logo

Easter 6 - Sermon audio/service video -- May 9, 2021

Sixth Sunday of Easter, year B -- "No Partiality"

First Reading:      Acts 10:34-38
Psalm:                  Psalm 98
Second Reading:  1 John 5:1-8
Gospel Reading:  John 15:9-17

Podcast -- Sermon audio only -- 5.09.2021

Facebook LIVE video -- 5.09.2021 service

"Permission to podcast / stream the music in this service obtained from ONE LICENSE, License # A-715845. All rights reserved.

Today's hymns:
  ReC        11       Praise to the Lord, the Almighty
 WoV     699      Blessed Assurance
 ReC     265      I Love to Tell the Story
 ReC      235     Oh, That the Lord Would Guide My Ways                                                      
logo

Readings, Announcements for May 9, 2021

Greetings from Living Word Lutheran Church
Sunday Service each week at 9:00 AM, 2609 West Broadway,  and on Facebook LIVE


May 9, 2021

Sixth Sunday
of Easter
First Reading: Acts 10:34-48
Psalm:  Psalm 98
Second Reading: 1 John 5:1-8
Gospel Lesson:  John 15:9-17
               
THIS WEEK at a GLANCE: 
Sunday May 9
Service of the Word --   9:00 AM,  in person and on Facebook Live;
      followed by Service of the Sacrament with the Lord's Supper
      (Communion is not shown on the FB Live broadcast)
Tuesday May 11 Confirmation Class: 6:00 PM, in the fellowship hall
Wednesday May 12 Bible Study -- Hebrews -- 7:00 - 8:30 PM, in the fellowship hall, chpt. 12
Thursday May 13 First Communion Class (4):  5:00 PM, in the fellowship hall

> Keeping these in our Prayers:
For the healing of our country and all citizens during these times of unease, disease, and unrest;
   For those those who are fighting or recovering from infection by the COVID virus; healthcare workers;
   Angie, (Judene's sister), fighting stage 4 lung cancer; seeking a new medical trials as it has spread into her liver;
    Muriel H., (Immanuel friend), hospitalized with low platelets and retinal bleeding; possible auto-immune response;
            family requests prayers for protection, wisdom for her doctors, and that she regain her sight;

  Shelley J., home after hospitalization with breathing difficulty (mild heart attack or severe asthma); follow up to come;
   Grant C., (Kelli's friend's son, age 6), beginning chemotherapy (embryonal rhabdomysarcoma);

   Friends and family of John Fick-s (Immanuel friend), service May 13 at Kayser's;
   Kaitlin, (Dawn V. granddaughter), thyroid cancer has returned; treatments under discussion;
   Joe M., some eye issues; other health concerns;
   Judy R,  (Charlene's daughter), neck & spinal disk issues; Jennifer, (Charlene's daughter), eye pressure issues;
   Jake, (Charlene's grandson), heart rhythm issues have returned, repeat surgery or even transplant may be needed;
    Those who may be struggling with depression or loneliness during this extended isolation;

> Friends and Family battling Cancer:  
   Sharon K., (Pastor Hesse's second cousin), recently diagnosed with stage IV esophageal cancer;
   Elijah T,
age 5, (nephew of Malea), recently diagnosed with leukemia; chemotherapy has begun;

   Wayne R., (friend of the Bensons, businessman & former ML mayor);
   Jackie L. (wife of Stan's friend Mark --Basin Propane), needing a miracle after stage 4 liver cancer diagnosis;
   Emma, (14 yr old daughter of Norm's friend Bob Tatum);  
   Carol G., (friend of Ila and Charlene), multiple myeloma; Emily, (friend of Kelli), brain cancer, frontal lobe;
   Aliyah  (Ila's 3-yr old niece) and Bill, (brother of John Schafer), both withy glioblastoma brain cancer.   

