Holy Mud

This week’s gospel (John 9:1-41) tells the story of Jesus healing a blind man. He spits on the ground, makes a mud out of the dust and saliva, and spreads it on the man’s eyes. When the man washes away the mud, he sees for the first time. 

In this simple act, Jesus seems to foreshadow our Lenten journey: He takes the dust that we recalled on Ash Wednesday (“Remember that you are dust…”), mixes it with living water like that he talked about in last week’s story of his encounter with the Samaritan woman (John 4:5-42), and brings about a phenomenal and unexpected resurrection. We learn again how God can make even broken people like us whole.

In this time of fear and anxiety, what healing do we need from Jesus? Can you open your eyes to the possibility that Christ can heal our world, and you and me as well?

Welcome to St. Paul’s, where we help each other see the abundant grace that flows from God—living water showered on our dusty souls!


Collect

Gracious Father, whose blessed Son Jesus Christ came down from heaven to be the true bread which gives life to the world: Evermore give us this bread, that he may live in us, and we in him; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

Readings

Psalm 23

Ephesians 5:8-14

John 9:1-41


The Liturgical Colors – As God has flooded the earth and sky with color, so the Church has sensed the symbolic use of color in its worship. As dominating colors in nature change with the seasons of the fourfold year, so in the Church Year there is a structured change in the colors of the Eucharistic vestments, the liturgical colors.

This sequence of liturgical colors has a principal role in Christian visual education, in teaching the Gospel through the eye. Violet, symbolic of penitence and expectation, is used in the seasons of Advent and Lent and may also be used for the offices and Masses for the dead, and on Ember and Rogation Days.

Our Thursday Lenten Book Study reflecting on Jake Owensby’s A Resurrection-Shaped Life will continue on the Zoom platform. This book about finding THE gift of Easter in our lives feels more relevant than ever! Even if you haven’t had a chance to read the book, please feel free to join in our conversation, which gathers folks from throughout the Episcopal and Lutheran Churches of the Southern Berkshires.

We offer the same program at two different times each Thursday through April 2:

  • To join the Noon-1:00 PM discussion on March 26, and April 2:
  • To join the 6:30-7:30 PM discussion this evening and on March 26, and April 2:

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Lee Food Pantry: This Sunday’s food pantry suggestions are cereal and oatmeal. When you shop this week, please consider buying a few items to drop off at the back of the church as you are able. (Please be sure that food you bring for the pantry has not expired – we are not able to give away food beyond its freshness date.)

Altar Flowers

If you would like to honor or remember a loved one by providing altar flowers, the following Sundays are available: Aug. 16, Nov. 29 & Dec. 20. To sign up, please email stpaulsstockbridge@gmail.com and tell us the date you’d like to reserve, the wording of the announcement, and whether or not you’d like the office to order the flowers for you (cost is $60).


Worship Teams

(If you exchange shifts with someone, please notify the Church Office by Thursday morning at stpaulsstockbridge@gmail.com.)

This Sunday, March 22Next Sunday, March 29
Officiant: The Rev. Sam SmithOfficiant: The Rev. Jane Tillman
Preacher: The Rev. Sam Smith
Lector: Diane Dillon Lector: Diana French
Intercessor: Don Temples Intercessor: Diane Dillon

Parish Prayer List

  • People we pray for on Sundays: Cecilia, Katrina
  • Long-term prayer list: George, Jeff, David, Doug, Barbara, Charles, ZsuZsa, Tom, Rich, Ronnie, Karen, Michael, Christy, John, George, Khali, Brian
  • Our partners at Grace Church, Great Barrington and the Rev. Janet Zimmerman; Trinity Episcopal/Christ Lutheran, Sheffield and the Rev. Erik Karas; the Austen Riggs community and the Riverbrook Residence; victims of violence, abuse, persecution and disaster at home and abroad
  • Outreach Ministries of the Week: Gideon’s Garden and Construct
  • Diocesan Cycle of Prayer: Grace Church, Great Barrington
  • Anglican Cycle of Prayer: Anglican Church in Hong Kong
  • Anniversaries: Jean & Georgeanne Rousseau (26th)