Fifth Sunday after Pentecost ~ Sunday, July 14th, 2019
Our ministry must be larger than ourselves if we are to be true to our call, our purpose. We worship a big God who calls us into a big world. In the face of estrangement, dysfunction, and strife we are challenged to speak the truth in love. We are challenged to learn how to forgive. We are challenged to seek reconciliation. We are challenged to commit ourselves to find an answer. A Samaritan church accepts the challenge.
Fourth Sunday after Pentecost ~ Sunday, July 7th, 2019
God decided to become one of us – one with us – in Jesus Christ. In Christ we see that God did for us what we could not do for ourselves. In Christ the Almighty reconciles us to God . In Christ God reaches out to us before we even lift a hand. In Christ God grabs us by the collar and plucks us from a sea of sin. No we are not perfect, but we are loved with a love that is relentless, constantly searching, constantly seeking, constantly calling our name; your name, my name.
Churches must compete with the culture as it hasn’t had to do since the first century. Travel teams compete with religious commitments as do work responsibilities and social opportunities. None of this is bad. It is just the new reality in which we find ourselves.
Offertory Three Psalms for Bells Arranged by Hunnicutt
Bless the Lord, O My Soul (103:1)
Hear, O Lord, When I Cry With My Voice (27:7)
I Will Love Thee, O Lord, My Strength (18:1)
Performed by the FFC Chancel Bells
Rough spots. Life is about navigating the rough spots, isn’t it? We all experience them. It is, I believe, comforting to know that centuries ago, Jesus prayed for his disciples–then and now–for he knows that they would face many, many rough spots. Within a short time, his disciples would face the rough spots of betrayal, denial, crucifixion, and resurrection. There is still work to do, for the glory of God.
We have a hard time understanding the importance of clothing in the ancient world. We readily give things to Goodwill when our clothes go out of style or simply throw them away when they become worn. But in the ancient world clothing was so central to life that there were laws against taking someone’s cloak because that cloak may be all that they have.