> Those who mourn the loss of loved ones;
      especially the Robillards, LeMasters, Hesses, Blazers, Tuckers, Neustels, & Ellestads;
>Friends and family members who struggle with addictions of various kinds,
>Active military & law enforcement, & fire fighters & their families: for safety and peace in the line of duty:
    esp (military)  Jonathan P,  Olaf M,  Brady E,   Jordan M,  Luke S,  Logan H,
       and (law enforcement)  Justin E, Scott N, Jeff W, David H;  Riley C.
>Expectant mothers (and fathers!) -- and for those who would like to be;
    especially Sara & Chris F.; Sarah & David H;  Jessica & Fred A.; Lars & Alyssa O; Chris & Jen H.; Kyle & Heather R;  Alec & Emily; Kari & Kevin K.
>Engaged couples preparing for marriage, especially Darby & Talen; Gaige & Danielle; Josh & Amanda; Glen & Erika;
> Thanks, Blessings, and Praises
  
-- Happy Birthday to Charlene (5/9);  and Jonathan (5/15);
    -- Happy Mother's Day!
> Continued prayers for:
     Evie & Charlene at home;  Gordon at Brookdale/Hearthstone;  Brenna;  Danelle & Carlos;  Julie Reyn-lds (Laurie O. sister, breast cancer) --  Joe M., Danette, Kyle E.,  Loren, Josh -- Rev. Steve My-rs (in Spokane) -- the people of India, Ethiopia, and farmers of South Africa.


Crossroads Baby Bottle Fundraiser
Although many from Living Word participate in this throughout the year, the Crossroads Baby Bottle Fundraiser *officially* takes place between Mother's Day (May 9) and Father's Day (June 20) each year.  If you'd like to participate at this time or with an extra donation, baby bottles are on the table in the fellowship hall and we will hunt up some more this week.  Fill one with spare change, bills, or a check, and return it to the church or to Crossroads on/before June 20.  There is also a "text to give" option:  509-761-6420.  ** Thank you for the generous donations already given.**

2021 Graduates
Chance Con-han -- will graduate from Warden High School on June 11, 2021, and from Big Ben Community College with an Associate of Arts degree.  He was offered a partial scholarship to play baseball at Walla Walla Community College, where he will attend in the fall.
Riley Conah-n -- will graduate in August from police academy where he is currently attending at Burien, WA; he will be a deputy sheriff in Columbia County, WA.
Ellie C-nahan -- a slight change of plans into dental hygiene at Carrington College in Boise, ID.
Emily Robill-rd -- Graduated 5/7/21 from WSU medical school;  Next up: 3 years' residency in Los Angeles (her first choice!).


Agnus Day. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . "Agnus Day appears with the permission of  www. agnusday. org"
     

  

Attendance -- last Sunday, May 2, 2021:  47
logo

A Note from Pastor Lou: Truly #53 -- We Have the How

We Have the How                                                                                                                                                                                                                           5.07.2021  

             

Truly, I say to you, among those born of women
there has arisen no one greater than John the baptist.
Yet the one who is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.


Matthew 11:11

          Chapter 11 of Matthew's Gospel tells of the questions of John the baptist brought to Jesus by some of John's followers.  John is in Herod's dungeon from which he will not escape.  Dungeons in those days were not pleasant places and it must have been exceptionally difficult for John who was a prophet used to the wide open spaces of the wilderness.  He sends his followers to ask Jesus, "Are you the one to come, or shall we look for another?" Is this unbelief showing forth?  Is John not the prophet sent to proclaim Jesus with the clearest word in all of scripture, (Behold the lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world)?  Or is this just frustration on John's part, wondering why he is languishing in prison while Jesus does nothing about it?  Is John expecting Jesus to rescue him with angels and power and might and establish a Messianic earthly rule, like so many other Jews expected from the Messiah?  Or was he using this question as a pretext to expose his followers to the one he knew to be the Messiah?  These and other questions have vexed believers since this story was recorded.

           Jesus' answer to John's disciples is a classic in understatement.  "Go and tell John what you hear and see." There is no promise of relief from imprisonment, no declaration of future power, not even a pleasant "I know, I know; we'll all be fine."  Jesus is simply about his work, in his way.  John is to accept that fact.

