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GATHERED AND FORGIVEN

Holy Trinity Ankeny

Release Date: 02/27/2023

IN THE SHADOWS: MAY 26, 2024 show art IN THE SHADOWS: MAY 26, 2024

Holy Trinity Ankeny

Nicodemus comes to Jesus in the middle of the night when the shadows are long and the places to hide are easy to find. Nicodemus is a Pharisee and coming to ask Jesus questions can be problematic for him. That fateful night Nicodemus brings all of his questions and seeks confirmation for what he already knows. If his story ended that night, he would be just a nice little footnote. But his story doesn’t end there. Isaiah 6:1-8 | Romans 8:12-17 | John 3:1-17

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DRY BONES: MAY 19, 2024 show art DRY BONES: MAY 19, 2024

Holy Trinity Ankeny

Ezekiel sees a valley full of bones that represent the people of God. Peter and the disciples see a world where God’s people are scattered, divided, and grieving the death of their Lord. Today, God’s people are a shrinking bunch, unsure of how to proceed in a world that thinks they are irrelevant. When we can’t imagine a way forward, the Spirit comes with power to create and a vision beyond our expectations.

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ETERNAL LIFE: MAY 12, 2024 show art ETERNAL LIFE: MAY 12, 2024

Holy Trinity Ankeny

Eternal life is not the same thing as the resurrection of the dead, nor is it simply this life extended past death. Eternal life is not something we earn or build from our efforts to get rich, successful, or busy. Eternal life always was, will always be, and is present right now. You just have to look at Jesus to see what is and trust that he has given it to you.

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WAITING FOR THE SPIRIT: MAY 5, 2024 show art WAITING FOR THE SPIRIT: MAY 5, 2024

Holy Trinity Ankeny

We can spend a lot of time waiting for God to do something about the brokenness of our world and the challenges of life. The Book of Acts, however, says that it is not our impatient waiting on the Spirit to act that is the problem. The Spirit has preceded us and plowed the ground already. The Spirit impatiently anoints even as we argue about who is worthy to be in the church. When we wonder what God wants us to do, is it possible we already know the answer? Has the Spirit already spoken and our preconceptions and biases, our resentments and self-justification, are just in the way of God’s...

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WILD GOOSE CHASE: APRIL 28, 2024 show art WILD GOOSE CHASE: APRIL 28, 2024

Holy Trinity Ankeny

The ancient Celtic Christians named the Holy Spirit the Wild Goose. The Holy Spirit is wild and untamed. Our Acts reading today is about Philip’s encounter with the Holy Spirit and his Wild Goose Chase.   Acts 8:26-40 | 1 John 4:7-21 | John 15:1-8

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THE VOICE OF THE SHEPHERD: APRIL 21, 2024 show art THE VOICE OF THE SHEPHERD: APRIL 21, 2024

Holy Trinity Ankeny

In Jesus’ day, there would be times when multiple shepherds would bring their flocks together. Whether by accident or on purpose, they would gather them in a paddock, an area that was walled off to keep the predators out of the flock. The sheep would mingle together and do all the things sheep do. Now that presents a problem for the shepherd. How do you tell your sheep apart from the other shepherd’s sheep?   When the shepherds would leave the paddock, they would call out to their flock. The sheep would hear their shepherd's voice and would follow. The shepherd's voice is key. The...

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RESURRECTION RESISTANCE: APRIL 14, 2024 show art RESURRECTION RESISTANCE: APRIL 14, 2024

Holy Trinity Ankeny

The resurrection of Jesus reveals that God’s way is the way of life, light, love, peace, hope, and wholeness. Whenever these things break through the darkness of the world it is a moment of resurrection. Sadly, we don’t see it, nor do we often want to accept this eruption of new life. We are resistant to the resurrection.

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RESURRECTING COMMUNITY show art RESURRECTING COMMUNITY

Holy Trinity Ankeny

We live in the age of the individual. We are a lonely, fragmented people often at each other’s throats. The resurrection of Jesus binds people together in love to stand against the individualism that makes everything about “me.” “Doubting” Thomas struggled in despair and doubt because he was not with the others when Jesus first appeared. The church in Jerusalem in Acts “held” all things in common and lived in joy. Readings: Acts 4:32-35 John 20:19-31

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EASTER SUNDAY: UNSATISFACTORY ENDING show art EASTER SUNDAY: UNSATISFACTORY ENDING

Holy Trinity Ankeny

The Gospel of Mark ends at chapter 16, verse 8 (other endings were added much later). It is an odd, perplexing end that leaves us with an empty tomb and three women who say nothing to anyone. Yet, maybe Mark was less concerned with what happened then and more concerned with what happens now. The resurrection means that God is loose in the world, unrestrained and persistently confronting us with life, love, and grace. What do you say about that?

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GOOD FRIDAY show art GOOD FRIDAY

Holy Trinity Ankeny

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It is not just by the effort of those in attendance to roll out of bed that the people of God gather for worship. It is an act of the Holy Spirit to create a desire to come into God’s presence, to draw us to the grace and mercy of God that brings us together. So, how do people who have fallen and failed, who have struggled to have faith prepare to come into God’s presence? We don’t. Through confession and forgiveness, God says, “You are my child. Come. Gather.”