Hello, Lisa Rygiel here with this week’s e-formation.
It seems a little strange to be sending this out on Wednesdays instead of Monday but hopefully sending out a mid-week blast instead of one on Monday and another on Saturday will reduce the number of emails we need to receive and send!
During Adult Bible Study, we have been walking through 21 questions that were identified by John Wesley to help us develop our spiritual lives and continue our journey of becoming deeply committed Christians. The 20th question is: "Is there anyone whom I fear, dislike, disown, criticize, hold resentment toward or disregard?"
The author of our study guide, Chris Folmsbee, states that we cannot fully live the Christian life, as Jesus meant us to until we are at peace not only with God and ourselves but also with others. To be wholly Christian we must attempt to be like Christ. This is, of course, difficult. As human beings, it is hard not to fear, dislike, disown, criticize, hold resentment toward or disregard others.
Jesus does not want us to live our lives like that. The love he demonstrated to us is for all people in all situations. Even when Jesus criticized his disciples for one thing or another, he still loved them with a love so fierce that the disciples knew that his love was the reason for the correction.
We typically feel fear, dislike, or resentment toward others because of several factors. First, we assume we are better than they are. Comparing ourselves to others is dangerous, it creates a mentality of separation. We create distance from others in our lives and, therefore, build walls of dislike, criticism, and sometimes even bitterness. To be Christlike, Christians must look through a lens of compassion. We must work to see people as God sees them—as beloved children of great value and worth.
Second, we develop distance from others in our lives because we don’t like their personality. They may “rub us the wrong way” or “they are from another planet” or “drive us crazy.” Phrases like these create distance from the very people we are called to love.
A third reason we tend to push people away is due to the belief that the other has somehow wronged us. Typically, when someone wrongs us, our inability to forgive keeps us from wanting to even be around that person or those people. We see this in families, including church families. This is not a healthy way to live.
We know that we will never be fully compatible with everyone else around us. Some really will drive us crazy! But Jesus wants us to be reconciled with one another. John 13:34 states that “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you.” Jesus wants us to experience the peace of God in all areas of our life. We are called to regard all with love. Regardless of how hard it may be!
Let us remember to keep loving one another. Give hugs. Be patient with one another. Serve one another. Rejoice with one another. Cry with one another. Create unity, not separation. Live in respectful relationship with one another. Live your life with the fullness Christ wants for you!
4 Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant 5 or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful;[a] 6 it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. 7 Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. 1 Corinthians 13:4-7
This week (other meetings/gatherings will be taking place as well but here are some things to note):
Sunday, Aug. 7, The 9th Sunday after Pentecost
Bible study is on hiatus for August, looking to resume after Labor Day.
Please join us, either in person OR via ZOOM ('hybrid' worship). If you will be worshiping via Zoom, log on or call in using these links: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/91739214242?pwd=b1QrZzk0QzBtM1RXZnZuaVFVMDNmZz09 -- or Dial: 1 301 715 8592 -- Meeting ID: 917 3921 4242 -- Password: 731771. For those of you who will be worshiping in person, masks will now be at the discretion of each individual. We continue to be mindful of all the different ways people are compromised that may not be known and so please continue to practice healthy community habits such as staying home when you are sick etc.
Worship leader: Pastor Kate Schlechter;
Assistant: Lisa Rygiel;
Organist: Connie Pallone;
Ushering: Carol Schultzkump & John Rygiel
Reading: John Rygiel
Communion prep/cleanup: Kathy Broman & Doris Blalock
Flowers: Donated by Pastor Kate in honor of her father Bob’s birthday
Approximately 11:15 a.m. to share a cup of coffee/soda and conversation!
Other important stuff of note:
In the gospel for this coming Sunday, we hear about a master who serves his slaves at the table. This will happen when Christ welcomes us, forgives us, speaks with us, and serves us bread and wine. Join us in the Master’s company.
The Readings in the Bible
We are given four different images of the life of faithfulness: we are a flock that is well shepherded; we put our money into sturdy purses; we are slaves served at the table by the master; our lives are broken into by God’s very self. At holy communion today, we are those very slaves served by the master.
This account of establishing the covenant between God and Abraham is set next to Luke 12 as two more images of God’s promise of grace to the faithful. God’s coming is like a couple in their 90s finally bearing a child and like the multitudinous stars shining in the night.
Hebrews 11:1-3, 8-16
Hebrews 11 is the first of four semi-continuous selections here in Year C: Year B also includes four semi-continuous passages from Hebrews. The reading enhances our hearing of Genesis 15 with the author’s extended example of Abraham’s faith. Both Hebrews 11:12 and Genesis 15:5 invoke the image of the stars.
Zion's Lutheran Church