Our desire is that everyone - whether they enter our doors or not - would discover the sacredness of their own story, celebrate their spirituality, and fully enjoy an everyday life with God.
God is everywhere, in everything, and with you every day. Crossroads is a community that intentionally celebrates and extends God’s unlimited welcome and unconditional love to people both inside and outside the walls of a church building. We are equally passionate about and committed to two forms that help us pursue our vision: one is the ministries centered here at Crossroads Drive, and the other we call “Imagine”. Through Imagine we meet in restaurants, bars, coffee shops, homes, yoga studios and in nature with people who have no interest in coming to a church building. We call this a “Both/And” church and through these two forms we are empowered to offer God’s radical grace and love in ways that enable people both inside and outside the walls to change the world one person, one family, and one community at a time.
Operating as usual
Acts 10:34-43 Then Peter began to speak to them: "I truly understand that God shows no partiality, but in every nation anyone who fears him and does what is right is acceptable to him. You know the message he sent to the people of Israel, preaching peace by Jesus Christ--he is Lord of all. That message spread throughout Judea, beginning in Galilee after the baptism that John announced: how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power; how he went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by evil, for God was with him. We are witnesses to all that he did both in Judea and in Jerusalem. They put him to death by hanging him on a tree; but God raised him on the third day and allowed him to appear, not to all the people but to us who were chosen by God as witnesses, and who ate and drank with him after he rose from the dead. He commanded us to preach to the people and to testify that he is the one ordained by God as judge of the living and the dead. All the prophets testify about him that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name."
Morning Prayer: “God raised him on the third day and allowed him to appear, not to all the people but to us who were chosen by God as witnesses, and who ate and drank with him.” Jesus who is Love, returns everyday to be present in our lives and to be witnessed through Love’s actions. God, as we move into this day, remind me that I am Love in action, and that I am being witnessed by those around me, particularly with those I spend the most time with. Allow my actions to be the answer to another’s prayer. May it be so.
Morning Focus: I’m deeply grateful for those who are companions with me in this life.
1 Corinthians 15:1-11 Now I would remind you, brothers and sisters, of the good news that I proclaimed to you, which you in turn received, in which also you stand, through which also you are being saved, if you hold firmly to the message that I proclaimed to you--unless you have come to believe in vain. For I handed on to you as of first importance what I in turn had received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the scriptures, and that he was buried, and that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the scriptures, and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. Then he appeared to more than five hundred brothers and sisters at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have died. Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles. Last of all, as to one untimely born, he appeared also to me. For I am the least of the apostles, unfit to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace toward me has not been in vain. On the contrary, I worked harder than any of them--though it was not I, but the grace of God that is with me. Whether then it was I or they, so we proclaim and so you have come to believe.
Morning Prayer: Thank you God, for the continued hope of Easter, good news that extends far beyond a single day’s celebration. The resurrection of Jesus revealed Your incredible grace to the world. Grace that welcomes me, in all of my brokenness, to be a follower of Jesus, known by the ways I work to humbly serve and radically love everyone around me. There is nothing that I can do that would be unforgivable by Your extravagant mercy and love. Praise for the gifts of Easter on this day! May Your grace within me radiate out today. May it be so.
Morning Focus: How have you seen God’s mercy and love in the past 24 hours?
Psalm 118:1-2, 14-24 O give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his steadfast love endures forever! Let Israel say, "His steadfast love endures forever." The LORD is my strength and my might; he has become my salvation. There are glad songs of victory in the tents of the righteous: "The right hand of the LORD does valiantly; the right hand of the LORD is exalted; the right hand of the LORD does valiantly." I shall not die, but I shall live, and recount the deeds of the LORD. The LORD has punished me severely, but he did not give me over to death. Open to me the gates of righteousness, that I may enter through them and give thanks to the LORD. This is the gate of the LORD; the righteous shall enter through it. I thank you that you have answered me and have become my salvation. The stone that the builders rejected has become the chief cornerstone. This is the Lord's doing; it is marvelous in our eyes. This is the day that the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.
Morning Prayer: God, this scripture ends with the words that I pray to begin each day. Even before I am out of bed I acknowledge and celebrate that this is the day You have made. I will rejoice and be glad in it. I do rejoice, believing in Your steadfast love, knowing that I am surrounded by Your love and grace throughout my day. Whatever challenges arise throughout my day, I know that I will come through them, because You are with me in all that is good, and in all that presents challenges. This is the good news of the gift of Jesus. May I always speak words of gratitude and may I always speak encouraging and loving words, sharing the Good News of Your unending love. May it be so.
Morning Focus: Today I celebrate another day of life surrounded by God’s love.
