This coming Sunday there are two special events happening, one at each church. Grey Eagle UMC is hosting Minnesota Adult and Teen Challenge Choir. This is a group of teenagers and young adults who are overcoming addictions through a "faith-based, residential, drug and alcohol rehabilitation program." The choir shares many contemporary gospel song along with testimonials about how God is dramatically changing their lives. They will take up about 45 to 50 minutes of the service. Because of this, I will not be preaching on our sermon series.
At Peace United I will have the privilege and honor of baptizing my second granddaughter, Teagan. My Mother, Virginia, who lives in Boise, and my sister Leslie, who lives in Seattle, will be flying in on Thursday to attend the service. I may choose to preach about the Sacrament of Baptism instead of the sermon series.
If I were to be preaching on the Sermon Series, "A Future with Hope", the topic would be "The Remembering". Marcia McFee suggested we read Philippians 1:3, which we read a few weeks ago, but I will read a similar passage 1 Thessalonians 1:1-10. After Paul introduces himself in verse 1, he gives thanks to the Lord for their faithfulness and work in sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Early in this passage Paul says that he "remembers" their work of faith, labor of love, and steadfastness of hope.
Our Gospel lesson has two of four consecutive parables that, in many respects, work together: The Lost Sheep, The Lost Coin; The Lost Sons, and Dishonest Manager. Some have said that there are connections between the last two parables. We read the Lost Son (or Sons), aka the Prodigal Son, during Lent and we will read the Dishonest Manager (Prodigal Manager?) next week.
This week, the Lost Sheep and the Lost Coin, Luke 15:1-10. What does the shepherd do when one of one hundred sheep is no where to be found? Does he abandon the 99? No, it is better to lose one than it is to lose 99. Right? But not in Jesus' tale. And when the shepherd finds the sheep he throws a party for his friends. What does the woman do when she loses on of ten coins (each coin is about the value of a day's wage)? She lights a lamp and sweeps out the house until she finds it. Then she throws a party for her friends to celebrate. Did she spend more on the party than the value of the coin? Who knows? But Jesus says there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over 99 righteous people who don't need repentance.
Have a blessed week. Share the Good News with someone! Who knows? You may find that sheep or coin.
Peace in Christ,
Pastor Gary Taylor