(Scripture notes from Season of the Spirit and Pulpit Resource)
October 7 World Communion Sunday
This morning we celebrate World Communion Sunday. This day is observed in many parts of the world to acknowledge the fact that Christians around the world are – symbolically – gathered around a common table Our Gospel lesson is from Mark 10: 13-16. In this passage Jesus speaks about welcoming children. We will also read Psalm 8, a hymn of praise.
This morning Communion will be served to you as you are seated in the pews. The Senior Choir will be singing.
In the Gospel lesson in Mark 10:17-31 Jesus encounters a “person who knows the commandments, and knows what is required of all people to be in favor with God. Yet, there is something missing, and so he asks Jesus for advice. But Jesus’ advice does not sit well: “Go, sell all you have, give it to the poor, and come back and follow me.” The rich person cannot do this. The question that begins the conversation with Jesus is one that many would have wondered about in those days. Yet, it is not about an afterlife in heaven but about living in the new reality that God was about to bring to bear on earth.
In Hebrews 4:12–16 we are reminded that, even naked and unadorned before God, still God accepts us. Jesus knows all we have gone through, having experienced life just like us, with all its ups and downs, and understands all we go through. Just as he may have done with the rich one, so Jesus reaches out in love and touches us.
Spirit and Young Spirit will be singing today.
Almost always, Jesus flips or turns upside down the ideas, cultural norms and practices of the religious communities of his day. He does the same with us in these modern times. In Mark 10:35-45 he does it again: If you want to be great you have to be servant first. This challenges of our normal way of thinking about leadership and authority and power is profound. Psalm 104: 1-9, 24, 35. We welcome our German guests from Inden and Langerwehe, who will be with us in worship. Pastor Daniel Mueller Thor will join Pastor Daniel in leading worship. The Senior Choir and the Children’s Music and Movement group will be singing. Bells will be ringing.
October 28 Reformation and Homecoming Sunday
(Bulletin Not Yet Available)
Faith and hope will not be silenced in the face of need, whether our own or other’s. When we risk speaking and acting with persistence for the sake of mercy, we may take heart. God listens to our cries and acts with saving power to bring wholeness. Today’s Gospel lesson from Mark 10: 46-52 is the last story before the account of Jesus’ return to Jerusalem for his final days. Bartimaeus, described as a “blind beggar,” takes the risk in calling out to Jesus for healing. Rev. Loren McGrail will be preaching this morning. Loren serves as the Communications/Advocacy and Church Relations officer for the YWCA in East Jerusalem. The Senior Choir will be singing.