Skip to main content
St. Matthew's EC Church
email usour facebook page
contact us
Pastor's Blog
Tuesday, March 26 2024

Hosanna! Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna!

Worship at 10 with Children's Church followed by brunch. All welcome!!!

(Wagner's update below)

Good Morning Worshiping, Trusting, Followers of Jesus! Who is this man to you? How has following Him changed your life? Will you follow Him always, even through the promised hard times? We will discuss today the examples and lessons of the disciples of Jesus this crazy, up-and-down week and beyond of trusting and following Jesus always. Come and see! Shout hosanna with welcoming, trusting always hearts! Hosanna! Get those palm branches ready!

Check out our devos below describing following our King always. He came lowly on the colt of a donkey but will come back on a mighty war horse. He's always doing the unexpected and the followers are about to experience the craziness and confusion of their King, the Messiah, doing very unexpected things--things beyond the imagination or wheel house of all who were gathered in Jerusalem for the Passover celebration. Our Passover Lamb has come. Hosanna! The time is right. the History of the universe was about to be changed forever. Come and see! Will you trust and follow Him always?

UR: Palm Sunday

They took branches of palm trees and went out to meet him, shouting, “Hosanna! Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord — the King of Israel!” - John 12:13 (NRSVUE)

Soon after Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead, a crowd of excited people followed him to Jerusalem. As Jesus rode in on a donkey, I wonder if Lazarus walked along with the crowd, waving palm branches to signify that Jesus was a great deliverer. I imagine that first Palm Sunday would have been personal for Lazarus as he walked with and worshiped his friend and hero who had just given him new life.

Easter is my favorite holiday because it reminds me of how I once moved from death to life. When I first prayed asking Jesus to forgive my sins and come into my life, I had a momentary sensation of warm oil pouring over my head. I felt inner peace, as if I had just walked out of a tomb, and I began to hunger for more, reading scripture as if it were God’s personal letter to me.

We all can welcome Jesus’ entry into our lives every day. He is our Lord and Savior, our personal deliverer, who conquered death and called each of us out of a tomb. We can trust in him each day to deliver us, bring peace to our minds, and lead us to an abundant life.


Dear Jesus, we welcome you into our lives today. Thank you for giving us victory over sin and death. Amen.


Renaissance in Jesus

Unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds. John 12:24

READ John 12:23–26


We know Leonardo da Vinci as the renaissance man. His intellectual prowess led to advances across multiple fields of study and the arts. Yet Leonardo journaled of “these miserable days of ours” and lamented that we die “without leaving behind any memory of ourselves in the mind of men.”

“While I thought I was learning how to live,” said Leonardo, “I was learning how to die.” He was closer to the truth than he may have realized. Learning how to die is the way to life. After Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem (what we now celebrate as Palm Sunday; see John 12:12–19), He said, “Unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds” (v. 24). He spoke this about His own death but expanded it to include us all: “Anyone who loves their life will lose it, while anyone who hates their life in this world will keep it for eternal life” (v. 25).

The apostle Paul wrote of being “buried” with Christ “through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life. For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we will certainly also be united with him in a resurrection like his” (Romans 6:4–5).

Through His death, Jesus offers us rebirth—the very meaning of renaissance. He has forged the way to eternal life with His Father.

By Tim Gustafson


How do you measure the value of your life? How might you need to change those values?

Dear Father, I can find meaning and purpose nowhere else but in You.


In the Synoptic Gospels (Matthew, Mark, and Luke), Jesus predicted His death at least three times. The first prediction followed Peter’s declaration of Jesus as the Messiah (reported in Matthew 16:21-23; Mark 8:31-32; Luke 9:21-22). The second and third instances are found in Matthew 17:22-23; 20:17-19; Mark 9:30-32; 10:32-34; and Luke 9:43-45; 18:31-34. These gospels all record Christ explicitly saying that He would die at the hand of the teachers of the law and would rise three days later.

The predictions in John’s gospel, however, are more subtle (12:7-8; 13:33; 14:25-29). In John 12:23-36, Christ’s death is predicted in somewhat poetic language. Jesus said that “the hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified” (v. 23) and that seeds need to die to produce more grain (v. 24). Each of the gospel writers recorded their stories for a deliberate purpose and to serve an intentional end.

JR Hudberg

Chas. Stanley:

Inline image

Harvest Prayer Blog and prayer starters:

March 24 - God Waits for Those Who Will Listen

God is talking all the time. He is not silent, but there are few who get quiet enough to hear Him. There are few who listen.

