Monday, September 23, 2013

Readings for Sunday September 29 2013

Hello Everyone,

To begin, there are two announcements you should be aware of:

1. Grey Eagle UMC Hog Roast – Saturday, September 28 starting at 4:30 PM at the Grey Eagle Church.

2. Community Friendship Dinner – Sunday, September 29 starting at 5:00 PM at the American Legion in Long Prairie. Peace United is hosting this month.

This coming Sunday is the last in our “Month of Invitation” and we should be inviting acquaintances to come to church with us. Who is that person God’s Spirit is prodding you to invite. DO NOT ignore that prod!. Step out in faith and invite!

This Sunday is also the second Sunday in our series on baptism, “Deep Well”. Can we approach the well and enter?

Our Readings this week for “Deep Well” are:

Isaiah 12 – This could very easily be considered a Psalm of Isaiah as he gives thanks to God for salvation: drawing water from the well of salvation.

Matthew 14:22-33 – After feeding 5,000 men plus women and children, Jesus send the disciples across the lake, Galilee, in their boat and proceeds to go up the mountain to pray by himself. During the night a storm blows up and the boat is being swamped. Jesus walks out to the boat on the water. Peter asks Jesus to let him walk on water so Jesus simply says “Come”. Peter get out on the water and is surprised that he can walk on the water. Of course, with that realization he sinks into the lake. John Ortberg has a book titled “If You Want to Walk on Water You Have to Get Out of the Boat.” Am I stuck in the boat? Are you? Are our churches stuck in the boat or are we going to get out and start walking?

The Lectionary Readings are:

Jeremiah 32:1-3a, 6-15 – This Sunday I mentioned that the prophets can see God in everyday events. The first verses sets the time and place. The second set of verses is what God commanded Jeremiah to do: buy a field which is what Jeremiah does. The question is “Why?” Jeremiah pray that very question in verses 16-25 and God reveals the answer in verses 26 ff. When times get difficult, do we have faith that God will see us through to the end?

Psalm 91:1-6, 14-16 – The entire psalm are the verses of the song “On Eagle’s Wings”.

Amos 6:1a, 4-7 – A warning to the rich and complacent of Judah: they will be the first to be hauled off into exile. What connections can you make with the reading in Luke below?

Psalm 146 – Much of Jesus’ ministry and healing in Matthew, Mark, and Luke reflect the nature of God who is praised by the psalmist.

1 Timothy 6:6-19 – This week brings an end to our readings in 1 Timothy. Next week will start four weeks of 2 Timothy. Paul warns Tim of the dangers of wealth and pursuing wealth. We are all to pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance, and gentleness. If we have wealth, Paul says that we are to be rich in good works, generosity, and be ready to share.

Luke 16:19-31 – While Luke doesn’t come out and say that this is a parable we need to remember that this is a PARABLE. At 15:3 Luke says that Jesus told them a parable, the lost sheep. In verse 15:8 Jesus tells the story of the lost coin by saying “Or . . .” and we know it is a parable. The story of the prodigal son starts in verse 15:11 with “Then he said, . . .” and we know it is a parable even if Luke doesn’t tell us that. The story of the dishonest manager that starts in 16:1 begins “Then Jesus said to the disciples, . . .” and we know it is another parable even though Luke again doesn’t tell us. In our reading this week Jesus begins, “There was a rich man . . .” and we should understand that it is another parable. Yet I have heard preachers declare that this is what heaven and hell are all about and many people believe them. So, people in hell can see people in heaven and they can talk to Abraham? I think what Jesus is trying to say is that people with wealth should not ignore those in need but should care for them. Here is a Steve Sack editorial cartoon from the Star Tribune that fits this theme (along with Amos above):

Steve Sack - Star Tribune Cartoon

Peace in Christ,
Pastor Gary Taylor
Peace United Church, Long Prairie
Grey Eagle UMC, Grey Eagle

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