Welcome to St. Andrew
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In addition to this Virtual Worship Service, you are invited to join us on Zoom for the
All Church Coffee Hour
Sunday, April 11 – 10:00am – 11:00am
It will be a time for Check-in, Prayers, and getting better acquainted in Small Group Conversation.
We hope you’ll join us – Bring a church friend!
Use the Zoom link in our Saturday and Sunday emails.
Email the church office if you need the Zoom link: Link Request
SUNDAY – APRIL 11, 2021
Welcome to this “virtual” worship service for Sunday, April 11, 2021
Many thanks for technical assistance / contributions from Ron Moser, Amy Cox, Marcus Alphin, Tracy Walthard, Kelsey Walthard, and Dawne Carver.
“Resurrecting” – Performed by Elevation Worship
Discovery Time & Sunday School
Click the arrow to watch Tracy Walthard present Discovery Time:
Our Sunday School Lessons for today are as follows:
Preschool Memory Verse for April:
Click the arrow below to watch the Sunday School video for our Preschool children for Sunday, April 11th:
Preschool Bottom Line for the week of April 11th:
GRADES K-5 LESSON:
Grades K-5 Memory Verse for April:
Click the arrow below to watch the Sunday School video for our Kindergarten – 5th Grade children for Sunday, April 11th:
Grades K-5 Bottom Line for the week of April 11th:
Message for Youth
It’s springtime! A time to plant. A time to see what’s growing in the field, the yard, the garden and in the planters. A time to pull the weeds out as well! Each year, I love adding something new. Usually I buy a plant or two to bring a burst of color to the yard. Sometimes I’ll plant a vegetable plant. Quick and easy.
Last year, I decided to venture out and plant seeds. And I learned that planting seeds is not quick or easy. Planting seeds takes time, patience and faith. It takes research to find the right soil, lighting and space needed for the seed. Planting seeds is a lot like life. We plant seeds all the time. We plant seeds in ourselves and in others. The question is what seeds are we planting?
I learned early on in ministry that I’m here to plant many kinds of seeds. Seeds of faith. Seeds of hope. Seeds of forgiveness. Seeds of kindness. Seeds of love. Seeds of generosity. Seeds of curiosity for His Word. I learned that there is no quick and easy way to plant the seeds. Sometimes I’m aware of the seeds being planted and other times I am not. Sometimes the seeds are first planted in me. Sometimes I’ll see the seeds grow and sometimes I won’t. I’ve learned that what God desires from me is to keep planting the seeds.
And, I’ve learned it takes time, patience and a whole lot of faith. Time to grow my relationship with God, family and friends through prayer, devotions, and just spending time together. Patience from myself to not rush the planting process and wait for however long it takes the seeds to grow. Faith that the seeds will grow deep roots, sprout up, grow leaves and then finally bloom. Faith that God will take the seeds planted and grow them for His glory whether I see the blooms or not! Faith that the blooms and fruit will bring color and fruit to others.
Last Sunday, at Easter Sunrise Service, we invited people to take a seed pod to plant, reminding us of the new life we have through Jesus Christ and His resurrection. If you weren’t at the service, I invite you to get some seeds and plant them. And while you are planting your seeds, prayerfully ask God what seeds you need to plant within you? Is it the seeds of generosity? Is it the seeds of forgiveness? Is it the seeds of kindness? Is it the seeds of hope? Whatever you need planted, plant the seeds in faith and trust in God with the results! Blessings, Dawne Carver
Joys and Concerns
Please let us know how we can support you in prayer this week. We will share requests for prayer with Deacons and staff, and with the congregation as appropriate.
Click on the image below to submit a prayer request.
Click the arrow below to hear Marcus Alphin offer this morning’s Prayer or read the Prayer below
Let us pray. God, we are so thankful for this life that You’ve given each one of us, for the breath in our lungs and the blood in our veins and the purpose that You’ve given us in this life. We thank You so much for this day that we have, this day that You have made, and we pray that You would bless our time together.
Lord, we know that many of us are struggling right now in different areas of our lives. And Lord, we ask that You would come and meet each one of us where we are and help us know that You’re there, that You love us, that You’re with us and that You want to help us. Thank You so much for loving us so perfectly. And Lord, as we pray for ourselves, we pray for those around us, Lord, that are struggling, that are hurting, Lord, people in our community. Lord, help us to be Your hands and feet to them, to love them and support them in all the many areas of their lives.
Lord, we pray for our country and our world and for our leaders that You would give them wisdom to guide and to lead justly. And Lord, may Your kingdom come and Your will be done. And so Lord, we thank You for this day that we continue to celebrate Your resurrection. Lord, open our eyes to see, open our minds to perceive all the wonderful things You have for us.
