THE  NINTH  SUNDAY  AFTER

PENTECOST

 
We have nothing here but five loaves and two fish.And he said, Bring them here to me.

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Lord, open our lips and our mouth shall proclaim your praise.

 

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit; as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be forever.  Amen.  Alleluia.

 

 JUBILATE

 

Be joyful in Lord, all you lands;*

     serve the Lord with gladness

     and come before his presence with a song.

 

Know this: The Lord himself is God;*

     he himself has made us and we are his;

     we are his people and the sheep of his pasture.

 

Enter his gates with thanksgiving;

go into his courts with praise;*

     give thanks to him and and call upon his Name.

 

For the Lord is good;

his mercy is everlasting;*

     and his faithfulness endures from age to age.

 

 

Psalm 17:1-7,16

 

Exaudi, Domine

1 Hear my plea of innocence, O Lord;

give heed to my cry; *

listen to my prayer, which does not come from lying lips.

2 Let my vindication come forth from your presence; *

let your eyes be fixed on justice.

3 Weigh my heart, summon me by night, *

melt me down; you will find no impurity in me.

4 I give no offense with my mouth as others do; *

I have heeded the words of your lips.

5 My footsteps hold fast to the ways of your law; *

in your paths my feet shall not stumble.

6 I call upon you, O God, for you will answer me; *

incline your ear to me and hear my words.

7 Show me your marvelous loving-kindness, *

O Savior of those who take refuge at your right hand

from those who rise up against them.

16 But at my vindication I shall see your face; *

when I awake, I shall be satisfied, beholding

your likeness.

 

THE LESSON

 

Matthew 14:13-21

Jesus withdrew in a boat to a deserted place by himself. But when the crowds heard it, they followed him on foot from the towns. When he went ashore, he saw a great crowd; and he had compassion for them and cured their sick. When it was evening, the disciples came to him and said, This is a deserted place, and the hour is now late; send the crowds away so that they may go into the villages and buy food for themselves.” Jesus said to them, They need not go away; you give them something to eat.” They replied, We have nothing here but five loaves and two fish.” And he said, Bring them here to me.” Then he ordered the crowds to sit down on the grass. Taking the five loaves and the two fish, he looked up to heaven, and blessed and broke the loaves, and gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the crowds. And all ate and were filled; and they took up what was left over of the broken pieces, twelve baskets full. And those who ate were about five thousand men, besides women and children.

A NOTE ABOUT THE FOLLOWING REFLECTION:  This past week we received some bad news regarding two potential candidates.  Rev. Janet Wheelock accepted another call in Virginia, and Fr. Marrs who is taking on the Yankton-Santee Mission stated that he felt he would not do us justice by taking us on when starting a new ministry that involves several small parishes.  Our small parish finds itself where it started almost four years ago.

REFLECTION

by

Norm Wright

+In the Name of Jesus+

The story of the Feeding of the Five Thousand is a miracle story, of sorts; in that, it has more of scent of being a parable; a parable about the miracle we call grace.  What is intriguing about this miracle story is that, according to the all the Gospel accounts, nobody really sees the miracle or has a sense of miracle taking place until the very end.  That this is one of a few miracles that is described in all four of the Gospels underscores its importance to the overall Gospel message.

 

Miracles happen. I can say that because I’ve experienced them and I’m sure most of you have also. This isn’t a story to convince us that Jesus performed miracles.  That’s a given in the Gospels.  This story is about the messages it contains.   The message I see in this particular story today is that miracles of grace usually happen without anyone noticing them taking place until they find themselves in a different place, looking at things in a different way. 

 

God’s grace is always present and always active.  In fact, we’re here today because of God’s grace.   As this morning’s introit hymn reminds us, “Grace brought us safe thus far and grace will bring us home.”

 

My original intent for a reflection on this Gospel lesson was to explain some of its emoji-like symbolism and its numerical meanings that are not often talked about and remain hidden in plain sight when this story is presented as one-off miracle event that occurred some two thousand years ago.  Given the recent events of this past week with regard to our search process has caused me to take a deeper look into this story to see if it could shed some light on what we’re experiencing right now.

 

We’ve been caught into what can be described as a looping thought-pattern when it comes to our search process. We’ve become obsessed with seeking a priest to grow our congregation so we can afford a priest who will grow our congregation so that we can afford a priest who will… and so the loop continues.  It has become a worrisome whirlpool that we can’t swim clear of.  It’s a vortex created by what we think we know to be the only solution to our situation that keeps us spinning in circles and prevents us from seeing a way out; much less, a way forward.

 

It’s like Jesus’ disciples reacting to what they though they knew could happen when it would get dark and this large crowd would get hungry; making it hard for the disciples to eat their meager stash. So they went to Jesus to ask him to send the crowd on its way to search for food vendors in the nearby villages. Similarly, we worry about what could happen with the approaching evening of this parish on the horizon, and we have been sent out to search for a vendor (a priest) to supply us with the means to keep the lights on in this church.

 

It’s a loopy process and we’re not alone in it.  It’s not just us.  Our diocese has joined in the loopiness by adding some hoopiness to the whole process, as far as what type of vendor we can afford.  As such, the primary issue in this loopy search process is money. 

 

We’ve got just enough to do something, but not enough to get us what we want.  It’s quite apparent that money is the primary issue of our diocese as well; in the sense, they don’t want us spending any endowments that could end up closing our doors because we couldn’t pay full-time priest’s salary and meet our other bills because we couldn't afford a priest who couldn’t grow our congregation because… and so the loopiness continues.

 

When Jesus’s disciples expressed their worry about their concerns about hungry crowd needing to search for food, Jesus said, “There is no need to send them away.  You feed them.”  So they tell Jesus, “Are you kidding?  All we have are these five barley loaves and two small fish.”  And what was Jesus’ response?   “No.  I’m not kidding.  Bring what we’ve got here. ” After blessing their meager rations Jesus sends them on the their way to give what he had blessed to the crowd, and we know the rest of the story.  The people are fed and they find their way home and hardly anyone saw the miracle. 

 

There is no record of anyone leaving the site praising God for their meal, and the disciples don’t seem to notice until they started picking up the pieces that were left over and taking an account of the what they had. Oddly, the story ends in relative silence.  The miracle of grace can be so subtle and so unnerving that reactions to its reveal is awed silence.

 

What can we take away from this story this morning?

 

The obvious one is stop the loopiness, stay put for now, and take account of what we have and present it to Jesus for a blessing.  The question we need to ask ourselves, is not how much do we love this church, this building, and our way of doing things, but rather simply ask ourselves, how much do we love Jesus?  Because it is not a given that we do just because we call ourselves Christians, Episcopalians, or by just sitting in this beautiful place of worship giving lip service to the idea of loving Jesus. 

 

What are we willing to do because of that love? What are we willing to let go of and give up if called upon to so in order to follow Jesus’ example; Jesus’ lead? 

 

Jesus once told a rich young man who Jesus loved that if he wanted to follow Jesus he should sell all his earthly treasure and give the proceeds to the poor.   We know the sad result of that encounter as the young man walked away from Jesus.  [Matthew 19:16-23]

 

What will our response be if Jesus asks us to do likewise?  It’s not an easy question to answer, and its not meant to be.  It requires soul searching, not priest searching.   Jesus is not asking us to grow a congregation.  Jesus is asking us build his kingdom or, as I prefer to call it, to build the Family of God; with or without a priest.  It’s not a job you can hire someone else to do.  It’s not like asking for a lawn service to mow your yard or a plumber to fix a leak.  This is a job assigned to all those who claim to follow Jesus and we need to stop what we’re doing and consider how to help build the Family of God in our midst.  

 

As frustrating this past week has been, there was a moment of serendipity when Matt forwarded Dick and me an article entitled, “Twenty Rules of Wisdom” which, in turn, I forwarded to our committee and the Vestry.  Gert responded by saying her favorite rule was “When we get tangled up in our problems, be still; God wants us to be still so He can untangle the knot.” 

 

We’re in a loopy tangle at the present time. We seem bound up and unable to figure out where to go and what to do.  Like the wise rule suggested, Jesus in today’s Gospel says, “Stay put.  You have what you need,” or as Jesus once said to the apostle Paul, “My grace is sufficient.”  So let’s sit still, take a breather, and let God untangle the knots.
  

Amen.

 

Hymn

 

           Amazing grace! How sweet the sound, that save a wretch like me!

          I once was lost but now am found, was blind but now I see.

 

          The Lord has promised good to me, his word my hope secures;

          he will my shield and portion be as long as life endures.

 

          Through many dangers, toils, and snares, I have already come:

          tis grace that brought me safe thus far, and grace will lead me home.

 

   (John Newton 1725-1807 #671 TH1982)

 

 

 THE LORD’S PRAYER

 

Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed by thy Name,

Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven

Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses,

as we forgive those who trespass against us.

And lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil.

For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever and ever. Amen.

 

 

THE COLLECT OF THE DAY

Let your continual mercy, O Lord, cleanse and defend your Church; and, because it cannot continue in safety without your help, protect and govern it always by your goodness; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen

 

THE PRAYERS OF THE PEOPLE

 

God of Love, we pray for the whole Church and our parish family. Guide your Church and this parish in the way of truth and love. 

