St Alban’s Episcopal Church
Bolivar, Missouri

Thursday, March 23, 2023

Easter season all-age choir

Romans 8:6-11 Romans 8:6-11(This is an exceptionally unfortunate reading, when it is cut off from the rest of Paul’s argument in Romans 7-8.And it is worse, if “flesh” is understood to mean – that bodies bad, or “sexuality” or anything similar. In Paul, “flesh” means the atmosphere in which sin and death reign – and for humans, that includes, obviously, our bodies by which we live and move – in cruelty, selfishness, discrimination, pride, or disobedience. It does not mean sex. “Spirit” is the opposite: the new way of life, the new creation: life, and peace in Christ Jesus. I have extended the reading here to give more of the flavor of his thought.
Notice also that “law” here does not mean only the Mosaic law, let alone any church “rules”, but a “way” or pattern of life. He has already said that the Mosaic law is itself (7:14) “spiritual” but that it failed because humans opted for the way of sin and death, and therefore couldn’t keep it. )

Romans 8:1-5
There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and death. For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do: by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and to deal with sin, he condemned sin in the flesh, so that the just requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit on the things of the Spirit..

Romans 6-11
To set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the mind on the Spirit is life and peace. For this reason the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God; it does not submit to God’s law – indeed it cannot, and those who are in the flesh cannot please God. But you are not in the flesh; you are in the spirit, since the Spirit of God dwells in you.. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him. But if Christ is in you, though the body is dead because of sin, the Spirit is life because of righteousness. If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will give life to your mortal bodies also through his Spirit who dwells in you.
(That last part means, – even if you die, because death is still in the world because of Sin, the God who raised Jesus will also raise you: “give life to your mortal bodies”)

The Fifth Sunday in Lent

Adult Class – We will continue with the theology of Paul for one more Sunday before Palm Sunday and then take up his thought again after Easter Day.

Easter all-ages choir – Sandy Sherry is gathering a choir to sing either on Easter Day or another of the Sundays in Easter. We did this once before, and it was such a good experience for kids and adults both! First rehearsal will be this Sunday after Eucharist. We will practice next Sunday as well. Please come -and encourage your kids to participate as well!

Palm / Passion Sunday – Sunday, April 2
As usual, those who can, will gather just outside the red doors to hear the reading of the Palm Sunday gospel before we process in to the traditional hymn, “All Glory Laud and Honor to Thee, Redeemer King…” Those who wish may enter earlier, and remain standing or sitting in the pews with their palms as the others process.
There will be NO PAUL CLASS this day, but those who wish to learn how to make palm crosses to take home are invited to remain after Church during coffee hour and try your hand at this!

Remember this, also – Lent means ‘lengthening” as in, longer days – Springtime. It is a time to open ourselves to new life, to freshness, to renewal – NOT to misery!
These purple tulips are signs of spring – and images of how beautiful repentance and re-turning to God can really be.



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