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II Corinthians 10:4 tells us, "For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds." Even in the Christian life we often find ourselves in a spiritual battle. Fighting the enemies of Satan, the world system and our own sinful flesh. Though the Word of God tells us how to have the victory over these enemies, we fight them none the less. No fight is without sacrifice. Whether it's the spiritual one, or the civil one like what we see over in Iraq today.
Liberty comes with a cost. It was the blood of our fathers that allows us to experience the liberty we have today. It's the battle over sin that allows us to live righteously and it was the spiritual war at Calvary that our savior faced that can give you and I the opportunity to live forever. It is the Blood that Christ gave that washes away our sins. It's the penalty that he paid on our behalf that satisfies the justice of God and gives us eternal life.
Yes, there are wars all around us, and though many would desire to see a world peace, I'm afraid it won't be seen until Jesus comes back to rule and reign and then once again on the New Earth. What a glorious time that will be! I look forward to it and long for it to come.
As we look at this war and the countries that were against it and us, and how they are lining up with each other, it's amazing to see the comparison with these countries in Revelation and Ezekiel. The alignment of the countries to fight against Israel at Armageddon is now easily seen and the time of our Lord's return draweth nigh. It is something worth studying and more importantly, being prepared for.
We all want peace and love. It would be a shame to want that all your life and then let the only true peace and love the world will ever know pass you by and be excluded from it. The way to avoid that is not to wait and see if it will happen, for then it will be too late. But rather to trust Christ now and be born into His family and thereby be prepared. Have you done that yet? If not, come to Christ and get a foretaste of glory divine!
Holy Week will be observed by Christ Episcopal Church in Susquehanna and St. Mark's Episcopal Church in New Milford with opportunities for worship and prayer. This is the most sacred time in the Church year, when Christians gather to retell the stories of their redemption through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Beginning with the waving of palms on Palm Sunday, each day has particular emphasis. Holy Week is a week of contemplation of the mystery of Jesus' last week of earthly life, suffering, and resurrection.
Maundy Thursday marks the institution of the Lord's Supper, also known as the Last Supper, when Jesus washed the feet of his disciples as the symbol of his love for them. At the end of the Eucharist, the remaining consecrated bread is carried to the altar of repose, where vigil will be kept through the night until Good Friday. This commemorates the time that Jesus spent in prayer in the Garden of Gethsemene. The altar is stripped, and the sanctuary is emptied, symbolizing the emptiness of our lives without God.
Good Friday is the name given this day in the English tradition - the day on which the Passion and death of Jesus Christ is commemorated. The Passion is read, the Word is preached. The Solemn prayers are read. There is no celebration of the Eucharist on this day, but there is communion from the remaining sacrament, and all the elements are consumed. The day is sober and quiet. A vacuum is formed into which the joy of Easter will soon pour.
The Great Vigil of Easter is the climax of Holy Week. The faithful gather in darkness and kindle a new fire. The stories of God's saving acts are retold, baptismal vows are renewed, and light breaks in upon darkness in the joyful music and celebration of Easter. The Good News is shared that the promise has been fulfilled and God's love has triumphed.
The people of Christ Church and St. Mark's Church invite all to come and be part of this journey from Palm Sunday through Maundy Thursday and Good Friday, and finally, to share in the joy of Easter to celebrate the Resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Following is the schedule.
April 13, Palm Sunday: 9:00 A.M. Christ Church, Susquehanna; 11:00 A.M. St. Mark's. New Milford.
April 14 Monday in Holy Week: 7:00 P.M. St. Mark's, New Milford.
April 15 Tuesday in Holy Week: Noon St. Mark's, New Milford.
April 16 Wednesday in Holy Week: 7:00 PM Christ Church, Susquehanna.
April 17 Maundy Thursday: 6:00 P.M. Christ Church, Susquehanna; 8:00 P.M. St. Mark's New Milford.
April 18 Good Friday: Noon St. Mark's, New Milford; 2:00 P.M. Christ Church, Susquehanna - Ecumenical Service.
April 19 The Great Vigil of Easter: 8:00 PM St. Mark's, New Milford.
April 20 Easter Day: 9:00 A.M. Christ Church, Susquehanna; 11:00 A.M. St. Mark's, New Milford.
For further information, please contact St. Marks Church office at (570)465-3896.
Child Evangelism Fellowship of Susquehanna County will hold its annual Childrens Rally on April 27 at the Montrose Bible Conference Dryer Hall Chapel, located at 5 Locust Street, Montrose.
The featured speaker will be Miss Marie Leddy, who will present a chalk drawing using black light. Games for the children will also be included, as will a gift for all school aged children.
