This Sunday, our gospel passage presents the well-known parable regarding Lazarus and the Rich Man. Although most of us don’t think of ourselves as being rich, we are all richly blessed by God. The common understanding of what it means to be blessed is that God gives us good things. We’ve all heard someone say, “I’ve been blessed by God,” usually in relation to success, health, family, wealth, or a job.
While it’s true to say that God does bless us with these good things, we also receive a divine blessing that is far richer than any earthly blessing. In Galatians 3:13-14, Paul explains what it means to be blessed.
“13Christ redeemed us from the curse of the Law by becoming a curse for us—because it is written, everyone who is hung on a tree is cursed. 14 He redeemed us so that the blessing of Abraham would come to the Gentiles through Christ Jesus, and that we would receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.”
Verse 14 makes clear that the blessing of Abraham comes through Christ Jesus. From this, we can conclude that the blessing God wants us to receive is something far greater than material things — the promise of the Spirit! The Holy Spirit is God Himself, indwelling within each of us so that we may make Him the center of our lives. This, my friends, is the Good News, the focus of the gospel of God.
To be blessed through Jesus Christ is to be on the receiving end of God’s holy benevolence. It is to be bathed in grace. We are given an abundance of peace of heart, mind, and spirit. It is to be filled with his Spirit so that our lives demonstrate the fruit of his holy presence: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.
May God richly bless you in all you do this week! Amen!
Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we boast in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.
And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us. You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly… God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
This week (other meetings/gatherings will be taking place as well but here are some things to note):
Sunday, Sept. 25, The 16th Sunday after Pentecost
We will be having a study on Galatians led by Carol Smith. Note: This will be the same study she has been leading for Women’s Bible study, so if you missed any or just want a repeat, please join us in the fellowship hall downstairs in the Blue Room or via Zoom at: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/907628370?pwd=eFVCTEVhb0xqMXcxY2xaUG5JMUZEdz09 -- or Dial 1 312 626 6799 Meeting ID: 907 628 370 Passcode: 332397
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.
Flowers: Flowers are donated by Mark Moss for Jo & Elizabeth’s birthdays
Join us for a very special time in our Fellowship Hall after worship. The Transition Team is hosting a Timeline Event, which will be a fun time and we would like the participation of our entire congregation. This is part of the Transition Team's job as we work on discovering the identity of Zion's as we've moved through the years. Our heritage and history will be incorporated into the Transition Team's work as we endeavor to find out who Zion's Lutheran has been, is currently, and who we want to be. Please bring yourselves and your memories and join the fun!!!
Church Council Meeting Notes
Church council met on Sunday, Sept.18. Cherie Holder and Lynn Chase reported on the Transition Team's activities.
Financial reports were approved as submitted. Income for the month of August was $6,612, which included $1,502 we made at the garage sale. Expenses were $9,239 which included $1,143 paid out for benevolence, special offerings and 5 Loaves. Average attendance was 28 (in-person only).
Mike McNeil was elected to the Board of Trustees that oversees our trust fund. The semi-annual meeting between the Board of Trustees and Fidelity Investments, plus another meeting with Fisher Investments, is scheduled for the week of Sept. 19.
The Annual God's Work Our Hands picnic and project went well. Everyone enjoyed the music by the Orphan Valley Singers and more than $500 was collected that day for lunches for school children. We also cleaned, organized, mowed, weeded, and trimmed the areas in and around the church. Council would like to thank everyone involved.
Vicar Lisa Rygiel has resigned her position on church council. Paula Little has been appointed to complete her remaining term. Norine Hazen was named vice-president.
A communications team has been formed to coordinate information on our website, Facebook page and other information sent electronically. Another committee was formed to check on using Ring or another system as a smoke detector.
The next council meeting will be Oct. 9.
Submitted by Julie Wersal, Council President
The gospel this coming Sunday is the well-known parable of the rich man and poor Lazarus. Come to worship to hear what all this story might mean for us, who are rich in God, and who feast sumptuously on the meal of Christ.
Christians are called to have mercy on all who are in need. That this parable has been so literalized in Christian imagination indicates the power of a well-crafted narrative and people’s perpetual fascination with the afterlife. Care must be taken to avoid any such literal interpretation, which would suggest that those who are embraced by God would not care about the suffering of others. Luke’s position that “Moses and the prophets” point the world to Christ is a foundational principle of the ecumenical lectionary.
Amos 6:1a, 4-7
It is almost as if when recording this parable Luke was thinking of this passage from Amos when imagining the rich man at his banquet. Amos calls for the people to grieve over the sufferings of the northern kingdom, just as Luke implies that believers will attend to the sufferings of the poor.
1 Timothy 6:6-19
This excerpt from 1 Timothy is remarkably appropriate for this Sunday. In Christ believers discover the true treasury. They are to be rich in good works. The good fight of faith is described as marked by love, endurance, and gentleness, yet also pursues righteousness and generosity. Rather than loving money, Christians are to be ready to share.
Zion's Lutheran Church