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    ReadGood Earth Times April 8, 2020
    GET informed GET connected GET inspired with St John UMC's Good Earth Times Matthew 13:8
    1. Apr

      Christ's Last Words Guided Devotion on Facebook

      Friday, April 10th  •  6:00–6:30 pm (EDT)
      1. Apr

        EASTER - Resurrection Sunday Online

        Sunday, April 12th, 10:30 am (EDT)
        1. Apr

          Good Friday Blog Devotion with Pastor Carl

          Friday, April 10th, 9 am (EDT)
          1. Apr

            Maundy Thursday Blog Devotion with Pastor Carl

            Thursday, April 9th, 9 am (EDT)
            1. GOOD FRIDAY WORD from Pastor Carl

              Please check back on Good Friday for the fresh word of the day.

              1.  — Edited

                What’s the point of “Maundy Thursday”?

                As a child, I remember being a bit confused when the Thursday before Easter rolled around each year. My ears always heard “Monday” Thursday. I remember thinking, “OK, which is it, Monday or Thursday…it can’t be both!” I’m pretty sure I never said that out loud for fear of sounding stupid. It makes me chuckle now, though. 

                Many of you are perhaps savvy church historians and know that the word “maundy” is evidently a shortened form of the Latin word “mandatum,” which means “command.” The mandate, or command, that Jesus gives takes place in the part of the Gospel story from John’s account when Jesus was at His “last supper” with the disciples. Preceding His mandate, I really love the candid snapshot of Jesus in John 13, TPT. He gets up from the meal, takes off His outer clothing, wraps a towel around His waist and begins washing the disciple’s feet. My friends, this is a radical picture of love! And, of course, we remember “Impetuous Peter’s” re-actions to Jesus, and Jesus’ beautiful inter-action with Peter: 

                8 Peter looked at Jesus and said, “You’ll never wash my dirty feet—never!”

                “But Peter, if you don’t allow me to wash your feet,” Jesus responded, “then you will not be able to share life with me.”

                9 So Peter said, “Lord, in that case, don’t just wash my feet, wash my

                hands and my head too!”  

                Note that washing His disciples’ feet and having this interaction with Peter comes BEFORE Jesus’ sharing His new “command/mandate” with His beloved disciples. Jesus was always so intentional. He didn’t simply say things expecting His disciples (us) to automatically understand. He always lived out what He said.

                In John 13:34, Jesus gives His “mandatum.” He says, “So I give you now a new commandment: Love each other just as much as I have loved you.” The absolutely astounding thing to me is that Jesus makes this “maundy” statement AFTER He predicts Judas’ betrayal; and, more or less, in the same breath that He predicts Peter’s denial. If this doesn’t make the picture clear enough to us what Jesus means when He says, “Love each other just as much as I have loved you, then all we have to do is read what Jesus willingly endured in the moments following His last meal with the disciples—denial, betrayal, cursing, beating, mocking, torture, physical, mental and emotional anguish, crucifixion…death.

                As we spend time with Jesus today, “MAUNDY THURSDAY,” contemplating the amazing things that Jesus willingly endured to show His love for us, may we grow exponentially in our understanding that to “love eachother just as much” aHe loves us isn’t a choice, it’s a mandate. And, may we increasingly grasp that this mandate is only possible as we continually and completely surrender to HIS lordship in and over our lives, trusting in HIS Holy Spirit to fill us with HIS love.


                Pastor Carl


                Ps. Over the next few days try to take the time to read the accounts of THE PASSION STORY in the four Gospels for a powerful reminder of just how much Jesus loves you. And, for a great way to put some action to your love today, check out the suggestion in this devotional for Lent, “TREASURE IN JARS OF CLAY.”

                1. published a newsletter

                  ReadGood Earth Times Nightly Edition #5
                  April 7, 2020

                  Hi friends!

                  I am hitting a wall today. I just want to run away and scream. I have been on back to back video meetings all day. That may have something to do with it. Honestly, though, I kinda woke up this way today.

                  Today's scripture is coming from Nicky Gumble's Bible in One Year reading plan. Carl read this for our devotion time in staff meeting this morning and it just spoke to my heart and I've been thinking of this passage all day.

                  I am praying that this speaks into your life as much as it did mine!

                  Peace & Love to you!

                  1. published a newsletter

                    ReadGood Earth Times Nightly Edition #4
                    April 6, 2020

                    Hi friends!

                    I know that a lot of my recommendations lately you could just boil down to spending more time with God. What better time than Holy Week to start new habits! It's like a new year reset for Christians!

                    It's been a while since we've talked about Right Now Media. This is a great resource right now. Instead of binging a show on Netflix, go through a bible study on Right Now Media. I promise it will make you feel better about the world than a mindless distraction like Netflix or tracking the news. My dear husband gives me a morning update on the news, so this morning he's telling how many new cases there are and how many have died. My reply this morning was I'm about to go on a news fast and block all that out!

                    So while I worked last week, I had been listening to several news sources on YouTube to stay informed as this scenario was changing so quickly at first. I was beginning to wonder if things would ever be "normal" again. Friday I didn't listen to anything but that made my anxiety worse, because my mind was left to wonder too much. Over the weekend I listened to a lot of instrumental music and worship music. I calmed down. Today (when I wasn't on Zoom calls), I listened to Right Now Media. The very series on the screen was Overcoming Anxiety During COVID-19. You can watch the trailer HERE.

                    You will notice that you have to log in to watch the episodes. I got you covered!! Our church has a full church subscription, so we've already paid for your subscription. If you have never made an account, click HERE to activate your account. If you have made an account, then you just have to remember your password (I'm saying a prayer for you now!)

                    Peace & Love to you!