logo

Ninth Sunday after Pentecost -- sermon audio/service video -- July 25, 2021

Pentecost +9, year B -- "Do You Understand?"

First Reading:      Genesis 9:8-17
Psalm:                  Psalm 136:1-9
Second Reading:  Ephesians 3:14-21
Gospel Reading:  Mark 6:45-56

Podcast -- Sermon audio only -- 7.25.2021

Facebook LIVE video -- 7.25.2021 service

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

Today's hymns:
ReC     9    Sweet Hour of Prayer!
 ReC   14    Love Divine, All Loves Excelling
 ReC   249   Lord, Take My Hand and Lead Me
 ReC    54   Lord Dismiss Us With Your Blessing
logo

Readings, Announcements for July 25, 2021

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




Pentecost +9

July 25, 2021
First Reading: Genesis 9:8-17
Psalm:  Psalm 136:1-9
Second Reading: Ephesians 3:14-21
Gospel Lesson:  Mark 6:45-56
               
THIS WEEK at a GLANCE: 
Sunday July 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;

(Communion is not part of the FB Live broadcast -- please contact Pastor Lou if
you are not attending in person and would like to have communion.)
Tuesday July 27 Confirmation class --  6 PM

> Keeping these in our Prayers:
   For the healing of our country and all citizens during these times of unease, disease, and unrest;
  
Karen (Grethe's daughter), benign tumor between skull & brain, causing some issues;  surgery scheduled for next week;
   Derek O., healing after foot sugery this week (3 broken foot bones 7/12);
 
Zane, (infant son of Sharon's niece, Lily), having trouble finding a compatible feeding formula;
   
Charlene,
resting at home after minor surgery last week to remove a little cancer bump on her head;
   Wayne L., keeping an eye on an aneurysm; surgery not yet scheduled;
   Virgil R., (block 89 neighbor farmer), recovering from injuries from in car vs hay stacker accident;
  
Vicki G., (ILC friend, community member), at Columbia Crest; that her spirits be raised;
  Juanita O., (ILC friends), hospitalized last week;  and Harley at home;
  
Those who may be struggling with depression or loneliness;

> Friends and Family battling Cancer:  
   Kaitlin (Dawn V. granddaughter), that thyroid cancer surgery follow-ups wipe it out;
   Carol (Mike L. daughter-in-law);
   Sharon K., (Pastor Hesse's second cousin), stage IV esophageal cancer;
  
Grant C., (Kelli's friend's son, age 6), chemotherapy week 5 -- embryonal rhabdomysarcoma;
   Elijah T, age 5, (nephew of Malea), recently diagnosed with leukemia; chemotherapy;
   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 Neustels, Robillards, LeMasters, Hesses, Blazers, Tuckers, Neustels, & Ellestads;
>Friends and family members who struggle with addictions of various kinds,
>Expectant mothers (and fathers!) -- and for those who would like to be;
    especially Kyle & Heather R;  Alec & Emily R.; Kari & Kevin K.;
>Engaged couples preparing for marriage, especially
Josh & Amanda; Darby & Talen; Glen & Erika; Gaige & Danielle;
> Thanks, Blessings, and Praises
  -- Happy Birthday this week to Kelli H., (7/26); Shelly R. (7/28)
       --  Happy Anniversary to Jake & Annalise (7/29) #5;

    --  Another new grandson for Iver &Laurie, great-grandson for GretheMiles Ole, born on July 19 to Lars & Alyssa;
      --  Zane (Sharon's niece's infant son),  is home now, after a bit of a rough premature start!
      --  Kris & GroceryOutlet have reached their Independence from Hunger goal of $10,000+ for the CareSacks lunch program;
      --   Congratulations to Scott N-ustel, ending career in law enforcement, WSP  (last day 7/23); beginning a new job in consulting;

>
Continued Prayers for:
     Active military & law enforcement (especially Jonathan P., Olaf M., Brady E., Jordan M., Luke S., Logan H.;  *
Justin E, Jeff W, David H;  Riley C;
      
Evie at home;  Gordon at Brookdale/Hearthstone - 
Carlos S.;  Joe Morr-ss (eye issues) --Jake & Jennifer (Charlene's daughter, grandson)  -  Julie Reyn-lds (Laurie O. sister, breast cancer) -  Joe M., Danette, Kyle E.,  Loren, Josh - Rev. Steve My-rs (in Spokane).

