Fourth Sunday in Lent
INTRODUCTION TO THE DAY
The fourth of the Old Testament promises providing a Baptismal lens this Lent is the promise God makes to Moses: those who look on the bronze serpent will live. In today's Gospel Jesus says he will be lifted up on the cross like the serpent, so that those who look to him in faith will live. When we receive the sign of the cross in Baptism, that cross becomes the sign we can look to in faith, for healing, for restored relationship to God, for hope when we are dying.
FIRST READING: Numbers 21: 4-9
Though God provides food and water for the Israelites in the wilderness, they whine and grumble. They forget about the salvation they experienced in the exodus. God punishes them for their sin, but when they repent God also provides a means of healing: a bronze serpent lifted up on a pole.
PSALM: Psalm 107: 1-22
SECOND READING: Ephesians 2: 1-10
While we were dead in our sinfulness, God acted to make us alive as a gift of Grace in Christ Jesus. We are saved not by what we do but by Grace through Faith. Thus our good works are really a reflection of God’s Grace at work in our lives.
GOSPEL: John 3: 14-21
To explain the salvation of God to the religious leader, Nicodemus, Jesus refers to the scripture passage quoted in today’s first reading. Just as those who looked upon the bronze serpent were healed, so people will be saved when they behold Christ lifted up on the cross.
LENT IS HERE
Please consider attending Lenten services at one of our neighboring churches: St. John’s, Keny Road, London—Light supper 6:30; service 7; St. Paul’s, New Rome—Light supper 6:15; service 7; Resurrection, Rome Hilliard Rd., Hilliard—Light supper 6; Holden’s Prayer service 6:30.
GOD’S WORK. OUR HANDS.
From the ELCA Task Force on Women and Justice: One in Christ
Greetings in the name of Christ!
When we began our work in 2012, we were charged to foster church dialogue around issues of sexism. We had no idea those issues would be dominating the headlines when we scheduled the publication of the "Draft Social Statement on Women and Justice" for 2018! We invite you to join this timely conversation about the draft because we need the voices of everyone from across our church.
How can you join the conversation?
You can read the draft and respond. Just as talking together has helped our task force to think about these issues, we encourage you to get together with a group. You also may choose to attend a hearing in your synod. The comment period is open through Sept. 30, 2018.
What will you find in the draft?
Among many important theological themes, the draft stands upon the Lutheran emphasis that we are justified by grace through faith. It explores how this marvelous gift urges, even empowers, us to challenge the structures of patriarchy and sexism because they prevent all people from living the abundant lives God intends.
Some of the issues the draft explores include:
•how Lutherans understand Scripture; •restricted access to health care and economic resources; •objectifying portrayals of women and girls in the media and popular culture; and •gender-based violence.
It has been an immensely humbling and gratifying experience to be part of the Task Force on Women and Justice. We invite you to the table as the Spirit moves you. We invite you to be a part of advancing this social statement process and to contribute to what will be a living guide for our church.
For a copy of the Draft Social Statement on Women and Justice, go to ELCA. org and type in the title. It will be the 3rd item on the page. Click download. It is fairly long so I did not make copies for everyone. It is very interesting though and it is wonderful to know that our Church is taking a stand on violence toward women.
Please keep these people in your prayers: Esther Mae Baker, Al Bausch, Don Brooks, and Carol Schiff. Please also pray for the families and caregivers of those on the prayer list.
THE BREAKFAST BUNCH
“The Breakfast Bunch” meets the first Saturday of every month at Der Dutchman in Plain City, at 8:30 a.m. “Come one, Come all” for a great breakfast, fellowship and more!
Please check the bulletin board behind the office door for all of the sign-up sheets for this year. Communion, birthday Sundays, and Worship Assistants/helpers. Thank you so much!
You can also remember special occasions or special people by contributing money that would normally be used for altar flowers. Instead the donation goes to our local food pantry.