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Why We Celebrate Jesus!

March 27, 2015

Catch the Wave! Join us for Palm Sunday worship at 10:45 a.m. http://www.fbcrantoul.org

Today’s Word

Bits of Information & Inspiration

Today in History

1536 – Swiss Protestants in Strassbourg and Constance signed the First Helvetic Confession. It became the first major document setting forth the common faith of the Swiss Protestant churches.

Corruption had deprived the Roman Catholic Church of its credibility during the last centuries of the middle ages. The reformation of the church in Switzerland by Huldrych Zwingli, John Calvin and Guillaume Farel came a little later than the reformation in Germany by Martin Luther, but it did have a certain independence and it was more radical. As in Germany, the Reformation began in Switzerland as a religious renewal movement and ended in a deep political division between the progressive cities of northern and western Switzerland and the conservative rural areas of central Switzerland.

In Zurich, a community of Anabaptists was founded. The Anabaptists did not accept baptism of children but insisted on a deliberate decision of every single adult person to become a member of the Christian church. Adults who converted to these beliefs were baptized once again. Zwingli did not support this view and the city council of Zurich banned the Anabaptists in 1526. Some of their leaders were even executed and remaining banned from the city.

Many Anabaptists from all over Europe immigrated to North America from the 17th century on in order to escape from religious intolerance. In periods of crisis heterodox people were always the first to be struck economically.

Inspirational Words

“Let’s quit fiddling with religion and do something to bring the world to Christ.”
– Billy Sunday

Today’s Word

“Here is my servant, whom I uphold, my chosen one in whom I delight; I will put my Spirit on him, and he will bring justice to the nations.”
Isaiah 42:1

Thoughts on the Word

The last part of Isaiah contains what are often called the Servant Songs. Jesus claims several of these songs for his self-identity. The early church claimed several others, quoting them to define Jesus’ ministry and understanding them as prophecies of his coming. Not only were these words of prophecy inspired by God’s Spirit, but the Spirit also empowered Jesus as God’s servant to bring justice and display God’s mercy. The work of Jesus is rooted in the work of God’s Spirit in prophecy that foretells his coming, in his conception, at his baptism, at the start of his ministry, in the words he spoke, in the joy he experienced, through the power that raised him from the dead, and the gift he poured out when we came to him in conversion. The ministry of Jesus is so tied to Jesus and his work for us, that Jesus calls the Holy Spirit “another comforter,” like Jesus himself that Jesus would send when he returned to the Father. The work of Jesus and the Holy Spirit are joined inextricably in God’s dance of grace that brings us life, hope, and justice!

Prayer for Today

O Father, how can I ever fully grasp the gift of the Spirit dwelling in me? I realize that the Spirit is a bond that I share with Jesus himself, the power of the Lord’s presence in my life. Thank you for this grace, dear Father, thank you for this gift, Lord Jesus, and thank you for your abiding presence, O Holy Spirit. In Jesus’ name I thank you! Amen.

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