Message from Pastor Alessandri April 6, 2020


20April6 Message from Pastor Alessandri(pdf)

April 6, 2020

The Peace of the Lord IS with you!

You may remember my mentioning in a sermon that my father loved groaner puns. When my sister sent me the article below, I was cringing and my father was laughing with the angels.

I might be going crazy in quarantine! 

Actually I’ve just been talking about this with the microwave and toaster while drinking coffee and we all agreed that things are getting bad. I didn’t mention anything to the washing machine as she puts a different spin on everything. Certainly not to the fridge as he is acting cold and distant. In the end the iron straightened me out as she said everything will be fine, no situation is too pressing. The vacuum was very unsympathetic… told me to just suck it up, but the fan was more optimistic and hoped it would all soon blow over! The toilet looked a bit flushed when I asked its opinion and didn’t say anything but the door knob told me to get a grip. The front door said I was unhinged and so the curtains told me to … yes, you guessed it … pull myself together.

 But this my favorite posting of religious humor:






Thank you, Lord, for the gift of humor. It brings much joy in good times and moments of relief in difficult times.


Yesterday, there was a knock on my door. It was Pastor Kaplan and Melita. Melita was holding a potted palm and I was invited to join a palm procession around the parking lot. Six feet apart, we walked singing the refrain from “All Glory, Laud and Honor.” We hope to share Pastor Dave’s Facebook posting on our site, too. Thank you Melita and Pastor Dave for including me.

Procession with Palms (Facebook posting from Pastor Kaplan)

During a post-worship coffee fellowship phone call, Pat Manspeaker offered her thanks to the person who left the latest devotional booklet at her door. She was absolutely delighted.

Danny Kiblinger was grateful for a call from Bill Zinkand, son of Haven member Dorothy (“Dottie”) Zinkand. Dot is back living with Bill and his wife after her fall a while back. She has even been released from at-home occupational and speech therapies.

Words of gratitude for Sunday’s Palm Sunday Prelude have already come it. Thanks to Steve Pastena, Grant Wills, and Mary Grabill who joined me in this effort.

We are beginning our preparations for an EASTER SUNDAY PRELUDE to again precede the DE-MD Synod’s worship service. Get those A_________’s ready.

AT-HOME PRAYER VIGIL  Please send in any additional prayer requests TODAY. We would like to complete the Wednesday Prayer Vigil prayer list for distribution on Tuesday. Make plans to set aside some time on Wednesday to pray through the list. You can pray as you sit quietly inside or outside, as you listen to inspirational music, as you walk or a combination of these. Simply say or read each name or request and lift it to God with or without your own words. In a time when everything feels adrift, anchor a time on your Wednesday calendar for your at-home vigil.

HOLY WEEK MUSIC FAVORITES  We only included the top five of your favorite Holy Week hymns during our Palm Sunday prelude. Our wonderful organist, Steve Pastena, will make recordings of the other Holy Week hymns during the week and post them on-line. For those who are curious, the additional hymns are:
The Old Rugged Cross
Go to Dark Gethsemane
Were You There
There Is a Green Hill Far Away
In the Cross of Christ
My Song Is Love Unknown
Amazing Grace


MAMA DUCK UPDATE Well, in the three days since I first told you about the mama duck who made a nest in my front yard bushes, she has flown off only once when I got the mail. I’m keeping my fingers crossed. I would love to hear the cheeping of baby ducklings.

I remain available to you at 301-745-4216 or at my e-mail Please leave a message if I don’t pick-up the phone. I may have stepped out for a walk or, like many of you, I try to avoid calls from solicitors with phone numbers and names I don’t recognize. I WILL get back to you! I am NOT too busy to share some time with you. You remain close in my mind, heart and prayers.