Madeline Erickson Memorial
A memorial service for Madeline Er-ckson (Immanuel friend, ML elem. teacher, farmer's wife) will take place at 1:00 PM on Thursday, August 5, at the Moses Lake Presbyterian Church.  Reception to follow.  Madeline died suddenly and unexpectedly in December. 


Election Day:  August 3
Moses Lake aarea voters have city council and school board positions, and an operations replacement levy on the ballot. Remember to vote and return your ballots this week before the August 3 deadline.  A candidate forum can be viewed here.

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

Attendance last Sunday -- July 18, 2021:  42
logo

A Note from Pastor Lou - Truly #64 -- Doing His Will

Doing His Will                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        7.21.2021  


                   

Truly, I say to you, the tax collectors and the prostitutes

go into the kingdom of God before you.

Matthew 21:31

           Hearing this declaration from Jesus, the first question which should come to mind is "Who is Jesus talking to here?"  The previous context answers this question and leads all of us to wonder as the disciples will eventually wonder, "Is it I, Lord?"

           This chapter of Matthew begins with Jesus entering Jerusalem on what we know as Palm Sunday.  The people are enthusiastic and cheering at his arrival.  They believe the Messiah has arrived, the rule of the Romans is about over;  there is a new sheriff in town.  But the first thing Jesus does is cleanse the Temple.  Shouldn't he really be trying to run the Romans out, rather than tweaking Jewish leadership?  Jesus is evidently not the Messiah of earthly power the people had their hearts set on.  The next day the Jewish authorities show up (the priests and elders of the people) and challenge Jesus to state by what authority he teaches the way he does.  He answers with a question that puts those "authorities" on the spot, "The baptism of John, from where did it come?  From heaven or from men?" The authorities refuse to answer because they did not believe John but they knew the people did, and they did not want a riot. Because they didn't answer, Jesus tells a parable.

           The parable is about two disobedient sons.  A father asks the boys to go work in the vineyard.  The one said "I will not" but later changed his mind and went.  The other said "I go, sir" but did not go.  Jesus concluded this parable with a question -- "Which of the two did the will of the Father?" The Jewish authorities correctly answered "the first."

           This is when Jesus states his Truly declaration, "tax collectors and prostitutes go into the kingdom of heaven before you." Jesus is not at all saying that tax collectors (notorious thieves of their time) or prostitutes are a superior way of life.  But he is saying that the pious who take so much pride in their godliness, to the point they cannot hear the Word and repent, recognizing their own shortcomings, are much like the son who promised to go into the vineyard but did not.  Tax collectors and prostitutes who are living in defiance of God's word like the first son, but then turn (repent) and do the father's will, are recognized as "more godly."  He is making it clear God's Son is available to all.   

           Jesus lives this paradigm in his immediate circle.  The disciple Levi, a one-time tax collector, is turned and becomes the apostle Matthew, the author of this gospel reading.  Some believe that Mary of Magdala was a prostitute and that Jesus cast demons out from her.  She became known to the world as Mary Magdelene, the first person Jesus encountered after his resurrection.

           The door to Jesus is always open.  He wants nothing more than to be known as a forgiving savior by all peoples -- even tax collectors and prostitutes, or sinners like you and me.

