First, a quote to think about:
"It's going to be hard to throw rocks at anybody today if our hands already are filled with a towel to wash their feet."
Second, the October edition of the Messenger has been delayed because Suzann was out all last week with influenza. It should be out sometime this week.
Our readings this week for our 4 installment of the Baptismal Series “Deep Well” are:
Romans 6:1-11 – Paul has been working his way through the new reality of Life in Christ. This new life is given when we believe in Jesus Christ and is symbolized by our baptism. Being immersed into water is joining Christ in his death. Coming out of the water is our resurrection on Easter. In baptism we die to sin and are raised to live to and for God.
Matthew 3:13-17 – John the Baptizer is busy working at and in the Jordan river proclaiming a baptism for repentance to the crowds that come to see and hear the spectacle. Jesus come to John asking to be baptized but John objects. John thinks Jesus should baptize him. Jesus says that John must do it to “fulfill all righteousness”. When coming up out of the water Jesus sees the Spirit of God and hears the voice of God who proclaims three things: Jesus is God’s Son; Jesus is loved by God; and Jesus pleases God. From there, Jesus goes into the desert to be tempted by Satan.
The Lectionary Readings assigned for this week are:
Jeremiah 29:1, 4-7 – After the fall of Jerusalem, but before it is destroyed, the prophet Jeremiah counsels the people who have been taken to Babylon to marry and have children and to seek the welfare of Babylon for there will come a day when they will return.
Psalm 66:1-12 – A song of praise for God who has created all things and guided the people of Israel through difficult, testy times.
2 Kings 5:1-3, 7-15c – Elisha heals the Syrian General Naaman. You should include verses 4-6 in this story. Who are the “little” people of this story and how do they move the action along?
Psalm 111 – Another song of praise for all of God’s works and graciousness.
2 Timothy 2:8-15 – What is the gospel according to verse 8? Why does Paul suffer and endure everything? Do we suffer and endure everything for the gospel? What should the response of the church be according to verses 14-15?
Luke 17:11-19 – In this story, Jesus encounters a small group of outcasts who come to him for healing calling for mercy. Does Jesus touch them or say any “incantation” for them? What was Jesus’ instruction to them? When were they healed? Who is the one of the ten who returns to Jesus after their healing? This one was the outcast of the outcasts; the Samaritan leper with nine Jewish lepers? Once healed, did the nine cast him out of their group because he was Samaritan? The Jewish lepers probably thought that the only place to give thanks for the divine healing they experienced would be at the Temple, the only place the Divine could be encountered. The Samaritan leper, now cast out by his “friends”, returns to the One who brought Divine Healing to him, Jesus. Where have you experienced divine healing? Do others experience the divine healing in you when they are with you?
Have a great week being intentionally invitational and missional!