I will be on vacation this coming Sunday. Please welcome Bob Kutter as he leads worship. His text for this Sunday, October 22, will be:
Luke 10:1-11 - Here are some notes I wrote about this passage on July 2, 2013:
Luke 10:1-11, 16-20 – Jesus sends out 70 (or 72) disciples and gives them instructions. Did you know that the fields are still ready for harvest for God’s Reign? Why do you think that Jesus wanted them to carry nothing on their journey? Why were they prevented from changing the place they were staying? What were they to do when a town rejected their message? We often think about the message of God going out to individuals but this passage speaks about town accepting or rejecting it. So, since Jesus brings up Sodom in verse 12 (another section skipped by the lectionary due to its difficulty), what if there is but one new believer in the town? (Abraham talked God down to 10 righteous people. Why didn’t he get down to 1?) What do you think Jesus meant when he said “I saw Satan fall from heaven like a flash of lightning”? One of my favorite books on human nature is “I See Satan Fall Like Lightning” by Rene Girard. To get the gist of what the book is about read the reviews at Amazon.com.
On October 29, I will return to our sermon series on "Difficult Scripture". Our theme is "Death and Afterlife". What happens when we die? Do we immediately get transported to heaven (or hell for that matter)? Will we know and recognize our loved ones? What will we be like - human, angel, or something else? Our lessons will be:
Ecclesiastes 9:1-6 - All humans, good, bad, and indifferent, will die as will all animals. Evil happens; good happens; and all will die. The dead know nothing, they have no reward, and even the memory of them are lost. All is vanity and we are all but dust.
1 Corinthians 15:12-25, 35-38, 42-44, 50-57 - This is a very long passage and I have tried to condense the reading by eliminating the bunny trails that Paul takes. Christ has been resurrected and because of that we will all be resurrected. When we are raised, what will our bodies be like? Paul doesn't know but he is assured that God knows. He says that our physical bodies will become spiritual bodies. But note that none of that happens until the end, when Christ returns and the "trumpets will sound". What I believe that Paul is saying is that when we die we are dead. When Christ returns at the end we will be raised. "Thanks be to God who gives us victory through our Lord Jesus Christ."
John 3:16-17, 5:24-29, 12:44-50 - If Jesus comes to save the world (cosmos) and not to condemn it, are all saved (3:17)? Will all the dead (sinners and saints alike) be saved when they hear the voice of Jesus (5:25)? Or will sinners be raised to a resurrection of condemnation (5:29)? If Jesus doesn't judge those who reject his message (12:47) and he states that the Father's commandment is eternal life (12:50), are all saved in the end?
Aside: In theological terms, it is all about Universalism (all are saved), Eternal Punishment/Reward (you either go to hell or heaven forever) or, for the punishment portion, Annihilation (you are punished for a limited time and then you are no more.)
The Lectionary readings for October 22 can be found on the October 16, 2011 portion of "Readings for Sunday, October 9 and 16, 2011". The readings for October 29 can be found at "Readings for Sunday, October 26, 2014".
Have a great week! Invite a friend to church this week!
Peace in Christ,
Pastor Gary Taylor