News and thoughts for this week at First
In preparing for this week’s sermon I came across this anecdote I thought you might enjoy:
One day a mother told her mischievous 5-year-old son that she would try to go one whole day without scolding him.
“Well,” the lad politely replied, pausing a moment, “you have my permission.”
Read: Matthew 22:1-14.
It is said we can have our own opinions, but not our own facts. Similarly, you can have your own message, but not your own Christian gospel. Matthew makes it clear that the good news of Jesus is powerful. God’s mercy has the last word; it includes a divine judgment that says that the marginalized, the belittled, the “poor in spirit” (Matthew 5:3) will be blessed (v. 10). If we take the grace of God for granted, we not only miss the feast, we miss the fact that “many are called, but few are chosen” (v. 14). This text is from Jesus’ final week before his crucifixion. The people see him as a prophet, a true messenger of God (Matthew 21:46), but soon he will suffer, be humiliated, and die. There will be false prophets who come along. They are like the guest who is not wearing the proper clothing and their message will be rejected. Our life in Christ will not be associated with messages and actions of hate, racism, prejudice or contempt for the poor. God’s grace makes a difference in our lives and in the world in which we live. How does God’s grace challenge your thoughts and actions toward people who are different from you?
Pray: God of grace and mercy, cleanse us of our way of life that can become indifferent to the people you love through Christ our Lord. Amen.
RITUALS AND TRADITIONS
Psalm 23 is one of the most well-known scriptures in the Bible. This psalm is the shepherd David’s song to God. David likens how a shepherd cares for sheep to how God loves each one of us. Write a list of ways a shepherd cares for sheep. Look at your list and think about God caring for you in these ways.
Pray: Lord, thank you for caring for me and leading me with love. Amen.
PRAYERS AND BLESSING
A Prayer for the Week: Dear God, guide our thoughts and actions in ways that reflect your reign of goodness and mercy through Christ our Lord. Amen.
Mealtime Prayer: Dear God, you who promise us a feast of rich food, help us to take joy in this meal today. Amen. (Isaiah 25:6)
A Blessing to Give: May the peace of God, which passes all understanding, guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:7)
Upcoming Commemorations on the Church Year Calendar for your consideration and inspiration:
Teresa of Ávila (Teresa de Jesús), teacher, renewer of the church, died 1582
Thursday, October 15, 2020
A mystical writer and reformer of the monastic order (Carmelites) to which she belonged, Teresa may also be commemorated with John of the Cross on December 14. Latino Christians traditionally remember her on this date.
Ignatius, Bishop of Antioch, martyr, died around 115
Saturday, October 17, 2020
Ignatius was the second bishop of Antioch in Syria, the city where the name “Christians” originated. Ignatius is known to us from his letters, which encouraged Christians to live in love, yet stand firm in true doctrine.
Sunday, October 18, 2020
Identified as the author of both Luke and Acts, Luke was careful to place the events of Jesus’ life in their social and religious contexts. His gospel gives us some of the most beloved parables, as well as the songs of Zechariah, Mary, the angels, and Simeon.
You Are Needed
Even when we resume our in person worship service our podcast will continue and you are needed! Yes, you! The voices of First Lutheran! We want members to read some of the lessons and/or lead the Lord’s Prayer in our podcast services, so that we are reminded of our oneness in Christ by hearing voices. Here’s how it works: Kristen Hansen will send you the reading. You can record it at home on a phone, on your computer, in a Zoom session we can schedule together. Or you can come in on a Thursday morning to the church and we’ll do a recording that way. It can be a video, or just audio. Kristen will tell you how to get the file to her and will incorporate it into our recorded service. ALL ARE WELCOME! For details and questions, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
ROOM IN THE INN UPDATE
Like everything in 2020, Room in the Inn will look different this year. First will not be opening the church for guests, but we are looking for volunteers to help with RITI Central Shelter. We think this will be a way for those that feel comfortable to volunteer on RITI campus. If you have any questions or are willing to provide food or are willing to stay on campus for a night, please contact the church office.
Please contact the office or come by if you would like a copy of “CHRIST IN OUR HOME’ devotional for October, November, December 2020. Small and large booklets available.