The Easter Vigil

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The somber expression of Holy Saturday is broken with the great joy of Christ’s New Light, marking the beginning of the Great Vigil. Join us tonight as we celebrate His new light with a baptism and sharing the Eucharist. We experience Christ Our Passover who has been sacrificed for us!

We gather at 7:00pm to usher in His new light. Join in the celebration.

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Good Friday

Good Friday (April 14 this year) focuses on Jesus’ crucifixion and death.  At St. Barnabas, we make a mini-pilgrimage around fourteen “stations of the cross,” pictures that recall events of Jesus’ last day.  This practice began centuries ago as people who had visited Jerusalem returned to Europe and tried to convey a sense of what it was like to visit the holy sites there, in particular the “via dolorosa” or the “way of sorrow” along which Jesus was led to be crucified.  Pilgrims who were unable to trace the footsteps of Jesus in Jerusalem could re-enact this pilgrimage through the stations of the cross.  In the Good Friday liturgy, Christians ponder the great mystery that the almighty God, who created and continually sustains the world, somehow became human and died — for all of us and for our sins.  What does that mean?  Come and see.
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Maundy Thursday

Maundy Thursday (April 13 this year) commemorates an event described in all four Gospel accounts, the Last Supper of Jesus with his followers before he was arrested and killed.  The word is a modified version of the word “mandate” (commandment) because, according to the Gospel of John Chapter 13, Jesus said that he was giving his followers a new commandment, “Love one another as I have loved you.”  Given that Jesus was about to die for his followers (and for all of us), that was truly a challenge.   Christians have tried to live up to this challenge  ever since.  Our liturgy starts at 6:30 pm and is followed by an agape feast together.  You are welcome to join us.
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The Last Supper – Leonard da Vinci (1495-1498)
See below for a full schedule of Holy Week activities.
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Holy Week Services

Holy Week 2017 Schedule

April 9th    Palm Sunday

                   Services 8:00 and 10:30am

April 13th  Maundy Thursday

                   Service starts at 6:30 and concludes

                    With an Agape Feast* –

April 14th  Good Friday

                   Stations of the Cross

                   Services at Noon and 7:00 pm

April 15th  Holy Saturday

                   Service at 7:00 pm with Baptism

April 16th  Easter Sunday

                   Service at 9:00 am with special

                   Music

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James J. Tissot; Procession in the Streets of Jerusalem

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On the Threshold of Holy Week – Palm Sunday

          April 9 is Palm Sunday, marking the beginning of Holy Week and commemorating Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem shortly before he was crucified.  The name comes from this description in Matthew’s gospel chapter 21:  Jesus asked for a donkey and colt to be brought so that he could ride it into the city, thus making a humble entrance (no war horse) and also recalling the words of the prophet Zechariah, “Rejoice greatly, O daughter Zion!  Shout aloud, O daughter of Jerusalem!  Lo, your king comes to you; triumphant and victorious is he, humble and riding on a donkey, and on a colt the foal of a donkey.”  His followers brought the donkey and colt.  “A very large crowd spread their cloaks on the road, and others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road.  The crowds that went ahead of him and that followed were shouting, ‘Hosanna to the Son of David!  Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord!  Hosanna in the highest heaven!’  When he entered Jerusalem, the whole city was in turmoil, asking, ‘Who is this?’  The crowds were saying, ‘This is the prophet Jesus from Nazareth in Galilee.'”
          Christians have long recognized the irony of this triumphal entry, followed so soon by the mocking shouts of the crowd that assembled when he was crucified.  People are still asking who Jesus is.  Many are still mocking.  We humbly want to learn more about Jesus.  Come and join us.
          We begin with a blessing and procession of Palms at 8:00am and 10:30am on Sunday April 9th at St. Barnabas.
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Palm Sunday procession on the Mount of Olives
by James J. Tissot (French painter and illustrator, 1836-1902)
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Community life