 

God of Healing, we pray for Bernard, Sue, Pat, Bev Ann, Somer, Dan, Jolene, and for those we hold in our hearts.  Grant unto them and to all in need the comfort and healing of your presence.

 

God of Joy, we pray for those celebrating birthdays: Nina Freidel (August4), John Keyes and Nolan Neubauer-Keyes (August 7).  May they find joy, happiness, and fulfillment in the coming year.

 

God our Protector, we pray for those affected by Covid-19; for healthcare workers around the world; for those who provide essential services; for the leaders of all nations, for all government officials every where, and for all those making decisions in this time of crisis. Grant them protection and guide those in authority to make wise decisions.

 

God our Defender, we pray for the homeless and the jobless in our nation, and for those who have lost their homeland, their sense of security, and who find themselves dependent on the good will of others in strange lands; that their needs are met and grant them the comfort of your Holy Spirit.

 

God of Life, we pray for those who have died.  On this Sunday we pray for Bill Bares.  May he  and all the departed find life in you.

 

God of Mission, we pray for guidance in discerning our mission in enlarging your Kingdom in our midst.

 

 

THE PRAYER FOR MISSION

 

O God, you have made of one blood all the peoples of the earth, and sent you blessed Son to preach peace to those who are far off and to those who are near;  Grant that people everywhere may seek after you and find you; bring the nation into you fold; pour out you Spirit upon all flesh; and hasten the coming of you kingdom; through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen

 

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MAY THE LORD BLESS US AND KEEP US.  

MAY THE LORD MAKE HIS FACE TO SHINE UPON US AND BE GRACIOUS UNTO US. 

MAY THE LORD LIFT UP HIS COUNTENANCE UPON US AND GIVE US PEACE.  AMEN

 

 

 

The Bible texts of the Old Testament, Epistle and Gospel lessons are from the New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright 1989 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Church of Christ in the USA, and used by permission.

 

The Collects, Psalms and Canticles are from the Book of Common Prayer, 1979

__________ __________ __________ __________ __________ __________ __________ __________ __________ __________

The Eighth Sunday after Pentecost


We see the original and intended shape of our lives there in him.*

+

Lord, open our lips and our mouth shall proclaim your praise.

 

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit; as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be forever.  Amen.  Alleluia.

 

 

JUBILATE

 

Be joyful in Lord, all you lands;*

     serve the Lord with gladness

     and come before his presence with a song.

 

Know this: The Lord himself is God;*

     he himself has made us and we are his;

     we are his people and the sheep of his pasture.

 

Enter his gates with thanksgiving;

go into his courts with praise;*

     give thanks to him and and call upon his Name.

 

For the Lord is good;

his mercy is everlasting;*

     and his faithfulness endures from age to age.

 

 

Psalm 128

Beati omnes

 

1 Happy are they all who fear the Lord, *

and who follow in his ways!

2 You shall eat the fruit of your labor; *

happiness and prosperity shall be yours.

3 Your wife shall be like a fruitful vine within your house, *

your children like olive shoots round about your table.

4 The man who fears the Lord *

shall thus indeed be blessed.

5 The Lord bless you from Zion, *

and may you see the prosperity of Jerusalem all the days of your life.

6 May you live to see your children's children; *

may peace be upon Israel.

 

THE LESSON

 

Romans 8:29-39*

 

 God knew what he was doing from the very beginning. He decided from the outset to shape the lives of those who love him along the same lines as the life of his Son. The Son stands first in the line of humanity he restored. We see the original and intended shape of our lives there in him. After God made that decision of what his children should be like, he followed it up by calling people by name. After he called them by name, he set them on a solid basis with himself. And then, after getting them established, he stayed with them to the end, gloriously completing what he had begun.

 

So, what do you think? With God on our side like this, how can we lose? If God didnt hesitate to put everything on the line for us, embracing our condition and exposing himself to the worst by sending his own Son, is there anything else he wouldnt gladly and freely do for us? And who would dare tangle with God by messing with one of Gods chosen? Who would dare even to point a finger? The One who died for us—who was raised to life for us!—is in the presence of God at this very moment sticking up for us. Do you think anyone is going to be able to drive a wedge between us and Christs love for us? There is no way! Not trouble, not hard times, not hatred, not hunger, not homelessness, not bullying threats, not backstabbing, not even the worst sins listed in Scripture:

 

  They kill us in cold blood because they hate you.

  Were sitting ducks; they pick us off one by one.

 

None of this fazes us because Jesus loves us. Im absolutely convinced that nothing—nothing living or dead, angelic or demonic, today or tomorrow, high or low, thinkable or unthinkable—absolutely nothing can get between us and Gods love because of the way that Jesus our Master has embraced us.

 

REFLECTION

by

Norm Wright

+In Name of our Loving God+

 

Covid-19 has caused us to adjust not only to a new way of life but to a new way of looking at life.  It’s as if the world has been put on hold and this pandemic has given humanity a time out.  As with all time-outs, this time out contains messages and lessons to be learned. 

 

For instance, within a month of this pandemic, some of the most polluted rivers in the world started quickly cleaning themselves up and cities that had never seen blue skies for decades had them back again all because this pandemic hit the pause button on normal human activity. This this time out, begs the question what we should do, moving forward, once this pandemic clears?   Do we go back to the old normal, back to our same old activities or do we embrace a new normal and learn from the lessons this time out offers us?  

 

Religions are not exempt from this time out.  All major religions have had to adjust to this pandemic. They have had to rethink their worship practices and some of their rituals.  Mainline Christian churches; particularly, those which are sacramentally oriented have been faced with a dilemma when it comes to the practice of Holy Communion; where touch and taste are important factors of this sacramental rite. 

 

At the present time, it is not safe to physically share a common cup or intinct a host in wine that could risk spreading this virus.   The need to practice safety has given us reason to pause and an opportunity to take a deeper look at this sacrament.  Some churches have developed what are considered “safe” practices of distributing Holy Communion in the familiar forms of bread and wine; as if, the signs and symbols of this sacrament are what it is all about, but doing so when it is not necessary runs the risk of not only spreading a deadly virus but also risks sending the wrong message about this sacrament.  Holy Communion is not about the means used to distribute it but about the meaning conveyed through those means.

 

Spiritual communion, which we will be using today, has been around for a long time.  It has been used and is used when individuals or groups of Christians do not have access to the means of bread and wine, cannot receive the means of Communion safely, or cannot practice Holy Communion openly.  Today we will be using an abridged prayer for spiritual communion by St. Alphonsus Liguori, an 18th century Roman Catholic saint whose feast day is August 1st. There are several prayer forms for this practice that originated in Roman Catholic, Episcopal, Lutheran, and Methodist churches.  As this pandemic continues, we may find ourselves using some of these different prayers or may create one of our own. 

 

This morning I want to use this reflection to take a deeper look at the spiritual nature of Holy Communion.  For the past several Sundays we have been hearing about mission and messaging as found in the Gospel of Matthew.  Jesus never wrote anything down that we know of, but Jesus left a tangible and enduring message that we know as Holy Communion or the Holy Eucharist.  Jesus left his disciples an intimate love note woven into bread and wine used during his last meal with them on the evening before he was crucified, as a sign of his being one with us and a symbol of his abiding presence in this world. 

 

Under normal circumstances, when we ingest these symbols of his body and blood, we are saying yes to what Jesus taught and are offering ourselves to become the sign and message of Christ’s love for the world.  Although we cannot use those means today, we can still say yes to what Jesus taught and we can offer ourselves to be the sign and message of Christ’s love for the world.

 

Holy communion is about the deep mystery of God’s grace in which all of creation is rooted.  Holy Communion is not a magic act. It’s a creative act.  As such, it is there for all who seek God in Christ Jesus; to encounter God in the message conveyed through the signs and symbols of bread and wine as Jesus’ body, Jesus’  blood, Jesus' life, and Jesus’ love.  The grace Holy Communion connects us to is the grace that brought the universe into being; the kenotic grace that poured out creation at its dawning; the grace that brought you and me into being. It is the grace that revealed Jesus as the Christ of God.   This is the eucharist; the feast of joy we celebrate.

 

Holy communion serves to reconnect us to the “intended and original shape of our lives” that God in Jesus brought to light through his life and ministry on earth.

 

Holy Communion, as the term implies, is about communing; being one with Jesus; to continue his ministry in the world, to enter into his death to what always has been and like him to open ourselves to what could be in this life and what will be in the life to come.

 

Holy Communion is an entry into the resurrection journey of Christ’s rising body in this life; a journey towards the fullness of Christ’s glorified body in the next. 

 

Holy Communion is committing to an agreement, a new covenant, written in Jesus’ blood and etched into his wounded body; a covenant of forgiveness for all, a yes to God’s unconditional love, and embracing a new normal; that of loving and giving ourselves to one another as Christ loves us and gave himself to us as a sacrament for all.

 

In this act of spiritual communion, we invite Jesus into our lives and embrace the meaning of sharing one bread and sharing one cup; of being one with Christ and one with each other.  In the pause created by this pandemic, we gaze into the deep mystery of the grace expressed in the love note that is Holy Communion and we ponder in this sacrament St. Paul’s conclusion that “absolutely nothing can get between us and Gods love because of the way that Jesus our Master has embraced us.”

