Ecclesiological Etchings: 08-06-13

Scripture: Galatians 6:18Galatians-Image
May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit, brothers and sisters. Amen.

Thought for the Day: Paul closes his letter with a fairly traditional blessing. The word grace describes God’s loving kindness extended to all.  This might be Paul’s last communication with the people of the Galatian churches, so despite his disagreements and frustrations, he concludes with kind and loving words.  We might ardently disagree with people, but when we part ways, we should take Paul’s advice and wish nothing less than the grace of God upon them.  If everyone wished such gifts upon both friend and enemy, how much better would the world be?  Challenge yourself to offer these grace-filled blessings to as many people as possible today.

Prayer: Lord, help me show kindness to others even when I find their thinking to be a little wacky…because whether I recognize it or not, I can probably come off a little wacky myself.  Amen.

This Concludes Our Study of Galatians

* * * * *

IMPORTANT!  IMPORTANT!

Parents of those in PreK – 5th 

Sunday, August 11th – 3pm-5pm           

Basel’s Gymnastics
4963 Louetta

Cost $10.00
(Includes Gym Time & Lunch)

Sign Up by August 8th
by contacting Tami at the church

Ecclesiological Etchings: 08-05-13

Scripture: Galatians 6:14-17Galatians-Image
May I never boast of anything except the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.  For neither circumcision nor uncircumcision is anything; but a new creation is everything!  As for those who will follow this rule—peace be upon them, and mercy, and upon the Israel of God.  From now on, let no one make trouble for me; for I carry the marks of Jesus branded on my body.

Thought for the Day: It all starts with Christ’s act of sacrificial love.  No matter our achievements, the impressive accomplishments that have our names attached to them, they are always secondary to the self-giving act of Jesus.  In Christ, God initiated the new creation by which we receive a clear depiction of both where we are going and how we are going to get there.  And even if we were able to execute and attain this marvelous vision tomorrow, the triumph would ultimately belong to Christ…though all along the way, we are the recipients of blessings made real through that first act.

Prayer: As scripture states, we can do great things through you, Lord, who strengthens us.  Though help us that we may never allow our achievements to go to our heads, for you are the One who has achieved it all in Christ.  Amen.

IMPORTANT!  IMPORTANT!

Parents of those in PreK – 5th 

Sunday, August 11th – 3pm-5pm           

Basel’s Gymnastics
4963 Louetta

Cost $10.00
(Includes Gym Time & Lunch)

Sign Up by August 8th
by contacting Tami at the church

 

Ecclesiological Etchings: 08-04-13

Scripture: Galatians 6:8-13Galatians-Image
If you sow to your own flesh, you will reap corruption from the flesh; but if you sow to the Spirit, you will reap eternal life from the Spirit.  So let us not grow weary in doing what is right, for we will reap at harvest time, if we do not give up.  So then, whenever we have an opportunity, let us work for the good of all, and especially for those of the family of faith. See what large letters I make when I am writing in my own hand!  It is those who want to make a good showing in the flesh that try to compel you to be circumcised—only that they may not be persecuted for the cross of Christ.  Even the circumcised do not themselves obey the law, but they want you to be circumcised so that they may boast about your flesh.

Thought for the Day: The Apostle Paul once again returned to his central idea on how circumcision was not needed for those wishing to be followers of Jesus.  He was arguing with those who had become almost militant in the belief that circumcision was a requirement.  I came across an article on this subject in which the author went as far as to say that any parent in today’s world who allowed his/her male child to be circumcised was putting the salvation of everyone in the family in danger.  I think that’s missing the point.  Paul was opposed to circumcision because it was missing the point of grace.  To suggest that a child who is circumcised because it is the common practice of the culture (becoming less and less) could be outside of God’s love is to once again miss the point of grace.

Prayer: May I always return to your grace, O God, when zealous thinking attempts to limit your capacity to love.  Amen.

 

JOIN US FOR WORSHIP THIS MORNING:

Sermon Title:
Wrath and the Parable of the Turtle
Colossians 3:1-11

Ecclesiological Etchings: 08-03-13

Scripture: Galatians 6:3-7Galatians-Image
For if those who are nothing think they are something, they deceive themselves.  All must test their own work; then that work, rather than their neighbor’s work, will become a cause for pride.  For all must carry their own loads.  Those who are taught the word must share in all good things with their teacher.  Do not be deceived; God is not mocked, for you reap whatever you sow.