           There is no doubt, though, of Jesus' view of John.  "Among those born of women there has arisen no one greater than John the baptist." That is very high praise.  Of all the prophets, of all the people named in the Bible, Jesus singles out John for this compliment -- but there is a caveat.  "Yet the one who is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he." This is a thought provoking statement from Jesus.  How can those of us who are in the kingdom of heaven (or so we believe), be considered greater than he?

           John was the greatest of the prophets, Jesus says.  Yes, even the second coming of Elijah, who was to precede the Messiah, according to the Jews.  Prophets foretold a Messiah was coming, of the House of David, to redeem God's people, to reveal God's will, because humanity had fallen into sin and was unable to redeem itself.  This kingdom would come in Jerusalem at a time of God's choosing.  The prophets could answer the questions:

           1)  Why?          To redeem people.

           2)  Where?     In Jerusalem (born in Bethlehem)

           3)  What?       Establishing God's eternal rule and reign among people.

           4)  When?      When God chose to do so.

To this level of prophecy John had been given one additional insight --  Who:  this Messiah was Jesus of Nazareth, born of Mary.  But there was one nagging issue John did not have the answer to, which we who are in the kingdom of heaven do have -- the question is, How?

           The "how" was unknown to John and the disciples.  It was hinted at in the suffering servant passages in Isaiah and certain of the Psalms, but it was not recognized until after the fact.  Jesus would die on the cross, drawing all the sins of the world into himself, and then be raised from the dead.  No thundering armies establishing earthly kingdoms, no destructive angels forcing God's will on mankind, but a singular act of love from God's own son to free us from sin, death, and the devil by simply believing, trusting that He has done it.  This is what separates us in the kingdom of heaven from all who went before.  We have heard the "how" in addition to the who, what, where, when, and why.  And the hearing is a gift of God for those, as Jesus says, "who have ears to hear."

           Least in the kingdom of heaven -- give thanks for the gift of ears.

      Remember Whose you are, and His cross,

               Pastor Lou

logo

Easter 5 -- Sermon audio/service video -- May 2, 2021

Fifth Sunday of Easter, year B -- "A Sappy Life"

First Reading:      Acts 8:26-40
Psalm:                  Psalm 150
Second Reading:  1 John 4:1-11 (12-21)
Gospel Reading:  John 15:1-8

Podcast -- Sermon audio only -- 5.02.2021

Facebook LIVE video -- 5.02.2021 service

"Permission to podcast / stream the music in this service obtained from ONE LICENSE, License # A-715845. All rights reserved.

Today's hymns:
    WoV     674     Alleluia! Jesus Is Risen
  WoV     695     O Blessed Spring   (tune: Puer Nobis,  # 688)
    ReC         36     Joyful, Joyful, We Adore Thee
    ReC     252    Beautiful Savior
logo

A Note from Pastor Lou: Truly # 52 -- Sent to Share His Gifts

 Sent to Share His Gifts                                                                                                                                                                                                                        5.01.2021  

             


And whoever gives one of these little ones
even a cup of cold water because he is a disciple,
truly, I say to you,
he will by no means lose his reward.”

Matthew 10:42

          These words conclude chapter 10 of Matthew's gospel.  The chapter begins with Jesus selecting twelve men from the group following him as disciples.   He then sends these twelve men out on a "dry run," so to speak, to "heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse lepers, cast out demons" (v.9) and above all, proclaim "the kingdom of heaven is at hand," (v.7).  Chosen from the disciples, these men are "the apostles."  Disciple in Greek means student, a learner of the "discipline;"  and apostle means "one who is sent," the Greek verb to send being apostello.

           So Jesus instructs his apostles, warns them of persecution and suffering to come, and reassures them with his promises.  As we have seen, this chapter has a pair of powerful promises.  The apostles are representatives of Jesus, and thus also of the Father.  Those who refuse to welcome the apostles are also refusing Jesus, and the One who sent Jesus (the Father).  This is not a good thing.  Those who reject the apostles and this message will regret it, "It will be better for Sodom and Gomorrah than for that town," (v.5)  There is also the promise that there will always be a need for proclamation in this old world.  "You will not go through all the towns of Israel before the Son of Man comes," (v. 23).

