Reflections and Announcements – the Week of July 12 | First Evangelical Lutheran Church
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Reflections and Announcements – the Week of July 12

Friends at First Lutheran,

I share this reflection on Sunday’s gospel lesson: Matthew 13:1-9;18-23

First, simply listen to the parable itself (vss.1-9): the dominion of God is like someone sowing seed in a very hard place, a place impossible for growing, full of death. Yet, against all expectation, astonishing growth takes place, yielding a great harvest. That image gives us a way to talk about Jesus’ death and resurrection and its meaning for us. We live in a hard place and a hard time. And we ourselves are full of death. Jesus shares our death, yet he becomes the source and beginning of the great harvest. Because of him, the Spirit of the One who raised Jesus from the dead comes down on us like rain. We and all the earth are being made to live and sing. Then, second, use the explanation (vss. 18-23) to join the parable yourself: by God’s mercy, receive the life-giving word as if you were good soil; listen to the word of God, the gospel, and bear a harvest of love for your neighbor. The very trees will clap their hands.

First Lutheran’s Coming Home Team met last night for their weekly zoom meeting. The group decided that a specific date would not be set for our return to public worship. Instead, when Nashville/Davidson County returns to Phase Three in the Roadmap for Reopening Nashville that will be our key to consider gathering again.

We will continue to record a worship service each week for broadcast on Facebook and Youtube. It is our plan to continue these even after we return to gathered worship.

-Pastor George

Blessed to be a Blessing

God calls each of us to give. In 2 Corinthians 9:10-11 we read, “Now he who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will also supply and increase your store of seed and will enlarge the harvest of your righteousness. You will be made rich in every way so you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God.” These verses tell us that God will not only meet our needs but will provide even more than we need. God does not limit his gifts to his people but rather provides abundantly. God blesses his people with blessings that may or may not be material in nature. If God chooses to bless us financially, he is putting us in a position to be even more generous. The more we give, the more we can receive so we will be able to keep on giving, thus bringing thanksgiving to God.
Prayer: Lord, you are a loving and giving God. Help me to become more like you through my giving. Grant me a loving and generous heart. Open my eyes and heart to those in need. Help me to be a channel of your love, mercy, and grace to others. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

Blessings on your stewardship journey!