Continuación del Estudio del Libro de los Salmos

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Querida familia de San Juan-San Juan:

 

Continuamos nuestro estudio de los Salmos hasta el mes de agosto, terminando el 25 con el Salmo 23. más conocido y amado. Hemos aprendido que los salmos son ejemplos de diferentes maneras en que podemos expresarnos a Dios y cómo Dios responde a nosotros. Podemos encontrar canciones de frustración, miedo y lamento, junto con perdón, alegría y acción de gracias.

El himno “Qué amigo tenemos en Jesús”, escrito en 1855 por Joseph Scriven, un irlandés que vive en Canadá, para consolar a su madre en Irlanda. Estas palabras nos recuerdan que, al igual que los antiguos israelitas podemos traer todo en nuestras vidas a Dios, que estará con nosotros a través de todo.

 

Qué amigo que tenemos en Jesús,

  ¡Todos nuestros pecados y penas para soportar!

  Qué privilegio llevar

 ¡Todo a Dios en oración!

Oh, qué paz a menudo perdemos,

 Oh, qué dolor innecesario tenemos,

 Todo porque no llevamos

 ¡Todo a Dios en oración!

 

¿Tenemos pruebas y tentaciones?

¿Hay problemas en alguna parte?

Nunca debemos desanimarnos

Llévalo al Señor en oración.

¿Podemos encontrar un amigo tan fiel,

¿A quién compartirán todas nuestras penas?

Jesús conoce todas nuestras debilidades;

Llévalo al Señor en oración.

 

 

¿Somos débiles y cargados,

¿Abrumado por un montón de cuidados?

Precioso Salvador, todavía nuestro refugio.

Llévalo al Señor en oración.

¿Tus amigos te desprecian, te abandonan?

¡Llévalo al Señor en oración!

En sus brazos te tomará y protegerá,

Encontrarás un consuelo allí.

 

Bendito Salvador, has prometido

Tú cargarás todas nuestras cargas;

Que alguna vez, Señor, estemos trayendo

Todo para ti en sincera oración.

Pronto en gloria brillante, sin nubes,

No habrá necesidad de orar.

Rapto, alabanza y adoración sin fin

Será nuestra dulce porción allí.

 

Que Dios los bendiga y los mantenga durante el mes de agosto.
Pr. Ellen

Continuation Study of the Book of Psalms

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Dear St John-San Juan family,

We continue our study of Psalms through the month of August, ending on the 25th with the best known and best loved, Psalm 23. We have learned that the psalms are examples of different ways that we can express ourselves to God and how God responds to us.  We can find songs of frustration, fear and lament, along with forgiveness, joy, and thanksgiving.

The hymn “What a friend we have in Jesus” which was written in 1855 by Joseph Scriven, an Irishman living in Canada, to comfort his mother back in Ireland. Those words remind us that we, like the Israelites of old can bring everything in our lives to God, who will be with us through everything.

What a friend we have in Jesus,
All our sins and griefs to bear!
What a privilege to carry
Everything to God in prayer!
Oh, what peace we often forfeit,
Oh, what needless pain we bear,
All because we do not carry
Everything to God in prayer!

Have we trials and temptations?
Is there trouble anywhere?
We should never be discouraged
Take it to the Lord in prayer.
Can we find a friend so faithful,
Who will all our sorrows share?
Jesus knows our every weakness;
Take it to the Lord in prayer.

Are we weak and heavy-laden,
Cumbered with a load of care?
Precious Savior, still our refuge—
Take it to the Lord in prayer.
Do thy friends despise, forsake thee?
Take it to the Lord in prayer!
In His arms He’ll take and shield thee,
Thou wilt find a solace there.

Blessed Savior, Thou hast promised
Thou wilt all our burdens bear;
May we ever, Lord, be bringing
All to Thee in earnest prayer.
Soon in glory bright, unclouded,
There will be no need for prayer—
Rapture, praise, and endless worship
Will be our sweet portion there.


May God bless you and keep you through the month of August,

Pr. Ellen

An introduction to the Psalms

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Martin Luther called the Psalms the “Prayer Book of the Bible” and the “little Bible” because the Psalms contain the story of God’s love, grace and forgiveness and desire for a real relationship with each of us.

Our Bibles are books, with front and back covers, and we have become accustomed to treating the Bible like other books and thinking of Genesis as the beginning and Revelation as the end, with everything inside happening in, more or less, chronological order. When we are reading the Bible, it’s important to remember that the original content of the Hebrew Bible (Old Testament) was collected on scrolls which were not bound together. A single scroll would be opened and read from right to left, so readers and writers made connections by flow rather than flipping back and forth like we do with books.