John 20:1-18 Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene came to the tomb and saw that the stone had been removed from the tomb. So she ran and went to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one whom Jesus loved, and said to them, "They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid him." Then Peter and the other disciple set out and went toward the tomb. The two were running together, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first. He bent down to look in and saw the linen wrappings lying there, but he did not go in. Then Simon Peter came, following him, and went into the tomb. He saw the linen wrappings lying there, and the cloth that had been on Jesus' head, not lying with the linen wrappings but rolled up in a place by itself. Then the other disciple, who reached the tomb first, also went in, and he saw and believed; for as yet they did not understand the scripture, that he must rise from the dead. Then the disciples returned to their homes. But Mary stood weeping outside the tomb. As she wept, she bent over to look into the tomb; and she saw two angels in white, sitting where the body of Jesus had been lying, one at the head and the other at the feet. They said to her, "Woman, why are you weeping?" She said to them, "They have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid him." When she had said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not know that it was Jesus. Jesus said to her, "Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you looking for?" Supposing him to be the gardener, she said to him, "Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have laid him, and I will take him away." Jesus said to her, "Mary!" She turned and said to him in Hebrew, "Rabbouni!" (which means Teacher). Jesus said to her, "Do not hold on to me, because I have not yet ascended to the Father. But go to my brothers and say to them, 'I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.'" Mary Magdalene went and announced to the disciples, "I have seen the Lord"; and she told them that he had said these things to her.
Morning Prayer: Living God, thank you for the gift of perpetual resurrection. Like Mary, I am often driven to tears by the circumstances of life, lost in moments of grief and sadness. Then I experience some new revelation of Your spirit alive and strong in the world and my spirit is soothed and calmed. I am reminded once again that I have indeed seen the risen Lord. Help me to be the living presence of Jesus to someone who needs a resurrection reminder today. May it be so.
Morning Focus: Keep your eyes open for fresh revelations of the living Christ in the world today.
Happy Easter from Crossroads UMC!
Mark 16:1-8 When the sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices, so that they might go and anoint him. And very early on the first day of the week, when the sun had risen, they went to the tomb. They had been saying to one another, "Who will roll away the stone for us from the entrance to the tomb?" When they looked up, they saw that the stone, which was very large, had already been rolled back. As they entered the tomb, they saw a young man, dressed in a white robe, sitting on the right side; and they were alarmed. But he said to them, "Do not be alarmed; you are looking for Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He has been raised; he is not here. Look, there is the place they laid him. But go, tell his disciples and Peter that he is going ahead of you to Galilee; there you will see him, just as he told you." So they went out and fled from the tomb, for terror and amazement had seized them; and they said nothing to any one, for they were afraid.
Morning Prayer: Thank you God for the gift of hope You freely offer us, on this Easter day and every other day! In a world plagued with fear and death, You overcame the darkness. Jesus, killed for his radical acceptance and love, could not be defeated. We cheer, “He is risen!” and remember the terror and amazement his followers felt that first Easter morning. Like Your people today, they glimpsed Your glory and responded with tentative hope- “could it be true?” “Could it be true for even me?” The miracle of Jesus’ resurrection gives me the hope of a new day every morning and a new life every time I remember Your loving power. Be with me in celebration today, as I share this hope with the world. May it be so.
Morning Focus: Today we give thanks for the hope of resurrection.
Matthew 27:57-61 (NRSV) When it was evening, there came a rich man from Arimathea, named Joseph, who was also a disciple of Jesus. He went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus; then Pilate ordered it to be given to him. So Joseph took the body and wrapped it in a clean linen cloth and laid it in his own new tomb, which he had hewn in the rock. He then rolled a great stone to the door of the tomb and went away. Mary Magdalene and the other Mary were there, sitting opposite the tomb.
Morning Prayer: God, this scripture reminds me of how precious it is to have the gift of friends to walk with us through times of great joy as well as times of great sorrow. I can only imagine the depth of the grief and despair that Jesus’ friends and followers experienced after his death. Their hearts were broken and their grief was overwhelming. As I read these words I cannot help but think of the enormous weight of grief that has fallen on our world in the past year as we have experienced hundreds of thousands of lives lost to COVID 19. The depth of collective mourning across our world is great. God, I pray for all those who have felt the enormous weight of this grief in a personal way as they lost loved ones. Surround all of these persons with love and light, and may they find comfort in the caring friendship and love of all those who walk with them. May it be so.
Morning Focus: Practice silent prayer today by pausing now for 30 seconds or more to pray for the families and friends of all who have died of COVID 19.
