Dear members of God’s family at Resurrection Church,

The Seventh Sunday of Easter always invites us to read from the great prayer of Jesus in John 17, the prayer in which Jesus prays that the people of the church may be one. And this Sunday in this year also invites us to read about the disciples, men and women, being together in the house in prayer. Join the unity of the church again this Sunday as you pray in your house, if it is possible for you, at 10 am on May 24.

Alleluia Christ is risen!

Worship material for May 24, 2020

The following have been posted to YouTube; here is the YouTube Playlist for May 24, 2020:

Music Notes

Musical Reflection: "Gelobt sei Gott"
John Leavitt (1956)

Melchior Vulpius (1570-1615) composed this tune as a setting for Michael Weisse's text Gelobt sei Gott in höchsten Thron. In 1609 tune and text were published together in Vulpius's Ein Schon Geistlich Gesangbuch but because the text dates from the early sixteenth century, some scholars think the tune may have older roots.

In this setting by John Leavitt the excitement generated by tune and text is well portrayed with repetitive motives and ornamental figures, a recognizable element of his compositional style. A composer, performer, and clinician for church and school music literature, Leavitt continues to teach, lecture, and guest conduct numerous workshops, festivals, and symposia.

Hymn of the Day: “Rise, O Son of Righteousness”, #657
Text: Christian David, Christian Gottlob Barth, Johann Christian Nehring
Tune: SONNE DER GERECHTIGKEIT

This is a German hymn text from three authors. Stanza 1 is by Christian David (1892-1751), stanzas 2 and 4 are by Christian Gottlob Barth (1799-1862) and stanzas 3 and 5 are by Johann Christian Nehring (1671-1736). Frank Stolt translated and paraphrased it in 2002 and it was published in 2003. SONNE DER GERECHTIGKEIT is a 15th century folksong from the Bohemian Brethren tradition.

Seventh Sunday of Easter, John 17:1-11 May 24, 2020
The Rev. Jonathan Linman, Ph.D.

The holy gospel according to Luke. Glory to you, O Lord.

After Jesus had spoken these words, he looked up to heaven and said, “Father, the hour has come; glorify your Son so that the Son may glorify you, 2since you have given him authority over all people, to give eternal life to all whom you have given him. 3And this is eternal life, that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent. 4I glorified you on earth by finishing the work that you gave me to do. 5So now, Father, glorify me in your own presence with the glory that I had in your presence before the world existed. 6I have made your name known to those whom you gave me from the world. They were yours, and you gave them to me, and they have kept your word. 7Now they know that everything you have given me is from you; 8for the words that you gave to me I have given to them, and they have received them and know in truth that I came from you; and they have believed that you sent me. 9I am asking on their behalf; I am not asking on behalf of the world, but on behalf of those whom you gave me, because they are yours. 10All mine are yours, and yours are mine; and I have been glorified in them. 11And now I am no longer in the world, but they are in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, protect them in your name that you have given me, so that they may be one, as we are one.”

The gospel of the Lord. Praise to you, O Christ.

You’ve just heard another set of mind-bending sayings from Jesus’ Farewell Discourse in John’s Gospel. Instead of being directed to Jesus’ followers, in this reading Jesus speaks his words as prayer to God, the Father.

Listen again to some of this and try to wrap your mind around what Jesus says: “I have made your name known to those whom you gave me from the world. They were yours, and you gave them to me, and they have kept your word. 7Now they know that everything you have given me is from you; 8for the words that you gave to me I have given to them, and they have received them and know in truth that I came from you; and they have believed that you sent me…. All mine are yours, and yours are mine; and I have been glorified in them…. Holy Father, protect them in your name that you have given me, so that they may be one, as we are one.” (John 17:6-8, 10, 11b)

You get all that straight? Clear as crystal? It’s this kind of discourse from Jesus in John that undoubtedly paved the way years later for the development of the doctrine of the Holy Trinity – one God, but three distinct persons of the Godhead.