 

Amen.

 
 

HYMN

  Humbly, I adore thee, Verity unseen, who thy glory hidest ‘neath these shadows mean:

  lo, to thee surrendered, my whole heart is bowed, tranced as it beholds thee, shrined within the cloud.

 

  Taste and touch and vision to discern thee fail; faith, that comes by hearing, pierces through the veil.

  I believe whate’er the Son of God hath told; what the Truth hath spoken, that for truth I hold.

 

  O memorial wondrous of the Lord’s own death; living Bread that givest all thy creatures breath,

  grant my spirit ever by thy life may live, to my tase thy sweetness never failing give.

 

  Jesus, whom now hidden, I by faith behold, what my soul doth long for, that thy word foretold:

  face to face thy splendor, I at last shall see, in the glorious vision, blessed Lord, of thee.

(Att. Thomas Aquinas 1225-1274)

 

THE LORD’S PRAYER

 

Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed by thy Name,

Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven

Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses,

as we forgive those who trespass against us.

And lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil.

For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever and ever. Amen.

 

THE COLLECT OF THE DAY

O God, the protector of all who trust in you, without whom nothing is strong, nothing is holy: Increase and multiply upon us your mercy; that, with you as our ruler and guide, we may so pass through things temporal, that we lose not the things eternal; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.  Amen

 

 

THE PRAYERS OF THE PEOPLE

 

God of Love, we pray for our parish family.  On this Sunday, we pray for Bernard, Sue, Pat, Bev Ann, Somer, Dan and for those we hold in our hearts.  Grant unto them and to all in need the comfort and healing of your presence.

 

God of Joy, we pray for those celebrating birthdays: Pat Michels (August 1). May Pat find joy, happiness, and fulfillment in the coming year.

 

God our Protector, we pray for those affected by Covid-19; for healthcare workers around the world; for those who provide essential services; for the leaders of all nations, for all government officials every where, and for all those making decisions in this time of crisis. Grant them protection and guide those in authority to make wise decisions.

 

God our Defender, we pray for the homeless and the jobless in our nation, and for those who have lost their homeland, their sense of security, and who find themselves dependent on the good will of others in strange lands; that their needs are met and grant them the comfort of your Holy Spirit.

 

God of Life, we pray for those who have died.  May the souls of all the departed find life in you.

 

God of Mission, we pray for a priest who will inspire, lead, and motivate us to enlarge your Kingdom in our midst.

 

SPIRITUAL COMMUNION

 

May God be with us.  Let us lift up our hearts and give thanks to the Lord our God; for it is right to God thanks and praise.

The Commemoration

 

Holy and Gracious Father: In your infinite love you made us for yourself; and, when we had fallen into sin and become subject to evil and death, you, in your mercy, sent forth Jesus to share our human nature, to live and die as one of us and to be one with us, so that we may be reconciled to you, the God and Father of all.

 

On this day, we celebrate the memorial of our redemption, O Father, offering our praise and thanksgiving by recalling Jesusdeath, resurrection, and ascension. Sanctify us, we pray, that we may faithfully serve you in unity, constancy, and peace: and at the last day bring us with all your saints into the joy of your eternal kingdom. All this we ask through your Son Jesus Christ. 

 

By him, and with him, in the unity of the Holy Spirit all honor and glory is yours, Almighty Father, now and for ever. Amen.

A Prayer for Spiritual Communion

 

My Jesus, I know that you are present and I desire to receive You into my soul.  Since I cannot at this moment receive you sacramentally, come spiritually into my heart. I embrace you and unite myself whole to you.   Never permit me to be separated from you. Amen.       

 

God our Father, whose Son our Lord Jesus Christ in a wonderful Sacrament has left us a memorial of his passion: Grant us so to venerate the sacred mysteries of his Body and Blood, that we may ever perceive within ourselves the fruit of his redemption; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit one God, for ever and ever. Amen

 

May the almighty and merciful Lord, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, bless us and keep us. Amen

 
 

*The Message, copyright (c) 1993, 2002, 2018 by Eugene Peterson, used by permission of NavPress.  All rights reserved. Represented by Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.

 

The Collects, Psalms and Canticles are from the Book of Common Prayer, 1979

 
__________ __________ __________ __________ __________ __________ __________ __________ __________ __________ _______
 

THE  SIXTH SUNDAY
AFTER PENTECOST

 

 

Your word is a lantern to my feet

and a light upon my path.

 +

 

Lord, open our lips and our mouth shall proclaim your praise.

 

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit; as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be forever.  Amen.  Alleluia.

 

Venite

Come, let us sing to the Lord;

    let us shout for joy to the Rock of our salvation.

Let us come before his presence with thanksgiving

    and raise a loud shout to him with psalms.

 

For the Lord is great God.

    and a great King above all gods.

In his hand are the caverns of the earth,

     and the heights of the hills are his also.

The seas is his, for he made it,

    and hands have molded the dry land.

 

Come, let us bow down, and bend the knee,

    and kneel before the Lord our Maker.

For he is our God,

and we are the people of his pasture and the sheep of his hand.

    Oh, that today you would hearken to his voice.

 

THE PSALM

Psalm 119:105-112

Lucerna pedibus meis

105 Your word is a lantern to my feet *

and a light upon my path.

106 I have sworn and am determined *

to keep your righteous judgments.

107 I am deeply troubled; *

preserve my life, O Lord, according to your word.

108 Accept, O Lord, the willing tribute of my lips, *

and teach me your judgments.

109 My life is always in my hand, *

yet I do not forget your law.

110 The wicked have set a trap for me, *

but I have not strayed from your commandments.

111 Your decrees are my inheritance for ever; *

truly, they are the joy of my heart.

112 I have applied my heart to fulfill your statutes *

for ever and to the end.

 

 

THE LESSON

 

Matthew 13:1-9,18-23, [31-32]

Jesus went out of the house and sat beside the sea. Such great crowds gathered around him that he got into a boat and sat there, while the whole crowd stood on the beach. And he told them many things in parables, saying: Listen! A sower went out to sow. And as he sowed, some seeds fell on the path, and the birds came and ate them up. Other seeds fell on rocky ground, where they did not have much soil, and they sprang up quickly, since they had no depth of soil. But when the sun rose, they were scorched; and since they had no root, they withered away. Other seeds fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked them. Other seeds fell on good soil and brought forth grain, some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty. Let anyone with ears listen!”

Hear then the parable of the sower. When anyone hears the word of the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what is sown in the heart; this is what was sown on the path. As for what was sown on rocky ground, this is the one who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy; yet such a person has no root, but endures only for a while, and when trouble or persecution arises on account of the word, that person immediately falls away. As for what was sown among thorns, this is the one who hears the word, but the cares of the world and the lure of wealth choke the word, and it yields nothing. But as for what was sown on good soil, this is the one who hears the word and understands it, who indeed bears fruit and yields, in one case a hundredfold, in another sixty, and in another thirty.”

 

[He put before them another parable: The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed that someone took and sowed in his field; it is the smallest of all the seeds, but when it has grown it is the greatest of shrubs and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and make nests in its branches.”]

 

 

REFLECTION

by

Norm Wright

 

+In the Name of our Life-giving God+

 

The Parable of the Sower is found in Matthew, Mark, and Luke with very little variance in their telling.  In all three, the seed is linked to what Matthew identifies as “word of the kingdom.”  In this parable, Jesus is talking about something rather specific when referring to the word of the Kingdom; that it’s at hand, that it is very near to us, and that it is around us.  The sense of how this seed, this word, is thrown about rather flagrantly reminds me of something we refer to today as messaging, texting, or twittering.

 

Generally, in Jesus’ parable one can readily identify with various characters or situations within the parable.  The only specific character portrayed in this parable is that of the sower, the one sending the message, the person who has the word of  the Kingdom and is throwing it out there; much the same way people who post things on social media throw things out there; without knowing, or for that matter, caring who is on the receiving end of that message.

 

Before going further into this parable, let us consider the word about the kingdom.  Another word that is used and preferred by some biblical scholars is to speak of this kingdom as the realm (the rule) of God; which is not about a conquest of the things and people, but rather a conversion or transfiguration of the individual’s heart; a heart that understands the importance of loving one’s enemy, of loving one’s neighbor, and of loving one’s self. The one rule or law of this realm is that we love one another. This seed contains a desire to actively love by addressing the needs of others; particularly, the poor, the homeless, the rejected, and the outcast.  That is the potential contained in this seeded word. 

 

Big things come in small packages, as the saying goes.  Further along in Matthew 13, Jesus likens the Kingdom to a mustard seed that is being sown.  What is interesting about his choice of the mustard seed is that the middle eastern variety of mustard is a seed considered to be one of the smallest in the world, but which can grow into a tree or a rambling bush.

 

When we hear “Kingdom” we think big, but when Jesus talks about the Kingdom he starts with the very small, a mustard seed. 

 

Seeds are about potential. Every seed contains a power, an inherent will, and a cosmic desire to grow exponentially.  But for seed to grow, the conditions must be right and this is where Jesus’ parable of the sower literally gets down to earth and starts talking about the soil of the soul, the core of one’s life, the place where the seed of God’s Kingdom has the best chance to release its potential and take root in a person’s life. 