The Book of Psalms, a single book in the Bible is actually 5 books (Book I: Psalms 1–41, Book II: Psalms 42–72, Book III: Psalms 73–89, Book IV: Psalms 90–106, Book V: Psalms 107–150) There is a flow between Psalms that are next to each other: for example, Psalm 22 is a lament and Psalm 23 is a statement of trust following the lament. Reading the two Psalms as partners can add depth to each Psalm as well as connect us more deeply with God.

Psalm is a Greek word for “songs accompanied by stringed instrument”. Psalter, the Latin word for the Book of Psalms was named for the psalter, an instrument that was used for accompaniment.  (It’s like referring to “guitar music book” today.) Before the printing press, monks would hand copy and illuminate collections of Psalms for monasteries, church leaders, and affluent men and women. It was a sign of great wealth and piety to own a Psalter, especially because most people couldn’t read.

Monks and nuns chanted or sang the psalms as they prayed 5 times each day. Today, in some churches, a psalm is chanted or sung, often using a tune that was written down centuries ago by those same monks. Many catholic, Anglican, Lutheran and Episcopal churches chant the Psalms on Sundays. There are some beautiful versions of psalm chants online and great examples of how to chant the psalms

The next article will discuss the 5 different types of Psalms: Individual and Community Lament; Hymns of Praise; Individual and Community Thanksgiving; Royal Psalms; and Wisdom Psalms.

*The author relies heavily on Professor Walter Brueggemann’s Psalms (New Cambridge Bible Commentary).

PENTECOST/PENTECOSTÉS

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Dear St. John-San Juan Family,

Pentecost (which means the 50th) is the day that we celebrate the baptism of the early church by the Holy Spirit and is the true “birthday” of the Christian faith.  Pentecost is also the Feast of the Harvest in the Jewish calendar, a day when everyone is to bring a gift of the first-fruits to the temple as a Thank offering to Yahweh.

Is it coincidental that the church received the gift of the Holy Spirit on the festival of Thanksgiving to God? Giving thanks for God’s goodness by sharing the message of God’s love and generosity with others in ways that they can understand is the message of Pentecost and continues to be God’s message to us today.

During this Season of Pentecost, I pray that you will find ways of giving thanks to God for God’s love and generosity through sharing that love with others in ways that they can understand.

Pr. Ellen

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Querida familia de San Juan San Juan,

Pentecostés (que significa el día 50) es el día en que celebramos el bautismo de la iglesia primitiva por el Espíritu Santo y es el verdadero “cumpleaños” de la fe cristiana. Pentecostés es también la Fiesta de la Cosecha en el calendario judío, un día en que todos deben traer un regalo de los primeros frutos al templo como ofrenda de agradecimiento a Yahvé.

¿Es una coincidencia que la iglesia recibió el don del Espíritu Santo en el festival de Acción de Gracias a Dios? Dar gracias por la bondad de Dios al compartir el mensaje del amor y la generosidad de Dios con los demás de manera que puedan entender es el mensaje de Pentecostés y continúa siendo el mensaje de Dios para nosotros hoy.

Durante esta temporada de Pentecostés, te pido que encuentres formas de dar gracias a Dios por el amor y la generosidad de Dios al compartir ese amor con los demás de manera que ellos puedan entender.

Pr. Ellen

Lent

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Dear Members and Friends of St John-San Juan,

As we enter the Season of Lent, we turn from celebrating the birth of our Savior to contemplating his death. We are given 40 days and 40 nights in which to take a few moments to acknowledge that we are simul justus et pecator – simultaneously saints and sinners.

As forgiven and free children of God, we do not have to give up something to appease God or mortify our flesh to make ourselves worthy. Instead, we understand that God has called us to faith, claimed us as heirs, and redeems us every day. The ashes that mark us on Ash Wednesday are not a sign of our failure but instead are a sign of God’s success.

Our worship and Sunday School program for Lent will help us to share “God Stories” on topics of temptations, human suffering, perceptions, injustices, hospitality, and redemption. We begin our Lenten study with brunch and multi-generational Sunday School at 9:45 on March 10. Please join us as we walk with Jesus through these seven weeks.

May God bless you today and always,
Pr. Ellen

Cuaresma

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Estimados Miembros y Amigos de San Juan San Juan,
 
Al entrar en la temporada de Cuaresma, pasamos de celebrar el nacimiento de nuestro Salvador a contemplar su muerte. Nos dan 40 días y 40 noches para tomarnos unos minutos y reconocer que somos simul justus et pecator: simultáneamente santos y pecadores.
 