Ms. Angie has a new message for the children of RELC. Click below to view!

Sermon for Ascension Day, Luke 24:44-53 May 21, 2020
The Rev. Jonathan Linman, Ph.D.

The holy gospel according to Luke. Glory to you, O Lord.

44Then [Jesus] said to them, “These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you—that everything written about me in the law of Moses, the prophets, and the psalms must be fulfilled.” 45Then he opened their minds to understand the scriptures, 46and he said to them, “Thus it is written, that the Messiah is to suffer and to rise from the dead on the third day, 47and that repentance and forgiveness of sins is to be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem. 48You are witnesses of these things. 49And see, I am sending upon you what my Father promised; so stay here in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high.” 50Then he led them out as far as Bethany, and, lifting up his hands, he blessed them. 51While he was blessing them, he withdrew from them and was carried up into heaven. 52And they worshiped him, and returned to Jerusalem with great joy; 53and they were continually in the temple blessing God.

The gospel of the Lord. Praise to you, O Christ.

Ascension Day is a major festival in the Christian calendar, but it usually doesn’t get much attention in our churches in the United States. In some places in Europe, Ascension Day is still a national holiday – but people there who get a day off work and school are probably not paying much attention to the religious significance of this holy day either. So, what’s this day all about? In brief, today we celebrate Jesus’ return to his Father, his ascent into heaven, the logistics of which I chalk up to mystery.

Dear members of the family of God,

On this the 40th day of Easter we read the passages in the Gospel according to Luke and in the Acts of the Apostles about Jesus’ ascension, and so we keep Ascension Day. In this time of lock- down and distance, this day can be of enormous comfort. Jesus has not gone away. He has gone to the right hand of God so that he might fill all things. He has come nearer, present for us in the scriptures he has opened and the Spirit he has poured out. If you are able, pray this prayers at 7:30pm on Thursday, May 21.

It is still Easter. Christ has risen! God is among us!

Worship material for May 21, 2020

The following have been posted to YouTube; here is the YouTube Playlist for May 21, 2020:

Music Notes

Musical Reflection: Chorale and One Variation from Sonata #6
Felix Mendelssohn (1809-1847)

The Organ Sonata #6 in D minor (1845) demonstrates Mendelssohn’s consummate craftsmanship and mastery of organ texture in a set of variations upon the Lutheran Bach chorale Vater unser im Himmelreich (BWV416). Following a five-part harmonization of the Chorale, which pervades the sonata as a whole, Mendelssohn presents four variations of increasing brilliance before a restatement of the Chorale. Here I am playing the 3rd variation. Mendelssohn’s Organ Sonatas revitalised the then-moribund European organ tradition, spurred English organ-builders to new heights, and, through his particular blend of chorale, counterpoint and domestic spirituality, substantially augmented the organ repertoire for the first time since Bach.

Hymn of the Day: “Thine the Amen”, #826
Text: Herbert F. Brokering (1926) Tune: THINE, Carl F. Schalk (1929)

During a 2 week retreat at Holden Village in Washington State, Herbert Brokering wrote a text daily reflecting on the morning’s Bible study, and Carl Schalk, who was the composer for Brokering’s hymns, set it to music. It was a tough schedule, as both text and music had to be at the print shop by 3PM as the new hymn was sung the following morning, reviewing the previous day’s study. THINE was the 10th hymn in the series.

Spiritual Reflections from Your Pastor, For Such a Time as This
The Rev. Jonathan Linman, Ph.D.
Week of the Sixth Sunday of Easter 2020: “What’s Going on at Church?”

Dear Friends in Christ:

I am delighted to be writing this piece in my home office at the parsonage here in Arlington. At long last, I am in residence among you, even if we cannot generally enjoy interactions in person. Despite these most unusual circumstances, I am doing now what I always do in a new call, namely, getting a sense of what is going on in ministry in this place. Because of the pandemic, and in a manner similar to the coronavirus, which is itself hidden to the naked eye, a lot of ministry at Resurrection right now is not particularly visible to everyone. But things are happening – perhaps in truncated form – and many of the essentials of Christian life together are being undertaken even apart from our ability to assemble on Sundays and at other times. Here is a snapshot of what I have witnessed in just the few days since I arrived in Arlington.

