Grace to you and peace, from God our Creator and the Lord Jesus Christ! There are ways in which reading the Bible as literature (the title of a book by a former teaching colleague of mine, O.B. Davis) helps us to understand how we may apply our understanding to today. To do so with the passages from Isaiah and from Matthew this week is helpful as we read as allegory references to vineyards. Finding relateable imagery for our time and place and reading to know how we may respond is always our challenge. Join me as we wrestle together?
Grace to you and peace, from God our Creator and the Lord Jesus Christ! The first Sunday of October is recognized by many and varied denominations as World Communion Sunday. We will celebrate this together tomorrow as we share in the sacrament. For those of you who worship at home, I invite you to prepare the elements to partake with those of us in the sanctuary. In doing so, we remember together how Jesus would have us all be one, united in one spirit—His spirit.
The text for the day asks us to consider the authority that we give others and also, particularly, by what authority Jesus spoke, taught and healed. We may occasionally wonder along with the Pharisees what it was that distinguished Jesus from other prophets and teachers. Our questions may not be new, nor may be some of our answers; still, we can learn and grow together.
Grace to you and peace, from God our Creator and the Lord Jesus Christ! We have officially crossed into fall this morning and with it can marvel at the slow changing of colors around us. Change is also the order of the day in our scripture lessons this weekend, to some degree–change when that is what is necessary for there to be mercy. In the story of Jonah and the Ninevites and in Jesus’ parable about the workers in the vineyard, we learn about mercy, and we see in God’s own actions what it takes to be merciful. We see a glimpse of the kin-dom of God and are invited in.
Grace to you and peace, from God our Creator and the Lord Jesus Christ! Listening to the wind and to trees groaning, and watching the many trees around my house sway and start with uplifted leaves in the wind, I pray in this moment that everyone is safe and has no plans to do anything but remain at home today. Please do be in touch should you find yourself uncomfortable or unsafe at home. Among those of us who have generators, I am sure we can help to provide for those who do not, and should anyone’s home be damaged, I pray we may offer shelter. Please be in touch. My phone number is (978)400-1991 and I will have my directory at the ready to reach out to our deacons, trustees and care team.
Our annual meeting is scheduled for tomorrow and the storm is predicted to have abated significantly by the time our worship begins at 10:00 a.m. There are still flood warnings in effect, so please do make your plans in order to be safe. We plan to offer our worship both online and in-person, as we have been, so if there is any question of your safety and you have power, please feel free to Zoom.
We celebrate Community in our song and our worship, and we muse about how Jesus’ call to us to be forgiving can be challenging as well as inviting new spiritual and community growth. Stay tuned for any further announcements regarding plans for worship!
Grace to you and peace, from God our Creator and the Lord Jesus Christ! Jesus’ disciples asked him to teach them how to pray, and we continue to pray in that spirit even today. In terms just as direct, Jesus often tells his listeners how to engage relationships in the way that will build up rather than tear down, both individually and in community. In a similar way, Paul writes his letters to the churches, trying to teach simple ways of behaving, using very straightforward language that can provide us a kind of guidebook for how to navigate life’s difficulties. On this Consecration Sunday, when we celebrate God’s gifts to us and our giving of gifts to the church in return, we ask God’s blessing on this church and its ministry in community, and pray that we would be strengthened to give and to be as God would have us be.