Please speak to us today as we enter into this worship time, and we pray now together the prayer that You taught us to pray…
Our Father, who art in heaven, Hallowed be Thy name. Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For Thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever. Amen
Please continue your giving during this time, so that St. Andrew may continue to serve our local community and our membership. We recognize that some of you have been impacted financially by economic repercussions of the COVID-19 pandemic. For those of you who can, please continue to give on a regular basis.
There are several options available:
- Give electronically to the St. Andrew General Fund
- Set up your donation to St. Andrew to be paid through your bill paying service at your personal bank.
- Mail a check to St. Andrew, or drop your envelope into our locked mail box: 16290 Arnold Drive, Sonoma, CA 95476
Click the arrow below to see and hear Marcus Alphin offer this morning’s Scripture Reading or read the Scripture below
On the Road to Emmaus
Now that same day two of them were going to a village called Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem. They were talking with each other about everything that had happened. As they talked and discussed these things with each other, Jesus himself came up and walked along with them; but they were kept from recognizing him.
He asked them, “What are you discussing together as you walk along?”
They stood still, their faces downcast. One of them, named Cleopas, asked him, “Are you the only one visiting Jerusalem who does not know the things that have happened there in these days?”
“What things?” he asked.
“About Jesus of Nazareth,” they replied. “He was a prophet, powerful in word and deed before God and all the people. The chief priests and our rulers handed him over to be sentenced to death, and they crucified him; but we had hoped that he was the one who was going to redeem Israel. And what is more, it is the third day since all this took place. In addition, some of our women amazed us. They went to the tomb early this morning but didn’t find his body. They came and told us that they had seen a vision of angels, who said he was alive. Then some of our companions went to the tomb and found it just as the women had said, but they did not see Jesus.”
He said to them, “How foolish you are, and how slow to believe all that the prophets have spoken! Did not the Messiah have to suffer these things and then enter his glory?” And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself.
As they approached the village to which they were going, Jesus continued on as if he were going farther. But they urged him strongly, “Stay with us, for it is nearly evening; the day is almost over.” So he went in to stay with them.
When he was at the table with them, he took bread, gave thanks, broke it and began to give it to them. Then their eyes were opened and they recognized him, and he disappeared from their sight. They asked each other, “Were not our hearts burning within us while he talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us?”
They got up and returned at once to Jerusalem. There they found the Eleven and those with them, assembled together and saying, “It is true! The Lord has risen and has appeared to Simon.” Then the two told what had happened on the way, and how Jesus was recognized by them when he broke the bread.
Click the image below to see and hear Marcus Alphin’s Sermon or read the Sermon below
Close your eyes for a moment and think of a place other than your home that feels like home. Maybe a place where worries melt away and you have space to clear your head and recreate. Could be a beach, a lake, somewhere in the mountains, maybe a vacation spot, a place of historical significance or a place where you served others somewhere across the world. Do you have your place in mind? Okay, you can open your eyes.
One of my favorite places in the world – Young Life camps. I have had the opportunity to experience some of the many camps as both a kid and a leader. From Saranac Village in upstate New York, or Windy Gap in North Carolina, to Malibu camp on the coast of British Columbia Canada and there is Woodleaf, our home camp three hours from here in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains near Plumas National forest. Check out these photos:
Nestled in this mountain range is literally a resort for teenagers – a teen paradise and heaven on earth. Everything at camp is designed for teenagers to have the best week of their lives. Endless activities – 400 kids and leaders converge together, from all walks of life for a week of organized chaos. A week of pure exhilaration, excitement and spiritual enlightenment. One where worries melt away, kids are challenged to “go for it” as they overcome their fears and do activities like scaling a climbing tower, navigating a ropes course five stories in the air, sliding down a giant water slide into a lake, pulling the cord, releasing a giant swing dropping toward the ground, before flying up in the air over the lake. With the many activities, incredible friendships are formed, walls come down and kids get to be kids.
Most importantly, kids have a chance to hear about God’s amazing love for them and His invitation to begin a faith journey. Kids hearts are touched, promises are made, hope engaged and possibilities are imagined.
This mountain top camp-high, both kids and leaders have, is absolutely amazing. At the same time it is dangerous!! The challenge for Young Life leaders is to help kids take Jesus home with them, not just experience a camp-high.
Young Life leaders know that the first month after returning from camp is a critical time to help kids take their camp experience with Jesus and translate it into a daily walk with Jesus. It is so painful to watch the heartburn kids often feel when they leave camp with optimism and hope that collides with the reality of a dysfunctional home life, social life or school life.
