First off, I offer my sincere thanks for all the Grey Eagle people who helped with today’s funeral for Gerty Perlinger. Without the help of the people of both churches to make everything happen we would simply be a Meditation and Singing Group that meets once a week.
Secondly, let’s keep inviting people to church. Just because someone says “No” the first time doesn’t mean we should stop asking them. A church whose people are constantly inviting others into fellowship and worship of God is a church that is growing. If we stop asking we become a dying church. Therefore: keep asking! (Also, if all the people you know are faithful church goers then you are the luckiest person in the world AND you need to make new (unchurched) friends.)
Starting August 4th I will begin a 4 week preaching series titled “A Place at the Table”. We will be looking at the various parts of our communion service and explore the idea of having communion more than once a month.
Our readings this week are:
Hosea 1:2-10 – Why, why did the Lectionary Committee leave off verse 1? You might just as well read it. What did God command Hosea to do and why? Who did Hosea marry and what did she do? Who are the children born to Hosea and what did he name them? As you read the text pay attention to the footnotes that explain the meaning of their names.
Psalm 85 – What does the Psalmist want God to do? How does he appeal to God? What has God done in the past that the Psalmist wants God to do again? How is the Psalmist’s hope expressed in verses 10-13?
OR Genesis 18:20-32 – What does God intend to do in verses 18-20 and why? Who begins bargaining with God in an attempt to stop God? What does this person appeal to? You should probably start reading the text at verse 16 and finish off the chapter with verse 33.
Psalm 138 – Sometimes the Old Testament contains hints of polytheism and verse 1 contains one of those references. Verse 2 has one of the OT’s themes about the nature of God. What are the two natures? What has God done for the Psalmist to deserve his praise? Why will all the kings of earth praise God?
Colossians 2:6-19 – I had to read this a couple of times. Maybe I am a bit tired. Paul uses a lot of metaphors in this passage: faith rooted in Christ; established in faith; being taken captive; deity dwelling bodily; spiritual circumcision; buried in baptism; raised through faith; dead in trespasses and forgiven; disarming the rulers and authorities; and finishing with the metaphor of the body. The point I think Paul is making is that in Christ we never have to worry about these things as we continue to walk in Christ (another metaphor, I know). Life is lived in its fullest measure when we have received and know Jesus.
Luke 11:1-13 – Verses 2-4 are Luke’s version of the Lord’s Prayer. Compare these verses with Matthew 6:9-13. How do they differ? What words do Matthew include but Luke leaves out? What words do we pray that Matthew and Luke do not contain (and Catholics generally don’t pray either)? Notice that Matthew uses “debts and debtors” while Luke uses “sins and debtors.” Some churches use “trespasses and trespass” (GEUMC), some use “sins and sinners” (Peace United Church) and some use “debts and debtors.” Why the differences? In verses 5-8 Jesus compares prayer to a persistent neighbor and then, in verses 9-13 tells us that asking, searching, and knocking will produce results. Why, in your experience, do prayers seem not to work?
Have a great week everyone. Keep asking (your neighbors to join you in church), searching (for those who need church fellowship) and knocking (on their doors, desks, windows, or whatever persistently).
Peace in Christ,
Pastor Gary Taylor