The Vicar’s Sermon “Teasers”

Pastoral Care Provider:  Vicar Jeremiah T. Heydt

Each week a compilation of the upcoming weeks’ readings is completed as a reference and review.  I hope that you find this information helpful in deepening your spiritual understanding and growth.

A synopsis of the readings for the coming Sunday, what happened in church last week, any other notable events and a Commemoration of the Church

Sunday – July 15, 2018

This Sunday, July 15, 2018 is the 8th Sunday after Pentecost. The Gospel is from Mark 6:14-29 where Jesus and his disciples begin to attract attention, Mark recalls the story of John the Baptist’s martyrdom. Like John, Jesus and his disciples will also suffer at the hands of those opposed to the gospel of salvation. Here is part of the message: In our lives when the world clamors for us to do this, to do that, we need to have a back bone and stand up to those pressures.
A disciple of Christ needs to be his own boss. A disciple needs to be free from the pressures of the world. A disciple of Jesus needs to be award of peer pressure and when it goes against the teachings of Jesus, a disciples needs to steer clear of it.
As Dietrich Bonhoeffer says: “Christianity without the living Christ is inevitably Christianity without discipleship, and Christianity without discipleship is always Christianity without Christ.”
Living with and in Christ can help us avoid pressure. Living with and in Christ can help us not to follow the pressures all around us. Living with and in Christ can help us live a life that we can be proud of.

          8th Sunday After Pentecost

A synopsis of the readings for the coming Sunday, what happened in church last week, any other             notable events and a Commemoration of the Church

Amos 7:7-15: Amos was not the kind of prophet attached to temples or royal courts. Rather, he was an ordinary farmer from Judah (the southern kingdom) called by God to speak to Israel (the northern kingdom). God’s word of judgment through Amos conflicted with the king’s court prophet Amaziah, whom Amos encountered at Bethel.

Psalm 85:8-13: I will listen to what the Lord God is saying. (Ps. 85:8)

Ephesians 1:3-14: In Jesus, all of God’s plans and purposes have been made known as heaven and earth are united in Christ. Through Jesus, we have been chosen as God’s children and have been promised eternal salvation.

Mark 6:14-29: As Jesus and his disciples begin to attract attention, Mark recalls the story of John the Baptist’s martyrdom. Like John, Jesus and his disciples will also suffer at the hands of those opposed to the gospel of salvation.

Speaking Truth to Power

Few of us want to hear a hard truth, and perhaps fewer of us want to be the ones called to deliver one. Today’s texts remind us that bearing God’s word is risky business. King Jereboam exiles the prophet Amos for calling him to account. Herod delivers John the baptizer’s head on a platter to his wife, Herodias, to fulfill a promise he never should have made. Speaking truth to power can cost us our lives.

Yet this is exactly what God calls us to do. God’s prophets are ordinary people called to deliver an extraordinary message. Listen to the praise Paul heaps on the Ephesians, naming them as God’s blessed, God’s chosen, and God’s adopted children (Eph. 1:3-5). It is the kind of pep talk coaches give their players just before sending them back into the game against a seemingly unbeatable team. Like Amos, who freely confesses his humble background and unlikely credentials, we are sent from worship each week to proclaim God’s in-breaking reign to all the powers that profess to rule this world.

Still, beneath the apparent victory of power over truth, there is a hidden story bursting through the seams of this tale. Yes, John the Baptist dies, but the integrity of his witness outshines all of Herod’s corrupt court intrigues. Herod himself was drawn to John’s preaching, and in the end it is Herod’s character that seems most tragic.

Like Herod, we are each challenged to really listen to the challenging voice of God in our day and age, and to turn away from the lures and temptations that attempt to seduce us away from fidelity to God. Through us, God speaks words of peace, love, and faithfulness that challenge the world’s violence, hatred, and treachery.

 Prayer of the Day

O God, from you come all holy desires, all good counsels, and all just works. Give to us, your servants, that peace which the world cannot give, that our hearts may be set to obey your commandments; and also that we, being defended from the fear of our enemies, may live in peace and quietness, through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord. Amen.

 What Happened In Church Last Week

  • There were no young folks to come forward for the “Young Folks Message” AND the adults were too shy this time to come up…… they were reluctant because they would be asked questions about the gospel reading……..BOOO HOOOO
  • I could easily relate to Jesus’ coming home….BUT…… I don’t foresee any issues with being a pastor in my hometown 40 years later…..

Coming Up

July 29th we receive the Wanamaker family to our congregation: Join us as we welcome Duane, Karen, Anna and Laura to be part of our community of faith !!!!!

The Church Commemorates

Bartolomé de Las Casas, missionary to the Indies, died 1566

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

A native of Spain, Las Casas first came to the Western hemisphere while serving in the military. Granted a large estate with indigenous slaves, he freed them after he was ordained a priest. He worked in the Caribbean and Central America to improve the lives of the native peoples.

See You In Church This Sunday !!!!!! The Lord Be With You

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