Lilies

Easter and lilies seem to go hand in hand, so as we’re heading on our final approach to Easter, we might want see some lilies in our live streaming service, I just can’t get that old Gospel chorus line out of my head that goes: “He’s the lily of the valley, the bright and morning star.”  Some of you may also know and appreciate that old Gospel favorite, and be surprised to realize it’s not really any kind of Bible verse.  Lilies and other flowers are prominent biblical themes, but the idea of Jesus as “the lily of the valley,” as a direct connection with Easter comes from somewhere else.

“I am a rose of Sharon, a lily of the valley, a lily among the brambles” is certainly a Biblical text, but it comes from The Song of Solomon, with much more of a romantic than a spiritual tone.  Some Bible commentators over the millennia have seen the love described in the Song of Solomon as an illustration of the love of Christ for the Church—“the Bride of Christ,” which is probably where the connection has come from. 

Connections have been drawn between Jesus and lilies as well—the fruitfulness of lilies, which, like Jesus’ illustration of the vine and branches shows how we grow and reproduce while we stay in the vine, and the sweet savour of the lily fragrance, reflecting the sweetness of Jesus’ sacrifice for us.  So I’m sorry I don’t have a more solid lily scripture connection to share, but that doesn’t reduce the power Easter Lilies bring as an icon of the new life Easter brings.

Please visit our site daily for and CLICK HERE for our Holy Week Bible Study.  Look for SAFE ways to share and be a blessing this Holy Week so you can keep being a blessing! Reverend Jim

Cancelled?

Many churches are saying worship is “cancelled” for the time being. But is it really? While church buildings may remain closed, and the worship that happens inside those walls may be on hold for now, churches—that is, the gatherings of the People of God (NOT the buildings, or what happens in them…), are STILL worshipping in varieties of ways. In that very real sense, while services IN many church buildings, including the Twin Falls Church building are not happening this Sunday, worship is NOT cancelled!

God calls us, equips us, and is PRESENT with us, to worship in all times and places. One of my most memorable lessons in seminary was about what IS worship—whenever the people of God gather to pray and share the scripture together, THAT is worship. So please WORSHIP WITH US this morning—not at our building, but in your homes, while you are walking in this beautiful day that the Lord has made, with us digitally on Facebook with other congregations together (link below), wherever you can!

Remember Jesus’ powerful words—“And remember I am with you always, even to the ends of the earth” (Matt. 28: 20)

Let’s worship!

Pastor Jim

Epiphany Sunday

Daniel 7: 13-14 (Pew Bible O.T. pg.  828)

  In my vision at night I looked, and there before me was one like a son of man, coming with the clouds of heaven.  He approached the Ancient of Days and was led into his presence.  He was given authority, glory and sovereign power; all peoples, nations and men of every language worshipped him.  His dominion is an everlasting dominion that will not pass away, and his kingdom is one that will never be destroyed.

EPISTLE READING:  Hebrews 1: 1-3a

  In the past God spoke to our forefathers through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom he made the universe.  The son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. 

GOSPEL READING:  Matt:2:1-11

After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem  2and asked, “Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews?  We saw his star in the east and have come to worship him.”

When King Herod heard this, he was   disturbed, and all Jerusalem with him.

 When he had called together all the people’s chief priests and teachers of the law, he asked them where the Christ was to be born. 

“In Bethlehem in Judea” they replied “for this is what the prophet has written:‘But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah

are by no means least among the rulers of   Judah; for out of you will come a ruler
      who will be the shepherd of my people Israel.’”

Then Herod called the Magi secretly and found out from them the exact time the star had appeared. 

He he sent them to Bethlehem and said, “Go and make a careful search for the child.

are by no means least among the rulers of   Judah; for out of you will come a ruler
      who will be the shepherd of my people Israel.’
As soon as you find him, report to me,   so that I too may go and worship him.” 

After they had heard the king, they went on their way, and the star they had seen in the east went ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the child was. 10 When they saw the star, they were overjoyed.  Herod called the Magi secretly and found out from them the exact time the star had appeared. 

11 On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshipped him.

Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold and of incense and of myrrh.