This Winter and Spring we’ve been examining the lives of the Kings from the books of 1st and 2nd Chronicles. The Kings of Israel have a storied past, some good, some bad, and some really really bad. But none of them were the perfect Savior-King that Israel needed. They all had faults, and though they had great power, wealth, and influence, they were not all obedient to the end.
But for us, we do have a King who was obedient to the end. Jesus was the only king to start well (Matthew 3:17), live a life of perfect humility and obedience (Romans 5:18-19), and finish well (John 19:30 ff). This Holy Week and Easter join us as we consider the qualities of Jesus’ Kingship that lead us to awe, worship, and offering our whole lives to his Kingdom.
Services at 9:30 and 11a, with children and student programs at 9:30a
Our celebration of Palm Sunday marks the day that a new kind of king arrived in Jerusalem. He called himself the “Good Shepherd,” the “Light of the World,” and the “Resurrection and the Life.” His words pierced souls and his miracles stirred the people. The people had loaded expectations for the reign of this new King.
But did they really know what kind of King he would be?
– Kyle Smethurst
Evening communion service at 7pm with choir, organ, and strings.
Tonight we remember the final night Jesus spent with his disciples before his arrest and crucifixion. It was here where Jesus instituted the communion meal, or the Lord’s Supper. What did Jesus do on this last night? Did he give them instructions on how to fight against the religious leaders and Roman authorities? Did he teach them leadership skills and how to recruit more followers?
No. He taught them how to love.
He washed their feet.
He shared a meal with them.
He gave them bread and wine, saying, “this is my body, broken for you.”
So tonight, we remember his mandatum, his mandate: “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”
For what we receive from the Lord we also pass on.
I give you a new commandment, that you love one another.
Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another.
In worship on this day, we testify to God’s love shown perfectly in Christ, and we recommit ourselves
to love one another as a community of faith.
– Adam Kurihara
Note at this service we enter and exit in silence, as we reflect on the sacrifice of our Lord.
Evening Tenebrae service (a meditation on the cross) at 7pm
A profound yet often overlooked and underestimated assertion of Jesus is preceded by an equally weighty affirmation. John writes, “After this, Jesus, knowing that all was now finished, said (to fulfill the Scripture), ‘I thirst.’” If he declared this to fulfill Scripture, then it is safe to assume that the normal side-effect of crucifixion is not the sole reason that Jesus purports dehydration. Like other fulfillments from Psalm 22 during the crucifixion account, verses 14-15 recount, “I am poured out like water…My mouth is dried up like a potsherd, and my tongue sticks to the roof of my mouth.” Held in tension/congruence with that, I also believe John wants us to recall Jesus’ statement to a Samaritan woman at a well from chapter 4, “Whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again.” In a way that only John does, he is illustrating the powerful trade between our sin and Jesus’ righteousness, our thirst for his life-giving water. Is it any coincidence that water came out of his side? Let us come and praise the fount that took on our thirst and gave us “water welling up to eternal life.”
– Steven Weiss
Note at this service we enter and exit in silence, as we reflect on the sacrifice of our Lord.
Resurrection Sunday marks a season of fresh starts and no one needed a reboot more than Simon Peter, the chief blunderer among the disciples. In John 21, Peter gets a taste of the true meaning of Easter in His own encounter with the Risen Lord. After all of Peter’s shortcomings, Jesus still says to him “follow me.” Jesus gives Peter a clean slate. Maybe your life needs a re-boot right now, a new beginning. Or you know someone who is looking for a fresh start. This Easter, we come to the One who makes all things new. He still says to us “follow me,” no matter what the cost will be.
– Tom Petter
8am – Hymns led by organ (Sanctuary)
9:30am – Hymns and worship songs led by band (Phillips Hall)
11:15am – Hymns led by choir and organ (Sanctuary)
Easter Programming Notes for Children and Families:
8am – no care available
9:30am – Program for Children (Live the Adventure) and student worship service in Bradford Hall
11:15am – Care available for children (Infant – 5th Grade) or children are welcome to stay with their families for worship.
The Men’s Forum is our quarterly speaker series of relevant and engaging lectures on topics relating to faith, culture, family, and work. At each meeting, men from TCC as well as Christian and Non-Christian men from the community are invited to gather for a meal, hear a thought provoking lecture, and engage in discussion and debate. While we teach and share a Christian world-view at TCC, and all speakers will be presenting from the Christian perspective, we encourage and invite those from other faith traditions or those with no religious affiliation at all to attend and share their thoughts and perspectives.
Dinner & Speaker
Dr. James Singleton
Associate Professor of Pastoral Leadership and Evangelism at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary
Dr. Singleton is a thought leader, who teaches Transformational Leadership in the Local Church at GCTS to MDiv students. Prior to joining the full-time faculty, he served as senior pastor of churches in Texas, Washington, and Colorado.
Be challenged to step up to a higher level of leadership at home, in the workplace, and in the church.
What Christian character values are needed for effective leaders? Consider personal leadership styles and examine biblical and historical examples of leadership.