Como hijos perdonados y libres de Dios, no tenemos que renunciar a algo para aplacer a Dios o mortificar nuestra carne para hacernos dignos. En cambio, entendemos que Dios nos ha llamado a la fe, nos reclamó como herederos y nos redime todos los días. Las cenizas que nos marcan el Miércoles de Ceniza no son una señal de nuestro fracaso, sino que son una señal del éxito de Dios.
 
Nuestro servicio de adoración y el programa de la Escuela Dominical para la Cuaresma nos ayudará a compartir “Historias de Dios” sobre temas de tentaciones, sufrimiento humano, percepciones, injusticias, hospitalidad y redención. Comenzamos nuestro estudio de Cuaresma con almuerzo y Escuela Dominical multigeneracional a las 9:45 del 10 de marzo. Por favor únase a nosotros mientras caminamos con Jesús a través de estas siete semanas.
 
Que Dios te bendiga hoy y siempre.
Pra. Ellen





Future Plans

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11 For surely I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans for your welfare and not for harm, to give you a future with hope. 12 Then when you call upon me and come and pray to me, I will hear you. 13 When you search for me, you will find me; if you seek me with all your heart 14 I will let you find me, says the Lord.
Jeremiah 29:11-14a

Dear Members and Friends of St. John-San Juan,

Jeremiah wrote the words above to the leaders of Jerusalem after they were taken into exile by the Babylonian King Nebuchadnezzar. Knowing that they were overwhelmed by questions of the future, Jeremiah reminded them to trust God and to live their lives fully even in difficult times and places. He encouraged them to marry and have children, to plant gardens and eat what is produced, and to seek the welfare of the community in which they live, and always trust God’s goodness.

Jeremiah’s words remind us that God’s plans are future-focused and full of goodness and grace. We also must live for the future of our church and community and work to discern God’s plans for us. Sometimes that can seem daunting and overwhelming, just like it did for those who were taken to Babylon. Yet God has promised that God will hear our prayers and respond when we seek God. Let us continue to plan for the future, pray for guidance, and seek to do God’s work in the world.

May God bless you throughout this month,
Pr. Ellen

Planes del Futuro

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11 Porque yo sé muy bien los planes que tengo para ustedes afirma el Señor, planesde bienestar y no de calamidad, a fin de darles un futuro y una esperanza. 12 Entoncesustedes me invocarán, y vendrán a suplicarme, y yo los escucharé. 13 Me buscarán y meencontrarán cuando me busquen de todo corazón. 14 Me dejaré encontrar afirma el Señor,Jeremías 29:11-14

Queridos Miembros y Amigos de San Juan San Juan,

Jeremías escribió las palabras de arriba a los líderes de Jerusalén después de que fueron llevados al exilio por el rey de Babilonia, Nabucodonosor. Al saber que estaban agobiado por las preguntas del futuro, Jeremías les recordó que confiaran en Dios y que vivieran sus vidas plenamente incluso en tiempos y lugares difíciles. Los animó a casarse y tener hijos, plantar huertos, y comerán lo que se produce, y buscar el bienestar de la comunidad en la que viven, y siempre confiar en la bondad de Dios.

Las palabras de Jeremías nos recuerdan que los planes de Dios están enfocados en el futuro y llenos de bondad y gracia. También debemos vivir para el futuro de nuestra iglesia y comunidad y trabajar para discernir los planes de Dios para nosotros. A veces, eso puede parecer desalentador y agobiado, al igual que para los que fueron llevados a Babilonia. Sin embargo, Dios ha prometido que Dios escuchará nuestras oraciones y responderá cuando busquemos a Dios. Continuemos planificando para el futuro, oremos por guía y procuremos hacer la obra de Dios en el mundo.

Que Dios los bendiga durante este mes,
Pr. Ellen

Happy New Year!

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Dear St. John-San Juan Family,

Happy New Year!

On January 6, we celebrate the Feast of Epiphany, the story of the Wise Ones from the East who followed a star to find and honor the new King of the Jews. Their experience was an epiphany – a revelation that the God of the Jews wanted to be the God of all people in the world.

Epiphany is a word we use when we really understand something – “the lightbulb turns on”.  Here at St John-San Juan, 2018 was a year of epiphanies that required us to work together and be creative about our future. Our work continues in 2019 as God calls us to think creatively about our work in South Austin.

I pray that like the wise ones of old, you follow God’s star to experience your own epiphany of God’s love and generosity this year.

Pr. Ellen