Tag Archives: God

God’s People, part 291: Nympha

Read Colossians 4:15

ALSO IN SCRIPTURE
“There is no longer Jew or Gentile, slave or free, male and female. For you are all one in Christ Jesus.” (Galatians 3:28)

When we think of God’s people, we tend to think one of two things. We might think of the Israelites who were God’s “chosen people”, or we might think of specific characters in the Bible. Either way, we tend to idealize the people we are thinking about. For instance, we may think that God’s people are super faithful, holy, perform miracles and live wholly devout and righteous lives. Unfortunately, this idealism enables us to distance ourselves from being God’s people, because we feel that we fall short of those ideals. As such, I have decided to write a devotion series on specific characters in the Bible in order to show you how much these Biblical people are truly like us, and how much we are truly called to be God’s people.

Part 291: Nympha. We come to another point of mystery and controversy as we approach another important person in the Bible. In verse 15 of the fourth chapter in Colossians, Paul wrote: “Please give my greetings to our brothers and sisters at Laodicea, and to Nympha and the church that meets in her house” (NLT). Clearly, Laodicea is a community known to Paul and so is this person named Nympha. So, you might be questioning, where’s the testimony? For that, I need to point to a different translation of the Bible.

In the King James Version of the Bible, here’s what Paul wrote in Colossians 4:15: “ Salute the brethren which are in Laodicea, and Nymphas, and the church which is in his house”. Read it closely. Do you see the subtle, but IMPORTANT difference. The interpreters of the King James Version states that Nympha is actually Nymphas and is a guy. So, how can this be? Clearly, both translations can’t be accurate in the context of the first century. Either it is Nympha (feminine) or it is Nymphas (masculine).

So, who is right? Was Nympha a man or a woman? Before we answer that, let us peel back so more layers regarding this verse. First, it is important to recognize that this person was an important figure in the Laodicean church. How do we know that, because Paul used the phrase, “and the church which is in her/his home.”

Paul commonly used this phrase in regard to leaders who where holding Christian worship in their homes. He refers to Priscilla, naming the wife first, and Aquilla in the same manner (Romans 16:5; 1 Corinthians 16:9), as well as to Philemon (Philemon 1-7). In each of the cases just referenced, Paul is writing directly, or sending greetings, to the heads of the specific churches. That is the consistent pattern we see in Paul’s writings and it would be the case for this mystery person in Laodicea.

What’s more, it was not uncommon for wealthy women to lead, support and even protect the church. There are 16 women mentioned in the NT who are directly named by Paul in the New Testament, one who Paul considered himself a benefactor of (Romans 16:1-2). There could be no better way to protect the church then by inviting them into one’s own home so that they can gather and worship safely without notice, and it must be pointed out that both women and men are named by Paul as hosting and leading worship.

Finally, let’s look at how there could possibly be gender confusion in regard to our Laodicean church leader. Many of the earlier manuscripts use the word Nympha, but they write it in the accusative or object case Nymphan. In order for for Nymphan to be masculine, it would have to be written as Νυμφᾶν as opposed to Νύμφαν. It is the accents, as you can see, that describes the gender; however, the earliest manuscripts did noto include the accents.

In later manuscripts, scribes who were copying them onto new parchment, added the masculine accent, probably because because they could not fathom women being leaders of the church. It is ironic, because we tend to look at societal views progressing; however, the earliest church was more progressive in terms of how it viewed gender equality under Christ.

Don’t mistake my use of the word progressive to mean today’s understanding of socio-political progressivism. I am merely using it in the traditional way, meaning that the earliest church was further along in gender equality that the times that followed. As the church advanced through the centuries, its views became more and more restrictive toward women in a way the earliest church was not. Also, do noot read into what I wrote about the scribes. They were not adding accents in order to pull of a Dan Brown-esque DaVinci Cod cover up. Rather, the accents were not their and as they transcribed, they added them in believing that Paul must have been referring to a man. This assumption was due to their own understanding of social norms. It was an honest mistake, but a costly one for women in the church throughout the two millennia, and women in denominations like the Southern Baptist Convention are still being restricted and oppressed as a result.

The vast majority of Biblical scholars affirm that Nympha was a woman and a prominent leader in the Laodicean church. What we ought to reflect on is just how our societal norms can negatively affect our interpretation of Scripture. How do we allow our worldview to take over the Bible; rather than letting the Bible overtake our worldview. This is a fine line to walk, because we can go too far in either direction. There have been great advances in understanding socially and scientifically that need to be weighed when it comes to interpretation; however, there are also things that should not change even if it means we stand out in society. Let us continue to study our Bibles and allow God to guide us in our quest to live it out in our lives.