Hello church! We post these Sunday recaps to highlight the awesome things God did each Sunday at TCC. Here’s a recap of our Sunday services and programs last weekend.No sermons found.
The way David’s statement sounds, “God is my shepherd,” is kind of like hearing ‘Joe is my mechanic.’ I bring him my car, he fixes it, I pay him and then I go home. Yet, I do not believe that is what David has pictured as he says, God is my shepherd. However, if we look closely at what follows after David’s assertion about God, we find a completely different picture. God is actively a part of David’s life with four different actions in the following two verses; He makes me lie down, He leads (2x), He restores my soul. Far from a mechanic, David could not live without God as his Shepherd.
– Stephen Weiss
We commissioned six new Stephen Ministers last Sunday. Pastor Tom and Dave Brooks, our Stephen Ministry leader, welcomed them, charged them with the call to service as Stephen Ministers, and prayed for them. If you are interested in speaking with a Stephen Minister for confidential support during difficult times, don’t hesitate to reach out.
Ken grew up in New Jersey, and after college and 3 years in the Air Force, moved to Sudbury. He joined TCC in 1963 and has served as a Sunday School teacher, an usher, deacon, and on the Missions Committee. He enjoys traveling and photography.
Susan lives in Wayland. and is married to Asa Foster. They have a son, Asa III who lives and works in Pittsburgh, PA
Susan joined Trinitarian in 1991.
John and Dolores Marciniec
Dolores grew up in Atlanta, and moved to Boston in 1981. She and John live in Framingham, and have been at TCC since May, 2018. Dolores enjoys gardening and learning.
John grew up in the US and Germany as part of an Army family, and moved to Boston in 1977. He and Dolores live in Framingham, and have been at TCC since May, 2018. John enjoys astronomy, cars and music.
Marcia grew up on a dairy farm in Pa. and moved to the New England area in 1991. She enjoys her career as a CRNA (certified registered nurse anesthetist) as well as photography, skiing, sailing and horseback riding. Marcia has attended TCC since 2004.
Gerry is from Philadelphia, moved to Boston in 1988, and is passionate about his vocation as a tax controversy attorney. Gerry enjoys exercising, reading the Bible, entertaining his two German Shepherds, and is most grateful for the Holy Spirit’s indwelling in leading him to TCC when he has attended since May 2018.
From the commissioning on Sunday we affirmed these words together:
Now, we ask you, members of Trinitarian Congregational Church, to open your hearts to the ministry of these new Stephen Ministers and to pray for them, that they may be effective servants of Christ. Are you prepared to meet this request?
So let’s pray for our new Stephen Ministers and allow them to serve us all.
Our texts for the week:
2 Chronicles 26:1-23; Isaiah 6:1-8; John 11:10
NOTE: This is a longer pastor’s note. For the short version, please scroll down to “Reflections for this week.”
In our quest to finish well, this week we’re looking at three encounters with the holy. The first encounter occurred in the life of King Uzziah. His name means “the Lord (Yahweh) is my strength” and boy did God deliver on this front. By any measure, Uzziah was very powerful. The typical ingredients that caused his strength are all there, including the development of the keystone habit to set his face to seek the Lord (at 16, 2 Chronicles 26:5). “As long as he sought the Lord, God made him prosper.” As a result, he “became very strong” (2 Chronicles 26:8) because “God helped him” (2 Chronicles 26:7). Twice the account talks about his “fame” (his ‘name’ i.e., his reputation) that spread all around (2 Chronicles 26:8; 2 Chronicles 26:15). He was a great builder, defender of the realm and organized a powerful army to protect the land from enemies. Under his catalytic leadership, new ways to increase agricultural production were put in place, new defense systems were engineered. Pretty much everything he touched turned into a success story (2 Chronicles 26:6-15). This glowing report ends like this: “his fame spread far, for he was marvelously helped till he was strong” (2 Chronicles 26:15).
The one thing Uzziah forgot along the way was to stay in his lane. His lane was to be a king, but for Uzziah that wasn’t enough any more. He wanted more power so he also fancied himself the role of a priest. This is where his story unravels. The Bible doesn’t sugar coat anything and is brutally honest: “But when he was strong, he grew proud, to his destruction.” He decided to become a priest and to enter the area of the temple that is only for the priests. All of a sudden, Uzziah is an intruder into Yahweh’s sacred space, much like Belloq in Raiders of the Lost Ark who thought he could take on the garb of a priest, to his quick demise.* When confronted by the priests with this foolhardy lane change, Uzziah literally explodes in rage and absolutely refuses to back down (2 Chronicles 26:19). So if Jehoshaphat’s weakness was his inability to say no, Uzziah’s own core weakness was his refusal to say yes to common-sense advice: “you have done wrong and it will bring you no honor [literally glory] from the Lord God” (2 Chronicles 26:18). Pride will do that to you: an inability to listen to good advice because you have grown accustomed to listening only to your own instincts. The consequences for Uzziah are dire. He loses everything, the kingdom, the power and the fame, since he ends up secluded for the rest of his life with a permanent blemish on his skin. His “leprosy” (not Hansen’s disease, but rather a skin blemish) makes him unable to operate as a king in God’s kingdom in the Old Covenant. More on that in a minute.