All around you right now are radio waves filled with music and talk. They are loud and incessant, but you walk through your day, blissfully ignorant of their presence. If, though, you turn on a radio receiver and dial into the right channel, you will immediately realize that this communication has been going on all along. It was there, waiting for you.

God is here. You can leave the receiver dialed to Him constantly and hear the dialogue of His love, encouragement, and direction. To go there means you must lay down other voices and distractions and give Him your attention. You must tune away from every idol and loud, competing voice. He is here, but He will not be heard if you do not refuse the noise around you. (This is one of the great values of fasting from the incessant voices of the world. Your soul is humbled and quieted by a refusal of the world’s noise. In the quietness, God can be heard in exquisite ways.)

You must do whatever is necessary to listen for His voice. And, it must be highly intentional, fueled by a deep understanding of your spiritual poverty and need. You must pray, not just with a bowed head or bended knee, but with a heart that is gladly tuned to Him throughout every moment of the common day. You must realize that prayer is not a part of the Christ-life, it is the Christ-life, and you must sacrifice everything to still each competing voice.

If you do, you will find the sweetest, most intimate words that a human can experience. You will be surprised at its refreshment and joy. Amazed at its consistency. Stunned that it is so personal. Awed by how perfectly God knows exactly what you need to hear, every second of the day.  And, you will wonder why you have waited so long to pray without ceasing.

Loving Father, how I long to hear Your voice! Teach me to listen with attentiveness and a deep desire! May I bow my heart before You and seek You consistently and continually! Help me to persevere in prayer…to expectantly wait for You! Show me how to quiet my soul and spend time in stillness. Teach me to long for all that You are and to joyously wake in the morning with eager expectation. May the last voice I hear as I close my eyes at night be Yours!

---Adapted from Prayer with No Intermission by Bill Elliff. This book is available at

Prayer Points

  • Praise God because he is the encourager and comforter of his people.
  • Give thanks that God loved you and by his grace gave you eternal encouragement and good hope (2 Thess. 2:16).
  • Ask forgiveness for all those times when fear and anxiety replace the courage that God gives.
  • Commit yourself to seeking God’s encouragement to face every obstacle in your life.
  • Ask God to encourage your heart and strengthen you in every good deed and word (2:17).
  • Pray for special encouragement for teachers as they educate. Pray that parents will be supportive of teachers who seek what is best for students.
Prayer Points taken from Patterns for Prayer by Alvin VanderGriend. This book is available at Use the code CONPSP3 at checkout to receive an additional 10% discount.

Wagner's update:

Greetings Friends, 

We’re thankful for your prayers which filled our hearts with peace and encouragement going into Brian’s heart repair on Thursday. The procedure went smoothly without complications even though the hole was larger than anticipated. Give thanks to God with us for His protection over Brian’s health over so many years as we were completely unaware of this defect. Brian is feeling great with little to no discomfort from the procedure. His resting heart rate is no longer registering low when sitting and is remaining steady. This is what originally prompted questions at his routine physical back in November. Brian will have several follow-up appointments over the next months. We’d be grateful for your continued prayers.

“O our God, we thank you and praise your glorious name!” I Chronicles 29:13

RVA Staffing Update:
The choice to serve at RVA, is the choice to serve strategically as a teacher, dorm parent, nurse, maintenance supervisor, administrator, office staff, and more(!), enabling missionaries to make Christ known among Africa’s remaining unreached peoples, knowing their children are being taught and discipled well.

There are still a few critical needs for the 2024-2025 school year.

DormsHigh School girls (G9/10), High School boys (G9/10), Elementary girls (G5/6)

Teachers:Elementary teachers (G4 and G5), Academic Support Coordinator, Spanish teacher, PE teacher
Other: HS Principal, Elementary Principal, College & Career Coordinator, Student Travel, Child Safety team member

Learn more here:
Check out our website for previous updates and more resources, including our upcoming travel schedule. We would love to connect. 

Thanks for your prayers!
We appreciate YOU!

Brian & Missy
Posted by: AT 10:50 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
St. Matthew's EC Church

5th & Ridge Streets
P.O. Box 433
Emmaus, PA 18049
Telephone 610.965.5570


We are learning to live and love like Jesus. 

We are working on becoming who we were created to be and doing our custom made purposes well. 

We are part of the Evangelical Congregational Church

email usour facebook page