St. Timothy Lutheran Church

                              

                                                                       February 8, 2016


                                                       

                                                            Matthew 5:21-37

Scripture readings

for Sunday, February 5

Deuteronomy 30:15-20

1 Corinthians 3:1-9

Matthew 5:21-37

REFLECTION

Oh my! Some of us thought the ten commandments were hard! What did Jesus mean by making them even harder. "You have heard...but I say..."


Jesus is going to the heart of the matter. People don't just suddenly decide to lie, commit adultery or kill. These actions begin inside of us--in the mind and heart.


However, what about the fallout when someone does sin in such ways? The one I struggled with for a very long time was the command regarding divorce and remarriage. Here's a little light on the subject. Jesus was talking about those who intentionally divorce so that they can be with someone else. They disregard the promises made to their spouse. This does not mean that the spouse is doomed to a life of loneliness. He or she is free to remarry.


Years of hearing the Catholic interpretation of this text, made me feel that I could not remarry and please God as well. Jesus redeems and sets us free so that we are not bound by poor interpretations of scripture. As hard as it was when my first husband no longer wanted to be married to me, I thank God every day that he brought Ray and me together. Otherwise, I would not be here with you today. Everyday Ray and I give thanks for this church (and St. Mark's) and for this call.


All of this reminds me of Luther's interpretation of the third article of the Creed:

I believe that by my own understanding or strength I cannot believe in Jesus Christ my Lord or come to him, but instead the Holy Spirit has called me through the gospel, enlightened me with his gifts, made me holy and kept me in the true faith...

 

We are not left to our own devices as we follow the Lord. A searchlight has shone upon our hearts. Jesus examines what is there. We cannot follow Christ in our own strength. Just look Luther's final  sentence concerning the Creed. It's all God's work. Jesus frees us.

Pastor Ivy

[Jesus said to the disciples:] 21“You have heard that it was said to those of ancient times, ‘You shall not murder’; and ‘whoever murders shall be liable to judgment.’ 22But I say to you that if you are angry with a brother or sister, you will be liable to judgment; and if you insult a brother or sister, you will be liable to the council; and if you say, ‘You fool,’ you will be liable to the hell of fire. 23So when you are offering your gift at the altar, if you remember that your brother or sister has something against you, 24leave your gift there before the altar and go; first be reconciled to your brother or sister, and then come and offer your gift. 25Come to terms quickly with your accuser while you are on the way to court with him, or your accuser may hand you over to the judge, and the judge to the guard, and you will be thrown into prison. 26Truly I tell you, you will never get out until you have paid the last penny.

27“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ 28But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lust has already committed adultery with her in his heart. 29If your right eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away; it is better for you to lose one of your members than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. 30And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away; it is better for you to lose one of your members than for your whole body to go into hell.

31“It was also said, ‘Whoever divorces his wife, let him give her a certificate of divorce.’ 32But I say to you that anyone who divorces his wife, except on the ground of unchastity, causes her to commit adultery; and whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery.

33“Again, you have heard that it was said to those of ancient times, ‘You shall not swear falsely, but carry out the vows you have made to the Lord.’ 34But I say to you, Do not swear at all, either by heaven, for it is the throne of God, 35or by the earth, for it is his footstool, or by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the great King. 36And do not swear by your head, for you cannot make one hair white or black. 37Let your word be ‘Yes, Yes’ or ‘No, No’; anything more than this comes from the evil one.”

- for our community of faith as we seek to do God's work in the world;

- for those in our congregation and community who suffer silently with illness, financial burdens, and family obligation

- for victims of violence and their families in all places.

- for Gloria Gardner, Grace Wakefield, Al Lamb, Eleanor Burgeson Orman,  Bob Samuelson, Arden Johnson, Ralph Prieur, Bill Reel, Todd Reel, Helen Cogliano, Joanne Aron, JoLynn Stearns, Scott Stearns, Zachary Frazier, Maj-Britt Traynor, Matt Isaacson, Sandra Kelderhouse, Dan Bylund, Pastor Ivy and Thom Shagla

- for people serving in the military and their families, those caught up in persecution, violence and war.

- for all children, that the love of Christ may reach them through all of us who have resources to love, protect, pray and provide for them.

PRAYER REQUESTS

Names will remain of the Prayer List for a month - at which

time it will be taken off unless, or course, there is still a continued need

for our prayers and we’re asked to keep the name on.

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ANNOUNCEMENTS


***The Evangelism Committee will be packing Valentine Goody Boxes for our college students and military personnel.  We need contributions of items to pack or monetary donations.  If you have someone that you would like to receive a box, please provide their name and address—contact Marty Hunt or anyone on the Committee (see list in recent annual report).  All contributions are needed no later than February 12th.  Thank you!


***If you haven’t yet picked up your 2016 Offering Statement, please look for it in the box on the narthex table.  A few folks still need to pick up their 2017 offering envelope boxes.  They are also on the narthex table.

 

***Snow Shoveling:  The Property Committee is still seeking volunteers to sign up for shoveling both church entrances early Sunday mornings.   If you are able to help, please put your name on the sign-up sheet  in the church narthex.  THANK YOU!


***Healthy Bones Exercise Class meets at St. Timothy’s each Monday and Wednesday from 9:00-10:15 am.   Anyone is welcome to join this low-impact, bone-strengthening class, suitable for both men and women.


***Fran Ward will be out of the office until Tuesday, February 28th.


***Pastor Ivy is having back surgery on Tues., 2/14. She thanks you all for your prayers and encouragement throughout this long process. The exact period of time she will be out depends upon what they doctor finds once he's inside her back. Ray and I will both need your help as I recuperate in the form of rides and if you are so led, help with meals. You may contact Sylvia Lipsey at 716-720-5450 or email her at sylvia992000@yahoo.com  . Thank you all for all that you do.


***Volunteer Income Tax Assistance does free tax preparation for those earning less than $54,000 in 2016. Call 211 or 1-888-696-9211 to schedule an appointment. More information is on the bulletin board in the narthex.


***Most of the confirmation students will be gone over the weekend of February 19th, so there will be no confirmation class that day. The next class will be on Sunday, March 5th.


***New address--Desmond Drischell has contacted the office with his new address. The new one is 1512 1st Ave., #C202S Coralville, IA 52241-1143.