Greetings Cason Family!

 

In this very Holy of weeks, we have the opportunity to focus on Christ in our lives and Christ in the life of the very ones, this world, He created.  Some may be angry at all that is happening around us; others may be perplexed; and others would rather just turn the world off totally. Let me encourage you to not look away but to look deeply with the perspective of Jesus’ sacrificial LOVE and how that LOVE can be the basis for our pondering of all that is happening around us. Through Jesus’ life, suffering, death and resurrection, what is GOD saying to you…saying to us?  Below, you will find the Holy Week Prayer Focus Guide for Monday – Saturday. Haven’t started yet? Not to worry. If you don’t finish until Easter Sunday, Monday, Tuesday… what is most important is that you read, journal (or think) about the readings. Don’t rush.  Some of you may stay in the same day 3 or 4 days.  This is only a guide! Today, you receive Monday – Wednesday’s readings. On Thursday, I will send to you Thursday – Saturday’s readings.  If you would like the full guide at once, just email me (pastoralexis@casonumc.org). These readings are for our days together and our days in isolation.

 

Joy to you my friends…PA

 

Holy Week Prayer Focus Guide – April 6 – April 11

Read Mark Chapters 14 and 15 at least twice this week and from two different translations. Expect that God will speak to you as you begin to pray these scriptures and intercede for others. Take time each day to focus on becoming a stronger Christian. In what ways during this COVID-19 crisis can you be a blessing? Use a journal/ notebook to write your thoughts and what God speaks to you. The tools below are ways you can focus on Christ and others during this HOLY WEEK. You are encouraged to connect with Pastor or call/email a prayer partner and share your insights:

  • What is God telling you as you pray and read scripture? What does today’s scripture say to you?
  • If you are out walking or even at home, pay attention to the homes in your neighborhood. Ask God to bless all who dwell there and pray that God touch them with His presence.
  • Because of physical distancing, what is it that you hear God calling you to add or to take away in your life?
  • How does God desire to use you for the work of the Kingdom? Pray? Volunteer? Encourage?
  • How will you pray, fast and/or give differently because of what you have read?
  • How will you change how you see God, the church, your family and yourself because of today’s scripture?

 

Day 7 – Monday, April 6, Read Luke 23:39-43

Two men were crucified with Jesus. Matthew 27:38 uses a word for them that could mean “criminal” or “rebel.” One of them chose to turn from his past, whatever crime or violence it held, and Jesus welcomed him.  

  • Have you ever felt that it’s too late to change the direction of your life? We usually use the term “deathbed conversion” to describe an insincere effort to avoid eternal judgment. What does Jesus’ response to the thief tell you about God’s heart toward anyone who turns homeward, at any time?

Prayer: Father, in Jesus’ Name, I humble myself before You. Thank You for releasing me from my past and forgiving all my sins.  Thank You for restoring my life and the promise of eternal life. Bless Your people in this congregation and beyond as we continue pray for each other. We praise You, Jesus. Amen.

 

Day 6 – Tuesday, April 7, Read Mark 15:33-34; Luke 23:46

Jesus resisted temptation with the words of the Hebrew Scriptures. On the Cross, He even voiced His anguish in the words of Psalm 22:1. The psalmist pressed on through grief and fear to arrive at renewed trust in God. Jesus, too, held on through the darkness of the cross to commit Himself into God’s keeping.

  • Psalm 22 is a classic “lament.” This Psalm expresses the psalmist’s pain and fear, while holding onto trust and faith in God’s goodness. How do those two aspects of the lament cast light on what Jesus went through on the cross? Who have you known who was an example of “triumphant suffering”?
  • In Luke 23:46, Jesus quoted another psalm—Psalm 31:5. 1st century Jewish parents used that verse as a bedtime prayer with their children. What would it mean to put your life fully in God’s hands, not only at times of great pain, but every day? How have you deepened your trust in God this Lent and with COVID-19?

Prayer: Father, today I lift up the nations of the world. I ask Your will to be done throughout this nation and around the world. In Jesus’ mighty name I stand against all enemies including this virus! I ask a covering over all who are affected in this season of our history! Speak to national leaders, including and especially our Commander and Chief, President Trump, in dreams and visions that cannot be ignored. Pour out Your Holy Spirit upon Your nations O God!  Amen.

 

Day 5 – Wednesday, April 8 , Read John 19:28-29

John wrote Jesus’ story using layers of symbols to convey meaning. Jesus’ cry of thirst showed His humanity. It recalled Jesus’ saying that He was the source of “living water” in John 4 and 7. The hyssop branch was a traditional symbol of God’s salvation which Jesus was making a reality on the Cross.

  • In Exodus 12:22, God had Israel use a hyssop branch to put blood on their doors, so the angel of death would “pass over.” Leviticus 14 used hyssop in cleansing rituals. In Psalm 51:7, hyssop was an image of how God pardons and purifies. From what has Jesus cleansed you? What of your life needs His cleansing today?

Prayer: Jesus we know in times like these it is easy to shift our focus from others to ourselves.  Remind us that You care for our every need so that we do not need to worry and so we can focus on others. Thank you Jesus.  Amen.

 

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 SOME THINGS TO KNOW:

FACE MASKS:

Nancy, Loreley and Debbie are making face masks for anyone who finds that they need to go out for essentials. Limited office hours are TUESDAY AND WEDNESDAY FROM 10 AM  – 12 PM.  Call before you come to ensure that we have one for you in stock.

 

 NEW!!! TITHES OFFERINGS AND EXTRAVAGANT GIVING.

By now, many of you have received a letter from JoAnn, Finance Chair on behalf of the Committee on Finance. If you have not received a letter, please email me and we can be sure that you are mailed or emailed the letter and the enclosure. The hope is to assist you in understanding better your Cason’s present reality.  Please pray about your commitment and how you may give in the months to come.  As always, we want to give you options. You may choose to use the stamped envelope or one of the following to give:   –  WEBSITE:  www.casonumc.org and click the donation button. You can make a one- time gift or set up a recurring account with ShareFaith.

 

– TEXT TO: You can send your tithe or offering by texting – 561/903-2276 and follow the online prompts.

– CASON OFFICE MAIL BOX: Drop your tithe and offerings off in the black mailbox at the office door anytime you are out for your essentials.

– SIGNUP FOR “MY-Eoffering” : Go to: http://myeoffering.com/ to sign up.  This is the method that Pastor uses.

– GIVING AHEAD: If you are able consider giving a month, quarter or more ahead.

– EXTRAVAGANT GIVING …SECOND MILE: Those with the Spiritual Gift of Generosity may want to consider giving extra in this crisis season, knowing that many amongst us have been laid off or confined and are not able to give.

 
  • SMALL GROUP STUDY!
Join David on Mondays at 7 p.m. or Patti on Wednesdays at 10:30 a.m. for the final chapter of 24 hours that Changed the World.  Check out Cason’s website to view the video for week 6: https://www.casonumc.org/small-groups-2/.  Let David or Patti know if you would like to ZOOM in to the study – Or call Pastor at 786-301-4684.
 
SMALL GROUP AFTER EASTER: WATCH THIS CASON WIDE EMAIL ON THURSDAY/SAT FOR MORE INFORMATION.
 
  • SATURDAY BAG LUNCH IS AN ESSENTIAL:
Saturday’s 9 am – 10 am. We still need grocery bags which you can drop off on Saturday from 8 am – 9 am. 
 
HOLY WEEK AND EASTER SUNDAY: IT’S HERE!

 

Contact me if you need to talk or have a GREAT idea!  Joy! Joy!