 
 
 
Jesus presents a series of scenarios for us to consider, both from the perspective of the messenger and from the perspective of the recipient of the message.  As mentioned earlier, the messenger’s job is to spread this word-seed; to get it out there.  In agricultural terms of today, the idea is not to waste seed like corn, soybeans, or wheat, but to target its deployment for the best yield.  When it comes to spreading the word-seed on the field of humanity, however, one can’t tell what type of condition it is going to land on.

 

When it comes to us humans, one can’t tell the condition of another person’s soul by what one sees or hears.  The only thing you can do as the messenger is throw this word-seed out there.  The messenger’s goal is to sow this word-seed freely and flagrantly. 

 

A large part of this parable has Jesus describing the various conditions in which the word-seed is received.  In his explanation of this parable, one cannot help but hear an implicit question Jesus poses to his disciples as to whether any of these conditions are applicable to them, and by extension to us. 

 

Where do I fit in on the spectrum of receptivity?  Am I clueless with regard to what I have received in the word-seed?  Do I get it?  Do I even care?

 

Am I one of those who likes good news; am happy to receive it, but find it wiped out by everything that is going on around me? 

 

Am I the one who gets the message but then gets distracted by my own problems and all things that glitter, or am I the type that nurtures the message, finds that it has taken root in my being, has become a part of who I am, and feel motivated to share it?  

 

Am I seeing this word-seed produce results in my life and in the lives of those around me? 

 

If we want to become sowers of this word-seed, we must nurture it in ourselves, let it take root in our lives; constantly nurture it through study of Scripture and water it with prayer.

 

There is a practical side to what Jesus is talking about when it comes to the kingdom of God being compared to seed.  When we take this word-seed in, it grows inside us; and as it grows us, we grow; and as it begins to bloom, we begin to bloom; and when this seed ripens, we become full of seed; so much so, that we cannot contain it and find ourselves taking on the role of the sower. 

 

When we begin to see the love of God take shape in ourselves, a love that embraces our understanding of self; as in, being truly concerned with our personal wellbeing, embracing our personal hurts, embracing the wrongs we personally do so that we can learn from them, grow from them, and forgive them - then we have ripened to a state where we are capable of embracing everyone else we meet in the same way.

 

It sometimes takes a great deal of personal manure to turn of ourselves a healthy plant, but once a person starts to bloom; this caring love of self easily transfers to others, as we find ourselves loving that which God loves.  In the bloom of God’s love, we have the capability to draw others to God.  The end result of blooming is the production of seed and this seed can be taken up by others, and spread by the currents of life swirling around this role we undertake as a labor of love, spreading this transformative word-seed to a hungry world.

 

An important observation with regard to Jesus’s parables of the Kingdom is that God takes the edge off of job performance.

 

We live in a world that is obsessed by measurements.  The more you make, the better off you are.  That is not how God measures productivity of success  The work of the sower is only to spread whatever seed that God produces in our being, because the seed is God’s and in any one seed resides the full potential of God’s kingdom.

 

Grant then, O gracious Father, that the seed Jesus cast upon the upon the world takes root in our lives and produces abundant fruit, so that your kingdom is realized in every person that it falls upon.  Through the same Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit.  Amen.

 
 

 

HYMN

 

    Almighty God, your word is cast like seed upon the ground.

    now let the dew of heaven descend and righteous fruits abound.

 

    Let not our selfishness and hate this holy seed remove,

    but give it root in every heart to bring forth fruits of love.

 

    Let not the world’s deceitful cares the rising plant destroy,

    but let it yield a hundredfold the fruits of peace and joy.

 

(John Cawood 1775-1852  #589 TH 1982)

 

THE LORD’S PRAYER

 

Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy Name, 

Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven
 

Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses,

as we forgive those who trespass against us.

And lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil. 

For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever and ever. Amen

 

THE COLLECT OF THE DAY

 

O Lord, mercifully receive the prayers of your people who call upon you, and grant that they may know and understand what things they ought to do, and also may have grace and power faithfully to accomplish them; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

 

PRAYERS OF THE PEOPLE

 

Pray for those in our parish family; for Bernard Kubal, Sue Lauck, and Pat and Bev Ann Christensen.  On this Sunday we pray for healing of Somer Bares and Dan Lynch. 

 

Pray for those we hold in our hearts.

 

Pray for those celebrating birthdays: Angeline Mondragon, Bernard Kubal, Rick Wilson (July 14), Megan Mondragon (July 16), Kathy Wright (July 17) and Brynlee Luke (July 19).

 

Pray for those affected by Covid-19; for healthcare workers around the world; for those who provide essential services; for the leaders of all nations, for all governmental officials every where, and for all those making decisions in this time of crisis.

 

Pray for those who have lost their jobs, those who are financially stressed, and those who are need of assistance; that their needs are met and that they find comfort in the support of others.

 

Pray for those who have died.

 

Pray for our Search Committee as they discern who will best serve our parish as its rector.

 

Praise and give thanks to God who in Christ Jesus raises us to new life.

 

THE PRAYER FOR MISSION

 

O God, you have made of one blood all the peoples of the earth, and sent your blessed Son to preach peace to those who are far off and to those who are near;  Grant that people everywhere may seek after you and find you; bring the nation into your fold; pour out your Spirit upon all flesh; and hasten the coming of your kingdom; through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen

 

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MAY THE LORD BLESS US AND KEEP US.  

MAY THE LORD MAKE HIS FACE TO SHINE UPON US AND BE GRACIOUS UNTO US. 

MAY THE LORD LIFT UP HIS COUNTENANCE UPON US AND GIVE US PEACE.  AMEN

 

 

 

The Bible texts of the Old Testament, Epistle and Gospel lessons are from the New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright 1989 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Church of Christ in the USA, and used by permission.

 

The Collects, Psalms and Canticles are from the Book of Common Prayer, 1979

 

__________ __________ __________ __________ __________ __________ __________ __________ __________ __________ ____

 
The  Fifth Sunday  After Pentecost

 

 

Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.

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Lord, open our lips and our mouth shall proclaim your praise.

 

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit; as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be forever.  Amen.  Alleluia.

 

Venite

Come, let us sing to the Lord;

    let us shout for joy to the Rock of our salvation.

Let us come before his presence with thanksgiving

    and raise a loud shout to him with psalms.

 

For the Lord is great God.

    and a great King above all gods.

In his hand are the caverns of the earth,

     and the heights of the hills are his also.

The seas is his, for he made it,

    and hands have molded the dry land.

 

Come, let us bow down, and bend the knee,

    and kneel before the Lord our Maker.

For he is our God,

and we are the people of his nature and the sheep of his hand.

    Oh, that today you would hearken to his voice.

 

THE PSALM

 

Psalm 145:8-15

Exaltabo te, Deus

8 The Lord is gracious and full of compassion, *

slow to anger and of great kindness.

9 The Lord is loving to everyone *

and his compassion is over all his works.

10 All your works praise you, O Lord, *

and your faithful servants bless you.

11 They make known the glory of your kingdom *

and speak of your power;

12 That the peoples may know of your power *

and the glorious splendor of your kingdom.

13 Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom; *

your dominion endures throughout all ages.

14 The Lord is faithful in all his words *

and merciful in all his deeds.

15 The Lord upholds all those who fall; *

he lifts up those who are bowed down.

 

THE LESSON

 

Matthew 11

 

Now when Jesus had finished instructing his twelve disciples, he went on from there to teach and proclaim his message in their cities.

 

When John heard in prison what the Messiah was doing, he sent word by his disciples and said to him, Are you the one who is to come, or are we to wait for another?” Jesus answered them, Go and tell John what you hear and see: the blind receive their sight, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the poor have good news brought to them. And blessed is anyone who takes no offense at me.”

 

 As they went away, Jesus began to speak to the crowds about John: What did you go out into the wilderness to look at? A reed shaken by the wind? What then did you go out to see? Someone dressed in soft robes? Look, those who wear soft robes are in royal palaces. What then did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I tell you, and more than a prophet. This is the one about whom it is written,

 

See, I am sending my messenger ahead of you,

    who will prepare your way before you.

 

Truly I tell you, among those born of women no one has arisen greater than John the Baptist; yet the least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he. From the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven has suffered violence, and the violent take it by force. For all the prophets and the law prophesied until John came; and if you are willing to accept it, he is Elijah who is to come. Let anyone with ears listen!

 

But to what will I compare this generation? It is like children sitting in the marketplaces and calling to one another,

 

We played the flute for you, and you did not dance;

    we wailed, and you did not mourn.

 

For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, He has a demon; the Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, Look, a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!Yet wisdom is vindicated by her deeds.”

 

Then he began to reproach the cities in which most of his deeds of power had been done, because they did not repent. Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the deeds of power done in you had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes. But I tell you, on the day of judgment it will be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon than for you. And you, Capernaum,

 

will you be exalted to heaven?

    No, you will be brought down to Hades.

 

For if the deeds of power done in you had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day.  But I tell you that on the day of judgment it will be more tolerable for the land of Sodom than for you.”

 

At that time Jesus said, I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and the intelligent and have revealed them to infants; yes, Father, for such was your gracious will. All things have been handed over to me by my Father; and no one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.

