Two short announcements before I get to the Scripture Readings for this coming Sunday.
1. This is the final Sunday for reversed worship times. Beginning August 31 Grey Eagle UMC will go back to their 9:00 AM worship and Peace United will go back to 10:30 AM.
2. Grey Eagle UMC will be hosting their 1st Annual Church on Birch (Big Birch Lake) at 11:00 AM. Pontoons, boats, canoes, kayaks, and other watercraft should meet at the sandbar near Hammarsten Island. Worship will be about 30 to 40 minutes in length and we will then gather at John and Janet Roe’s place for a potluck picnic. We will not be having Communion on the lake because we haven’t figured out the logistics. However, if several canoes and kayaks tip over we may have some baptisms (smiley face goes here).
Our readings for this week are:
Exodus 1:8-2:10 – With last week’s reading, all of Jacob’s (Israel’s) sons and families are now in Egypt. After that generation dies away and with the continued growth of Hebrew families the Egyptian king, or Pharaoh, becomes afraid and orders: harsher working conditions, midwives to kill newborn sons of Hebrew women, and finally all Egyptians to kill newborn Hebrew boys. As you read this passage, who are the heroes? Most are unnamed but two are remembered: Shiphrah and Puah. Praise God for brave women!
Psalm 124 – Praising God for delivering the people of Israel from adversity. Notice how the Psalmist equates enemies attacking with flooding. What might this say about Noah and the flood?
Isaiah 51:1-6 – The Lord, through the prophet, looks toward a time when all will be set right, the weary will have rest, the desert will bloom, and when joy and gladness will be found in the people. Even when the earth and the heavens pass away, God’s salvation and deliverance will be forever.
Psalm 138 – Praising God and God’s holy name for love, faithfulness, and strength. God’s steadfast love endures forever.
Romans 12:1-8 – At this point in his letter to the Church in Rome, Paul begins to lay out what it means for a Christ follower in their daily lives. We are to be living sacrifices to God, our minds transformed by God so we can discern God’s will. We are to not be haughty but recognized the many gift of all believers so we can work together with God for the kingdom. Some of those gifts are ministry, teaching, exhorting, giving, leading, and compassion. Does any one person have ALL the gifts? Or is it that the many with their individual gifts work together?
Matthew 16:13-20 – Who is Jesus and what does he mean to you, individually, and to us, the church who follows Jesus? What does it mean to call Jesus the Christ or the Messiah (same word, one Greek and one Hebrew)?
May the Lord bless you and keep you and make light shine upon you in all that you do!
Peace in Christ,
Pastor Gary Taylor