday, April 9. There will be soup dinner at 6:00 p.m., followed by the Maundy Thursday Communion Service (all in Gideon Pond ABC).
Good Friday, April 10, Tenebrae service at 8:00 p.m.
Easter Sunday, April 12, 2020
6:30 a.m. Sunrise service with communion at Bloomington Cemetery (104th St. & Lyndale Avenue).
Easter Egg Hunt for the children between Worship Services at the church.
8:15 a.m. & 10:45 a.m. Easter Sunday Worship Services at the church.