June 27th, 2021 – 5th Sunday after Pentecost
WORSHIP & Bible Study
Today’s flowers are placed by the Brown Family in honor of Anna’s high school graduation.
Worship is at 10AM, Bible Study after service or 11:15ish
This week’s service Bulletin/Worship Link Here
Zoom Meeting ID: 645 848 5288 Passcode: miracles
You have probably noticed that we have been concluding special pandemic worship accommodations. The last of these, our “Zooming” of worship services, will be discontinued as of July 11th. In the Spirit of Hebrews 10:25 we wish to encourage all to “not neglect to meet together but gather to encourage one another.”
Devotion & Prayer Thought
I get a chuckle each time Larry Stojkovic (Pastor at Hope in Greece) shares his Father-in-law’s stewardship sermon. “Kirk (Senior) used to give this sermon twice a year and whenever it was necessary. ‘I have three points today. First, you have money. Second, Jesus needs that money. Third, time to hand it over.’” I only met Kirk Dueker, Sr. twice, but I can completely believe it. Although I do wonder if he ever gave that sermon to a congregation in extremis. There is a difference asking a congregation where his first point is abundantly true to support “growth” projects and giving that to a congregation where the first point might be less sure.
Paul in the Epistle Reading for the day gives something very close to Kirk, Sr.’ s sermon. In the background of Acts and poking out occasionally in the letters, Paul is collecting funds from his gentile churches for the saints, Jewish, in Jerusalem. Paul opens by pointing at the churches of Macedonia’s (Thessalonians, Philippians) generosity. Corinth was also part of Macedonia, but if you were making modern comparisons, Thessalonica and Philippi might be Buffalo and Cleveland, while Corinth was New York City or San Jose. That is Paul making Kirk, Sr.’s first point – “You have money.” And when they saw what Buffalo and Cleveland had contributed, “we urged Titus that he should complete among you this act of grace.” That is Kirk’s point two. The need remains and Titus should set it before the congregation at Corinth. And then Paul moves on to point three, “As you excel in everything – in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in all earnestness, and in our love for you – see that you excel in this act of grace also.” Kirk, Sr. was giving a very biblical sermon.
But Paul doesn’t stop there, he expands on a stewardship truth in two biblical ways. The conclusion to his argument recalls the experience of Israel in the desert with the manna. “Whoever gathered much had nothing left over, and whoever gathered little had no lack.” That image from the life of Israel is about the providence of God. It works in such a way that we always have exactly what we need. It is Luther’s explanation of the First Article, “He richly and daily provides me with all that I need to support this body and life.” This calls for some contemplation. Whether we appear to have a lack, or appear to have an abundance, faith sees the right amount for what we are called to do. The lack or abundance is not in what God has supplied, it is in our use of his gifts. Along the way to that conclusion Paul tweaks the Corinthians who did tend to think they were better than all, “in faith, in speech, in knowledge.” Paul’s tweaking is that such things are definitely great gifts, and if they were so gifted in the higher things, then such a simple gift as generosity with the less fortunate should be as nothing. I think the wisdom here is two-fold. Paul is right that a generous charity is a foundational grace. “Where your money is, there your heart will be also.” Paul is also highlighting how often we grasp for higher gifts but lack the foundation. And we lack it because it is not so simple. Stewardship is a concrete act of faith in the Providence of God.
UPCOMING ACTIVITIES FOR WEEK OF: June 28th – July 4th
Mon-Sat………………… Rummage Sale Collection
Thursday: ……………… 10:00amBible Study
Sunday: …………………. 10:00am Worship
11:00am Bible Study
- Thurs 10am: Something New! Come Join Us.
- Confirmation: Returns in September
- Life Application Fellowship (LAF): Returns in September
- Sunday Morning: Study will be at 11:15ish, after worship, Walking through the Gospel of Mark
- Catechism Moment: It was a busy week. Will return next week.