THOUGHT OF THE DAY
“The Bible shows the way to go to heaven, not the way the heavens go.” – Galileo Galilei

PRAYER
Lord, place the desire in me to study the Bible and to understand it in a way that truly reflects your will and your love. Amen.

God’s People, part 290: Luke

Read Colossians 4:14

ALSO IN SCRIPTURE
“Epaphras, my fellow prisoner in Christ Jesus, sends you his greetings. So do Mark, Aristarchus, Demas, and Luke, my co-workers. May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit” (Philemon 23-25, NLT).

When we think of God’s people, we tend to think one of two things. We might think of the Israelites who were God’s “chosen people”, or we might think of specific characters in the Bible. Either way, we tend to idealize the people we are thinking about. For instance, we may think that God’s people are super faithful, holy, perform miracles and live wholly devout and righteous lives. Unfortunately, this idealism enables us to distance ourselves from being God’s people, because we feel that we fall short of those ideals. As such, I have decided to write a devotion series on specific characters in the Bible in order to show you how much these Biblical people are truly like us, and how much we are truly called to be God’s people.

Part 290: Luke. Luke is probably the most well-known of Paul’s companions and co-workers. The reason for this is that the Gospel According to Luke and the Acts of the Apostles have been attributed and probably were written by him. Of course, those works are anonymous; however, there is some convincing textual evidence that has been argued in favor of Lukan authorship. Out of all of the missionaries, Luke certainly is the most recognizable.

At the end of Colossians, Paul sent greetings from Luke, of whom he referred to as the beloved doctor or physician. Luke was a gentile man who would have no doubt had some modest wealth as a physician. In ancient Rome, private practicing doctors made anywhere from 300,000 to 600,000 sestertii per year. To put that into persepctive, soldiers got paid a measly 900 sesterii a year.

Luke would have received a good education in order to become a doctor and would have been a prolific writer, which can be seen in his Gospel and the Acts of the Apostles. Doctors in the ancient world were known to extensively write and, to this day, we have writings from doctors in the ancient world. When one reads the Gospel of Luke and Acts, one gets the sense that he was a highly educated man. In Luke, he opened his Gospel up with, “Many people have set out to write accounts about the events that have been fulfilled among us. They used the eyewitness reports circulating among us from the early disciples. Having carefully investigated everything from the beginning, I also have decided to write an accurate account for you, most honorable Theophilus, so you can be certain of the truth of everything you were taught” (Luke 1:1-4, NLT).

In that introduction, Luke was indicating that he had done his research and was putting together an ordered account for Theophilus, and we can see that he had the approach of a well-educated man who researched, used reason, and history in order to be as accurate as possible. From this introduction, we also gather that he was not an eyewitness to Jesus and that he was drawing from many sources, not just three. How many Gospels were there? We don’t know, but there were multiple accounts circulating, both orally and in written form.

This is the Luke that Paul refers to in our Scripture reading today. He was a fellow co-worker and occasional companion with Paul. He was with Paul in Colossae and he was with Paul while he was imprisoned in Rome as well. No doubt, Luke attended to Paul’s medical needs as well as to his Spiritual needs. He was a man of loyalty and well-respected among the early Christian churches.

Beyond this, we know little more about Luke. In fact, there are two traditions on how he even died. In one tradition, based off of early written accounts, Luke settled in Greece, wrote his Gospel, wrote Acts, and, at the age of 84, he peacefully died in Boeotia. In the other tradition, he was martyered by Nero after being accused of practicing sorcery. In that tradition, Nero cut off Luke’s hand after which Luke performed a miracle by reattaching the hand to his wrist. That miracle caused all of Nero’s cabinet to believe in Christ and, as a result, Nero ordered all of them, including Luke, to be beheaded.

It is hard to really know what is true when it comes to these traditions and, honestly, it doesn’t really change who Luke was either way. Luke is, yet again, another important faithfulness is and how powerful faithful witness can be. Luke’s Gospel emphasized God’s affinity for the “least of these” and how important it was for wealthy people, such as himself, to value God’s Kingdom and human life over and above finances. Luke used his resources to help others, including Paul, and he humbly served and made a huge impact in the development of the New Testament canon and of Christianity itself. In fact, his Gospel and Acts make up one quarter of the entire New Testament.

