April 12, 2011

Today is the Sesquicentennial of the beginning of the Civil War.  On April 12, 1861 the Confederacy attacked fort Sumter in Charleston Harbor, South Carolina.   What followed was a war that would cost 600,000 lives.  What remains is the question “Would the scourge of slavery ever have ended without this savage encounter?”

April 17 is Palm Sunday. As is our custom we will begin worship on the front steps of the church and process into the Sanctuary following the choir in commemoration of Jesus triumphal entry in Jerusalem on that first Palm Sunday.

In worship our central Scripture will be Luke 23: 39-49.  We will consider the seventh saying of Jesus from the cross “Father, into your hands I commend my Spirit.”  We will learn that the cross did not destroy Jesus’ relationship to God nor diminish his trust in God’s goodness. In death Jesus remained in the place he had always been, in the hands of our merciful creator, in the care of our benevolent father.

This thought is more than an abstract theological assertion.  It is the source of the ability to live courageously.  We see it in the life of Jesus.  He was able to live with such grace because he knew that if he lived, or if he died, he belonged to God. Thus, he could say to those who attacked him “do what you think you need to do.”

Prayers of the Congregation

  • Harold Cotton, at home under hospice care
  • The Hayes family as they grieve
  • Cordia Lee for her workplace, for C.J. and Felicia, for Erica and Eliyah and self
  • Ann Fields for Tamera, Leslie, Scott, Bryan
  • Kay Baxter for Jamie, Christian and self
  • Margaret Alexander on the death of her friend Patricia Mahoney
  • Al Johnson, Thanksgiving for Roy Browner as he celebrates his birthday
  • Alean Saunders-Coffey. returned from South Africa not feeling well
  • Thanksgiving with Ally and Rohel for a safe vacation
  • Thanksgiving with Pastor Jim for a safe trip to Washington DC
  • LeAnn Snow, continuing foot problems
  • Bonnie Sato, health concerns
  • Glenn Knight, hospice care
  • Cathy Glover for Perla Garcia
  • Sheila Sims for her brother and her parents
  • Thanksgiving with Larry Sims as he is in Florida to be honored by his employer for outstanding service
  • The people of the world who are standing up for the right to control their own lives
  • The people of Japan in the face of the ongoing disaster at the Fukishima Nuclear Reactor

I am changing the way I mail the Midweek Message. Probably around Friday of this week you will receive an email asking you to signup if you would like to continue to receive the Message.  From there it is a matter of pushing a few buttons and confirming your name and email address.  If you don’t sign up you can access the Message from the redone church website.  Also on the website you can read my daily Tweets on the American Bible Society Daily Bible Reading.  I invite you to visit the website at www.labcoakland.org.

Holy Week Schedule

  • April 17 – Palm Sunday – Worship 10:00 a.m.
  • April 19 – Holy Tueaday – Finger Food Potluck and Study, Family Room 6:00 p.m.
  • April 22- Good Friday- Worship in Sanctuary of First Baptist Church Oakland, 22nd and Telegraph, Music Begins at 12:00 p.m. , Worship begins at 12:15 and will conclude at 12:50.
  • April 23-Easter Saturday-Community Easter Parade and Egg Dyeing Party-10:00 a.m. Church Lawn (Volunteers Needed)
  • April 24-Easter Sunday- Worship 10:00 a.m.