 

Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”

 

 

REFLECTION

by

Norm Wright

+  In the Name of our Brother, Jesus +

Today’s lesson is the entire chapter of Matthew 11in order to give us the full context in which the assigned Gospel reading for this Sunday [in bold font] is set.  This chapter serves as a followup to Matthew 10 which we have been looking at for the past two Sundays.  In this chapter, John the Baptizer’s disciples approach Jesus to ask, on behalf of John, if he is the Messiah.  Instead of answering them directly, Jesus tells them to look at what he is doing and discern for themselves if his deeds live up to the job description of who they are waiting for. 

 

After describing John the Baptizer as a reed shaken in the wind and questioning why people went into the wilderness to see him, Jesus compares John to Elijah, the prophetic figure whose return is believed to herald the coming of the Messiah.  That’s the biggest clue Jesus gives without coming right out and saying, “I am He.  I’m the one John and you are looking for.”

 

One of the curious aspects of Jesus’ ministry, as recorded in the Synoptic Gospels, is his reluctance to say, “I am the Messiah.”  Why didn’t he just come out and say it?   Instead Jesus, as was his manner, follows their question with a rhetorical question of his own, “To what will I compare this generation?”  

 

In other words, Jesus basically turns their question back on them and those who are in the audience, “Who are you?  What are you up to? Are you really ready for the Messiah?  Will you be able to recognize him if he shows up and is standing in front of you?  What exactly are you looking for in the Messiah?”

 

Jesus’ description of his generation is easy to apply to every generation that followed, including our own.  He compares his generation to a group of children calling out to other children to dance to their tune, play their game, be good sports and mimic what they do, to be happy with what makes them happy, and to whine with them when things don’t go their way.  In essence, Jesus is saying they are not mature enough to see the Messiah; that they are looking for a messiah who fits their idea of a messiah, a messiah who will play their games and vindicate their attitudes, their beliefs, and their behavior.

 

Jesus points out that when he approaches those considered lost causes by their religious standards and doesn’t play that game, he is told in any number of ways by any number of people; especially, by religious leaders,  “You don’t get to eat and drink with those considered to be unrighteous; especially, those known to profit from unfair taxing practices and adulterers. You don’t get to party hardy with the likes of them and expect respectable religious people to respect you.  You don’t get to go about on the Sabbath snacking your way through fields on the grain, and you definitely don’t go about healing the chronically ill on the Sabbath, no matter how much they need a cure.  It’s just not on.  Poor form Jesus!  Only a gluttonous, intoxicated wastrel does things like that.”

 

John the Baptizer didn’t fare much better as a dour, no frills, unkempt, wild-man on a locust and honey diet who delighted in dunking people as way of opening their eyes to God’s emerging realm. He not only looked like a demon, he acted like he was possessed by one.  Neither Jesus or John lived up to their idea of an Elijah or a messianic figure. 

 

They didn’t want a prophet who kept telling them to stop playing around and turn around or a messiah who actually addressed personal needs like poverty and illness; much less, take the time to satisfy the spiritual hunger of those who found themselves caught up into systems they didn’t have the strength to break away from, or a messiah who would forgive people they didn’t want forgiven; people they’d rather hate, rather stone, and rather go to war with.

 

At the end of Jesus’ comments on his generation and the type of treatment he was getting,  he says, “Yet wisdom is vindicated by her deeds.”  In Luke’s telling of this same story (Luke 7:35) Jesus says, Wisdom is vindicated by her children.”  In other words, Jesus is saying don’t succumb to group think that results in playing games that serve no purpose.  Get “woke” to what’s going on around you and do something about it! 

 

The metrics of the Gospel is based on a resurrection paradigm; on how well people are raised up in this life.  In particular, the teachings of Jesus instructs us to examine how well we are at raising people from poverty; how well we are at practicing restorative justice, how well we are at  releasing those imprisoned by stigmatization, how well we are at feeding the hungry, and how well we are at healing those suffering from mental, physical, and spiritual illnesses. 

 

Jesus was and is not concerned with right form but with right practice. What is perhaps the greatest sin of our current generation is that we have more knowledge than ever before, a greater sense of commonality and interconnectedness than ever before, and greater ability to address the metrics of the Gospels than at any other time in our history, but as yet, we have not demonstrated a collective will to enact redemption, to enact resurrection, and to realize what Jesus meant by the Kingdom or the Realm of God in the here and now.

 

We are prone to give lip service to the idea of the Kingdom of God being at hand and ask for it to come quickly at times, but then demonstrate, through our lack of action, a preference to keep it at arms length.  At times, we pray for God’s will to be done as if we do not have the ability to do God’s will and forget that prayer is meant to activate us into participating with what we pray for. 

 

Jesus final statement, “Come to me all you who are weary and carrying heavy burdens and I will give you rest” is treated more often than not like a rest stop; as place to stay put, but Jesus doesn’t let us rest there.  He says to take his yoke, his job, and his burden upon us and realize the Gospel message; to be like him, gentle and humble of heart because in doing these things the soul finds its true rest. 

 

* * * * * * * * * *

Jesus, loving brother, awaken us to restlessness that stirs within our souls that we may find true rest. Ease your yoke upon us and grant us the lightness of your burden that the Realm of God is realized in our doing.  Amen.

 

 

 

       HYMN

 

      O for a thousand tongues to sing my dear Redeemer’s praise,

      the glories of my God and King, the triumphs of his grace!

 

      My gracious Master and my God, assist me to proclaim

      and spread through all the earth abroad the honors of thy Name.

 

      Jesus! The Name that charms our fears and bids our sorrows cease;

      tis music in the sinner’s ears, ’tis life and health and peace.

 

      He speaks; and, listening to his voice, new life the dead receive,

      the mournful broken hearts rejoice, the humble poor believe.

 

      Hear him ye deaf; ye voiceless ones, your loosened tongue employ;

      ye blind, behold, your Savior comes, and leap, ye lame, for joy

 

      Glory to God and praise and love be now and ever given

      by saints below and saints above, the Church in earth and heaven.

            (Charles Wesley 1707-1788)

 THE LORD’S PRAYER

 Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed by thy Name,

Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven

Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses,

as we forgive those who trespass against us.

And lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil. 

For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever and ever. Amen

 

THE COLLECT OF THE DAY

 

O God, you have taught us to keep all your commandments by loving you and our neighbor: Grant us the grace of your Holy Spirit, that we may be devoted to you with our whole heart, and united to one another with pure affection; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

 

PRAYERS OF THE PEOPLE

 

Pray for those in our parish family; for Bernard Kubal, Sue Lauch, and Pat and Bev Ann Christensen.  On this Sunday we pray for healing of Somer Bares and Dan Lynch. 

 

Pray for those we hold in our hearts.

 

Pray for those celebrating birthdays: Gail Houfek and Janelle Tacke (July 9)

 

Pray for those celebrating anniversaries this week: Ken Smith and Sandy Cope (July 7) and Roy and Sue Lauck (July 7).

 

Pray for those affected by Covid-19; for healthcare workers around the world; for those who provide essential services; for the leaders of all nations, for all governmental officials every where, and for all those making decisions in this time of crisis.

 

Pray for those who have lost their jobs, those who are financially stressed, and those who are need of assistance; that their needs are met and that they find comfort in the support of others.

 

Pray for those who have died.

 

Praise and give thanks to God who in Christ Jesus raises us to new life.

 


FOR OUR COUNTRY

 

Almighty God, who has given us this good land for our heritage:  We humbly ask you that we may always prove ourselves a people mindful of your favor and glad to do your will.  Bless our land with honorable industry, sound learning, and pure manners.  Save us from violence, discord, and confusion; from pride and arrogance, and from every evil way.  Defend our liberties, and fashion into one united people the multitudes brought from many people and cultures.  Give a spirit of wisdom to those who in your Name we entrust the authority of government, that they may be justice and peace at home , and that, through obedience to your Word, we may give praise to you among the nations of the earth.  In time of prosperity, fill our hearts with thankfulness, and in the day of trouble, strengthen our faith; all which we ask through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

 

HYMN

 

God bless our native land; firm may she ever stand

through storm and night: when the wild tempests

rage, ruler of wind and wave do thou our country save

by thy great might.

 

For her our prayers shall rise to God, above the skies

on him we wait; thou who are ever nigh,

guarding with watchful eye, to thee aloud we cry,

God save the state!

 

        (Siegfried August Mahlmann 1771-1826)

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MAY THE LORD BLESS US AND KEEP US.  

MAY THE LORD MAKE HIS FACE TO SHINE UPON US AND BE GRACIOUS UNTO US. 

MAY THE LORD LIFT UP HIS COUNTENANCE UPON US AND GIVE US PEACE.  AMEN

 

Pictures are photos taken from Christ Episcopal Church, Yankton, SD.

 

The Bible texts of the Old Testament, Epistle and Gospel lessons are from the New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright 1989 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Church of Christ in the USA, and used by permission.

 

The Collects, Psalms and Canticles are from the Book of Common Prayer, 1979

__________ __________ __________ __________ __________ __________ __________ __________ __________ __________ _______
 The Fourth Sunday After Pentecost
 
 
 

Hymn

 

I love to tell the story Of unseen things above,

Of Jesus and His glory, Of Jesus and His love.

