September 13, 2020 – 15th 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
I commented in past weeks that the second half of all of Paul’s letters often have a different tone. The sweeping theologian is gone and the congregational pastor has arrived. It is often assumed that Paul was responding to letters from the congregations and specific instances in the lives of those congregations. Like Romans 13 discussing how to live in the now and not yet with Caesar, Romans 14 addresses “what if your problem is not with those outside the church, but those inside?”
The arguments with those inside are often the mirror image of those outside. “You Christians have strange practices” might be the statement of those outside of Christ. That is certainly what the Greeks and Romans thought. But inside the church our arguments are usually over if our practices go far enough – “you are giving in to the world when you don’t do x.” Backing up into Romans 13, Paul starts off with a solid demarcation. “Loving your neighbor is the fulfillment of the law.” The law, while not having the power to make us keep it, is a picture of what love for the neighbor looks like. “Let us cast off the works of darkness and put on the armor of light.” Those preferring to continue openly in darkness, contrary to the moral law, are outside of Christ.
But what about those who think a strict fasting regime is necessary on certain days? Or you can fill in your favorite piety practice. Paul brings up eating only vegetables and Holy Days. Special diets and holy days, like most piety practices have solid things to commend them, and they become deeply meaningful to people who practice them. But Paul’s advice here is “don’t quarrel over opinions…why pass judgment upon your brother?…each of us will give an account of himself to God.” These don’t have the force of the moral law.
But Paul isn’t a modern Libertarian either. While counseling extending grace to the brother you might think is deficient in piety, he then asks us to examine our own practices in the light of our brothers and sisters. Is something I am doing causing them to stumble? Or maybe more for us, is something I am not doing causing my brother to stumble? Notice that Paul is not talking about the basic moral law which is often how this passage is weaponized. “If you were a real Christian you would let me continue to walk in darkness.” Paul says to that “do not let what you regard as good be spoken of as evil.” But, “pursue what makes for peace and for mutual upbuilding.” If we find ourselves quarreling over practices, find what we can affirm, why it might be a meaningful practice, and acknowledge that, maybe even adopt part of it for the sake of the brother.
The way of the cross is hard enough. May we learn to build each other up and live at peace without losing the saving way.
UPCOMING ACTIVITIES FOR WEEK OF: Sept 14th – September 20th
Mon. – Fri. ………….… 8:00am Preschool
Monday: ………………… 6:30pm Women’s Group on Zoom
Wednesday: …………… 7:30pm Church Council Meeting
Thursday: …………….. 10:00am Bible Study
Sunday: …………………. 10:00am Worship
11:15am Bible Study
- Thurs 10am: Continuing on Pestilence in the Bible – Numbers 16 (Korah’s Rebellion).
- Confirmation: Confirmation 2 will continue, hopefully starting this week, maybe next depending upon first week school experiences.
- Life Application Fellowship (LAF): Start up on Wednesdays, starting September 23rd at 7 PM. We will be on the Zoom line.
- Sunday Morning: I’m going to hold a study at 11:15ish, after worship, in the sanctuary, starting next week. I’ll also have this on the zoom line.
- Catechism Moment: We are continuing to our walk through the catechism in your inbox. Currently on the Lord’s Prayer
It is still mowing season. Thank you and please remember to do your part.
A BIG THANK YOU to the Women’s Group for purchasing the Mums planted in front of our sign and to Mindy for weeding the garden bed around the sign and planting the Mums.
MEN’S CLUB will NOT be meeting this month.
WOMEN’S GROUP is meeting via ZOOM on Monday, September 14th at 6:30pm. Note, this is the 2nd Monday, not the 3rd Monday as is our tradition.
BEEF ON WECK DRIVE-THRU … Save the date … Saturday, October 3rd
The volunteer sign-up will soon be posted. We have made some adjustments to the plan we used for the Spring Drive-Thru in hopes of making it even more streamline. (Recap … we sold 300 meals in ONE hour!) Realizing that we will probably sell out in an hour means that we need to have more help BEFORE the first meal is sold. Of course, we will again be wearing gloves and masks and doing our best to social distance while working. However, there are several jobs that can be done separate from other people if you would like to volunteer some time but are hesitant to step outside your Covid Bubble. Please don’t hesitate to get in touch with Mindy if you have any questions.
This is a first-come, first serve meal. We will NOT be selling tickets in advance. However, posting a flyer around town and sharing our Facebook ad is appreciated.