This coming Sunday will be week six in our sermon series, “We Believe”. This week “We Believe in Transforming and Perfecting Grace”. I have mentioned grace a number of times in the series so far and now we will delve deeper. How has Grace been active in your life?
If you didn’t make it to church yesterday you missed a great day. Three children were baptized: Wesley John Tschida in Grey Eagle (If you are Methodist you gotta love the name!); Natalee Elaine Lahr and Myles William Rutledge Larson at Peace United! Thank you parents for allowing me to be a part of this blessed moment in your children’s lives.
Our lessons for this coming Sunday are:
1 Kings 2:10-12, 3:3-14 – David’s family has gone to pot and Bathsheba schemes to have her son, Solomon who is third or fourth in line, named as heir to the throne. Before you read our texts you should read the beginning of 1 Kings where David’s advisors find a beautiful young virgin to lay with the king because in his old age he cannot get warm. (I wonder what my wife would think of this arrangement?) In our reading, the first three verses records David’s death. In the verses that our reading skips Solomon assumes the throne and proceeds to eliminate any and all rivals including his half-brothers by assassination and banishment. The longer portion of our reading is the famous story of God asking Solomon to name any gift he desired and God would give it to him. As we know, Solomon asks for wisdom and the LORD is pleased. Seems odd considering what Solomon did before this.
Psalm 130 – We, the gathered congregation, recite this Psalm at nearly every funeral which I lead.
OR Proverbs 9:1-6 – Wisdom has set a feast and calls us to live and walk in the way of insight.
Psalm 34:9-14 – Those who desire the Lord will need nothing. This is followed by reminders to curb our tongues and refrain from evil.
Ephesians 5:15-20 – More exhortations from Paul to refrain from evil and to live a life proper to people who are followers of Christ. In this short reading, Paul invokes the triune God: “be filled with the Spirit . . . giving thanks to God the Father . . . in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.” This will be our starting point for talking about God’s Grace.
John 6:51-58 – Jesus is still arguing with the Jewish authorities over the meaning of Jesus being the bread of life (6:22-58). What Jesus says here causes concern and controversy. In fact, the words are so hard many disciples stop following him (6:66). The words that Jesus speaks verges on cannibalism. It is even more difficult if you change one word “eats”. In this passage there are three different Greek words that are all translated as “eats”. In verse 53 the English should be “eats”. In verses 54, 56, and 58 should be “chews” or “gnaws”. In verse 57 it might be translated “consumes”. This is indeed difficult to read and hear. How are we to “eat”, “chew”, and “consume” Jesus? How does that lead to eternal life?
May the Lord bless you this day as you read our Scripture lessons. “The Scriptures contain all that is necessary for our salvation.” (John Wesley)
Peace in Christ,
Pastor Gary Taylor