I love to tell the story, Because I know it’s true:
It satisfies my longing As nothing else would do. 
I love to tell the story, ’Twill be my theme in glory

To tell the old, old story Of Jesus and His love

 

I love to tell the story, For those who know it best

Seem hungering and thirsting To hear it, like the rest.

And when, in scenes of glory, I sing the new, new song.

Twill be the old, old story That I have loved so long.

Refrain.

         (A. Katherine Hankey 1831-1911

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Blessed be God:  Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, and blessed be his kingdom, now and for ever. Amen

 

Almighty God, to you all hearts are open, all desires known, and from you no secrets are hid: cleanse the thoughts of our hearts by the inspiration of your Holy Spirit, that we may perfectly love you, and worthily magnify your holy Name; through Christ our Lord.  Amen

 

Glory to God in the highest,

    and peace to his people on earth.

 

Lord God, heavenly King,

almighty God and Father,

    we worship you, we give you thanks,

    we praise you for your glory.

 

Lord Jesus Christ, only Son of the Father,

Lord God, Lamb of God,

you take away the sin of the world:

    have mercy on us;

you are seated at the right hand of the Father:

    receive our prayer.

 

For you alone are the Holy One,

you alone are the Lord,

you alone are the Most High

    Jesus Christ,

    with the Holy Spirit,

   in the glory of God the Father.  Amen

 

THE COLLECT OF THE DAY

 

Almighty God, you have built your Church upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief cornerstone: Grant us so to be joined together in unity of spirit by their teaching, that we may be made a holy temple acceptable to you; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

 

THE OLD TESTAMENT *

 

Genesis 22:1-14

God tested Abraham. He said to him, Abraham!” And he said, Here I am.” He said, Take your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains that I shall show you.” So Abraham rose early in the morning, saddled his donkey, and took two of his young men with him, and his son Isaac; he cut the wood for the burnt offering, and set out and went to the place in the distance that God had shown him. On the third day Abraham looked up and saw the place far away. Then Abraham said to his young men, Stay here with the donkey; the boy and I will go over there; we will worship, and then we will come back to you.” Abraham took the wood of the burnt offering and laid it on his son Isaac, and he himself carried the fire and the knife. So the two of them walked on together. Isaac said to his father Abraham, Father!” And he said, Here I am, my son.” He said, The fire and the wood are here, but where is the lamb for a burnt offering?” Abraham said, God himself will provide the lamb for a burnt offering, my son.” So the two of them walked on together.

When they came to the place that God had shown him, Abraham built an altar there and laid the wood in order. He bound his son Isaac, and laid him on the altar, on top of the wood. Then Abraham reached out his hand and took the knife to kill his son. But the angel of the Lord called to him from heaven, and said, Abraham, Abraham!” And he said, Here I am.” He said, Do not lay your hand on the boy or do anything to him; for now I know that you fear God, since you have not withheld your son, your only son, from me.” And Abraham looked up and saw a ram, caught in a thicket by its horns. Abraham went and took the ram and offered it up as a burnt offering instead of his son. So Abraham called that place The Lord will provide”; as it is said to this day, On the mount of the Lord it shall be provided.”

 

THE PSALM

 

Psalm 13

Usquequo, Domine?

1 How long, O Lord?

will you forget me for ever? *

how long will you hide your face from me?

2 How long shall I have perplexity in my mind,

and grief in my heart, day after day? *

how long shall my enemy triumph over me?

3 Look upon me and answer me, O Lord my God; *

give light to my eyes, lest I sleep in death;

4 Lest my enemy say, "I have prevailed over him," *

and my foes rejoice that I have fallen.

5 But I put my trust in your mercy; *

my heart is joyful because of your saving help.

6 I will sing to the Lord, for he has dealt with me richly; *

I will praise the Name of the Lord Most High.

 

THE EPISTLE*

 

Romans 6:12-23

Do not let sin exercise dominion in your mortal bodies, to make you obey their passions. No longer present your members to sin as instruments of wickedness, but present yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life, and present your members to God as instruments of righteousness. For sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace.

What then? Should we sin because we are not under law but under grace? By no means! Do you not know that if you present yourselves to anyone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin, which leads to death, or of obedience, which leads to righteousness? But thanks be to God that you, having once been slaves of sin, have become obedient from the heart to the form of teaching to which you were entrusted, and that you, having been set free from sin, have become slaves of righteousness. I am speaking in human terms because of your natural limitations. For just as you once presented your members as slaves to impurity and to greater and greater iniquity, so now present your members as slaves to righteousness for sanctification.

When you were slaves of sin, you were free in regard to righteousness. So what advantage did you then get from the things of which you now are ashamed? The end of those things is death. But now that you have been freed from sin and enslaved to God, the advantage you get is sanctification. The end is eternal life. For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

 

THE GOSPEL**

 

Matthew 10:40-42

 Anyone who accepts what you do, accepts me, the One who sent you. Anyone who accepts what I do accepts my Father, who sent me. Accepting a messenger of God is as good as being Gods messenger. Accepting someones help is as good as giving someone help. This is a large work Ive called you into, but dont be overwhelmed by it. Its best to start small. Give a cool cup of water to someone who is thirsty, for instance. The smallest act of giving or receiving makes you a true apprentice. You wont lose out on a thing.”

 

 

REFLECTION

by

Norm Wright

 

+In the Name of God+

 

In today’s Gospel lesson from Matthew 10, Jesus’ concludes his pep talk we read about last Sunday.  At the conclusion, Jesus focuses our attention on the metric for measuring the effectiveness of evangelism.  The word Jesus uses for its effectiveness is acceptance; as in, acceptance of both the message and the messenger.  On the surface, this seems rather simple.  If people accept what we are offering - job well done - mission accomplished, but Jesus gives acceptance a deeper meaning.  

 

Jesus says if someone accepts the messenger (via reception of the message), they accept Jesus who sends the messenger, and if they accept Jesus, they accept God who sent Jesus. 

Verse 41 in the New Revised Standard Version of today’s lesson reads, “Whoever welcomes (accepts- nw) a prophet in the name of a prophet will receive a prophet's reward; and whoever welcomes a righteous person in the name of a righteous person will receive the reward of the righteous.”  While the today’s reading from the Message does a good job of explaining that a person who accepts the messenger is as good as being a messenger, it leaves out a word that is prominent in the original Greek text,“name.” 

Use of the word “name” is not a reference to the personal name of the prophet.  Rather name is used here to signify recognition of what one is receiving.  Do we recognize a prophet via the prophesy being offered?  Do we recognize a righteous person via the righteousness being exhibited? 

When we do, we are taking in what is being offered.  We become the bearer of prophesy and the bearer of righteousness.  Prophesy and righteousness are gifts in themselves.  They are their own reward.  When we take in the good news of Jesus’s teachings, we are taking them on. 

Jesus blurs the line between giving and receiving. The saying, “It is more blessed to give than receive,” which is inscribed on our church’s altar offering plate comes from Acts 20:35, where Paul is quoting Jesus (a quote not found in the Gospels).  When that quote is inscribed on an offering plate, it tends to imply that the giving of money is better than receiving it as a handout.   This was not Paul’s intent when he gave us that quote, and it runs contrary to what Jesus is saying in today’s Gospel reading.

Today, Jesus is saying that receiving is as blessed as giving; in the sense, if one receives something, one has something to give. If one receives prophesy, one has prophesy to give.  If one is the recipient of righteousness, one has righteousness to offer. If one has heard good news, one has good news to talk about.

We have a term for this today, “Paying it forward.”  When good is done to anyone of us, we should recognize it, be grateful for it, and pay it forward.  That is the principle behind evangelism. 

Evangelism is meant to be viral and meant to go viral; to incurably infect people with the good news of God’s love and the blessings identified in the teachings of Jesus.  This is how the Church grew.  Viral evangelism is at the heart of all church growth.

Initially, evangelism is more about what we do than what we say, but there comes a point in that process where we must give it a name; a point at which we must identify where all this goodness is coming from; a point where we must tell the story of Jesus and his love.

There is point at which we must give credit where credit is due because if we don’t, all that goodness becomes about us and not about the source of that goodness, the grace and love of God expressed in the being and teachings of Christ Jesus.

Evangelism is not about telling people that if they believe Jesus died for their sin and if do what is right and go to church, they’ll go to heaven.  Evangelism is not about focusing on the prize. 

Effective evangelism is about meeting the needs of those in need in the here and now.

Evangelism is about finding people where they are at and accepting them as a brother and a sister.  Evangelism is about helping all people to recognize the grace inherent in their being children of God and inviting them to join us on the journey into our brother Jesus’ way of love. 

Evangelism utilizes even the most minimal resources and the gifts in our possession. Just giving someone a cup of water is an act of evangelism because all acts of kindness are acts of love, and all acts of love bring people closer to God.

The one need we all have is to be loved; as in, the love of acceptance, the love of kindness, the strength of love that upholds us, and the love that patiently sticks with us no matter what.  When people experience and accept that kind of love, they not only take it in, they take on.

That love has a name, God, because God is LOVE.   

Amen.


 

HYMN

 

    Where cross the crowded way of life, where sound the cries of race and clan,

    above the noise of selfish strife, we hear thy voice, O Son of Man.

