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St. Matthew's EC Church
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Pastor's Blog
Wednesday, April 10 2024
Resurrection Sunday Family Worship Celebration with communion 10am Live and on Zoom. Bring some friends!
Good Morning Loved Ones of God--His Redeemed! On this Saturday, be still and know that He is God. He loves you! He has redeemed You! He is calling you by name! Listen...meditate...worship! Meditate on the passages and devos below as a start to your quiet and prayer time. Be bold and courageous today and look for opportunities to share your hope and God's love. Darkness and evil are closing in (our President has declared Easter Sunday to be a day to celebrate transgenders. The enemy is trying to anger us and steal our joy of the resurrection celebrations. Wonder how many "churches" will have drag queen readers tomorrow?) BUT GOD! But remember also, we have all gone astray too and are sinners worthy of eternal punishment in Hell! BUT GOD! And we are His children of Light! We have hope! We are forgiven and made new in Christ! Amen! 
Turn off the noise and open God's Word as you prepare your hearts to worship tomorrow! The resurrection is the greatest event in all of history! Death and the grave have been defeated. Our sins have been sacrificed on that cruel cross. We have been redeemed and we have been given the opportunity to choose new life in Christ. Yes we were one way, BUT God! By His love and grace we are now another! Rejoice! Jesus is our resurrection and life! he is the way, the truth and the life. The only way. he is calling you by name! he loves you beyond measure! 
Isaiah 43: (My highlights)
But now, O Jacob, listen to the Lord who created you.
    O Israel, the one who formed you says,
“Do not be afraid, for I have ransomed you.
    I have called you by name; you are mine.
When you go through deep waters,
    I will be with you.
When you go through rivers of difficulty,
    you will not drown.
When you walk through the fire of oppression,
    you will not be burned up;
    the flames will not consume you.
For I am the Lord, your God,
    the Holy One of Israel, your Savior.
I gave Egypt as a ransom for your freedom;
    I gave Ethiopia and Seba in your place.
Others were given in exchange for you.
    I traded their lives for yours
because you are precious to me.
    You are honored, and I love you.
Isaiah 53:
He was despised and rejected— a man of sorrows, acquainted with deepest grief. We turned our backs on him and looked the other way. He was despised, and we did not care. Yet it was our weaknesses he carried; it was our sorrows that weighed him down. And we thought his troubles were a punishment from God, a punishment for his own sins!

The Passion of Christ

The punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healedIsaiah 53:5

READ Isaiah 53:4–7, 10–12

Before Jim Caviezel played Jesus in the film The Passion of the Christ, director Mel Gibson warned that the role would be extremely difficult and could negatively impact his career in Hollywood. Caviezel took on the role anyway, saying, “I think we have to make it, even if it is difficult.”

During the filming, Caviezel was struck by lightning, lost forty-five pounds, and was accidentally whipped during the flogging scene. Afterwards, he stated, “I didn’t want people to see me. I just wanted them to see Jesus. Conversions will happen through that.” The film deeply affected Caviezel and others on the set, and only God knows how many of the millions who watched it experienced changed lives.

The passion of Christ refers to the time of Jesus’ greatest suffering, from His triumphal entry on Palm Sunday and including His betrayal, mocking, flogging, and crucifixion. Accounts are found in all four gospels.

In Isaiah 53, His suffering and its outcome are foretold: “He was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed” (v. 5). All of us, “like sheep, have gone astray” (v. 6). But because of Jesus’ crucifixion and resurrection, we can have peace with God. His suffering opened the way for us to be with Him.

By Alyson Kieda


What aspect of Christ’s life most impacts you? How does His suffering affect you?

Precious Savior, it’s hard to express how grateful I am that You suffered, died, and rose again for me. Thank You.

For further study, read I Am the Way: The Amazing Claims of Jesus.


The Song of the Suffering Servant we most often associate with Isaiah 53 actually begins in the previous chapter at verse 13. There, the servant is introduced as one who is wise and who will be “raised and lifted up and highly exalted” (52:13). If that final phrase sounds familiar, that’s because it’s one of Isaiah’s favorite ways to describe his encounters with Yahweh (God) Himself.

In Isaiah 6:1, the prophet recounts seeing the God of Israel in His temple “high [rum] and exalted [nasa’]”; in 52:13, the niv translates the same two Hebrew words as “raised and lifted up.” Isaiah associates the exaltation of the Suffering Servant with the very person of Yahweh, looking ahead to the Son Himself, Jesus.

Jed Ostoich
UR: Holy Saturday

After these things, Joseph of Arimathea, who was a disciple of Jesus, though a secret one because of his fear of the Jews, asked Pilate to let him take away the body of Jesus. Pilate gave him permission, so he came and removed his body. - John 19:38 (NRSVUE)

Holy Saturday is a day of quiet, somber reflection. It’s an odd, in-between day after Jesus’ death but before his resurrection. I often think about what the day might have been like for the disciples and others who followed Jesus at the time — particularly

Joseph of Arimathea.

Joseph had a lot of influence and was an important Jewish leader. He would risk his reputation and standing in the community if his belief in Jesus became public. So he kept his belief quiet.

But on Good Friday, when Jesus died on the cross, Joseph of Arimathea proclaimed his faith publicly by going to Pilate and asking for Jesus’ body so he could bury it.

I imagine Joseph spending most of Saturday wondering if he had made the right choice. He took a great risk with this act. And on Saturday, Jesus was still dead in a tomb.

In a similar way, we take risks when we choose to follow Jesus publicly. Those risks can sometimes cause us to stay quiet or to keep our belief secret. However, while making our faith public may make for an uncomfortable Holy Saturday, it makes for a much more celebratory Easter Sunday.

Dear Jesus, help us not to hide our faith but to follow you boldly. Amen.
Harvest Prayer Starters:

Prayer Points

  • Give praise to Jesus, the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End (Rev. 22:13).
  • Thank him for his promise, “Yes, I am coming soon” (22:12).
  • Confess those periods of time when you have lost sight of the hope of his coming.
  • Commit yourself to waiting each day for “the blessed hope—the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ” (Titus 2:13).
  • Ask God to renew in you the hope that “when he appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is” (1 Jn. 3:2).
  • Ask God to open the eyes of your unsaved friends so that they may see the spiritual kingdom that lies behind the physical realm.
Prayer Points taken from Patterns for Prayer by Alvin VanderGriend.
Posted by: AT 06:09 pm   |  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

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