My Sisters and Brothers in Christ,
First, thank you to all who helped lead worship this week while I was on vacation.
Second, everything with Megan and Jeremiah's wedding went very well. Everyone had a very good time and we were all exhausted when it was over. Megan and Jeremiah are at home in Fargo where Jeremiah had to go to work on Monday and Megan had to be in class.
Third, this week's readings:
Joel 2:23-32 - After the destruction of all plants including fruit trees, grazing pastures, wheat, rye, barley, and grape vines by swarms of locusts, the Lord promises restoration of the land and the pouring out of God's Spirit on all peoples. This passage is quoted by Peter on the day of Pentecost in Acts 2.
Psalm 65 - Praise to God who delivers his people from desolation and restores the land.
[Alternate OT: Sirach 35:12-17 or Jeremiah 14:7-10, 19-22 and Psalm 84:1-7. Sirach is an Apocryphal or Deuterocanonical book that is accepted by the Catholic and Orthodox Churches.]
2 Timothy 4:6-8, 16-18 - This finishes our readings in 1 and 2 Timothy. In this passage, Paul seems to be saying that his ministry, and maybe even his life is coming to an end. He will receive the crown of righteousness which the Lord has for him. He acknowledges that the Lord has empowered him to preach the Gospel to the Gentiles.
Luke 18:9-14 - A second parable about prayer following last week's persistent widow. Be careful how you read this parable for as soon as you say or think that you are better then the Pharisee you become the Pharisee who looked down on the tax collector. We should all recognize the Pharisee in ourselves and, like the tax collector, admit our sinfulness and ask for God's mercy.
May the Lord Bless you in your reading of the Good Word.