           Remember Whose you are,

               Pastor Lou

logo

Eighth Sunday after Pentecost -- sermon audio/service video -- July 18, 2021

Pentecost +8, year B -- "The Lord Shepherds Me"

First Reading:      Jeremiah 23:1-6
Psalm:                  Psalm 23
Second Reading:  Ephesians 2:11-22
Gospel Reading:  Mark 6:30-44

Podcast -- Sermon audio only -- 7.18.2021

Facebook LIVE video -- 7.18.2021 service

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

Today's hymns:
   WoV 718   Here In This Place
    ReC  202   Have No Fear, Little Flock
    ReC 205    Savior, Like a Shepherd
    WoV 747   Christ Is Made the Sure Foundation (tune: WoV 654) 
logo

Readings, Announcements for July 18, 2021

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



Pentecost +8

July 18, 2021
First Reading: Jeremiah 23:1-6
Psalm:  Psalm 23
Second Reading: Ephesians 2:11-22
Gospel Lesson:  Mark 6:30-44
               
THIS WEEK at a GLANCE: 
Sunday July 18

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 part of the FB Live broadcast -- please contact Pastor Lou if
you are not attending in person and would like to have communion.)
Tuesday No Confirmation class this week

> 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;
  
Karen (Grethe's daughter), benign tumor between skull & brain, causing some issues;  surgery scheduled;
   Derek O., 3 broken foot bones after a log rolled onto his foot while moving some wood;
    Zane, (infant son of Sharon's niece, Lily), having trouble finding a compatible feeding formula;
    Virgil R., (block 89 neighbor farmer), recovering from injuries from in car vs hay stacker accident;
  
Vicki G., (ILC friend, community member), at Columbia Crest; that her spirits be raised;
  Juanita O., (ILC friends), hospitalized this week;  and Harley at home;
  
Those who may be struggling with depression or loneliness;

> Friends and Family battling Cancer:  
   Kaitlin (Dawn V. granddaughter), that thyroid cancer surgery follow-ups wipe it out;
   Carol (Mike L. daughter-in-law);
   Sharon K., (Pastor Hesse's second cousin), stage IV esophageal cancer;
  
Grant C., (Kelli's friend's son, age 6), chemotherapy week 5 -- embryonal rhabdomysarcoma;
   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 Neustels, Robillards, LeMasters, Hesses, Blazers, Tuckers, Neustels, & Ellestads;
>Friends and family members who struggle with addictions of various kinds,
>Expectant mothers (and fathers!) -- and for those who would like to be;
    especially Lars & Alyssa O; Kyle & Heather R;  Alec & Emily R.; Kari & Kevin K.;
>Engaged couples preparing for marriage, especially
Josh & Amanda; Darby & Talen; Glen & Erika; Gaige & Danielle;
> Thanks, Blessings, and Praises
  -- Happy Birthday this week to Kris Emers-n, (7/24);
   
--  A new son for Chris & Jen H-sse (Pastor's nephew) -- Ezekiel James, born 7/12;
       --  Kyren (born early) is home and progressing and growing;
       --  Charlene:  thankful for successful removal of a growth on her head;  cancer positive, but completely removed and no further treatment necessary;

>
Continued Prayers for:
     Active military & law enforcement (especially Jonathan P., Olaf M., Brady E., Jordan M., Luke S., Logan H.;  *
Justin E, Scott N, Jeff W, David H;  Riley C;
      
Evie at home;  Gordon at Brookdale/Hearthstone - 
Carlos S.;  Joe Morr-ss (eye issues) --Jake & Jennifer (Charlene's daughter, grandson)  -  Julie Reyn-lds (Laurie O. sister, breast cancer) -  Joe M., Danette, Kyle E.,  Loren, Josh - Rev. Steve My-rs (in Spokane).

The newest issue of the LCMC's CONNECTIONS Magazine, July/Aug edition, is now available in the fellowship hall, again featuring "one of your favorite authors."  Pick up a copy this week -- read, keep, share, or return.

Second Harvest -- Free Food Distribution
If someone you know could use a bit of food help this summer, the Second Harvest truck will be at the Ephrata WalMart lot,  Tuesday, July 20, 11AM - 1 PM (or as long as it lasts) --
"Free fruits, meats, & nutritious fresh perishable products" to any who comes, no ID or income proof required.  Let those who could benefit know about this outside drive-thru event, held rain or shine.

