July 10th, 2022 – 5th Sunday after Pentecost
UPCOMING ACTIVITIES FOR WEEK OF: July 11th – July 17th
Mon – Wed……………. . Apparently Summer
Thursday………………. 10:00 AM Bible Study
Sunday: …………………. 10:00 AM Worship
11:15 AM Leadership Meeting
The Old Testament person of Ruth is the commemoration this week. We just so happened to have covered Ruth in Thursday Bible Study this week. What you might remember her for is her profession commonly heard at weddings, “were you go, I will go…”. What that profession really represents is Ruth’s confession of faith. She is a Moabite, about as far from the God of Israel as you can imagine (look up Deuteronomy 23:3-4), yet she commits to “your God shall be my God.” And the LORD accepts this and she is redeemed, expressed in her story through what is known as Levirite Marriage or the Kinsman-Redeemer of Boaz. How shall the gentiles be saved? By inclusion in Jesus Christ, our Kinsman-Redeemer.
LEADERSHIP MESSAGE – John Bayer
The prophet Isaiah, in a message of hope wrote, “The LORD will guide you continually, and satisfy your soul in drought, and strengthen your bones; you shall be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water, whose waters do not fail.”
Last week Pastor Brown made a difficult decision to answer a call to Mt. Zion Lutheran Church in Peoria, Arizona. God works His kingdom, placing and removing His ministers as He sees fit and many factors come into play as a pastor contemplates such a huge change. But if the Spirit is truly in a call, a pastor has little choice but to follow His lead. There is a profound mystery surrounding the Holy Office that we lay folks don’t readily see.
As your president, I want you to know that it is a privilege to serve you. Sure, the next twelve months or so may be a challenge, but God will provide. There are good people looking out for us right now; this includes our elders and council members, area pastors I’ve already had and will continue to have conversations with, as well as the Eastern District itself which is beginning to provide the support and counsel needed as we move further into the call process. God will bless this challenging but exciting time at St. Mark.
The commitment needed from the congregation right now is prayer and your continued support of God’s work here at St. Mark. Pray for us and pray that everyone involved in the call process will seek out and be sensitive to God’s will. Please be in prayer for the Brown family; the time constraint for them right now is tremendous. Stress levels are rising rapidly. Don’t be surprised if, at some point, I put a call out for moving-help.
Sylvia and I wish we were with you in Divine Service today but we are with Pastor Bayer and his family. Linley is being confirmed this Lord’s Day. Andrew was confirmed last year at this time. Their daddy is their pastor—sweet! These are events grandparents don’t soon forget …and in case you don’t know, they are expecting their 5th!
God bless us and bless His church!
PRAYER THOUGHT AND MEDITATION
I have to admit that the second someone starts talking about “social teaching” I typically break out in hives. I hear that phrase usually as code for “you should do what I say and give me all your money for whatever hairbrained scheme I think is right.” But our Old Testament Lesson for this week (Leviticus 19:9-18) would be the core of any church social teaching. It ends with the famous summary of the 2nd table of the law – “you shall love your neighbor as yourself.” We do have a responsibility to our neighbor. Jesus does what Jesus does with the law, turns it up to 11 in our gospel lesson (the good Samaritan). Nowhere is Jesus more Lutheran than in how he treats the law. You can’t keep Jesus’ interpretation of the law. It condemns all of us.
In the middle there are some common-sense social things. Property is real (sorry communists), don’t steal. Pay fair wages (sorry Randian libertarians). Do Justice in courts (sorry politicians everywhere). But the opening command for me is the most useful bit of wisdom. “When you reap the harvest, don’t take it right to the edge, leave some for the poor and the sojourner.” We can’t keep the law in its fullness. Jesus did that for us. But the law as a guide, as wisdom, is good and true. And the kernel of “social teaching” is simply be aware of even those on the far margins. The rich man was judged harshly for walking past Lazarus every day. The field is your property, and you are the steward of its return, but remember that you live in the midst of others less fortunate. Some no doubt due to laziness. Give them ways to live even if it is from the closest edge of your field.
Most of us don’t literally have fields these days. We have to translate it. And the command is not against diligent work. Get your plot to raise as much as possible. The social teaching is remember some of the return for those you live amongst. Live a life of personal grace. Grace is not something you can force out of others, it spoils like manna, but you can choose to live it. And God has chosen to live so towards you.
- Thurs 10am: “The Necessary Bible Stories to Know Our Own Story” – Samuel, Saul and David
- Confirmation: Completed Year 1, return in the Fall
- Life Application Fellowship (LAF): Summer Break
- Sunday Morning: For the month of July there are going to be short leadership meetings
- Catechism Moment: Short Break