          There is much discussion about community life with the publication of “The Benedict Option” a book by Rob Dreher ( https://books.google.com/books?id=GaMgDgAAQBAJ&source=kp_cover&hl=en ) In the setting of a small church, the community life Dreher describes, occurs around our time together. Lent is a focused period of community life for every Christian. We explore that life spent in the company of our brothers and sisters at the table of a common meal.
         At This Week’s Soup Supper discussion to turned to what we have to offer the world (especially that part of the world located in north Seattle).  The answer of course is “Jesus,” but what does that mean?  Some churches claim to offer prosperity:  praise the Lord and he will give you a Mercedes Benz or a night on the town.  That’s not our view, nor the view of the early Church members, who suffered shame, imprisonment, and death for their faith (Christians in Africa, the Middle East, and Asia still experience this).   Some churches claim to offer a haven:  let’s all the nice people get together and pray for those “sinners out there.”  That’s not our view, nor the view of the early Church members, who (like us) prayed earnestly for forgiveness of their own sins.  So what do we have?  We have Jesus, who comes to us in the brokenness of the world and of our lives and offers peace and a new life of unity with God, something we can’t achieve on our own.  What’s that like?  Come and see.
          Meanwhile, the last soup supper is next week (April 5) at 6:00 pm (or whenever you can get there) and then we are into Holy Week.  This year, the Western and Eastern church calendars coincide, so millions of people around the globe, from diverse Christian traditions, will celebrate simultaneously.  Watch this space for further details about Holy Week!
Feeding the Five Thousand
Dean Cornwell
Illustration
17.5 x 24 cm.
From The Man of Galilee, described by Bruce Barton (Cosmopolitan Book Corporation, New York: 1928)
Blessings for a Holy Lent – Fr. Harley+
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The Annunciation of Our Lord to the Blessed Virgin Mary

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March 25 marks the Church’s celebration of the Annunciation (an old word for “announcement”).  Here is the story from the Gospel of Luke:  In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a town in Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin engaged to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David [that is, a descendant of King David].  The virgin’s name was Mary.  And he came to her and said, “Greetings, favored one  The Lord is with you.”  But she was much perplexed by his words and wondered what sort of greeting this might be.  The angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God.  And now, you will conceive in your womb and bar a son, and you will name him Jesus.  He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give to him the throne of his ancestor David.  He will reign over the house of Judah forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.”  Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, since I am a virgin?”  The angel said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be holy; he will be called Son of God.
Today’s feast commemorates how God made known to a young Jewish woman that she was to be the mother of his Son, and how Mary accepted her vocation with perfect conformity of will. It has been said, “God made us without us, and redeemed us without us, but cannot save us without us.” Mary’s assent to Gabriel’s message opened the way for God to accomplish the salvation of the world. It is for this reason that all generations are to call her “blessed.”

The Annunciation has been a major theme in Christian art, in both East and West. Innumerable sermons and poems have been composed about it. The term coined by Cyril of Alexandria for the Blessed Virgin, Theotokos (“ the God-bearer”), was affirmed by the General Council of Ephesus in 431.

Mary’s self-offering in response to God’s call has been compared to that of Abraham, the father of believers. Just as Abraham was called to be the father of the chosen people, and accepted his call, so Mary was called to be the mother of the faithful, the new Israel. She is God’s human agent in the mystery of the Incarnation. Her response to the angel, “Let it be to me according to your word,” is identical with the faith expressed in the prayer that Jesus taught, “Your will be done on earth as in heaven.” (See note.)

The Bible does not tell us precisely when Jesus was born, nor when the Annunciation took place.  The Church, celebrating Jesus’ birth on December 25, sensibly locates the Annunciation nine months earlier.
You may be thinking, “Cool!  The power of God at work!  The angel said that Jesus would be born, and so he was.  The angel said that he would be called Son of the Most High, and so he is.”  Come and join us in worshiping him.
Or you may be thinking, “Really?  Can such things happen?  Doesn’t science tell us that babies are not born in this miraculous way?”  Come and join us.  We had an interesting discussion just last week about how to reconcile the results of scientific inquiry with the information in the Bible.  That discussion continues and you are welcome to join it.  St. Barnabas is a place where you can ask questions and explore doubts.  God is not offended by questions.  Look at the story of the Annunciation again and recall Mary’s response to the angel’s miraculous visit.
Gerard Manley Hopkins, comparing Mary to the air we breathe, writes:
Wild air, world-mothering air . . .
Of her flesh he took flesh:
He does take fresh and fresh,
Though much the mystery how,
Not flesh but spirit now,
And makes, O marvellous!
New Nazareths in us,
Where she shall yet conceive
Him, morning, noon, and eve,
New Bethlems, and he born
There, evening, noon, and morn— (ibid.)
On this day we pray: We beseech thee, O Lord, pour thy grace into our hearts, that we who have known the incarnation of thy Son Jesus Christ, announced by an angel to the Virgin Mary, may by his cross and passion be brought unto the glory of his resurrection; who liveth and reigneth with thee, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
Continued Blessings for a Holy Lent – Fr. Harley+
(Note – From: Church Publishing. Lesser Feasts and Fasts (Kindle Locations 3997-4025). Church Publishing Inc.. Kindle Edition. )
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Saint Patrick – Missionary Bishop