 

    In haunts of wretchedness and need, on shadowed thresholds dark with fears,

    from paths where hide the lures of greed, we catch the vision of thy tears.

 

    The cup of water given for thee still holds the freshness of thy grace;

    yet long the multitudes to see the true compassion of thy face.

 

    O Master, from the mountainside, make haste to heal the hearts of pain;

    among these restless throngs abide, O tread the city’s streets again;

 

    till all the world shall learn thy love, and follow where thy feet have trod;

    till glorious from thy heaven above, shall come the city of our God.

 

  (Frank Mason North 1850-1935)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

   THE PRAYERS OF THE PEOPLE

 

Pray for those in our parish family; for Bernard Kubal, Sue Lauch, and Pat and Bev Ann Christensen.  On this Sunday, we pray for Somer Bares.

Pray for those you hold in your hearts.

 

Pray for those celebrating birthdays: Leslie Geminates (June 30).

 

Pray for those celebrating anniversaries:  Chad and Lisa Newland (July 2).

 

Pray for just and peaceful solutions to all racial conflicts.

 

Pray for all who suffer from any injustice.

 

Pray for those affected by Covid-19; for healthcare workers around the world; for those who provide essential services; for the leaders of all nations, for all governmental officials every where, and for all those making decisions in this time of crisis.

 

Pray for those who have lost their jobs, those who are financially stressed, and those who are need of assistance; that their needs are met and that they find comfort in the support of others.

 

Pray for those who have died. On this Sunday we pray for Phyllis Kubal, Phyllis Adam, and Tom John.  May their souls and the souls of all the departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace.

 

Praise and give thanks to God who in Christ Jesus raises us to new life.

 

SPIRITUAL COMMUNION

May God be with us.

Let us lift up our hearts and give thanks to the Lord our God; for it is right to God thanks and praise.

 

It is right, and a good and joyful thing, always and everywhere to give thanks to you, Father Almighty, for you are the source of light and life, you made us in your image, and called us to new life in Jesus Christ our Lord, therefore we praise you, joining our voices with Angels and Archangels and with all the company of heaven, who for ever sing this hymn to proclaim the glory of your Name:

 

Holy, holy, holy Lord, God of power and might, heaven and earth are full of your glory. Hosanna in the highest.

Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.

Hosanna in the highest.

 

The Commemoration

 Holy and Gracious Father: In your infinite love you made us for yourself; and, when we had fallen into sin and become subject to evil and death, you, in your mercy, sent forth Jesus to share our human nature, to live and die as one of us and to be one with us, so that we may be reconciled to you, the God and Father of all.

 

On this day, we celebrate the memorial of our redemption, O Father, offering our praise and thanksgiving by recalling Jesusdeath, resurrection, and ascension. Sanctify us, we pray, that we may faithfully serve you in unity, constancy, and peace: and at the last day bring us with all your saints into the joy of your eternal kingdom. All this we ask through your Son Jesus Christ. 

 

By him, and with him, in the unity of the Holy Spirit all honor and glory is yours, Almighty Father, now and for ever. Amen.

 

As our brother Jesus has taught us we now pray,

 

Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed by thy Name,

Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven

Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses,

as we forgive those who trespass against us.

And lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil.

For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever and ever. Amen.

 

 Alleluia! Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us, therefore, let us keep the Feast. Alleluia!

A Prayer for Spiritual Communion

 

My Jesus, I know that you are present in the Holy Sacrament.

I love you above all things, and I desire to receive You into my soul.

Since I cannot at this moment receive you sacramentally come spiritually into my heart. I embrace you as if you were already there and unite myself whole to you.

Never permit me to be separated from you. Amen

A prayer by St. Alphonsus (1696-1787) as used at the Washington National Cathedral

 

God our Father, whose Son our Lord Jesus Christ in a wonderful Sacrament has left us a memorial of his passion: Grant us so to venerate the sacred mysteries of his Body and Blood, that we may ever perceive within ourselves the fruit of his redemption; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit one God, for ever and ever. Amen

 

May the almighty and merciful Lord, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, bless us and keep us. Amen

 

+

 

All pictures are photos taken from images found in our church or outside of it.

 

*The New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright 1989 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Church of Christ in the USA, and used by permission.

**The Message, copyright (c) 1993, 2002, 2018 by Eugene Peterson, used by permission of NavPress.  All rights reserved. Represented by Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.

The Collects, Psalms, Canticles and liturgy are from the Book of Common Prayer, 1979

 
 __________ __________ __________ __________ __________ __________ __________ __________ __________ __________ ____

 

THE  THIRD  SUNDAY AFTER

PENTECOST

 Stand up for me against world opinion and Ill stand up for you before my Father in heaven.(MSG)


 

Lord, open our lips and our mouth shall proclaim your praise.

 

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit; as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be forever.  Amen.  Alleluia.

 

Venite

Come, let us sing to the Lord;

    let us shout for joy to the Rock of our salvation.

Let us come before his presence with thanksgiving

    and raise a loud shout to him with psalms.

 

For the Lord is great God.

    and a great King above all gods.

In his hand are the caverns of the earth,

     and the heights of the hills are his also.

The seas is his, for he made it,

    and hands have molded the dry land.

 

Come, let us bow down, and bend the knee,

    and kneel before the Lord our Maker.

For he is our God,

and we are the people of his nature and the sheep of his hand.

    Oh, that today you would hearken to his voice.

 

THE PSALM

 

Psalm 86:1-10, 16-17

Inclina, Domine

1 Bow down your ear, O Lord, and answer me, *

for I am poor and in misery.

2 Keep watch over my life, for I am faithful; *

save your servant who puts his trust in you.

3 Be merciful to me, O Lord, for you are my God; *

I call upon you all the day long.

4 Gladden the soul of your servant, *

for to you, O Lord, I lift up my soul.

5 For you, O Lord, are good and forgiving, *

and great is your love toward all who call upon you.

6 Give ear, O Lord, to my prayer, *

and attend to the voice of my supplications.

7 In the time of my trouble I will call upon you, *

for you will answer me.

8 Among the gods there is none like you, O Lord, *

nor anything like your works.

9 All nations you have made will come and worship you, O Lord, *

and glorify your Name.

10 For you are great;

you do wondrous things; *

and you alone are God.

16 Turn to me and have mercy upon me; *

give your strength to your servant;

and save the child of your handmaid.

17 Show me a sign of your favor,

so that those who hate me may see it and be ashamed; *

because you, O Lord, have helped me and comforted me.

 

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit; as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be forever.  Amen.  Alleluia.

 

 

THE FIRST LESSON*

 

Romans 6:1-11

 

So what do we do? Keep on sinning so God can keep on forgiving? I should hope not! If weve left the country where sin is sovereign, how can we still live in our old house there? Or didnt you realize we packed up and left there for good? That is what happened in baptism. When we went under the water, we left the old country of sin behind; when we came up out of the water, we entered into the new country of grace—a new life in a new land!

 

Thats what baptism into the life of Jesus means. When we are lowered into the water, it is like the burial of Jesus; when we are raised up out of the water, it is like the resurrection of Jesus. Each of us is raised into a light-filled world by our Father so that we can see where were going in our new grace-sovereign country.

 

Could it be any clearer? Our old way of life was nailed to the cross with Christ, a decisive end to that sin-miserable life—no longer at sins every beck and call! What we believe is this: If we get included in Christs sin-conquering death, we also get included in his life-saving resurrection. We know that when Jesus was raised from the dead it was a signal of the end of death-as-the-end. Never again will death have the last word. When Jesus died, he took sin down with him, but alive he brings God down to us. From now on, think of it this way: Sin speaks a dead language that means nothing to you; God speaks your mother tongue, and you hang on every word. You are dead to sin and alive to God. Thats what Jesus did.

 

 

THE SECOND LESSON*

 

Matthew 10:24-39

 

A student doesnt get a better desk than her teacher. A laborer doesnt make more money than his boss. Be content—pleased, even—when you, my students, my harvest hands, get the same treatment I get. If they call me, the Master, Dungface,what can the workers expect?

 

Dont be intimidated. Eventually everything is going to be out in the open, and everyone will know how things really are. So dont hesitate to go public now.

 

Dont be bluffed into silence by the threats of bullies. Theres nothing they can do to your soul, your core being. Save your fear for God, who holds your entire life—body and soul—in his hands.

 

Whats the price of a pet canary? Some loose change, right? And God cares what happens to it even more than you do. He pays even greater attention to you, down to the last detail—even numbering the hairs on your head! So dont be intimidated by all this bully talk. Youre worth more than a million canaries.

 

Stand up for me against world opinion and Ill stand up for you before my Father in heaven. If you turn tail and run, do you think Ill cover for you?

 

Dont think Ive come to make life cozy. Ive come to cut—make a sharp knife-cut between son and father, daughter and mother, bride and mother-in-law—cut through these cozy domestic arrangements and free you for God. Well-meaning family members can be your worst enemies. If you prefer father or mother over me, you dont deserve me. If you prefer son or daughter over me, you dont deserve me.

 

If you dont go all the way with me, through thick and thin, you dont deserve me. If your first concern is to look after yourself, youll never find yourself. But if you forget about yourself and look to me, youll find both yourself and me.

