April 4, 2021
The pandemic has stretched the Church in many ways — but we are still very much … here. Although it was hard at first, we have expanded our thinking, and our doing, in new and innovative ways to close the distance and be together. We have continued to worship. We have continued to build and shape community; we have continued to take care of one another. And on top of all that, we have continued to come together to serve those in need; both here in our own community and all over the world. Despite the difficulty, struggle and loss, the Church continues to declare its presence in the world, through different means, certainly, but toward the same purpose.
The Church has found life and vitality in a bevy of different places: online, in parking lots, on social media and even on the phone. The plain fact is the Church is not the building. Scripture reminds us time and again that God’s people belong with those in need, releasing people from the bonds of injustice and with the hungry whom we are to welcome into our homes, as Isaiah’s 58th chapter puts it. The Church finds itself with those who are thirsty, imprisoned and suffering illness, as Jesus says in Matthew 25.
“When did we see you?”
“When did we see you?” — in a time of need, in a time of weakness? In a time of hunger, in a time of thirst?
Even without a pandemic, it is a truth, a reminder, that in every time and season, the Church finds itself and its Savior through relationships with those in need. We belong in this place because it is through relationships with those whom we see experiencing hunger, oppression, thirst, imprisonment or illness, we might be transformed, too, as we become/experience/create/live the Church, together.
One Great Hour of Sharing (OGHS) is the largest way Presbyterians come together to do mission and ministry with those whom we see are in need. Through OGHS, we declare that the Church belongs with people whom we see suffering from the terrors of natural and human-caused disasters; those from whom we see COVID-19 took futures and livelihoods, and whole cultures threatened as a result. The Church finds itself with those whom we see are thirsty because of too few water wells or because of a lack of political will and the failure of powers and principalities to act in order to secure safe water for everyone. The Church belongs always and forever with those struggling for justice, righteousness, and peace.
One Great Hour of Sharing is part of who the church is. Pray that our Church will continue to become, as Isaiah said, “repairers of the breach” alongside those experiencing great need. For when we all do a little, it adds up to a lot.
Special Offerings, Presbyterian Mission Agency
Revised Common Lectionary Readings for Sunday, April 4, 2021, the Resurrection of the Lord (Easter Day) (Year B)
Easter Day Readings:
First Reading Acts 10:34-43
Or alternate First Reading Isaiah 25:6-9
Psalm 118:1-2, 14-24
Second Reading 1 Corinthians 15:1-11
Or alternate Second Reading Acts 10:34-43
Gospel John 20:1-18
Or alternate Gospel Mark 16:1-8
Easter Evening Readings:
First Reading Isaiah 25:6-9
Second Reading 1 Corinthians 5:6b-8
Gospel Luke 24:13-49
Today’s Focus: One Great Hour of Sharing
Let us join in prayer for:
PC(USA) Agencies’ Staff
Let us pray:
Savior, do not meet us where we are but find us where you are instead: with those experiencing injustice, hunger, thirst and great need. Amen.