Luke’s traits should challenge us to grow in our own faithfulness and commitment to being a faithful witness. Evangelism is vital to spreading the Gospel of Jesus Christ Luke’s example shows us how important that is in ushering the Kingdom of God, where the last shall be first, where the poor shall be rich, and where the the lost and the least shall be welcomed in by a Father (e.g. the Prodigal Son) who is waiting with open, loving arms.  Let our commitment to evangelism be renewed and let us continue to grow in our faithfulness.

THOUGHT OF THE DAY
“The Great Commission is not an option to be considered; it is a command to be obeyed.” – Hudson Taylor

PRAYER
Lord, I love you and praise your holy name. Please give me the strength to be a powerful witness to your Good News and for your Kingdom. Amen.

April 11, 2021 – Sunday Worship Service

Worship service premieres at 10:30 a.m. EST (-500 GMT)
on Sunday, April 11, 2021 on YouTube.

Welcome to our Sunday Worship Service for April 11, 2021. Today we will be discovering the importance of belief and/or faith in our lives, and how faith helps us to see things that our eyes cannot. Believing is seeing. Let us discover how this can bring us hope, healing, and wholeness.

Please support us by giving online: https://tithe.ly/give?c=1377216 or https://paypal.me/newtonumc Your support is vital, especially during this COVID-19 pandemic. You can also write and mail a check to First UMC of Newton, 111 Ryerson Ave., Newton, NJ 07860.

If you are from another church that is not able to host online worship, we would strongly encourage you give to YOUR church and support them. They no doubt need that support as much as we do. God bless you all for your generosity.

RECLAIM, Episode 7: Faith

RECLAIM premieres on YouTube every Saturday at 9:00 a.m. EST (GMT -400).

In this brand new video series, Pastor Todd of First United Methodist Church of Newton, NJ brings passionate awareness and helpful tips on various transformational Christian practices and theology. Each episode will inspire and motivate spiritual growth through time-tested practices and and wisdom. This week’s episode invites you to RECLAIM faith as a wholesome and healthy part of our daily lives. Pastor Todd will discuss who has faith, and how it can lead us to different levels of seeing.

God’s People, part 289: Epaphras

Read Colossians 4:12-13

ALSO IN SCRIPTURE
“Epaphras, my fellow prisoner in Christ Jesus, sends you his greetings” (Philemon 23)

When we think of God’s people, we tend to think one of two things. We might think of the Israelites who were God’s “chosen people”, or we might think of specific characters in the Bible. Either way, we tend to idealize the people we are thinking about. For instance, we may think that God’s people are super faithful, holy, perform miracles and live wholly devout and righteous lives. Unfortunately, this idealism enables us to distance ourselves from being God’s people, because we feel that we fall short of those ideals. As such, I have decided to write a devotion series on specific characters in the Bible in order to show you how much these Biblical people are truly like us, and how much we are truly called to be God’s people.

Part 289: Epaphras. When one thinks of Paul, he almost always seen as a giant. I mean, he wrote or had attributed to him thirteen out of the twenty-seven books in the New Testament. Out of those thirteen, he definitely wrote seven of them, though I personally believe he wrote eight or nine of them, and he even had a book written about mostly him and his missionary journeys. Also, there are other letters he mentioned that he wrote, but are lost to us today. So, yeah, Paul was a theological and missionary giant. He planted churches such as the one in Corinth and he left behind a legacy that has endured nearly two millenia! That’s quite an accomplishment from this Jewish Pharisee turned apostle of Jesus Christ to the Gentiles.

With that said, while Paul was certainly an important, giant-like figure in Christian history, he was not the sole missionary maverick that people often wrongly imagine. Paul was a brilliant networker. He was not the only one setting up mission fields and planting church. There were a bunch of people who were doing so, many of whom, Paul was networked with. Epaphras is one of those people.

Colossians is one of the disputed letters of Paul. What I mean by this is that half of the scholars believe Paul wrote it, and half do not. I am with N. T. Wright on his assessment that Colossians is authentically Pauline. I view Colossians as one of Paul’s authentic letters and find the evidence presented to fall more convincingly on the side of authenticity.

