June 5th, 2021


A Note from Pastor Lou: Truly # 57 -- The Greatest in the Kingdom

Greatest in the Kingdom                                                                                                                                                                                            6.04.2021  


Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children,
you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.

                                                                                                                                                            Matthew 18:3

        In  this passage Jesus deals with an issue which will rear its ugly head on several occasions as he relates to his disciples. After he had predicted his death and resurrection, the disciples came to him and asked him, "Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?" This question will again be asked in a different form when the mother of James and John asks Jesus if her two sons can sit at his right and left hands when he comes in his kingdom (Matthew chpt. 20). In Mark, the two disciples make the request themselves.  The same problem rears its head in Luke's  account of the events of the Last Supper, as Jesus was telling them of his impending death and the disciples again debate "who is the greatest" (Luke 22:24ff). In that case, Jesus tells the disciples in no uncertain terms they are not to lord it over each other, "He who would be first must serve the others." Sinners all, the disciples, too, want to be in charge, to control, to lord it over, to be known as head-and-shoulders above the common people.  Jesus consistently insists it will not be that way.

          Here in this passage he states things in a way that oftentimes does not translate fully into our English language.  Jesus says "unless you turn."  This language in the scripture is used often and clearly means a change of course.  Most commentators will argue scriptural turning implies a radical change, a 180 degree alteration in one's values and perspectives.  Where the disciples are interested in ruling, being served,  and being raised up and honored, Jesus is telling them to serve, be the low man on the totem pole, and ultimately win others by sacrificial action for the neighbor's benefit, not by power, reputation or prestige.

          Jesus is so insistent on this humbling of oneself that he tells the disciples to become like children.  A child in Biblical times was not the center of attention they have become in our affluent, healthcare conscious culture.  Children often died.  They were seen as somewhat expendable and probably replaceable, because child mortality was so high.  Children were often in the background.  They did not push themselves forward.  Their station in life was humble.  Children are dependent.  Without the care of parents and the community, they are ever at risk.  Children are also trusting  -- they often cannot imagine the evil that others may do to them.  This makes them vulnerable to those who would take advantage of them in myriads of ways.

          This childlike humility, dependence, and trust is what Jesus expects the disciples to exhibit in their relationship to God, and finally also to each other.  He expects the disciples to "turn" from their striving for power, prestige, and position. 

          Jesus ends this rebuke to the disciples with one of the sternest warnings he issued to his disciples,  "Unless ... you will never see the kingdom of heaven." If anything, the Greek in this passage is even stronger.  Jesus employs a double negative, which should probably be translated as "you will never ever enter the kingdom of heaven."  It would seem that if there is anything which could separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord, it would be this --  the failure to turn from our desire to lead, to rule, to be recognized, to be honored for anything other than faith in Jesus and total dependence on him for all good things.  In short, we have here another very good reason to remember Whose we are ... and live as His child.

     Remember Whose you are,

              Pastor Lou


Readings, Announcements for June 6, 2021

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

Pentecost +2

June 6, 2021
First Reading: Genesis 3:8-15
Psalm:  Psalm 130
Second Reading: 2 Corinthians 4:13 - 5:1
Gospel Lesson:  Mark 3:20-35
Sunday June 6
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)
Tuesday June 8 Confirmation Class: 6:00 PM, in the fellowship hall   (date change)
*June 14 Quarterly Member Meeting:  7 PM, 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;
    Friends, family of Doris Swanstrom, (Immanuel friend);  service held June 1;

  Angie, (Judene's sister), fighting stage 4 lung cancer; seeking a new medical trials as it has spread into her liver;
Virgil R., (block 89 neighbor farmer), critically injured in car vs hay stacker accident this week;
Vicki G., (ILC friend, community member), that her spirits be raised (under treatment for cancer); at Columbia Crest;
   Don H., that continued intermittent health issues from 2020 can finally be resolved;
   Carlos S. (missionary Danelle's husband), heart procedures while recovering from massive heart attack in March;
   Joe M., some eye issues; other health concerns;
  Dylan O, while at ROTC camp, Ft. Knox, KY;

   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:  
   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-- 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 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:
       especially  (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 Sarah & David H;  Jessica & Fred A.; Lars & Alyssa O; Chris & Jen H.; Kyle & Heather R;  Alec & Emily R.; Kari & Kevin K.
>Engaged couples preparing for marriage, especially Darby & Talen; Gaige & Danielle; Josh & Amanda; Glen & Erika;
> Thanks, Blessings, and Praises
-- good surgical results for Kaitlin; recovering at home; that continued therapies wipe out this thyroid cancer;
    -- Happy Birthday this week to Carlene T. (6/6); Wendy Kell-r (6/10); Nic H. (6/11; and Bob G (6/12);
       Happy Anniversary to Eric & Michele B (6/6);

> Continued prayers for:
     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).

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.**

Quarterly Member Meeting: June 14, 2021, 7:00 PM, in the fellowship hall.

2021 Graduates
Raven K. -- completed an AA in medical assisting from BBCC.
Chance C. -- will graduate from Warden High School on June 11, 2021, and from BBCC with an AA degree.  He will attend Walla Walla Community College in the fall, where he will play baseball on partial scholarship.
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.

Emily R. -- Graduated 5/7/21 from WSU medical school. Next up: UCLA Medical Center (her first choice!), Los Angeles, where she and Alec will live during her 3 yr residency.
Ellie C. -- a slight change of plans into dental hygiene at Carrington College in Boise, ID, this fall.
Dylan O. -- at ROTC camp at Ft. Knox, KY beginning May 23 for approx. 6 weeks. 

As a member congregation, Living Word is eligible to send a delegation of up to 5 people (18+) to the Annual Lutherhaven Ministries Corporation Meeting on Sunday, August 22.  The congregation will receive one vote on all matters up for ballot at the meeting.  They are seeking nominations for 1-3 board members.  If serving either as a delegate to the meeting, or as a possible board member, is of interest to you, please contact Pastor Lou before June 14.  We can forward the complete Lutherhaven email with all the information to help your consideration.

Seeking Auction Donations
"Hello Facebook Friends! We are getting ready for our Independence from Hunger Food Drive and need your help. If you are an artist, local business, know someone one that may be interested, or would personally like to donate to our online auction we would appreciate it if you could reach out to us. All items donated will be placed in the auction. The auction will go live July 1, 2021 (or before) and run for about 3 weeks. 100% of all money raised will be donated to our Independence for Hunger Community Partner Care Sacks. All donations stay local to help provide sack lunches to those experiencing food insecurities. If you can help please respond to the post or send us a message. Sharing this post will also help a great deal. Our goal this year is to raise $10,000. That is a HUGE goal and cannot be done without the support of our community. Thank you in advance." (--from Kris E., ML Grocery Outlet)
Agnus Day. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . "Agnus Day appears with the permission of  www. agnusday. org"

Attendance -- last Sunday, May 30, 2021:  56