Madeline Erickson Memorial
A memorial service for Madeline Erickson (Immanuel friend, ML elem. teacher, farmer's wife) will take place at 1 PM on Thursday, August 5, at the Moses Lake Presbyterian Church.  Reception to follow.  Madeline died suddenly and unexpectedly in December. 


Seeking Rodeo Anthem Singers
Contact Mike Harris if you or someone you know would be interested/willing to sing the National Anthem for one evening of the 2021 Grant County Rodeo.  Need not be a professional or perfect singer but ability to carry a tune helps :)


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

Attendance last Sunday; July 11, 2021:  41
logo

A Note from Pastor Lou -- Truly #63 -- You Have His Faith

You Have His Faith                                                                                                                                                                                                                   7.14.2021  

                 

And Jesus answered them,
"Truly, I say to you, if you have faith and do not doubt,
you will not only do what has been done to the fig tree, but even if you say to this mountain,
'Be taken up and thrown into the sea,' it will happen.
And whatever you ask in prayer, you will receive, if you have faith."

Matthew 21:21-22

          More so than many others, it can be challenging to fully grasp the meaning of this promise spoken by Jesus.  At first reading, he seems both petulant and extravagant.  It seems petulant that he curses a fig tree for not having fruit for him to eat at the moment he needs it, and it withers away immediately.  It also seems extravagant for him to imply anyone with faith can move a mountain into the sea or get whatever they want simply by praying in faith for it.  What is really at work here?

          Jesus curses the fig tree as the final act in cleansing the Temple.  He is not at all pleased that his Father's house, which should be a house of prayer, has become a den of thieves.  He casts out the money-changers, cleansing the Temple, and as a final exclamation point his action causes the withering of the fig tree.  He is speaking judgment against the Jewish people -- "May no fruit ever come from you again," (v.19). There is a new order of God's doing in the world.  With a word he has declared the old ways done.

          The disciples are shocked.  Should they be?  Is this not the same Lord who stilled the sea of Galilee with a word?  Now they get a real eye-opener. "Truly I say to you." We know something is coming.  "Whenever you have faith and have no [wavering, misgiving, hesitation, doubt, messed up thought], you will not only do what has been done to the fig tree, but also mountains, etc."  So how are we doing?  Has anyone ever seen such clear, unequivocal, absolute faith and confidence in calling on the name of the Lord?   It is really rare.  St. Paul and St. Peter will do some healing along these lines in the Book of Acts, but for nearly everyone else, this kind of faith is simply beyond us.  There always remains an element of the old Adam which hesitates or doubts.

          The power of God expressed through Jesus in his faith in his Father is just not normally part of our tool kit.  Jesus is Lord, it's his faith that saves.  His faith, unwavering, no hesitation, no doubts, no distractions, fully confident in the power of his Almighty Father.  Fortunately, it is that very faith which he shares with us and makes us his own by doing so in baptism.  We still have our old Adam of unbelief and defiance hanging around our necks, but his faith is at work in us to bring us to full salvation when he raises us on the last day.  The faith and trust we have now are a down-payment, a deposit on the guarantee of our inheritance.  So we pray, and when we pray we always add "Thy will be done," because it is his faith we rely on.  This side of eternity, our cry will always be "I believe, help my unbelief." As we have heard previously, that is sufficient.  "My grace is sufficient for you." In the flesh we remain totally dependent on the faith of Jesus and his power;  but just imagine what it will be like when we can order a mountain into the sea.   

That day is coming.