Like this experience of some kids arriving home from camp, today we are going to look at the camp-high-like experience Jesus’ buddies had in the days before He was arrested; followed by extreme heartburn.
Our reading today picks up where Rev. Nicole left off last week. It is the day of Jesus’ resurrection. After Jesus appeared to Mary, He went on a forty-day roadshow of appearances. In our reading today from Luke’s historical account, Jesus appears to two people on a road leading out from Jerusalem as they traveled to the town of Emmaus.
We don’t know much about these two, only that one of them was named Cleopas. The other could have been his wife or another buddy of his or one of his kids. It doesn’t say. I imagine these two could have been part of the group of people, who after Jesus’ death, said to themselves, “Well since following Jesus didn’t work out so well, I guess we will head home and go back to what we were doing before.”
It says that on their seven-mile journey they were discussing “everything that had happened”. While they are chatting, Jesus “came up and walked along with them,” but the Bible says that Jesus used His God powers to disguise himself. It doesn’t say it that way, but whatever He was up to He didn’t want them to know who He was…yet.
Jesus had obviously been ease-dropping for a bit before He asks them “what are you talking about?”
It says they stopped walking, I can only imagine they stared at Him with a “You’ve got to be joking,” look. But it says that they had very sad and depressed looks on their faces. In my own paraphrasing they said, “Do you seriously have no clue what has been going on around here lately?” the Bible says, “are you the only one visiting Jerusalem who doesn’t know the things that have happened?”
It would be like you and a friend, outside of Whole Foods chatting, wearing a mask and socially distanced of course, and someone walks up to you and says, “Excuse me, why are you and everyone else around you wearing masks, and why are you standing so far apart?” And you reply, “Bro, what rock did you just climb out from under, have you been in hiding for the past year?”
That was how big Jesus’ fame was – everyone knew about Him. Jesus keeps going and says “what things?” “About Jesus of Nazareth, a prophet, powerful in word and deed, who was sentenced to death and crucified. We had heard rumors that some of the women, who had followed Jesus, said they went to the tomb and didn’t find His body, and some of the our buddies went to the tomb to verify what the ladies said and confirmed that Jesus wasn’t there.”
There is something that the two say next that is very important, that I want to unpack to help us understand what is really going on here and understand why Jesus reacts the way he does. They said to Jesus, “We had hoped that he was the one who was going to redeem Israel.”
We, in the 21 century, read that and say, “Well wait a minute, I thought He did redeem Israel by dying for their sins and making a way for them to have a relationship with God, through Jesus.” Instead, there was a huge disconnect, and instead of Jesus’ followers feeling joy, they were experiencing the worst kind of heartburn, confusion, and pain.
Here is why- somewhere along the way people began to create a new narrative about the coming Messiah and create their own image of the nature of His kingdom that was coming. Their image of the Messiah wasn’t one of a suffering servant, but instead they imagined a powerful ruler or political leader that would lead the Jewish people to rise up and overthrow their Roman oppressors.
As Jesus’ popularity and message spread, people from all over start jumping on board the Jesus for Emperor or King bandwagon, saying if Jesus is the Messiah that will free us, then I am in!
And keep in mind that there were people in that day that were claiming to be the Messiah, with people getting their hopes up only to find out that it was a sham. But something seemed different to the people about Jesus, because he taught with authority, displayed power and gained respect from both common people and learned people. But when He died, many probably said, “Oh well, Jesus sure seemed like He would finally be the one, but that didn’t work out the way it was supposed too.”
Just like the euphoric, adrenaline rush camp-high, the Jesus the King high started to set in. His band of followers made promises and commitments while Jesus was still alive, just as kids make promises and commitments at camp, to quit drinking this or quit smoking that or begin doing good and stop doing bad.
They were about to have the bottom fall out from under them, and from their actions it seems they had no idea what was about to happen. Even after Jesus had told them exactly how He was going to die (on a cross) and rise again in three days.
How many of you are like me and look at the disciples and say, “Fellas, He told you what was going to happen to Him and yet you are surprised when it actually happens.” I picture it this way- Jesus says, “Hey fellas, I wanted to give you a heads up that in a few days I will be hung on a Roman cross, then be put in a tomb, then come back to life. You got all of that?”
His buddies were probably like, “Okay, Jesus,” then look at each other with a crazy look on their face and whisper to each other, “Here goes Jesus again with more of his crazy talk and stories.”
“Hey, Peter”, “yeah, John”? “Remember the time he said ‘we must love our enemies;’” “Oh yeah, remember the time, John, when Jesus said, ‘Store up your treasure in heaven,’ how does that even work?” Matthew chimes in, “and what about when Jesus said that ‘to gain eternal life we must eat his flesh and drink his blood,’ that’s gross.”