In this letter, Paul sent greetings from a co-worker of his called Epaphras. Paul also mentioned this co-worker’s name in his letter to Philemon. According to Paul in Colossians 1:7, Epaphras (pronounced Epa‘phras) was the one who taught the Colossians the good news and planted the church there. He was their planter and their pastor. Paul knew of the church there because of his friend and colleague Ephaphras, and was writing to them because Epaphras had no doubt reported to Paul of the struggles going on within the community.

Paul acknowledged that he had never been to that community in Colossae in. He opened his letter acknowledging that Epahpras had told him of the “love of others that the Holy Spirit had given” that faithful church community (1:7). They were a loving church and, upon hearing of their struggle with false teachers, Paul wanted them to know “how much I have agonized for you and for the church at Laodicea, and for many other believers who have never met me personally” (2:1).

The focus of this devotion is on the fact that Christians are not meant to be islands unto themselves. What made Paul the giant that he is was the fact that he knew it was not about him; it was about Jesus Christ. Paul networked with people, and gave credit where credit was due. Epaphras and others did the same. They looked to one another for prayer, support, and help. They stuck by one another so that they were not alone in their endeavors.

This is the heart of Christianity, sisters and brothers. We are all called into mission and ministry by our Lord Jesus Christ. Each of us have been given gifts by the Holy Spirit to be used to preach the good news to the world around us. None of us is expected by Christ to go it alone, and Christ does not wish for anyone to be free from doing the work we are all tasked to do. No one is called to be a beast of burden and no one is called to be a freeloader. Everyone has their part to play.

In the church today, we are so good at dumping the load of the work on a few while others do absolutely nothing to contribute. We are good at enslaving beasts of burden for the ease and comfort of the freeloaders. This may sound harsh, but the reality is harsher. The current state of the church is a direct result of this and other harsh realities. Epaphras, Paul and all of the earliest Christians in the New Testament remind and challenge us to be cooperative in ministry and unified in the mission of Jesus Christ our Lord. Let us grow to live up to that challenge.

THOUGHT OF THE DAY
“And now, dear brothers and sisters, we give you this command in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ: Stay away from all believers who live idle lives and don’t follow the tradition they received from us.” – The Apostle Paul (2 Thessalonians 3:6).

PRAYER
Lord, inspire and motivate me to lead by example, to contribute to your church, and to lead others to do the same. Amen.

RECLAIM, Episode 6: Gratitude

RECLAIM premieres on YouTube every Saturday at 9:00 a.m. EST (GMT -400).

In this brand new video series, Pastor Todd of First United Methodist Church of Newton, NJ brings passionate awareness and helpful tips on various transformational Christian practices and theology. Each episode will inspire and motivate spiritual growth through time-tested practices and and wisdom.

This week’s episode invites you to RECLAIM gratitude as a wholesome and healthy practice in our daily lives. Pastor Todd will discuss about what gratitude is, what it means to cultivate a grateful life, as well as why it is important an important spiritual discipline.

April 4, 2021 – Easter Sunday Worship Service

Worship service premieres at 10:30 a.m. EST (-500 GMT)
on Good Friday, April 4, 2021 on YouTube.

Welcome to our Sunday Worship Service for April 4, 2021. We will be continuing on in the Lenten worship series entitled, Purple Theory. Today we will be discovering the importance of living a life of Gratitude as a spiritual practice, which makes us draw closer closer to God through understanding that everything we have is a gift from God and being grateful for it. Let us discover how this discipline can bring us hope, healing, and wholeness.

Please support us by giving online: https://tithe.ly/give?c=1377216 or https://paypal.me/newtonumc Your support is vital, especially during this COVID-19 pandemic. You can also write and mail a check to First UMC of Newton, 111 Ryerson Ave., Newton, NJ 07860.

If you are from another church that is not able to host online worship, we would strongly encourage you give to YOUR church and support them. They no doubt need that support as much as we do. God bless you all for your generosity.

Holy Week 2021: Fulfilled: Easter Sunday

Read Isaiah 53:7-12

ALSO IN SCRIPTURE
“As my vision continued that night, I saw someone like a son of man coming with the clouds of heaven. He approached the Ancient One and was led into his presence. He was given authority, honor, and sovereignty over all the nations of the world, so that people of every race and nation and language would obey him. His rule is eternal—it will never end. His kingdom will never be destroyed.” (Daniel‬ ‭7:13-14‬ ‭NLT‬‬)

When we read the Gospels, we get a sense that Jesus saw himself as a savior of his people. We can see how he he lived, how he taught, and how he ultimately took on the role of God’s suffering servant. We see that he claimed not only to be a teacher or a prophet, but that he was the Messiah, the Son of the Living God. What’s more, Jesus claimed to be one with, and the same as, God Almighty, the great I AM.