          Remember Whose you are,

              Pastor Lou

logo

Seventh Sunday after Pentecost -- sermon audio/service video -- July 11, 2021

Pentecost +7, year B -- "A Plumb Line"

First Reading:      Amos 7:7-15
Psalm:                  Psalm 85
Second Reading:  Ephesians 1:3-14
Gospel Reading:  Mark 6:14-29

Podcast -- Sermon audio only -- 7.11.2021

Facebook LIVE video -- 7.11.2021 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
   ReC     40     Immortal, Invisible, God Only Wise
   ReC   215    In Christ Alone
   ReC  183 Cleansed and Forgiven
logo

Readings, Announcements for July 11, 2021

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



Pentecost +7

July 11, 2021
First Reading: Amos 7:7-15
Psalm:  Psalm 85:(1-7) 8-13
Second Reading: Ephesians 1:3-14
Gospel Lesson:  Mark 6:14-29
               
THIS WEEK at a GLANCE: 
Sunday July 11

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 part of the FB Live broadcast -- please contact Pastor Lou if
you are not attending in person and would like to have communion.)
Tuesday July 13 Confirmation class -- 6:00 - 7:00 PM

> 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;
    Kyren Matthew, (Judy O. new grandson), born early, out of NICU but still on O2; should go home on his due date 7/13;
   
Baby Zane, born to Sharon's neice, Lily on July 6 at over 6 lbs; having some feeding issues;  
    Karen
(Grethe's daughter), benign tumor between skull & brain, but causing some issues;  surgery scheduled;
   the Neust-l & D-wns families, services for Judene's sister, Angie on Saturday (7/10);

Virgil R., (block 89 neighbor farmer), recovering from injuries from in car vs hay stacker accident;
  
Vicki G., (ILC friend, community member), at Columbia Crest; that her spirits be raised;
  Carlos S. (missionary Danelle's husband), feeling well in spite of heart function at 14% after massive heart attack in March;
 
Juanita O., (ILC friend), healing a severely broken leg in long-term care; and Harley at home;
  
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:  
   Kaitlin (Dawn V. granddaughter), that thyroid cancer surgery follow-ups wipe it out;
   Carol (Mike L. daughter-in-law);
   Sharon K., (Pastor Hesse's second cousin), recently diagnosed with stage IV esophageal cancer;
  
Grant C., (Kelli's friend's son, age 6), chemotherapy week 5 -- embryonal rhabdomysarcoma;
   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 Neustels, Robillards, LeMasters, Hesses, Blazers, Tuckers, Neustels, & Ellestads;
>Friends and family members who struggle with addictions of various kinds,
>Expectant mothers (and fathers!) -- and for those who would like to be;
    especially Lars & Alyssa O; Chris & Jen H.; Kyle & Heather R;  Alec & Emily R.; Kari & Kevin K.;
>Engaged couples preparing for marriage, especially
Josh & Amanda; Darby & Talen; Glen & Erika; Gaige & Danielle;
> Thanks, Blessings, and Praises
  --  Happy Birthday this week to Shawn O., (7/12); Bentleigh A., (7/16);
       --  Happy Anniversary to Bill & Juli (7/17);
      
--  New grandson for July O., -- Kyren Matthew, born June 21 to her son Devin & Jessica; (see prayers above);
       --  New greatgrandson for Ron & Nancy H., Liam.
      
--  Praises:  Don H. feels like he's "turned a corner," feeling much improved;      
>
Continued Prayers for:
     Active military & law enforcement (especially Jonathan P., Olaf M., Brady E., Jordan M., Luke S., Logan H.;  *
Justin E, Scott N, Jeff W, David H;  Riley C;
      
Joe Morr-ss (eye issues) -- Evie 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).


Brenna Update
Living Word has been supporting the work of local gal Brenna Moss, most recently has she has been teaching Bible classes in Kona Hawaii, to others who will continue to teach and reach 'all nations' with the Word with YWAM (Youth With A Mission).  Read her latest update letter here.  After the summer at home in Moses Lake, she will return to Kona in September for at least 9 months.


The newest issue of the LCMC's CONNECTIONS Magazine, July/Aug edition, is now available in the fellowship hall, again featuring "one of your favorite authors."  Pick up a copy this week -- read, keep, share, or return.

Second Harvest -- Free Food Distribution
If someone you know could use a bit of food help this summer, the Second Harvest truck will be at the Ephrata WalMart lot,  Tuesday, July 20, 11AM - 1 PM (or as long as it lasts) --
"Free fruits, meats, & nutritious fresh perishable products" to any who comes, no ID or income proof required.  Let those who could benefit know about this outside drive-thru event, held rain or shine.