God IS with you. God IS with us.
Pastor Linda M Alessandri

A Pause with God’s Word

 (Readings for the Monday of Holy Week: Is. 42: 1-9; Psalm 36:5-1,Heb. 9: 11-15, John 12: 1-11)
Read: Isaiah 42: 1-9 

1Here is my servant, whom I uphold,
my chosen, in whom my soul delights;
I have put my spirit upon him;
he will bring forth justice to the nations.
2He will not cry or lift up his voice,
or make it heard in the street;
3a bruised reed he will not break,
and a dimly burning wick he will not quench;
he will faithfully bring forth justice.
4He will not grow faint or be crushed
until he has established justice in the earth;
and the coastlands wait for his teaching.

5Thus says God, the Lord,
who created the heavens and stretched them out,
who spread out the earth and what comes from it,
who gives breath to the people upon it
and spirit to those who walk in it:
6I am the Lord, I have called you in righteousness,
I have taken you by the hand and kept you;
I have given you as a covenant to the people,
a light to the nations,
7to open the eyes that are blind,
to bring out the prisoners from the dungeon,
from the prison those who sit in darkness.
8I am the Lord, that is my name;
my glory I give to no other,
nor my praise to idols.
9See, the former things have come to pass,
and new things I now declare;
before they spring forth,
I tell you of them.

(From a sermon by Pastor Mark Shaltanis, St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, Falls Church, VA, January 20, 2020)
When we read through the book of Isaiah, we discover that God, in his speeches to his people, often uses the label “servant,” and that he uses it in reference to many different people. Early in the book he calls Isaiah “my servant.” A little later he mentions “my servant Eliakim”—a man whom he would send to serve in the king’s court as a replacement for one who was unfaithful. He also mentions “my servant David”—referring of course to Israel’s great king.

The most frequent use of the label, however, is for God’s chosen nation, Israel, most often referred to as “Jacob” – since Jacob was the one first given the name Israel, and because he represents the nation’s unity before the nation was split into tribes and kingdoms.

Israel is first called God’s servant in chapter 41. There God addresses his people with the words: “But you, Israel, my servant, Jacob, whom I have chosen, the offspring of Abraham, my friend.”

As God’s servant, Israel is used by God for his purposes. And this is not a demeaning thing. Rather, to be God’s servant is to be honored by him. Israel is chosen for this work. Through Israel, God will accomplish great things. That’s why our text today begins: “1Here is my servant, whom I uphold,  my chosen, in whom my soul delights”

[Though the prophet Isaiah wrote these words long before Jesus walked the earth, we look back upon these word and see Jesus.] Jesus is God’s Servant: chosen and gifted… Jesus is God’s foremost Servant. But we recall that he is not God’s only servant. In the new covenant, all those made righteous by Jesus are also now God’s servants. That means you and me. We, too, are God’s servants. And we, too, have been chosen and gifted.

As it was for Jesus, your baptism is a sign that you have been chosen by God. At your baptism, the Spirit was poured out upon you, and you were declared to be God’s son or daughter—one with whom God is well pleased.

You are chosen and gifted – as God’s children and God’s servants.

There will be suffering in your service. Sometimes you will be humbled. Sometimes you will be called to take the humble position…. It’s not easy being a servant.

We who hear God’s voice in the scriptures, and who hear it most clearly in His Son, hear his call to be servants. We learn to find joy in helping others. We open our hearts to all people. We endure suffering when it comes. And we trust God to bring forth his righteousness.

Prayer:           (ELW p. 30, adapted from the Prayer of the Day for the Monday in Holy Week)
O God, your Son chose the path that led to pain before joy and to the cross before glory. Plant his cross in our hearts, so that in its power and love we may we may endure these difficult times and still find ways to serve you and our neighbor, through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.


*ELW #712 “Lord, Whose Love in Humble Service”

Choral & Bell Choir
Instrumental version

“Make Me a Servant”

*ELW #659 “Will You Let Me Be Your Servant”

(ELW = Evangelical Lutheran Worship hymnal  or the “cranberry hymnal” used at worship)