           Jesus is truthful and pulls no punches.  Those who follow him can expect to be persecuted and hated by the world.  The world has all kinds of schemes and agendas by which people believe they are creating heaven here on earth, or "earning the right" to some heaven of their own imagining.  To sinners engaged in their own "salvation projects," the proclamation of the arrival of the kingdom of God by the grace of God, by the forgiveness of sins, by the atoning sacrifice of the Son of God who rose from the dead, is most certainly bad news and most unwelcome.  After all, it is only reasonable that God expects people to make things right by good works overcoming evil, or at least righting all injustice here on this old earth.  No -- Jesus' radical message that God is solving the problem of sin and death in the world by His actions, that the blessing of this is yours by trusting it is finished in Jesus Christ is just too much for us sinners to bear.  So with sinners down through the ages, we cry "What must we do to be saved?"

           The end of chapter ten answers that question simply and starkly.  Verse 40 says "Whoever receives you, receives me, and whoever receives me receives Him who sent me." We receive Jesus, we receive what he has to give.  Simple and straight forward.  God does not desire the death of a sinner (Ezekiel 33:11);  Jesus wants you.  But there must be something, anything, I must do, says the sinner.  Jesus responds, You will do all kinds of things in my name.  In fact, God has appointed things for us to do, (Ephesians 2:10).  Jesus' final word on the subject is therefore "Whoever gives one of these little ones even a cup of cold water because he is a disciple, truly, I say to you, he will by no means lose his reward."

           The Greek words here are very emphatic.  Where we say "by no means," the Greek uses a double negative, ou mh (oo may) -- "no, not ever."   Nothing can separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord, (Romans 8:38-39).   Nothing, ou mh

           You belong to Jesus.  Don't let the world tell you any different.  Ou mh.

      Remember Whose you are,

               Pastor Lou

logo

Readings, announcements for May 2, 2021

  Greetings from Living Word Lutheran Church
Sunday Service each week at 9:00 AM, 2609 West Broadway,  and on Facebook LIVE



Fifth Sunday
of Easter


May 2, 2021
First Reading: Acts 8:26-40
Psalm:  Psalm 150
Second Reading: 1 John 4:1-11 (12-21)
Gospel Lesson:  John 15:1-8
               
THIS WEEK at a GLANCE: 
Sunday May 2
Service of the Word --   9:00 AM,  in person and on Facebook Live;
      followed by Service of the Sacrament with the Lord's Supper
      (not on FB Live broadcast)
Monday May 3 First Communion Class (2):  5:00 PM, in the fellowship hall
 Sons of Norway
monthly meeting, 6:30 PM
Tuesday May 4 Confirmation Class: 6:00 PM, in the fellowship hall
Wednesday May 5 Bible Study -- Hebrews  -- 7:00 - 8:30 PM, in the fellowship hall
Thursday May 6 First Communion Class (3):  5:00 PM, in the fellowship hall

> Keeping these in our Prayers:
   For the healing of our country and all citizens during these times of unease, disease, and unrest;
   For those those who are fighting or recovering from infection by the COVID virus; healthcare workers;
  Shelley J., home after hospitalization with breathing difficulty (mild heart attack or severe asthma); follow up to come;
   Jessica A., (an Od-gaard daughter), having some testing done, and as she finishes out the final weeks of pregnancy;
   Grant C., (Kelli's friend's son, age 6), surgery on Monday at Mayo; starting chemotherapy (embryonal rhabdomysarcoma);

   Kaitlin, (Dawn V. granddaughter), thyroid cancer has returned; treatments under discussion;
   Joe M., some eye issues; other health concerns;
   Hank B. (local author), in covid rehab until his lungs fully recover;
   Judy R,  (Charlene's daughter), neck & spinal disk issues; Jennifer, (Charlene's daughter), eye pressure issues;
   Jake, (Charlene's grandson), heart rhythm issues have returned, repeat surgery or even transplant may be needed;
   Those who may be struggling with depression or loneliness during this extended isolation;

> Friends and Family battling Cancer:  
   Elijah T, age 5, (nephew of Malea), recently diagnosed with leukemia; chemotherapy has begun;
   Wayne R., (friend of the Bensons, businessman & former ML mayor);
   Jackie L. (wife of Stan's friend Mark --Basin Propane), needing a miracle after stage 4 liver cancer diagnosis;
   Emma, (14 yr old daughter of Norm's friend Bob Tatum);
  Angie, (Judene's sister), stage 4 lung cancer continues various treatments & new medical trials;
   Carol G., (friend of Ila and Charlene), multiple myeloma; Emily, (friend of Kelli), brain cancer, frontal lobe;
   Aliyah  (Ila's 3-yr old niece) and Bill, (brother of John Schafer), both withy glioblastoma brain cancer.   