Sixth Sunday of Easter, John 14:15-21, May 17, 2020
The Rev. Jonathan Linman, Ph.D.

The holy gospel according to John. Glory to you, O Lord.

15“If you love me, you will keep my commandments. 16And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate, to be with you forever. 17This is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, because he abides with you, and he will be in you. 18“I will not leave you orphaned; I am coming to you. 19In a little while the world will no longer see me, but you will see me; because I live, you also will live. 20On that day you will know that I am in my Father, and you in me, and I in you. 21They who have my commandments and keep them are those who love me; and those who love me will be loved by my Father, and I will love them and reveal myself to them.”

The gospel of the Lord. Praise to you, O Christ.

Today’s Gospel reading is a portion of Jesus’ farewell discourse to his disciples, when he attempted to give them a sense of what was coming next for himself and for them.

For the disciples, this discourse prepared them for Jesus’ death, resurrection, and his return to the Father. For us, coming as it does in the latter part of Eastertide, this passage prepares us for the remembrance of Jesus’ Ascension into heaven, which we will celebrate this coming Thursday with additional Home Worship resources.

Either way, Jesus prepares the followers for the reality of his departure, at least in terms of their experience of how Jesus walked this earth as one of us. In order to set the stage, what Jesus gives the disciples and us is more mind-bending teaching about who he is and what comes next.

But the moment in today’s passage that most draws me in is this, when Jesus says: “I will not leave you orphaned.” When I hear these words of promise from Jesus, tears often come to my eyes. The words tap into primordial fears – common to humans – of being left behind, abandoned, alone. These precious words give some relief, or maybe a sense of safety to grieve those occasions when I have felt let behind.

Dear members of God’s family at Resurrection church,

We are at the Sixth Sunday of Easter. And this Sunday comes to us as a downpay- ment on Pentecost. Through the death and resurrection of Jesus, the Spirit of God is poured out on us, helping us to know, no matter where we are, the nearness of God. Join together to read these texts, pray these prayers, read or listen to the ser- mon of our Pastor, and sing with our Musician at 10am on Sunday, May 17. We are not orphans; in the word and by the Spirit Christ comes to us, gathering us into the love of his Father. The Holy Trinity holds us. This is the hope of which we are called to gently give account in this needy time.

Christ is risen! Alleluia 

Worship material for May 17, 2020

And don't forget:

Spark Family Sunday SchoolSpark Family Sunday School has lessons for today about "The Promise of the Holy Spirit"

The following have been posted to YouTube; here is the YouTube Playlist for May 17, 2020:

Music Notes

Hymn of the Day: “Now the Green Blade Rises”, #379
Text: John MacLeod Campbell Crum (1872-1958)
Tune: NOEL NOUVELET, French Carol

Many of us know this French carol tune as a Christmas carol. But the Easter text was written to this specific tune, which goes back at least to the late 15th century and may derive from one of the plainchants for “Ave maris stella.” The text begins with the imagery of the green blade of the new plant and continues throughout the hymn.

Musical Reflection: "Come Down O Love Divine"
Mark Sedio (1954)

Mark Sedio currently serves as Cantor at Central Lutheran Church in Minneapolis where his responsibilities are varied: organist, choirmaster, resident composer, worship planner and educator. He is also on the music staff of Luther Seminary in St. Paul. Sedio has served as a clinician and lecturer in the areas of worship, liturgy, adult and children's choirs, hymnody and psalmody, and cross-culture music.