His disciples not only believed, but were transformed by their relationship with Jesus and, in turn they helped tranform the world. Jesus’ views were not only his own, but ones steeped in his Jewish beliefs and his understanding of the Hebrew Scriptures. Each day this week, let us look at the prophetic connection between Jesus and the Tanakh, the Hebrew Bible.

 Easter Sunday. He is risen! In Isaiah 53:7-12, the prophet talks about God’s suffering servant. He mentions that the holy sufferer will see what was accomplished as a result of his suffering and be satisified. The sufferer will know that the suffering had not been in vain; rather, he sees that his suffering has brought redemption to many. Many, as a result of him bearing the sins of the world, will find salvation.

Isaiah continued on to proclaim, “I will give him the honors of a victorious soldier, because he exposed himself to death. He was counted among the rebels. He bore the sins of many and interceded for rebels” (vs. 12). Thus, the suffering servant suffered death but was honored like a victorious soldier. Isaiah, when writing this, may have seen himself as the suffering servant. He may have seen Israel as a whole as the suffering servant, and that Israel was bearing witness of their faith in God to a hostile world.

The neat thing about prophecy is that that, regardless of the original context, a prophecy comes from God and the visions revealed in them prove themselves true in ways we could have never expected. Even if Isaiah had Israel in mind as the suffering servant, the way this prophecy got fulfilled in Jesus Christ is beyond human comprehension. It is the power of God on full display for all the world! Surely, Jesus came from Israel and through Jesus (the righteous suffering servant), many found redemption from their sins. How awesome is our God!

Daniel also prophesied about the Son of Man, and the glorious victory he would have over the sinful world. In verse 17, he enters onto the scene in glory, in the very presence of the living God. Furthermore, in verse 26, Daniel wrote, “Then the sovereignty, power, and greatness of all the kingdoms under heaven will be given to the holy people of the Most High. His kingdom will last forever, and all rulers will serve and obey him” (Daniel‬ ‭7:27‬ ‭NLT‬‬). In other words, the Son of Man (aka Jesus Christ) has established God’s Kingdom on earth and that all the kindoms of the earth will be given over to God’s people who serve and obey the soveriegn God.

Daniel’s verse is often seen as a prophecy for the future, for the second coming of Christ. While the future has yet to be revealed, it certainly makes sense being that the world has yet to be fully delivered from sin and evil. It is easy to understand that this prophecy could still have more unveiling to do; however, prophecy is the gift that keeps on giving and, while more may be fulfilled in this prophecy, it is also true that it has already seen fulfillment in the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Let me explain. Forty days after resurrecting and showing himself to countless people, Jesus ascends (coming on the clouds) into heaven and is “led into [the] presence “of the “Ancient One”. What happened from there? Jesus sent the Holy Spirit, which outpoured onto the disciples, filling them with God’s Spirit and power. From the day of Pentecost and onward, the disciples healed the sick, took care of the poor, visited the imprisoned, raised the dead to life and preached the Good News of Jesus Christ to all of the known world. Within 400 short years, this little sect of Judaism overtook the Roman Empire, the very empire that executed Jesus and his followers. Holy wow!!! Think about that. The impossible was made possible as a result of Jesus’ resurrection! Praise God!

Certainly, the resurrection was not the end of the story, but the beginning of it. Christians, being human beings, have fallen short and have sometimes put the institution of Christianity above Christ; however, Christ is still unfolding the salvation, redemption and sancitification of this world. What’s more, we are a part of that unfolding! We are a part of the story. We are the ones who, if we are faithful, will do even greater things than that of the disciples if we would only open our hearts to the possibility and to the call. With that said, happy Easter! He is risen! Now, rise up and preach the good news of Jesus Christ to all the world!

THOUGHT OF THE DAY
He is risen and you can rise with him!

PRAYER
Lord, you have redeemed me and I choose to live the RESURRECTED LIFE in you! Amen.