> Those who mourn the loss of loved ones;
      especially the Robillards, LeMasters, Hesses, Blazers, Tuckers, Neustels, & Ellestads;
Friends and family members who struggle with addictions of various kinds,
Active military & law enforcement, & fire fighters & their families: for safety and peace in the line of duty:
    esp (military)  Jonathan P,  Olaf M,  Brady E,   Jordan M,  Luke S,  Logan H,
       and (law enforcement)  Justin E, Scott N, Jeff W, David H;  Riley C.
Expectant mothers (and fathers!) -- and for those who would like to be;
    especially Sara & Chris F.; Sarah & David H;  Jessica & Fred A.; Lars & Alyssa O; Chris & Jen H.; Kyle & Heather R;  Kari & Kevin K.
Engaged couples preparing for marriage, especially Darby & Talen; Gaige & Danielle; Josh & Amanda; Glenn & Erika;
> Thanks, Blessings, and Praises
   --  that Ma
ry C. has completed this life (92 yrs) and joined the Church Triumphant;  May 1 service in Wapato;
   -- Congratulations and best of luck to Derek O. and the MLHS Knowledge Bowl Team, competing at nationals on May 1st after a first place win at the state contest;
> Continued prayers for:
     Evie & Charlene at home;  Gordon at Brookdale/Hearthstone;  Brenna;  Danelle & Carlos;  Julie Reyn-lds (Laurie O. sister, breast cancer) --  Joe M., Danette, Kyle E.,  Loren, Josh -- Rev. Steve My-rs (in Spokane) -- the people of India, Ethiopia, and farmers of South Africa.


Crossroads Baby Bottle Fundraiser
Although many from Living Word participate in this throughout the year, the Crossroads Baby Bottle Fundraiser *officially* takes place between Mother's Day (May 9) and Father's Day (June 20) each year.  If you'd like to participate at this time or with an extra donation, baby bottles will be on the table in the fellowship hall.  Fill one with spare change, bills, or a check, and return it to the church or to Crossroads on/before June 20.  There is also a "text to give" option:  509-761-6420.


2021 Graduates
Chance C -- will graduate from Warden High School on June 11, 2021, and from Big Ben Community College with an Associate of Arts degree.  He was offered a partial scholarship to play baseball at Walla Walla Community College, where he will attend in the fall.
Riley C -- will graduate in August from police academy where he is currently attending at Burien, WA; he will be a deputy sheriff in Columbia County, WA.
Ellie C -- a change of plans into dental hygiene at Carrington College in Boise, ID.


Agnus Day. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . "Agnus Day appears with the permission of  www. agnusday. org"
   

Attendance -- last Sunday, April 25, 2021:  46

logo

Easter 4 -- Sermon audio/service video -- April 25, 2021

Fourth Sunday of Easter, year B -- "He Is the Good Shepherd"

First Reading:      Acts 4:1-12
Psalm:                  Psalm 23
Second Reading:  1 John 3:16-24
Gospel Reading:  John 10:11-18

Podcast -- Sermon audio only -- 4.25.2021

Facebook LIVE video -- 4.25.2021 service

"Permission to podcast / stream the music in this service obtained from ONE LICENSE, License # A-715845. All rights reserved.