Bartholomew says, “and what in the world did he mean when he said we needed to ‘take up our cross and follow him.’” And Phillip says, “And now Jesus is talking about dying, then coming back to life, this is probably another one of Jesus’ metaphors. It all sounds like crazy talk to me. Just wait, I’m sure Jesus will explain what he actually means.”
Even on the night Jesus is arrested, no wonder His buddies can’t even stay awake and keep watch, they have no clue what is actually about to happen. It is so easy for me to look at this in hindsight and look down on the disciples, but their confidence, hope and excitement is about to be turned into fear, confusion, and utter turmoil.
Darkness had set into the souls of Jesus’ followers. They were completely lost.
Then light began to slowly rise on the land. In an amazing turn of events, and often overlooked, is how Jesus spent forty days in His resurrected body appearing to many people. Why didn’t Jesus raise from the dead and say, “I taught, I died, I rose, now I’m outta here.”?
One reason was to prove, without a shadow of doubt, to both skeptics and believers, that He rose from the dead.
The other reason is that just like Young Life leaders try to do in reinforcing the message of a new life journeying with Jesus, Jesus wanted His followers to step into the new way of living that Jesus had taught before His death. And in the story it says that “Jesus explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself.” He knew that His followers could fall into the dangerous trap of trying to maintain their “camp high” instead of embracing the new truth of the Spirit of Jesus living in them and guiding them.
Unless He reinforced the message and helped them know how to live it out, there was a danger that this New Truth He taught, this New Life He offered, this New Way of living He had opened up, would not fully take root.
Like in Rev. Nicole’s message last week, Jesus was asking His followers to let go of the need for Jesus being physically present with them, to instead embrace Him being internally present in them by His Spirit.
I love how John 14:26-27 captures Jesus’ powerful words when He says, “But the Helper, the Holy Spirit whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things, and remind you of all that I said to you. Do not let your hearts be troubled, nor fearful.”
The word helper in this verse is the Greek word Paracletos which literally means “the one who comes along side to help.” After Jesus appeared to the two men on the road, He appeared to the disciples in an upper room where they had gathered, hiding from danger.
In John 20:22 it says, “And with that he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit.”
Back to the end of this story.
It says that after they arrived in Emmaus and were eating a meal together, “Jesus took bread, gave thanks, broke it and began to give it to them.”
I want take a quick commercial break and let you know how amazing Lake Tahoe is. Every time I go there I seem to hear God more clearly. I took a solo trip in early March looking to get away, clear the noise and tune my mind to hear God’s voice. I heard three words: Acknowledge, Awareness, and Action
Back to our story, check out what happens next… It says, “Then their eyes were opened and they recognized him.” Acknowledgement.
I love what it says next, “Were not our hearts burning within us while he talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us?” Awareness
Then, “They got up and returned to Jerusalem” to tell the disciples that Jesus had in fact risen from the dead as a different type of Messiah. Action
The type of Messiah who turned the worst kind of heartburn (from disappointment, pain and loneliness) into the best kind of heart burn (from the hope, joy in embracing the full life Jesus came to give).
What does this mean for us today? This same Jesus that showed up on the road to Emmaus in our story today, is the same Jesus who shows up to meet kids at Young Life camp, is the same Jesus who is there every day, meeting you on whatever road you are traveling on at this moment.
Maybe you are in physical pain right now, maybe you are have deep emotional turmoil you are going through, or are in a difficult relationship situation. Maybe you are dealing with a loved one who has health issues or maybe you have experienced the loss of a loved one.
Whatever heartburn, disillusionment, frustration, confusion or pain you are experiencing right now, Jesus wants you to know that He is on this journey with you. Cleopas and his companion, who walked down their road, feeling many of the same feelings many of you are facing today, didn’t immediately recognize Jesus walking with them and guiding them. Today, we all need to know that Jesus is walking whatever road each of us is on, available for us, ready to guide us.
My encouragement to you today is to Recognize and Acknowledge that He is there on your road of life. Keep your eyes open to be aware of His activity in and around you. Then listen for His voice to guide you to take Action in whatever arenas you are in or let Him guide you into new arenas.
Instead of chasing some type of “camp high,” or any other high, rest in the truth that Jesus is in you, walking with you and working through you. And for those of you that are not currently walking in this type of freedom, Jesus stands with open arms inviting you on a life transforming journey with Him.
My prayer for all of us today is that we would all have our hearts burn with the love of Jesus pouring into us and overflowing to all of those we come in contact with in all of our arenas of life.
“Lord, I Need You” – by Lauren Daigle
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