Matthew 27:32-37 (NRSV) As they went out, they came upon a man from Cyrene named Simon; they compelled this man to carry his cross. And when they came to a place called Golgotha (which means Place of a Skull), they offered him wine to drink, mixed with gall; but when he tasted it, he would not drink it. And when they had crucified him, they divided his clothes among themselves by casting lots; then they sat down there and kept watch over him. Over his head they put the charge against him, which read, “This is Jesus, the King of the Jews.”
Morning Prayer: God, these are hard words to read. I wonder what Simon thought, if he realized the import of what he was doing. I wonder about the soldiers, was this just another task for them to complete? I read this knowing the outcome, but the people of this story did not know. What would they think come Sunday, about the roles they played? What were the disciples thinking on this dark day? Rage at the injustice? Loss for their friend? The loss they felt must have been unbearable. But in the midst of those dark hours, hope was on the horizon, whether they knew it or not. So when life seems at its darkest, as it has for so many this past year, let me remember Good Friday, that in the midst of despair to wait on You. Your love will overcome the darkness. May it be so.
Morning Focus: We are called to pray for enemies. What prayers come to mind today?
Poured Out - A Self-Guided Good Friday Experience
This year we will offer our Good Friday experience online due to the weather forecast for Friday. The self-guided experience will be available online and on the GOTGo app beginning in the morning on April 2, 2021. You can also view it anytime after Friday morning that is convenient for you. Good Friday bags are available for pickup at Crossroads (Entrance 1).
This self-guided experience will allow us to remember six important moments during the last week of Jesus' life leading up to his crucifixion and death. Everything you need for the experience will be available in pre-packaged gift bags at Crossroads (Entrance 1) or in your homes. A guide is included in the bag and has instructions that will lead you through the experience. The bags can be picked up at Crossroads (Entrance 1). The guide is also available online.
You will find the Good Friday Experience here: https://www.crossroadsnova.org/goodfriday2021
Matthew 26:17-29 (NRSV) On the first day of Unleavened Bread the disciples came to Jesus, saying, “Where do you want us to make the preparations for you to eat the Passover?” He said, “Go into the city to a certain man, and say to him, ‘The Teacher says, My time is near; I will keep the Passover at your house with my disciples.’” So the disciples did as Jesus had directed them, and they prepared the Passover meal.
When it was evening, he took his place with the twelve; and while they were eating, he said, “Truly I tell you, one of you will betray me.” And they became greatly distressed and began to say to him one after another, “Surely not I, Lord?” He answered, “The one who has dipped his hand into the bowl with me will betray me. The Son of Man goes as it is written of him, but woe to that one by whom the Son of Man is betrayed! It would have been better for that one not to have been born.” Judas, who betrayed him, said, “Surely not I, Rabbi?” He replied, “You have said so.”
While they were eating, Jesus took a loaf of bread, and after blessing it he broke it, gave it to the disciples, and said, “Take, eat; this is my body.” Then he took a cup, and after giving thanks he gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you; for this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins. I tell you, I will never again drink of this fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom.”
Morning Prayer: God, today we remember the commandment that Jesus gave to His disciples; “Love one another as I have loved you.” As I live this life You are creating in me the capacity to love others beyond my natural abilities. By acts of love Your kingdom comes to earth as it is in heaven where truth, justice and mercy reign. May it be so.
Morning Focus: Today we pray for the oppressed, those whose voices are often silenced.
Matthew 26:6-13 (NRSV) Now while Jesus was at Bethany in the house of Simon the l***r, a woman came to him with an alabaster jar of very costly ointment, and she poured it on his head as he sat at the table. But when the disciples saw it, they were angry and said, “Why this waste? For this ointment could have been sold for a large sum, and the money given to the poor.” But Jesus, aware of this, said to them, “Why do you trouble the woman? She has performed a good service for me. For you always have the poor with you, but you will not always have me. By pouring this ointment on my body she has prepared me for burial. Truly I tell you, wherever this good news is proclaimed in the whole world, what she has done will be told in remembrance of her.”
Morning Prayer: God, thank you for this reminder of the many gifts that come from worship. There are countless needs and endless heartache in the world. While I can offer my best, I know how limited my actions can be. But You, God, are all-powerful and all-loving. You are good, in the purest form of the word. In Jesus, You proclaimed the Good News that we no longer have to wait for Your Kingdom. It is already here. Amongst the pain and brokenness, the Kingdom of God still prevails. As we wait for the hope of Easter and new life, we are still called to worship and delight in You and in the here and now. Open my mind and heart to opportunities of extravagant love today. May it be so.
Morning Focus: Pray for wisdom today. How will you be wise in your faith?
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