Thursday, August 29, 2013

Blogging toward Sunday

Photograph via Google Images
For Sunday, September 1, 2013 prayerfully read Hebrews 13:1-8, 15-16 and Luke 14:1, 7-14. Reflect on what seems most meaningful to you from each passage. Then meditate on the following readings as your journey toward Sunday.

The Christian gospel declares that people are of inestimable value because they are the children of God, the concern of his love, created for an eternal destiny; not just people in general, but individual men, women and children, each with a name, each having priceless worth. This was made startlingly plain by Jesus when he told his disciples 'the very hairs of your head are all numbered': an extravagant piece of imagery to drive home what he was saying. When we take his word seriously, we begin to realize how far-reaching their significance is. If they are true, if that is how things really are, if God really does care for every single man, woman and child in the teeming millions that inhabit the globe, not to speak of the countless generations of the past and those as yet unborn, we cannot dismiss anyone as of no consequence; nor are we entitled to suppose that some are more important than others or that any should be sacrificed to serve some interest which takes precedence over their inherent worth. The consequences of accepting this basic presupposition are shattering, calling in question not only the way in which we commonly behave towards many of our fellow human beings, but the international, military, political, economic, and social policies which have been and still are considered reasonable by those who are responsible for them. (Paul Rowntree Clifford, Government by the People?)

Google Images

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Blogging toward Sunday

The texts for Sunday, August 25, 2013 include Hebrews 12:18-29 and Luke 13:10-17. Prayerfully read through each of these passages. What questions arise for you? Afterward, reflect on the following poem and try to put yourself in the shoes of the bent over woman whom Jesus heals.

Google Images

Free to Stand and See

Stoop and bent
Unable to see
Any beauty
Any good
Only my feet do I see

Bowed and burdened
With painful cares
Sore from aches and pains
Is there any where
There isn’t pain?

But wait.
What was that?
A whisper
Floats on the air
I hear–barely

Come it says
Come to me
Bring your burdens
Bring your cares
Come, give them to me.

Come release what weighs
You down
Yes, I will take this.
Now sit and rest.
Look up and see

So I sat and I breathed
I lifted my eyes
To blue skies with
Clouds and wildflowers
And him
He who called me

I see love and mirth
In his eyes
And I realized
The burden was no longer
Mine to bear.

We talked and we laughed
Then left hand in hand
Arm and arm
The burden
He easily bore.[i]

May the Lord bless you and keep you as you journey toward Sunday worship.

[i] By Shawna R. B. Atteberry , author, theologian, and storyteller;

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Blogging toward Sunday

In preparation for worship on Sunday, August 18, 2013 read Hebrews 11:1-3, 8-16, 29-12:2. Afterward, take some time to reflect on the following questions:
  1. In the Bible, who has been a hero of faith to me?
  2. In my own life, who has acted as a hero of faith to me?
  3. How have I acted as a person of faith in the life of someone else?
Meditate on the following "Faith Heroes" as you journey toward Sunday:

Moses & the Red Sea; Image by Lidia Kozenitzsky via Wikimedia Commons

The Prophet Samuel via Wikimedia Commons
Abraham & Sarah hosting 3 angels; via Wikimedia Commons
Apostle Paul, Rembrandt; via Wikimedia Commons
As always, I look forward to worshiping with you Sunday morning. 
May the Lord bless you and keep you.


Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Blogging toward Sunday

The Nature Sermon Series ends this Sunday with a look at "The Message of Creation." The sermon texts include Psalm 96, Job 38:1-18 and Romans 8:18-25. You may also wish to read Acts 17:22-28.

Sea of Galilee via Wikimedia Commons

As you journey toward Sunday, take time to consider what speaks to you most from God's creation? Does a sunset speak to your heart and soul? Or does a mountain or ocean seem to bring you closer to God?

The following, written by Walter Rauschenbusch, is a prayer of thanksgiving to God for all of creation.
O God, we thank you for this earth, our home;
for the wide sky and the blessed sun,
for the sea salt and the running water,
for the everlasting hills and the never-resting winds,
for trees and the common grass underfoot.

We thank you for our senses by which we hear the song of birds,
and see the splendor of the summer fields,
and taste of the autumn fruits,
and rejoice in the feel of the snow,
and smell the breath of spring.

Grant us a heart wide open to all this beauty;
and save our souls from being so blind
that we pass unseeing when even the common thornbush
is aflame with your glory,
O God our creator,
who lives and reigns forever and ever.

And all  God's people said, "Amen."

I look forward to seeing you at our Celtic worship service Saturday at 5 p.m. and at morning worship Sunday.