9th Sunday after Pentecost
Everything remains on our current schedule. 10AM, Lord’s Supper for those present.
Zoom (same as before): https://zoom.us/j/6458485288
Devotion & Prayer Thought
Maybe you don’t feel this, but it is a constant sense that I have – time telescoping. Some months fly by you wonder where they have gone. At other times a day or even an hour seems endless. The Gospel accounts of Jesus’ life I think are something like that. The standard length of time for Jesus’ ministry is roughly 3.5 years, from his baptism until Holy Week. On the one hand 3.5 years can disappear in a blink. And reading the Gospels, especially Mark, you can get the impression that it was a 3.5 year madcap adventure without stop. But that just isn’t reality. That isn’t how we absorb time or move through it. There had to be down days. Or days that felt like a repetition. Or days that they just tuned out and walked the road.
The Gospel of Matthew captures that in an interesting way. The ministry of Jesus was itinerant which is just a fancy way of saying it moved. And the rhythm of that ministry I imagine was a week to week thing. Jesus would stop at a village, preach, perform miracles and move on to the next village. On the Sabbath he’d show up at the main Synagogue of the area. He’d probably be preaching the same “sermon” for most of that week. Tweaking it here and there. It would be new for most of the crowds, but already heard for the disciples and the parts of the crowds that were following. Matthew in my reconstruction captures that rhythm by presenting Jesus’ sermon – say the sermon on the mount, the first main one – and then some of the activity that happened while Jesus was preaching that sermon in village after village. So you get a recount of various healings, miracles and private confrontations. When that cycle has played out, Matthew presents the next sermon.
We’ve just completed the Parable Sermon which is the third of five. And for the next few weeks we are reading the miracles and events that are associated with that. If my reconstruction is right, we are roughly around year 2. Probably just before the middle to just after the middle. And all theology is really learned in the living. What is the experience of the Reign of Heaven like in the middle of time, in the middle of this world? You still lose friends. John the Baptist is killed is the first happening. But the Lord still provides abundantly: feeding 5000, healing those of Gennesaret (which has an interest parallel of casting the legion into the swine), all the while confronting traditions (cue Tevye) some of which are maintained in the Reign and others which are cast away as the “leaven of the Pharisees”. We will be reading some of that over the coming weeks.
The pondering and the prayer here are what is the Reign of Heaven like for you in the midst of Coronatide? How is Jesus asking us to trust His providence? What traditions have we carried until now that maybe should change? What be reaffirmed? What mourning do we have to do that has been put off? In the middle of our days, may we not be lost, but find the way of the Reign that leads through.
UPCOMING ACTIVITIES FOR WEEK OF: Aug 3rd – August 9th
Tuesday: ……………… 8:00am Carpet Cleaning
Thursday: …………….. 10:00am Bible Study
Sunday: …………………. 9:00am Bible Study and Sunday School
- Thurs 10am: We finished Zechariah. We will be starting Malachi and so finishing the book of the short prophets. Live in person and on zoom. Same link as the service. The start time is 10, but we probably talk 15 mins or so first. Everyone is invited!
- Confirmation: Will return in the fall – September
- Life Application Fellowship (LAF): Preliminary, it looks like we will meet on Wednesdays, starting September 9th at 7 PM. We will be on the Zoom line.
- Sunday Morning: I will have some further info in this next week.
- Catechism Moment: Ok, I promise. My “summer break” is over. This is back next week.
Thank you to Sylvia Bayer for helping to load, Dee Dee and Wayne Warriner, Jerry Gardner, Ellen and Mindy for delivering our haul to Savers.
To Wayne Warriner who heroically tackled the thistle grove that was threatening to take over the ivy patch on the hill next to our back steps. Your efforts are appreciated!
It is mowing season again (it beats shoveling season!) and at St. Mark we ask the men of the congregation to donate a few hours to cut the grass. The good news is that we have a riding lawn mower for the majority of the work. This summer’s mowing calendar is now posted on the bulletin board (across from the Conference Room windows); please take a moment to look at it and enter your assigned date on your personal calendar. Friday or Saturday mowing is the preferred timeframe. We ask that you make arrangements with someone else on the schedule if you have a previous commitment on the date you are assigned. There is a white tin in the News Nest that contains a key for the church and the padlock combination as well as Jerry’s cell number for an emergency. If you have any questions please contact Jerry Gardner.
Leadership Boards Summer Break
Elders are taking off July & August from formal meeting. Council will be taking off July.