Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Readings for Sunday, July 29, 2012

Hello Everyone,

PUC’ers – This Sunday we will have our regular service at 10:30 AM at our South Building. You could, however choose to go to the Ecumenical Worship at the County fair on Sunday at 11:00 AM.

Everyone – Grey Eagle UMC Garage Sale is happening this Friday and Saturday from 8 AM to 2 PM on both days.

This week we begin 5 weeks of reading in the Gospel of John chapter 6. All of these readings center on the theme of Jesus being the “Bread of Life”. We also continue with Ephesians and our continuous readings in the Old Testament and the kings of Israel.

2 Samuel 11:1-15 – In the passages between last week’s reading (2 Samuel 7:1-14) and this reading, David and his army has gone to war and defeated various enemies: the Moabites, Zobah, the Arameans, the Edomites and the Ammonites. Our reading opens with the statement that David sent his army against the Ammonites but he stayed home. What does a king with nothing to keep himself occupied but cast a wandering eye on a youthful beauty? This, of course, is the story of David’s indiscretion with Bathsheba. Of course, Bathsheba is not totally innocent in this story, but the power of a popular king to misuse that power is a strong temptation. How many rulers, kings, and presidents have misused that power? One of the amazing points of the story is Uriah’s (Bathsheba’s husband, a Hittite and not an Israelite) faithfulness to his king and his fellow soldiers.

Psalm 14 – The Psalmist decries the wickedness and unbelief of people. He also is concerned with how the wicked, wealthy, and evildoers treat the poor of the world. (verses 4 and 6).

2 Kings 4:42-44 – This short little story is about the prophet Elisha and the feeding of hundreds of people with 20 barley loaves and some ears of grain. God says, “They shall eat and have some left”. This story was chosen to accompany the Gospel reading.

Psalm 145:10-18 – The entire psalm is in praise of God who is good and great. Please read verses 8 and 9. These statement sums up the revelation of God to the people of Israel and all the world. Please remember these verses as you read the rest of the Old Testament. This is the God Jesus knew and called “Abba”, “Father”.

Ephesians 3:14-21 – In verses 1-13 of chapter 3, Paul alludes to the revelation of the mystery of Christ that was given to him following his conversion. He talks about the grace that was given him to take that message to the Gentiles and make known the mystery of God’s plan. Please read those verses because it is on that basis that Paul starts this week reading with, “For that reason . . .” He prays for the church in Ephesus to have strength and power from the Spirit and that Christ may dwell in their hearts through faith and grounded in love. He also wants the church to know the love of Christ and the fullness of God. Knowledge of God is call “theology” from the Greek Theo = God and Logos = knowledge. All of us have a theology, but is our knowledge limited to a few well worn phrases? While Christ’s love may exceed all knowledge, does that mean we should abandon learning all we can about God who is revealed in the Bible, and fully revealed in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ? Several Christian writers have said that theology is “faith seeking understanding”.

John 6:1-21 – This passage basically retells the Mark stories we read the last two weeks: Mark 6:30-44 and Mark 6:45-52. John names the disciples who object to their feeding of the crowd. John also has a young boy offering the 5 barley loaves and 2 fish to the disciples. John also calls the feeding of the crowd one of the signs that point God coming to earth in Jesus. An excellent summary of the signs in John, including the sign of the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus, at Signs in John.

Have a great week serving the Lord. Invite someone to church this week.

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