Today's hymns:
  ReC   247    Come, Thou Almighty King
    ReC   202   Have No Fear, Little Flock
    ReC   209   The Lord's My  Shepherd                                                               
    ReC     34    This Is My Father's World
logo

Readings, Announcements for April 25, 2021

Greetings from Living Word Lutheran Church
Sunday Service each week at 9:00 AM, 2609 West Broadway,  and on Facebook LIVE



Fourth Sunday
of Easter


April 25, 2021
First Reading: Acts 4:1-12
Psalm:  Psalm 23
Second Reading: 1 John 3:16-24
Gospel Lesson:  John 10:11-18
               
THIS WEEK at a GLANCE: 
Sunday April 25
Service of the Word --   9:00 AM,  in person and on Facebook Live;
      followed by Service of the Sacrament with the Lord's Supper
      (not on FB Live broadcast)
Tuesday April 27 First Communion Class:  5:00, in the fellowship hall
Confirmation Class: 6:00 PM, in the fellowship hall
Wednesday April 28 Bible Study -- Hebrews -- 7:00 - 8:30 PM, in the fellowship hall

> Keeping these in our Prayers:
   For the healing of our country and all citizens during these times of unease, disease, and unrest;
   For those those who are fighting or recovering from infection by the COVID virus; healthcare workers;
  Kaitlin, (Dawn V. granddaughter), thyroid cancer has returned; treatments under discussion;
   Carlos & Danelle (Putnam, missionary); Carlos, continued recovery for Carlos after a major heart attack;
   Evie E., resting at home;  Gordon E. at Brookdale-Hearthstone;
   Joe M, eye issues;

   Hank B. (local author), moved to rehab (Idaho); until his lungs fully recover from covid;
   Judy R,  (Charlene's daughter), neck & spinal disk issues; Jennifer, (Charlene's daughter), eye pressure issues;
   Jake, (Charlene's grandson), heart rhythm issues have returned, repeat surgery or even transplant may be needed;
   Those who may be struggling with depression or loneliness during this extended isolation;

> Friends and Family battling Cancer:  
   Elijah T, age 5, (nephew of Malea), recently diagnosed with leukemia; chemotherapy has begun;
   Wayne R., (friend of the Bensons, businessman & former ML mayor);
   Jackie L. (wife of Stan's friend Mark --Basin Propane), needing a miracle after stage 4 liver cancer diagnosis;
   Emma, (14 yr old daughter of Norm's friend Bob Tatum);
   Angie, (Judene's sister), stage 4 lung cancer continues various treatments & new medical trials;
   Carol G., (friend of Ila and Charlene), multiple myeloma; Emily, (friend of Kelli), brain cancer, frontal lobe;
   Aliyah  (Ila's 3-yr old niece) and Bill, (brother of John Schafer), both withy glioblastoma brain cancer.   

> Those who mourn the loss of loved ones;
      especially the Robillards, LeMasters, Hesses, Blazers, Tuckers, Neustels, & Ellestads;
Friends and family members who struggle with addictions of various kinds,
Active military & law enforcement, & fire fighters & their families: for safety and peace in the line of duty:
    esp (military)  Jonathan P,  Olaf M,  Brady E,   Jordan M,  Luke S,  Logan H,
       and (law enforcement)  Justin E, Scott N, Jeff W, David H;  Riley C.
Expectant mothers (and fathers!) -- and for those who would like to be;
    especially Sara & Chris F.; Sarah & David H;  Jessica & Fred A.; Lars & Alyssa O; Chris & Jen H.; Kyle & Heather R;  Kari & Kevin K.
Engaged couples preparing for marriage, especially Darby & Talen; Gaige & Danielle; Josh & Amanda;
> Thanks, Blessings, and Praises
   --  that Ma
ry C. has completed this life (92 yrs) and joined the Church Triumphant;
   --  Happy Birthday this week to Jessica N. (4/22);
> Continued prayers for:
     Brenna;  Danelle & Carlos;  Julie Reyn-lds (Laurie O. sister, breast cancer) --  Joe M., Danette, Kyle E.,  Loren, Josh -- Rev. Steve My-rs (in Spokane) -- the people of Ethiopia and farmers of South Africa.

