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We are on the verge of Holy Week! This Sunday will be Palm Sunday.  On this day the disciples, with a crowd of others celebrated the kingship of Jesus and placed palm branches before the colt that he was riding. They recited part of Zechariah 9:9: “Rejoice greatly, Daughter Zion! Shout, Daughter Jerusalem! See, your king comes to you, righteous and victorious, lowly and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey.” (NIV) This was a glorious moment because they believed that Jesus was God’s Messiah.  Yet, things would change within days and the shouts of “Hosanna!” would be overwhelmed with cries of “Crucify him!”  We will have Maundy Thursday and Good Friday services with Truway Church of the Risen Christ. (Both services will be at St. Johns at 7:00 p.m. each evening.)  This has been a wonderful partnership with Truway and we look forward to celebrating Holy Week with our brothers and sisters.  Easter Sunday will begin with the Community Sunrise Service at Stockton Park across from St. Mark’s Episcopal at 6:30 a.m. and we will continue our Easter celebration at our 9:00 a.m. and 11:00 a.m. services in the sanctuary.  This week we are completing our sermon series, Staying the Course with the sermon What have we learned?  The study of Colossians has been fruitful for our hearts and lives.  Everyone will have slightly different take-aways but we will return to Colossians 1:9-18.  This is Paul’s prayer for the Colossians and it is filled with joy and hope for this church.  It is also instructive for all of us as we consider the powerful presence of Christ in our lives.  It has been great to engage this study but now we must consider what adjustments we will make to “stay the course” toward God’s goals for our lives. These words are not only a great example of praying for others, but they also give us clear direction to be God’s light in a time of fear and darkness!  It is our prayer that you will sense this light shining on you and giving you clarity of God’s Kingdom and power as you read Colossians 1:9-18:

For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you. We continually ask God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives, 10 so that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, 11 being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, 12 and giving joyful thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of his holy people in the kingdom of light. 13 For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, 14 in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. 15 The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. 16 For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. 17 He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. 18 And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy. (NIV)