Holy Week 2021: Fulfilled: The Great Sabbath

Read Zechariah 9:11-12

ALSO IN SCRIPTURE
“So he went and preached to the spirits in prison— those who disobeyed God long ago when God waited patiently while Noah was building his boat. Only eight people were saved from drowning in that terrible flood.” (1 Peter‬ ‭3:19-20‬ ‭NLT‬‬)

When we read the Gospels, we get a sense that Jesus saw himself as a savior of his people. We can see how he he lived, how he taught, and how he ultimately took on the role of God’s suffering servant. We see that he claimed not only to be a teacher or a prophet, but that he was the Messiah, the Son of the Living God. What’s more, Jesus claimed to be one with, and the same as, God Almighty, the great I AM.

His disciples not only believed, but were transformed by their relationship with Jesus and, in turn they helped tranform the world. Jesus’ views were not only his own, but ones steeped in his Jewish beliefs and his understanding of the Hebrew Scriptures. Each day this week, let us look at the prophetic connection between Jesus and the Tanakh, the Hebrew Bible.

 The Great Sabbath. The Great Sabbath, also known as Holy Saturday, is the day following Jesus’ death. While some may wonder why it was called “the Great Sabbath” when Jesus was dead, it is obvious that death is the “final rest”, and Sabbath is the day of rest set apart by God. Thus, even on the surface, it makes sense that Holy Saturday would be considered the Great Rest.

Yet, we can take it one step further. It is also the day that the disciples and Jesus’ family all stayed in hiding for fear that they would be captured and crucified. The times were tense and, while I am sure that Holy Saturday was stressful (not “restful”), they weren’t out and about doing things on that day. What’s more, though they did not realize it at the time, they were lying in wait for what would take place early the next morning.

Still, while the above reasons are all insightful in some way or another, they are not ultimately what makes Holy Saturday “The Great Sabbath”. Saturday, in Judaism (sundown Friday evening to sundown Saturday evening), is Sabbath and/or the day of rest. It was also Passover, which made this particular Sabbath even more special. When we look at the accounts of Jesus in the Gospels, we will notice that while Jesus took God’s call to observe Sabbath seriously, he did not do so legalistically. Yes, he would rest when and where he could. Yes, he would go up onto a mountaintop to pray; however, he would do God’s work on the Sabbath, which often landed him in trouble with the Pharisees.

On this particular Sabbath, while Jesus’ physical body was resting in the stone cold, dark, cavernous tomb, Jesus’s spirit was in Sheol, the place of the dead, preaching the good news to them and showing them the way to salvation (1 Peter 3:19-20). Thus, in God’s great mercy, those who came before Christ and had died in their sin, Christ came and gave them a way out of their sin.

This fulfilled the words of Zechariah “Because of the covenant I made with you, sealed with blood, I will free your prisoners from death in a waterless dungeon” (Zechariah‬ ‭9:11‬ ‭NLT‬‬). The “dungeon” or “pit” is, in this context, is referring to both the grave and Sheol. This passage indicates that God’s plan was to uphold the covenant made with God’s people. This, by the earliest Christians, was seen to be fulfilled in and through Jesus Christ on The Great Sabbath.

While this was certainly awesome news back then, it is awesome news even to this day. While we were not literally dead, or literally in the place of the dead (aka the pit), we were once lost, and now we have been found. We were once blind, but now we see. We were once dead, but in Christ we have found TRUE and EVERLASTING LIFE! Hallelujah! Praise the LORD our God, for in Christ we conquer death (in all its aspects) and gain TRUE LIFE.

THOUGHT OF THE DAY

“Hell hath no power at all.” — Demon Hunter, “Storm the Gates of Hell”

PRAYER

Lord, thank you so much for what you have done for me. In your name, help me to storm the gates of hell and preach the good news to all who need it. Amen.

April 2, 2021 – Good Friday Tenebrae Service

Worship service premieres at 7:30 p.m. EST (-500 GMT)
on Good Friday, April 2, 2021 on YouTube.

Welcome to our Friday Tenebrae Service for April 2, 2021. It’s Holy Week!!! Tonight’s worship is a Tenebrae service that remembers Jesus’ passion (suffering) during his final hours on earth, including his death on the cross and burial in the tomb. This is will be a powerful and moving worship experience, no doubt.

DISCLAIMER: While this is a full Christian worship experience with mild imagery, a Tenebrae service recounts the betrayal, arrest, trial, flogging, crucifixion, and death of Jesus. Parental discretion advised.

Please support us by giving online: https://tithe.ly/give?c=1377216 Your support is vital, especially during this COVID-19 pandemic. You can also write and mail a check to First UMC of Newton, 111 Ryerson Ave., Newton, NJ 07860.