 

 

REFLECTION

by

Norm Wright

 

+IN THE NAME OF OUR LIFE-GIVING, LIBERATING GOD+

 

You may have noticed that the assigned lessons for this Sunday read differently. They are taken  translation of the original languages, Hebrew and Greek.  The translation being used comes from a Bible called, The Message, which was translated by Eugene Peterson, a Presbyterian pastor. The Message was first published in 1993. 

 

My attraction to his particular translation is its use of contemporary, idiomatic language to bring out the force of the original texts in a narrative format.  I find it beneficial when dealing with prophesy and some of the more pointed teachings of Jesus, which often lose their impact because of the familiar language we have developed an immunity to. 

 

Today I would like to draw our attention to the second lesson from the Gospel of Matthew.  It’s a tough read no matter what translation one uses because, as a popular contemporary idiom puts it, Jesus is telling it like it is.

 

So what set Jesus on this tough-talk tirade? 

 

Evangelism. 

 

Evangelism in this case is not spreading the good new of Jesus’ death and resurrection as a one’s personal ticket to salvation; rather this good news is Jesus’ message of liberating love as a force for changing the social landscape: the love of neighbor and the love of one’s enemy, and the blessedness of humility, suffering, mercy, and peacemaking.  Evangelism in this sense is bringing those messages to fruition though active evangelism, by bringing healing and relief to those most in need. 

 

If one is going to bring the Kingdom of God to fruition, one cannot avoid talking about love, forgiveness, and blessedness like Jesus did in his Sermon on the Mount, which is recorded five chapters before than today’s second lesson.

 

You wouldn’t think we’d need a locker room pep-talk to get us ready to spread those messages, but we do! 

 

What’s so difficult about discussing love?

 

What’s so hard about a discussion of blessings?

 

How has forgiveness become a taboo subject?

 

Who would bully someone for talking about such things and why would such messages cause divisions in family relationships?

 

It is all about the context of Jesus’ message.  It’s all about the way in which love, forgiveness, and blessedness is cast.

 

Let’s be honest, we’re okay with talking about love and blessings in the confines of church hall or listening to such messages in a sermon delivered from a pulpit, because those are the safe places to do so.

 

I think we all know and perhaps have experienced how difficult it can be talking about loving one’s enemies and the blessedness of showing mercy, peacemaking outside the walls of church building

 

Try taking those messages to the streets or, better yet, try bringing up loving our enemies and the blessedness of mercy or peacemaking during a family reunion or when sitting down to family meal with family members we know who possess strong opinions about politics, race, sex, and religion.  See what kind of reaction one gets; especially, if one tries to insert those messages in to a conversation where someone starts talking about his or her dislike of Muslims, black protesters, undocumented immigrants, people who are on welfare, gay rights, and the like. 

 

Even if we disagree and know that those opinions are fundamentally contrary to what Jesus taught, we are prone to sit back, take a deep breath, and move on by trying to change the subject or biding our time in the hope the person runs out of steam.

 

It really isn’t easy being a Christian. 

 

It can be downright terrifying if someone says we need to get out there and talk about what Jesus taught, yet alone be prompted to do something about it.

 

We have been largely trained how not to talk about them or bring up divisive issues in social settings, much less try and do something about them.  For the most part we have been trained to throw money at someone who will do such things on our behalf so we can remain incognito.

 

Jesus’ tough talk was meant to strengthen the resolve of the twelve disciples who he was sending out in to the countryside and villages of Judea and Galilee to get their feet wet in spreading the his message by word and deed. 

 

He is warning them that when they do such things, they are going to run into a people who will resist anyone and any message that could rock their boat; those who are content with their personal status and don’t want anyone suggesting ideas that may tamper with their wallet.

 

Saying we believe in what Jesus taught and then sitting tight and doing nothing about it or say anything about it when those teachings are being directly or indirectly under attack renders what we Christians confess and profess as meaningless and treats the Church as a joke and Jesus as a dreamer or a liar.

 

Christianity is not easy.

 

In our first lesson, Paul addresses sitting back and doing what we please because we’re Christians.  Paul asks, “So what do we do? Keep on sinning so God can keep on forgiving?” (MSG)  If we think the death and resurrection of Jesus gets us off the hook, it doesn’t. Jesus’ death and resurrection clearly put us on the hook.  It clearly put us on the cross and places us in the position of those charged with proclaiming the liberating good news of what Jesus taught.  

 

In one of the most blunt teaching moments in his ministry Jesus says, "Stand up for me against world opinion and Ill stand up for you before my Father in heaven. If you turn tail and run, do you think Ill cover for you?” (MSG)

 

That’s harsh!

 

But what does how “world opinion” mean in today’s world?

 

World opinion has a political ring, doesn’t it? 

 

The truth is Christianity and all religions are involved in politics, and are political entities in their own right.  It’s unavoidable.

 

If you talk about justice, you’re talking politics.  If you talking about the poor, you’re talking about politics, and so on down the line of a host social and ethical issues facing the nations of the world and issues that Jesus directly addressed in his teachings.

 

In true democracies, the people take on the accountability for the choices their governments makes. In a democracy, people, Christians and non-Christians alike, don’t have an excuse for what their nation does when it foregoes its ethical and moral responsibilities. 

 

Take, for example,  how the term “political correctness” is being defined and used a pejorative today, and then consider that its opposite, political incorrectness, is a term that is conveniently avoided and ignored because it would expose “political correctness” as actually being correct; as in, being right.   What’s wrong with being right?

 

Such bizarre, rather devilish, and twisted thinking has a way of seeping into the Church.  It can numb us to what Jesus teaches because in the realm of politics many of those teaching are currently being cast into the pejorative category of the “politically correct” and therefore bad for the country and the world.  Sadly, we see notable Christian personalities buying into and promoting such a twisted mindset.

 

We can easily get there when we turn a blind eye to political issues that are contrary to the teachings of Jesus on the premise that politics has no place in the church.  While churches should avoid associating themselves with party politics and telling congregants who and what to vote for, a failure to address political issues within a church setting that are contrary to the teaching of Jesus is a failure of the Church’s prophetic role in the world.

 

And there are times when it becomes imperative to take to the streets when those messages are not being heeded.

 

The teachings of Jesus found in the Synoptic Gospels are largely unambiguous, and that is what today’s second lesson is talking about.  Jesus is telling us to take his teachings, implement them, and heal the world through them.  Jesus is telling us to stand up for them in a world constantly engaged in political turmoil, until such time the world gets it.

 

We need to take to heart that if we don’t stand with Jesus, if we don’t stand up for what he taught, and if we excuse ourselves and our leaders on the basis of being Christian when we, through them, promote messages contrary to the teaching of Jesus, we are denying Jesus. 

 

That’s when we participate in a lie. 

 

When we don’t stand up for Jesus, we are standing down and giving into popular world opinion, turning tail, and running away.

 

* * * * * * * * * * *

 

Gracious Father, strengthen our resolve to be practitioners, in both word and deed, of the teachings Jesus gave us. Give us the strength to boldly proclaim the liberating message of blessedness and love to those we meet on the streets, at the dinner table, and throughout the world, through the same Jesus Christ, the head of the Church.  Amen.

 

 

 

 

 




Hymn

 

            Stand up, stand up, for Jesus, you followers of the cross;

            lift high his righteous banner, it shall not suffer loss:

            from victory unto victory the faithful shall he lead,

            till every wrong is vanquished and Christ is Lord indeed;

 

            Stand up, stand up, for Jesus; the trumpet call obey;

            forth to the mighty conflict in this his glorious day:

            we that are his, now serve him against unnumbered foes;

            let courage rise with danger, and strength to strength oppose.

 

            Stand up, stand up, for Jesus; stand in his strength alone;

            the arm of flesh will fail you, you dare not trust your own:

            put on the Gospel armor, and watching unto prayer,

            when duty calls, or danger, be never wanting there.

 

           Stand up, stand up, for Jesus: the strife will not be long;

           this day, the noise of battle; the next, the victor’s song.

           To valiant hearts triumphant, a crown of life shall be;

           they with King of glory shall reign eternally.

 

( George Duffield, Jr. 1818-1888. alt.)

 

 

 

 

 

THE LORDS PRAYER

 

Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed by thy Name,

Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven

Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses,

as we forgive those who trespass against us.

And lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil. 

For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever and ever. Amen




 

THE COLLECT OF THE DAY

 

O Lord, make us have perpetual love and reverence for your holy Name, for you never fail to help and govern those whom you have set upon the sure foundation of your loving­kindness; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.       

      

 

PRAYERS OF THE PEOPLE

 

Pray for those in our parish family; for Bernard Kubal, Mary Ann Anderson, Sue Lauch, and Pat and Bev Ann Christensen.  On this Sunday we pray for healing of Somer Bares, Dan Lynch and Tom Johns. 

 

Pray for those we hold in our hearts.

 

Pray for those celebrating birthdays:  Kristen Sayler (June 21), and Elizabeth Wright (June 22).

 

Pray for those affected by Covid-19; for healthcare workers around the world; for those who provide essential services; for the leaders of all nations, for all governmental officials every where, and for all those making decisions in this time of crisis.

 

Pray for those who have lost their jobs, those who are financially stressed, and those who are need of assistance; that their needs are met and that they find comfort in the support of others.