November 8th, 2020 – 23rd Sunday after Pentecost
WORSHIP & Bible Study
Worship is at 10AM, Lord’s Supper for those present.
This week’s service Bulletin/Worship Link Here
Zoom (NEW!): https://us02web.zoom.us/j/6458485288?pwd=R2xGZkRNVi9TdzFPQzlaVnluNWo4QT09
Zoom Info: Meeting ID: 645 848 5288 Passcode: miracles
Bible Study after service or 11:15ish. I’ll keep the zoom line on.
Devotion & Prayer Thought
Over the last year or so, the Thursday morning study has been reading the minor prophets – like Amos – and then moving into a long complex one, Ezekiel. The themes of these prophets are all remarkably the same: repent for the Day of the Lord comes, rend your hearts and not your garments and do the things the Lord delights in. And these prophets get specific about the sins and who is committing them. They name names as it were, and nobody escapes. The only difference is roughly where in time they sit. The books in our bibles are arranged in presumed time order, with one complication. The earlier books are not quite as strident in tone or as dismissive. The later books are caustic with hope turning to some distant future. The one complication is that Amos is a prophet sent to the Northern Kingdom of Israel which falls more than a century before the Southern Kingdom. So Amos is at the fever pitch well before the ones that follow.
The other wrinkle is that Amos was not one of the club. He was “neither a prophet nor a prophet’s son, but a keeper of fig trees.” So when God calls him, you can feel the passion underneath. He has no family or conflicting motives in what he says. He might even “want to watch it burn.” And at least for me reading these books, the great discomfort has been how much I can associate with them. With many biblical books, there is distance between our situation and those they address. These prophets feel like contemporaries.
Amos’ preaching in Chapter 5 is focused on the status of the heart versus the exterior life. The Day of the Lord is coming, and as our Church year turns toward its end, we turn to contemplation of that. So did religious life in Israel. Sukkot, the end times festival, precedes Rosh Hashanah, the new year. And the Northern Kingdom of Israel was rich. Their wealth covered all the external needs of the religion. They had their solemn assemblies. They went to temple and made all their burnt offerings. Their psalms were sung with gusto. They were sure of their status. The Day of the Lord would deliver them. But Amos tells them “you abhor the one who speaks truth, you trample on the poor and exact taxes from him, to build houses and vineyards – you shall not dwell in them.” Their outward piety belied inward unbelief, and unchanged heart.
“Woe to you who desire the Day of the Lord, why would you have it? It is darkness not light.” And in a very funny quip, “it is as if a man fled from a Lion and a bear met him.” We expect God to provide comfort. And this he does in Jesus Christ. But have we welcomed Him? Have we sought the Lord where and when he may be found? Or have we just assumed he’s there for us, and done what we like? This is not works righteousness. You will not be saved by what you do. But it is a question, who do you fear, love and trust the most? The Day is Coming.
UPCOMING ACTIVITIES FOR WEEK OF: Nov 9th – Nov 15th
Mon. – Fri. ……….….… 8:00am Preschool
Monday: ………………. 1:00pm O.C.C. Shoebox packing
6:00pm Men’s Club meeting
Tuesday: ………………. 6:00pm O.C.C. Shoebox packing
Thursday: ……………… 10:00am Bible Study
Sunday: …………………. 10:00am Worship
11:15am Budget Presentation
- Thurs 10am: We are reading the book of Ezekiel, at least parts of it. The strangest book in the bible, but also one keyed to the anxieties of the moment. Everyone welcome, including on zoom.
- Confirmation: Practical Unit on “how to have an intentional prayer life.”
- Life Application Fellowship (LAF): is next meeting on Wednesdays, Nov 18th at 7 PM. We will be on the Zoom line.
- Sunday Morning: Study will be at 11:15ish, after worship, in the sanctuary on the zoom line.
- Catechism Moment: We’ve started on the Office of the Keys and Confession
WOMENS GROUP: During our meeting this week we agreed to spend some of our Spring Beef on Weck profits in the following ways …
$400 … donation to the Organ Fund
$200 … Community Lutheran to assist with their holiday endeavors
$200 … direct Congregational support
$100 … Calvary Food Cupboard
? … looking into adopting a RHAFT family for Christmas
Pandemic Challenge for RHAFT : Food collections for RHAFT are ongoing and in urgent need as we all struggle to weather this Pandemic. We would like to implement a weekly collection of items like we have done during Lent in previous years. A list has been posted on the bulletin board as well as attached to this bulletin. If you would like to contribute to the Rush-Henrietta Food Pantry, a box is located under the round table in the narthex for non-perishable items. Please remember that the items donated cannot be past their expiration date.
OPERATION CHRISTMAS CHILD shoeboxes are now available for you take home and fill.
MEN’S CLUB MEETING: The Men’s Club is meeting at St. Mark in person on Monday, November 9th at 6pm. Please sign up on the bulletin board if you plan to attend.
Operation Christmas Child Collection Week: Collection week is Nov. 16-23. Please sign-up and volunteer to “man the booth” which will be open for 3 hours a day. I’m putting up volunteer sheets for 1-hour slots. Please consider helping in this. (You may bump ‘Mindy’ on any day.)
CONGREGATIONAL MTGS: November 15th/Budget Presentation & December 6th/Final Vote