The second encounter with the holy shares striking similarities. This time, it’s Uzziah’s biographer, no less than the famous Isaiah the prophet (2 Chronicles 26:22; the book of Isaiah). He too finds himself an intruder into Yahweh’s sacred space, but Isaiah has a vastly different reaction. Tellingly, the event takes place “in the year that Uzziah died” (Isaiah 6:1). So the image in Isaiah’s mind is still fresh of Uzziah’s downfall. However, when Isaiah sees “the Lord high and lifted up” (Isaiah 6:1), his attitude couldn’t be any different from Uzziah’s. Rather than exploding in fury, he cries out in humbleness, “Woe is me, I am a man of unclean lips” (Isaiah 6:5). Isaiah realizes he doesn’t belong in the Lord’s presence because of his own short fall of glory before “the Holy One of Israel” (Isaiah 5:24; Isaiah 6:3). Whereas Uzziah digs in his heels in pride, to his demise, Isaiah humbles Himself before the Lord.
At this moment, we witness one the most powerful images of forgiveness in the Bible, “a burning coal…from the altar” (symbolizing a sacrifice) touches Isaiah’s lips with the wonderful result that his “guilt is taken away and his sin atoned for” (Isaiah 6:6-7). God Himself through sacrifice allows Isaiah to withstand the heat of His Holiness. His unclean lips are made clean. This moment becomes the springboard to his commission for fruitful service to the Lord for the rest of his life: “here am I, send me” (Isaiah 6:8). One encounter with the holy goes haywire because of pride, the other becomes the starting point of an incredibly fruitful ministry. It all hinges on staying in your lane and recognizing the God-lane is never ever ours. He is the creator God, the Holy One and we are not.
The third encounter with the holy occurs in the here and now. The path to the very presence of God and His holiness has been made through Jesus’ perfect sacrifice on the Cross. He has made a way so that by faith in Jesus, we not only have entered the holiness of God’s presence but we are not intruders anymore: “God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even where we were dead in our trespasses [our unclean state], made us alive together with Christ –by grace you have been saved– and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus” (Ephesians 2:4-6). To enter God’s presence all hinges on our humility to ‘bend the knee,’ to recognize our own unholiness, and the conviction that Jesus cleanses us from our unholiness/unclean state. Only through Jesus can we access safely God’s presence and actually be seated with Him! Today, we share Isaiah’s same access code: having enough humility to ‘bend the knee’ before a Holy God.
*due to the graphic nature of Belloq’s demise in the film clip, I am not including the link here.
**For other instances of the principle see Isaiah 14:13-15; Ezekiel 28:2; Genesis 3:5
When you and I are confronted with God’s holiness, God’s lane, what’s our reaction? When we are reading something in Scripture that confronts our own wayward way or when someone challenges us with some fresh godly input, what’s our reaction? Humility that says, ‘yes, let me get back into my lane’ (Isaiah)? Or pride and a raging reaction, ‘how dare you tell me what to do’ (Uzziah)? These encounters with the holy come to us routinely through the Word and/or other people speaking into our lives. Our core issue is pride, the original ‘anti-God’ sin (C.S. Lewis). It’s the deceptive idea that we must exchange our lanes for something bigger and better, that somehow our God-given lane is not enough anymore. We delude ourselves in a false sense of piety that says “I must increase so that God might increase” (cited in Mark Galli’s his weekly newsletter). To be sure, God may in fact bring increase, but it will always be within our God-given lanes of influence and responsibility. In Christ, yes we can do anything, but it doesn’t mean we need to do everything.
P.S. – In this call to ‘bend the knee,’ we remember that God Himself walked the walk when it comes to humility. When Jesus died on the Cross, He humbled Himself unto death, taking the form of a servant. This ‘bending of the knee’ through his life in obedience to the Father and His sacrificial death on the Cross is why God the Son is now exalted, seated at the right hand of the Father, with the name that is above every name (Philippians 2:5-11). As we follow Jesus, He is not asking us to do something he has not done Himself. This week be content and satisfied in the lane God has given you.
Hello church! We post these Sunday recaps to highlight the awesome things God did each Sunday at TCC. Here’s a recap of our Sunday services and programs last weekend.
When you and I are confronted with God’s holiness, God’s lane, what’s our reaction? When we are reading something in Scripture that confronts our own wayward way or when someone challenges us with some fresh godly input, what’s our reaction? Humility that says, ‘yes, let me get back into my lane’ (Isaiah)? Or pride and a raging reaction, ‘how dare you tell me what to do’ (Uzziah)? These encounters with the holy come to us routinely through the Word and/or other people speaking into our lives. Read more from Pastor Tom…No sermons found.
“Without repentance, our efforts to help the poor will continue to be characterized by providing material resources to the poor, rather than walking with them in humble and relational ways as we call on King Jesus to fix the root causes of both our poverties.” (pg. 248, When Helping Hurts)