Dear Members and Friends of St. Stephen,
Alleluia! Christ is risen. Christ is risen, indeed. Alleluia! Grace and peace to you in this Easter season. In our worship this coming Sunday we will be including a Litany for Mothers, giving thanks for all the faithful women in our lives. Hope you can all join us, and bring a family member or friend.
The Sunday Adult class has just begun a new study: Unafraid: Living with Courage and Hope in Uncertain Times. This is a very thoughtful study. Come join us at 9:00 a.m. in the library.
Our scripture for this Sunday tells of the beginning of Paul’s mission of bringing the Gospel to the Gentile world. It begins by telling of the church in Antioch (in modern-day Syria at the NE corner of the Mediterranean.) Already the Gospel is spreading, as seen by the rich diversity in this young church. Some of the prophets and teachers included Simeon who was called Niger (“Niger” is the Greek word for “black,”) which may mean that Simeon was of African descent. Lucius came from Cyrene. Manaen had served Herod Antipas, the ruler of Galilee in the time of Jesus, and Saul (Paul) was a former Pharisee who had persecuted the church. This group met, fasted and prayed. The Holy Spirit communicated that Barnabas and Saul be sent out to take the message of Jesus to the Gentile world. The early 20th century evangelist Oswald Chambers once said: “The key to the missionary problem is not the key of common sense, nor the medical key, nor the key of civilization or education or even evangelization. The key is prayer.”
Blessings as you ponder the Scripture Between Sundays,
Erick Johnson, Interim Pastor
St. Stephen Lutheran Church
Sunday’s Scripture Reading:
Acts 13:1-3; 14:8-18; Matthew 10:40-42
For This Week
Questions for Reflection:
What catches your attention in this reading from Acts? What questions did it raise? What does it mean for us at St. Stephen to be a “missional church”? How have you been “sent” to bear witness to Jesus and his love?
Monday, Acts 10:18-23, Peter’s Vision
Tuesday, Acts 10:24-33, Peter’s Vision
Wednesday, Acts 11:1-18, Peter’s Report to the Church at Jerusalem
Thursday, Acts 11:19-30, The Church in Antioch
Friday, Acts 12:1-19, Peter in Prison
Saturday, Acts 12:20-25, The Death of Herod