The rally will start at 2:30 p.m. and end at approximately 3:45 p.m. All children from the ages of 5 to 99 are invited to attend. There is no charge for attending, however, a freewill offering will be taken to help with rally expenses.
An ecumenical service will be held at 2:00 p.m. on Good Friday, April 18, at Christ Episcopal Church, West Main Street, Susquehanna. Clergy and members of churches in the Tri-Boro Ministerium will take part in the one hour service of prayer, meditation and music. The church will be open for private prayer and reflection from 1:00 p.m. until 4:00 p.m. on that day. The Easter Sunrise Service will begin at 7:00 a.m., in the park near the United Methodist Church, and will be followed by breakfast at the church. In case of inclement weather, the service will be held in the church. Please call (570)853-3872 to make a reservation. All are welcome. For information concerning these or other services in Holy Week and on Easter Day, please contact any one of the following participating Tri-Boro Ministerium Churches: Lanesboro Community Church, Susquehanna United Methodist Church, North Jackson United Methodist Church, Christ Episcopal Church, Lakeview Mennonite Church, St. John's Roman Catholic Church.
The Great Bend Hallstead Lutheran Church, 302 Main Street, Great Bend, PA, will hold services on Palm Sunday at 8 a.m., and Easter Sunday at 8 a.m. On Good Friday there will be a Tenebrae service at 3:30 p.m. The Good Friday and Easter Services will be led by Rev. Bode. Everyone is welcome to join. For further information call (570) 879-5154.
The Great Bend Alliance Church, Randolph Street, Great Bend, will present a cantata at 10:30 a.m. on Easter Sunday, April 20. The cantata is an Easter musical, entitled, "The Love of Jesus." There will also be an Easter egg hunt for children, at 9:00 a.m. During this time, while the children are looking for eggs, there will be coffee and doughnuts for the adults.
Everyone is welcome! For directions to the church or any other questions, phone (570) 879-2741 or (570) 879-2758.
On Good Friday, April 18, at 12:00 noon the Ecumenical Way of the Cross will begin at the Holy Name of Mary Roman Catholic Church, Montrose. After a reading from the Passion, prayer and music, a wooden cross will be carried, in procession by community members, to St. Pauls Episcopal Church for a continuation of the reading and service. The procession with the cross will continue to the Montrose Methodist Church for reading and service, after which the procession with the cross will continue to the First Presbyterian Church to conclude the readings and service. Everyone is invited to this holy event.
Holy Name of Mary Church, Montrose announces the approaching Holy Week and Easter schedules.
Saturday, April 12: 5:15 p.m. - Palm Sunday Vigil Mass with blessing and distribution of palms.
Sunday, April 13: Palm Sunday Masses at 8:00 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. with blessing and distribution of palms.
Thursday, April 17: Holy Thursday, 7:00 p.m. Mass of the Lords Supper.
Friday, April 18: Good Friday, 12:00 noon - Ecumenical Way of the Cross, at which time a cross is carried to several area churches; 2:00 p.m. - the Passion of the Lord; 7:00 p.m. - Stations of the Cross.
Saturday, April 19: 12:00 noon - Blessing of food baskets and Easter egg hunt; 8:00 p.m. - Easter Vigil Mass.
Sunday, April 20: Easter Sunday Masses at 8:00 a.m. and 10:30 a.m.
Following is the Holy Week schedule for St. Markšs Episcopal Church, New Milford. April 13 - 11:00 a.m. - The Sunday of the Passion, Palm Sunday. April 17 - 8:00 p.m. - Maundy Thursday, Holy Eucharist and stripping of the altar. April 18 - noon - Good Friday, Liturgy of the Day. April 19 - 8:00 p.m. - The Great Vigil of Easter. April 20 - 11:00 a.m. - Easter Day, Holy Eucharist.
St. John the Evangelist Church, Susquehanna, announces the following confession and Mass schedule for Easter.
Confessions: Wednesday, April 16 7:00-8:00 p.m.; Good Friday, April 18 after 7 p.m. Stations of the Cross; Holy Saturday, April 19 11:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m. and 1:30-2:30 p.m.
Holy Thursday, April 17: 7 p.m. Mass of the Lord's Supper and Procession to the Repository (Church will remain open until 11 p.m. for adoration).
Good Friday, April 18: 11:30-1:30 p.m. Meditations on "The Cross of Jesus in Your Life" by Father Benedict J. Groeschel, C.F.R.; 1:30 p.m. Liturgy of the Lord's Passion and Death; 7:00 p.m. Stations of the Cross followed by Confessions.
Holy Saturday, April 19: 8 p.m. Easter Vigil & Mass of the Resurrection.
Easter Sunday, April 20: Masses at 8:15 a.m. and 10:30 a.m.
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