Choir Anthem: "Christ the Lord Is Risen Again!"
Anthony Foster (1926- 2012)

Anthony Foster, a British church musician, organist and composer, wrote this Easter anthem based on the hymn text by Michael Weisse (1480-1534) who was a pastor among the Bohemian Brethren, and a contemporary of Martin Luther. The original text was translated into English by Catherine Wentworth.

Christ the Lord is risen again;
Christ has broken every chain!
Hark, the angels shout for joy,
Singing evermore on high: Alleluia.

He who gave for us his life,
Who for us endured the strife,
Is our Paschal Lamb today.
We, too, sing for joy and say: Alleluia.

He who bore all pain and loss
Comfortless upon the cross,
Lives in glory now on high,
Pleads for us and hears our cry: Alleluia.

You, our Paschal Lamb indeed,
Christ, today your people feed,
Take our sins and guilt away,
That we all may sing for joy: Alleluia

Ms. Angie has a new message for the children of RELC. Click below to view!

Spiritual Reflections from Your Pastor, For Such a Time as This
The Rev. Jonathan Linman, Ph.D.
Week of the Fifth Sunday of Easter 2020

Dear Friends in Christ:

As a seminary professor and then as a Bishop’s Assistant, I spent a heck of a lot of time in front of computer screens for the past 18 years – as is the experience also of so many of you. This was a lot of time away from direct contact with people. One of the attractions of a return to a congregational pastorate has been the promise of more people time, face-to-face, in real life. Obviously, such people time is currently not an option.

I knew that my return to ministry as a pastor of a congregation would involve more screen time than was the case when I left the parish back in 2001. As it turns out, because of the pandemic, virtually all of my new ministry efforts are mediated by some form of technology. No doubt many of you also have experienced a huge increase in the amount of time you spend interacting with people via technology. Our technologies can be great servants of our varied activities, but perhaps things seem quite out of balance right now, when it may appear that we are servants of our technologies and not the other way around.

May this season of Easter bring delight and mystery into your evolving spiritual practices, particularly in this time of engulfing grief and unknowns. Prepared for you is the next Home Faith Resource calendar, linked below, that I've put together, reflecting April 13th through June 7th, Trinity Sunday.

Incorporated into this resource are weekly programming that I continue to lead for youth and families, as well as an array of resources for you to engage with.

Examples include weekly Compline nightly prayer services, Bedtime Stories, Confirmation and Saturday Morning Spiritual Education Classes, Friday afternoon youth Zoom calls, as well as activities for you to engage with on your own time as prayer, meditation, spiritual and creative practices, and Scripture readings.

This calendar will continue to be updated to include recordings of past programming , any additional scheduled programming, and available community resources for your continued convenient access.

May you be aware of God's activity in your life in meaningful ways, and may your health, safety, peace of mind, and relationships continue to be nurtured and tended.

In community,
Amanda

pdfRELC Home Faith Formation Calendar for 4/13/2020 - 6/7/2020

Dear Friends in Christ:

I want to let you all know that we just received confirmation that my son's surgery is indeed scheduled to take place tomorrow, Good Friday. This will be major surgery to correct the vascular malformation in Nathan's brain that first caused his stroke. Thus, Nathan, his mother, and I covet your prayers for effective, uncomplicated outcomes to this procedure.

Needless to say, my observance of home worship during this Holy Week will focus on my keeping vigil at my son's side, even as I also intend to share with you in using our congregation's worship resources to mark these Three Days. With Nathan's surgery in mind, I created video files of all of my Holy Week and Easter sermons early, so they are all uploaded and ready to go.

I don't know how many days Nathan will be in the hospital—it all depends on how the surgery and his recovery go. While attending to my son is my first priority in the coming days, I also intend to engage in my pastoral responsibilities as well, keeping abreast of church-related emails and phone messages and also preparing sermons for the next Sundays in Easter.

Thanks in advance for your prayers for us, and may you all have blessed and holy Three Days during these most trying and unprecedented times in the life of our congregation and in the world.

Sent with my own prayer for all of you in our life together.....

In Jesus' name,

Pastor Jonathan Linman

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