(Scripture notes from Season of the Spirit and Pulpit Resource)
Our Gospel lesson is from Luke 12:13–21. When a person comes to Jesus to settle a question about inheritance, Jesus refuses to be drawn into the role of a rabbi settling disputes. Jesus’ mission is not to enforce the Law, but to show a new way. Paul gives the Christians at Colossae instructions about how to live in ways that are rich towards God. In Colossians 3:1–11, Paul exhorts them to set their minds on things above, where Christ is enthroned and exalted.
Communion will be served at stations by the method of intinction.
Jesus calls us to lives of faithfulness, being ever ready to participate in the reign of God. The teaching of Jesus in Luke 12:32–40 looks ahead to this new realm of God, urging us to prepare to eat at God’s heavenly banquet table. Hebrews 11:1–3, 8–16 “Faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen” (v. 1). Led by our ancestors and mentors in the faith, we are called to trust that God will provide.
Today we will be baptizing Adam and Ava McCarty, son and daughter of Dr. Andrew and Ella McCarty, and welcoming them into the life of the church.
The readings today invite reflection on the sources of strength and encouragement that God provides to restore us and guide us as we take up our role as disciples. In Isaiah 5:1–7, God expected a crop of justice and righteousness from the vineyard of the people. In Luke 12:49–56, Jesus describes the costs of faithful discipleship in terms of divisions it may cause. The way of faith prepares us for the coming of God’s dominion, but it also breaks well-worn molds of expectations in our lives as we seek to become the people God calls us to be. Hebrews 11:29—12:2 continues the roll call of those whose faith in God is a model and encouragement. It reminds us that “by faith” God’s people did some amazing things.
Today we will have our annual Blessing of the Backpacks.
God breaks into our world and shakes things up. Jeremiah 1:4–10 tells the story of the prophet’s call. Psalm 71:1–6 complements the Jeremiah text. God has been with us from our mother’s womb. Luke 13:10–17 Jesus is on his final journey to Jerusalem. In one of the towns, he visits a synagogue and accepts an invitation to teach. There he sees a woman who has been unable to stand up straight for 18 years. Hebrews 12:18–29 points out that we are receiving God’s reign, which cannot be shaken. Regardless of opposition – indeed, in spite of a religious leader trying to tell someone to come back tomorrow to receive God’s favor – God’s reign is ours and is a lasting thing.
The Rev. Esther Ziegler will be preaching and leading worship this morning.