Hello, Lisa Rygiel here with this week’s e-formation.
On my way home from an appointment in Pueblo, I was listening to a sermon by Alistar Begg. Alistar is a Senior Pastor at a multi-campus church located in Ohio. He is heard daily on the radio program, Truth for Life. Pastor Begg is a masterful speaker and I always take away something of importance when I can catch his program. On Friday, he ended his message with “Where does your mind go when you are not engaged in something else?” His question is a good one. What are you thinking, what topic comes to mind, when you aren’t focused on something specific? His point is, that your mind will wander off to those people or topics or hobbies that are important to you and that is what you will spend your time dwelling on. He believes that we should put such time to good use, turning to the Lord and dwelling on his kingdom.
Then, when I checked my email today, I had a communication from Luther Seminary that asked the question, “What’s your go-to activity for killing time? It seems like we spend so much time these days waiting for something whether it is in the checkout lane at Walmart, food delivery at a restaurant, or waiting for the world news to be hopeful once again. Face it, waiting makes us crazy. For me, this question seemed to tie into the question Pastor Begg’s had. How am I using my “down time” to strengthen my relationship with the Lord?
I know that when I have downtime of any sort, I grab my phone, play games, check emails, etc. What do you do? Scroll through social media? Watch the people around you?” There is nothing wrong with these activities, however, maybe we could put some of that time to better use. The author, Pastor Hollie M. Holt-Woehl suggested that we should turn our waiting times into spiritually uplifting prayer sessions. See her suggestions below.
WHILE YOU WAIT PRAY…
For the workers at the place where you wait & the people waiting in line with you:
“Only you, O God, know what is going on in their life, make whole what is broken, give strength for whatever they face this day…”
AND PRAY SOME MORE…
For family and friends, lifting them one by one to Jesus: “Jesus this is Sarah, Sarah this is Jesus.”
IF STILL WAITING PRAY…
For medical personnel & support staff, public servants; For people who are sick, alone, or facing food/housing insecurit,; Or for anyone who comes to mind:
Use either the suggested prayer starter above or another.
TIME TO SAY “AMEN.”
“May it be so,” leave it in God’s hands. God cares for you, strengthens you, and watches over you while you wait. (Isaiah 40:31)
This week (other meetings/gatherings will be taking place as well but here are some things to note):cSunday, July 24, The 7th Sunday after Pentecost
Worship leader: Pastor Kate Schlechter;
Assistant: Julie Wersal;
Organist: Connie Pallone;
Ushering: Peggy Gustafson & Cheri Holder
Reading: Peggy Gustafson
Communion prep/cleanup: John and Lisa Rygiel
Flowers: Donated by Doris Blalock to say thank you for all the well wishes, prayers, and love following her surgery
Other important stuff of note:
In the gospel for this coming Sunday, a rich man has such successful harvests that he must build bigger and bigger barns to store all his stuff. Come to worship to receive very different kind of treasure, in community, word, and sacrament.
The Readings in the Bible
By the 80s, the world not yet having come to an end, Luke speaks less of an imminent eschaton than about both the ongoing needs of the church and the world and the believers’ life-long religious values. In both his Gospel and Acts, Luke criticizes the rich who ignore the poor and praises those who give alms and contribute to the needs of the nascent church. This parable is found only in Luke. Luke may have in mind Ecclesiastes 8:15, which is summarized in the saying, “Eat, drink, and be merry, for tomorrow we die.”
Ecclesiastes 1:2, 12-14; 2:18-23
Ecclesiastes was written about 300 years before Christ. Traditionally the speaker was identified as wise King Solomon, who lived 600 years earlier. The book is cast as the memoir of a teacher of the assembly, Qoheleth, a disappointed old skeptic who sees through the futility of the world’s values and who knows that goodness is not always rewarded. Ecclesiastes thus rejects the wisdom movement as expressed in for example the book of Proverbs. The closing epilogue (12:9-14) was perhaps added by a later hand. “Vanity,” hebel, repeated thirty-eight times in the book, means vapor, mist, a substance that disappears, thus emptiness, meaninglessness. These early passages lay out the author’s disillusionment.
The author of Colossians, likely Paul or his disciple, understands that baptism radically alters the believer. At least some Christian communities baptized adults naked, and it is expected that this practice stands behind the language of “stripping off” the old self and donning the new clothing of Christ. The author repeats his message that the baptized already have received sufficient knowledge of God. Paul’s manifesto from Galatians 3:28 is repeated here, without reference to male and female: see the explicit androcentrism in Colossians 3:18. The noun Scythian, similar to the barbarian, suggested a savage from the north. Despite what the author of Ecclesiastes wrote, this author asserts that God will indeed punish evildoers.
Zion's Lutheran Church