Seeking Rodeo Anthem Singers
Contact Mike Harris if you or someone you know would be interested/willing to sing the National Anthem for one evening of the 2021 Grant County Rodeo.  I believe he said there are 5 opportunities.  Need not be a professional or perfect singer but ability to carry a tune helps :)


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


Attendance last Sunday; July 4, 2021:  55
logo

A Note from Pastor Lou -- Truly #62 -- What About Us?

What About Us?                                                                                                                                                                                                              7.11.2021  

{C}{C}
           

Truly, I say to you, in the new world, when the Son of Man will sit on his glorious throne,
you who have followed me will also sit on twelve thrones,
judging the twelve tribes of Israel.

Matthew 19:28

          The promise in this verse concludes the narrative of the rich young man.  It serves as a counterpoint to Jesus making it clear that no one is saved by their own efforts.  His statements that "only with difficulty will a rich person enter the kingdom of heaven"  and "it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of heaven" are met by the disciples with a question of pure exasperation, "Who then can be saved?" Jesus' point is made, "with man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible." Salvation comes by the grace of God, not by any human effort.  Point, game, match to Jesus.

          But Peter asks the question that still lingers for all Jesus' followers, "See, we have left everything and followed you.  What then will we have?"

          It can be difficult for a follower of Jesus.  It seems so much easier to just go with the flow of the crowd.  If the crowd is doing something or going in a direction which is contrary to what we believe God is telling us, AND God saves by grace alone, why bother with the hassle of stepping out and being different?  Why bring all of that trouble down upon ourselves?  Why should these disciples leave their fishing business, their wives and families and the lives they have known, in order to follow this Jesus, if he is the one who will save regardless of whether they are rich or poor, a nasty sinner or a pious follower? 

          Jesus has an answer for that.  The blessings to come are greater than we can ever imagine for following him and striving in his way.  The disciples will each get a throne "in the new world" with all that that implies.  "Everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or lands for my name sake will receive a hundredfold and will inherit eternal life." So says Jesus.  The risk/reward ratio (calculate the odds if you wish) definitely inclines us toward Jesus and striving in his way.  Will this striving be perfect?  No, Peter and the rest of the disciples were far from perfect in their following of Jesus, and yet they are remembered, celebrated, and honored here in the world as very few other people are -- and we have yet to see what they are now that they have entered eternity.

          God works in surprising and unexpected ways.  Sinners of all sorts received blessings throughout scripture simply because they recognized who was at work.  The prostitute Rahab saves her life and the lives of her family by sheltering the Jewish spies prior to the destruction of Jericho.  She eventually will marry into the bloodline of the House of Judah and be an ancestor of King David, and thereby an ancestor of the Lord Jesus.  God can turn a sow's ear into a silk purse.  "I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for shalom  and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope ... I will restore your fortunes and gather you from all the nations and all the places where I have driven you, declares the Lord," (Jeremiah 29:11-14).

          Do not despair, the Lord our God is stronger than any challenge or temptation that can come our way.  Striving to stay the course with Him has its own unimaginable rewards, both now and in the age to come.  This is His promise;  He does not lie.

          Remember Whose you are,

              Pastor Lou

logo

Sixth Sunday after Pentecost -- sermon audio/service video -- July 4, 2021

Pentecost +6, year B -- "Grace Sufficient"

First Reading:      Ezekiel 2:1-5
Psalm:                  Psalm 123
Second Reading:  2 Corinthians 12:1-10
Gospel Reading:  Mark 6:1-13

Podcast -- Sermon audio only -- 7.04.2021

Facebook LIVE video -- 7.04.2021 service

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

Today's hymns:
WoV  716     Word of God, Come Down on Earth
 WoV 752     I, The Lord of Sea and Sky
 ReC 199     Amazing Grace
 ReC    5      God of Our Fathers