Spring schedule and Attendance
-- Now that we are into the Easter season, the Wednesday evening Bible study has resumed (7-8:30 PM); confirmation classes continue and the First Communion class begins this week for three students.  Sunday morning attendance is improving as more and more of us reach that "two weeks after being fully vaccinated" status.
   Going forward, each of you will need to assess the risk/reward of returning to in-person worship, considering your own vaccination status and personal risk situations. We look forward to the day we can move the chairs closer together so we can "fill the place up!"  He is Risen -- He is risen indeed!


Got Graduates? So that I don't miss any -- if you are or have a student that will graduate from High School or college in 2021, please clue me in ... we like to give a mention to recognize them, and share what they plan to do next.   HS grads are eligible for a scholarship from Living Word if they will be attending 'full time' college or trade school in their next phase of education.  Contact Debbie for application forms (or just reply to this email) -- not too soon to plan for 2021.
Agnus Day.........................."Agnus Day appears with the permission of  www. agnusday. org"
   

Attendance -- last Sunday, April 18, 2021:  46
logo

Note from Pastor Lou: Truly #51 -- Opposition to the Gospel

Opposition to the Gospel                                                                                                                                                                                     4.22.2021  

       

When they persecute you in one town, flee to the next, for
truly I say to you, you will not have bone through all the towns of Israel
before the Son of Man comes.

Matthew 10:23

          This statement of Jesus is found within the narrative when Jesus is sending his disciples on their first preaching assignment in Israel.  The disciples are to take no money, no change of clothes, no extra sandals, but are only to rely on the generosity and hospitality of the people they minister to.  If a village does not welcome them, they are to move on to the next one.  The Lord's promise is they will not run out of towns before "the Son of Man" returns.

           There are several conclusions which may be drawn from a statement like this one.  There will always be opposition to the message of the Gospel.  I once had a Pastor who grew up in an atheistic home.  As a young man, despite his upbringing, this pastor was chosen by God to be a follower and he eventually heard the call to ordained ministry.  In his new-found zeal for the Christian faith, this pastor determined that he must convert his mother to the faith.  With every fiber of his being, he set out to win, cajole, harass, bargain, pursue, and argue with his mother about the beauty and joy of Christian faith.  All to no avail.  The harder he worked, the more she resisted.  The pastor eventually realized he was only getting a sore head by "beating his head against that wall" and moved on to ministering to people who the Lord was sending to him.  He continued to love and respect his mother, but without the pressure to convert her.  In time, as he ministered faithfully to those he was called to serve, his mother came to recognize what was really going on.  She was eventually baptized and confessed Christ before she died.  First lesson:  as stated in Ecclesiastes, there is a time and place for everything.  Perhaps someone else is meant to minister in a different way in a difficult situation one finds themselves in. 

           In saying this, Jesus is also making clear that the lives of his disciples are precious to him and the Father.  The disciples are not to seek persecution, encourage opposition, or even remain where they are opposed.  It is permissible to flee.  If martyrdom comes -- and it will for all but one of the apostles -- faithfulness in that situation will be honored, but we are free to flee if possible.  Sometimes discretion is the better part of valor.  Either way, Jesus tells the disciples that the Father holds them to be more precious than the sparrows which the Father does not allow to fall to the ground, (v. 31).

           At the end of his instruction here,  Jesus once again states what really matters:  "Everyone who acknowledges me before men, I will also acknowledge before my Father, " (vs. 32). There is always a home for the one who acknowledges the Lord.

      Remember Whose you are,

               Pastor Lou

logo

Easter 3 - sermon audio/service video -- April 18, 2021

Third Sunday of Easter, year B -- "What's In a Name?"

First Reading:      Acts 3:11-21
Psalm:                  Psalm 4
Second Reading:  1 John 3:1-7
Gospel Reading:  Luke 24:36-49

Podcast -- Sermon audio only -- 4.18.2021

Facebook LIVE video -- 4.18.2021 service

"Permission to podcast / stream the music in this service obtained from ONE LICENSE, License # A-715845. All rights reserved.
  CCLI 11095807

Today's hymns:
 ReC     11      Praise to the Lord, the Almighty
                           Behold What Manner of Love    (Other Song Book #10)
  ReC     41     Thine the Amen, Thine the Praise
  WoV    671    Alleluia, Alleluia, Give Thanks