The real St. Patrick

The Feast Day of St. Patrick: Patrick was born into a Christian family somewhere on the northwest coast of Britain in about 390. His grandfather had been a Christian priest and his father, Calpornius, a deacon. Calpornius was an important official in the late Roman imperial government of Britain. It was not unusual in this post-Constantinian period for such state officials to be in holy orders. When Patrick was about sixteen, he was captured by a band of Irish slave-raiders. He was carried off to Ireland and forced to serve as a shepherd. When he was about twenty-one, he escaped and returned to Britain, where he was educated as a Christian. He tells us that he took holy orders as both presbyter and bishop, although no particular see is known as his at this time. A vision then called him to return to Ireland. This he did about the year 431.
Tradition holds that Patrick landed not far from the place of his earlier captivity, near what is now known as Downpatrick (a “down” or “dun” is a fortified hill, the stronghold of a local Irish king). He then began a remarkable process of missionary conversion throughout the country that continued until his death, probably in 461. He made his appeal to the local kings and through them to their tribes. Christianizing the old pagan religion as he went, Patrick erected Christian churches over sites already regarded as sacred, had crosses carved on old druidic pillars, and put sacred wells and springs under the protection of Christian saints.
Many legends of Patrick’s Irish missionary travels possess substrata of truth, especially those telling of his conversion of the three major Irish High Kings. At Armagh, he is said to have established his principal church. To this day, Armagh is regarded as the primatial see of all Ireland.
Two works are attributed to Patrick: an autobiographical Confession, in which he tells us, among other things, that he was criticized by his contemporaries for lack of learning, and a Letter to Coroticus, a British chieftain. The Lorica or St. Patrick’s Breastplate (“ I bind unto myself today”) is probably not his, but it expresses his faith and zeal.

A collect for St. Patrick’s day: Almighty God, who in thy providence didst choose thy servant Patrick to be the apostle of the Irish people, to bring those who were wandering in darkness and error to the true light and knowledge of thee: Grant us so to walk in that light that we may come at last to the light of everlasting life; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Church Publishing. Lesser Feasts and Fasts (Kindle Locations 3761-3789). Church Publishing Inc.. Kindle Edition.
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Cure for Discontent

From Bagster’s Daily light Friday March 10th

The Lord will provide.1

God will provide himself a lamb for a burnt offering.2

Behold, the Lord’s hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither his ear heavy, that it cannot hear.3  There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob.4

Happy is he that hath the God of Jacob for his help, whose hope is in the Lord his God.5  Behold, the eye of the Lord is upon them that fear him, upon them that hope in his mercy; to deliver their soul from death.6

My God shall supply all your need, according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.7  He hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee. So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me.8  The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusteth in him, and I am helped: therefore my heart greatly rejoiceth: and with my song will I praise him.9
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1Gen 22:14,8; 2Isa 59:1; 3Rom 11:26; 4Psa 146:5; 5Psa 33:18,19; 6Phi 4:19; 7Heb 13:5,6; 8Psa 28:7;

In this season of Lent, it is appropriate to ask, How much is enough? Why are we filled with restless longings and discontent spirits? Do we recognize a loving God who is also concerned with our welfare and our needs? Come and ask these questions or others you may have, on Sunday any time from 8:00am through our 10:30am service. Also, consider joining us for our soup suppers in Lent on Wednesday evenings at 6:00pm. Add your questions to our own, and enjoy the company of others seeking a spirit of contentment. May God richly bless you in this season of Lent, Fr. Harley+

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The Glory of Lent

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One of our hymns for Lent begins, “The glory of these forty days we celebrate with songs of praise; for Christ, by whom all things were made, himself has fasted and has prayed.”  The text of the hymn comes from sixth century Latin, some think that Pope Gregory I (the Great) was involved in its composition.  The tune is from a sixteenth century German hymnbook that was edited by Martin Luther.  There is a lot of theological content here.  We see the connection between the forty days of Lent and the story of Jesus fasting for forty days in Matthew chapter 4.  We see Christ identified as the one “by whom all things were made,” which is a phrase from the Nicene Creed that highlights the central mystery of Christianity:  Jesus, the man who traveled around Palestine two thousand years ago, is also the God who made the universe.  We also see the interesting idea that fasting and prayer, though perhaps low on the excitement scale, should be praised because they draw us closer to God, which is the whole point of Christianity.  All that in the first verse!  Come and join us on Sunday to hear and ponder the other four verses.

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