First, some announcements:
1. Grey Eagle UMC is holding their annual Garage Sale this Friday and Saturday from 8 AM to 2 PM each day. There will also be a craft sale, a bake sale, and a luncheon (on Saturday, I believe).
2. Tonya Brownlow, director of Emma Norton Services in St. Paul, will be speaking during worship at Grey Eagle UMC this Sunday. We are collecting items for the women and families at Emma Norton so that we can shower her with them. Please bring to the church by this Sunday any of these items: twin fitted sheets; Standard pillows; brooms and dust pans; dish soap; deodorant; shampoo and conditioner; lotion; body sponges; socks; shower shoes; laundry detergent; and new or gently used plates and drinking glasses.
We will continue our sermon series “We Believe” with “We Believe in Salvation through Jesus Christ”. One of the hardest questions that Christian thinkers have to wrestle with is, “How exactly are we saved and how does Jesus figure in to that?” I hope to be using our Ephesians reading again this week to begin the discussion. [Note: Grey Eagle UMC may have to wait for this sermon until the following week due to Tonya Brownlow’s visit.]
Our readings are:
2 Samuel 7:1-14a – David wants to build a temple to God. The prophet Nathan says, “Go ahead!” God tells Nathan, “No.” But God also promises David, through Nathan, that a messiah will one be raised up from his descendants.
Psalm 89:20-37 – The first 2/3rd of this Psalm remembers God promise for kings of one family who will rule Israel forever. Our reading is from the second third and the psalmist repeats God’s promise for a Davidic king no matter what happens. However, the last third (vs. 38-52) cries out against God because there is no longer a king. As the commentary in my Bible says, “this section accuses God of renouncing the covenant that was supposed to last forever.”
OR Jeremiah 23:1-6 – The prophet warns the kings of Israel to be good shepherds of God’s people. He accuses the kings of driving the flock away and says that God’s will gather that flock back together and raise up a new shepherd who will rule wisely and justly.
Psalm 23 – The Lord is my shepherd, what more can I say?
Ephesians 2:11-22 – The death of Jesus Christ (his blood) breaks down the walls between Jews and non-Jews so that all people can come together in the One Church to become one body, one family, one together as citizens in God’s reign. Together we receive peace, salvation, and the Holy Spirit. God’s purpose is to bring all people together. So why do many churches put up “walls” to keep people out. Let’s try this for a change: Kindness Blog (everybody, no matter what, is welcome!).
Mark 6:30-34:53-56 – The disciples return from their mission trip and Jesus takes them to a place across the lake to get away from the crowds for a little while. When they get there the people are there (sheep without a shepherd) so Jesus ministers to them and then feeds them (not part of this reading.) Following the feeding of the 5,000 Jesus sends the disciples back across the lake and he goes off to pray. A storm arises, the disciples struggle, Jesus walks on the water, and the storm ends (again, none of this is in the reading). When they got back to the other side, the crowds were there and Jesus cared for them.
Have a great week serving God by serving your neighbor.
Peace in Christ,
Pastor Gary Taylor