Thought for the Day: The Iron Lady (Margaret Thatcher), long before her death, offered these words: “Discipline yourself to do what you know is right and important, although difficult, is the highroad to pride, self-esteem, and personal satisfaction.”   Paul is often cautious about pride and ego-centrism, but he also recognizes the importance of celebrating one’s achievements.  The King James Version translates the word, not as pride, but rejoice.  It is a very fine line to walk, and we must always be cautious not to fall into arrogance or even narcissism.  Paul desires to see all followers of Jesus striving toward even greater faithfulness, and in doing so, it gives those of striving a sense of connection to the larger purpose of God.  That’s something worth celebrating, but don’t get too haughty.

Prayer: Gracious God, you are good and kind, and I give thanks for the way you build me up with your unconditional love.  Allow me to assist you in bringing others into that very same experience.  Amen.

 

TOMORROW IN WORSHIP:

Sermon Title:
Wrath and the Parable of the Turtle
Colossians 3:1-11

Ecclesiological Etchings: 08-02-13

Scripture: Galatians 6:1-2Galatians-Image
My friends, if anyone is detected in a transgression, you who have received the Spirit should restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness. Take care that you yourselves are not tempted. Bear one another’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ

Thought for the Day: You have a responsibility to the faith community.  Too often the church portrays its members in a passive way, except when it comes to the offering tray.  Lay people are often given the task of sitting and watching, but Paul places the responsibility of community care and cohesiveness on all those who have ‘received the Spirit.’  This is not some special group within the faith community, but everyone.  The work is not done with arrogance or a sense of superiority, but with gentleness.  Each person is willing to carry the burdens of others.  The image of a church where everyone is sitting passively in the pews was never what God desired, and Paul wants each member of the Galatian community to understand his/her responsibility.

Prayer: Help me, O Heavenly Redeemer, to see others as sisters and brothers who will share with me in this journey of faith.  Amen.

DON’T FORGET

Friday Night:

Movie Night
“Dreamer”
Everyone is Invited!!
6:30pm in the Gym

THIS SUNDAY:

Sermon Title: 
Wrath and the Parable of the Turtle

Colossians 3:1-11

 

Ecclesiological Etchings: 08-01-13

Scripture: Galatians 5:24-26Galatians-Image
And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live by the Spirit, let us also be guided by the Spirit.  Let us not become conceited, competing against one another, envying one another.

Thought for the Day: Paul uses plenty of forceful and compelling images, and crucifying the flesh would be one of those images. Now there are some who have taken that literally, and have had their fellow congregants nail them to a cross.  Others have worn a cilice or small metal chain with inwardly-pointing spikes that would irritate or even rip the flesh.  The hope was to experience the suffering Christ experienced. The only problem with self-induced suffering like this is that it has no purpose beyond itself.  The crucifixion of Christ shows us the far-reaching character of God’s redemptive love, and notice how the impact of that loving act reached beyond the one who experienced the suffering.  We should always seek acts of sacrifice that don’t simply impact those of us choosing to suffer, but like Christ, allows others to feel the power of love through that gift.  If our passions and desires have us obsessed with money, we shouldn’t just crucify those problems of the flesh by quietly burning our money in the backyard.  Instead, we should put it to use in a way that transform someone else’s life.  Whatever it is in your life, sacrifice it in such a way that its impact is felt far beyond you.

Prayer: Giver of Immeasurable Love, thank you for your willingness to bring it alive through Jesus and so many others throughout history.  Allow me to offer my own sacrifice, a gift that I only hope will change me as it blesses others.  Amen.

 MOVIE NIGHT

THIS FRIDAY NIGHT
6:30PM in the GYM

Everyone is invited…

THIS SUNDAY:

Sermon Title:
Wrath and the Parable of the Turtle

Colossians 3:1-11

Ecclesiological Etchings: 07-31-13

Scripture: Galatians 5:22-23Galatians-Image
By contrast, the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against such things.

Thought for the Day: I remember watching my grandparents spend hours everyday working in their large garden, yet most of the time I spent there was in the latter part of summer which meant we were harvesting and canning.  I missed all the hours of work spent in preparing the soil, planting the seeds, and tending to the young plants.  That’s where the real work is done, and the same is true with the fruit of the spirit.  Though many of us are blessed by these gifts being expressed through other people’s lives, we must understand the hours of work spent in preparing the soil of the soul, planting the seeds of grace through study and prayer, and tending to the youthful faith.  Too many people want to enjoy the harvest without the hard work.

Prayer: Let us work together, O God, in creating a garden pleasing to you.  Amen.

 

And Don’t Forget

MOVIE NIGHT

Friday at 6:30pm
in the Gym

Everyone is Invited