January 26, 2017
for Sunday, January 29
Micah 6: 1-8
1 Corinthians 1:18-31
In last week’s gospel, we read about the beginning of Jesus’ ministry. His message echoed that of John the Baptist, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near” (Matthew 4:17). We may look at this early message as the skeleton upon which the meat of the Sermon on the Mount goes. It may also be looked at as an outline that gets filled in.
“Blessed” is a nice sounding church word, but what does it mean? There is one translation that uses the word “Happy,” but blessing is far more than that. “Fortunate" or "it will be well with" may give us a better understanding than “Blessed” or “Happy.”
Although the crowd may have overheard, this message was teaching for Jesus’ disciples. There are at least several ways to look at these verses. One way would be to see them like a contract stating, if you do such and such, God will bless you. In Lutheran parlance, that’s the Law, which always accuses us, telling us we’re not good enough for God to love and bless us.
A better way to understand these verses is that Jesus is showing how worthy those people are, who we may look at as outsiders. However, our loving Lord makes outsiders insiders by bringing them into his family. In the reign of God, it is these: the poor in spirit, those who mourn, the meek, and so on who are especially blessed.
This list certainly does not sound like those who preach the “Prosperity Gospel,” which states that Jesus wants us all happy and rich in this life. If we are not, then we must not have enough faith or must have done something wrong. Does that really square with these first few verses from the Sermon on the Mount? Who should we believe and listen to—to Jesus or to someone who only seems interested in riches? The two do not complement each other no matter how you explain it.
I like David Lose’s take on this passage:
But Jesus teaches something different. Jesus teaches us to see how God calls blessed those who are down and out, distressed by their circumstances, passionate about promoting righteousness and working for peace, or persecuted for doing the right thing. (David Lose, http://www.davidlose.net/
1When Jesus saw the crowds, he went up the mountain; and after he sat down, his disciples came to him. 2Then he began to speak, and taught them, saying:
3“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
4“Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.
5“Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.
6“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.
7“Blessed are the merciful, for they will receive mercy.
8“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.
9“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.
10“Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
11“Blessed are you when people revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. 12Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.”
- 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 and Thom Shagla
[if !supportLists]· [endif]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.
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.
***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.
***The “Church Mouse”, for those who receive a printed version, will be available for pick up this on Sunday from the table in the narthex. Electronic copies of the “Church Mouse” will not be going out until February 11 and 12; we apologize for the inconvenience.
***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.
I’m sure you know how long I have been waiting for the approval to have back surgery. Believe it or not, that approval came yesterday, 1/24. This was followed today, 1/25 by a phone call from the surgeon’s office telling me they were calling to schedule my surgery. The surgery will be on Tues., 2/14—Valentine’s Day.
Since the surgery is in Feb., I will not be doing Ashes to Go, which I wrote about in the Feb. newsletter. I was looking forward to that, but getting my back fixed is something that needs to be done sooner rather than later.
Since we won’t know exactly how bad my back is until the surgery, the amount of time I’m off from work is up in the air. At this point, I’m planning coverage for services from Sun., 2/19-Sun., 3/26. It may need to be more time or less time.
Many thanks to each and every one of you for your prayers, concern and support. I am truly blessed to be your pastor.
God bless you abundantly.
Can Tab Collection is Back at Synod Assembly!!!
By Gary Roller
Our aluminum can tab collection continues to be a successful and easy project for all congregations across the Synod to participate in. The Synod Assembly Planning Team has decided to offer this project for the 2017 Synod Assembly.
Start collecting can tabs NOW, and bring your collected tabs to the Synod Assembly in June. It has not yet been decided where the proceeds from the collection project will be sent. An announcement of the decision will be made by the Planning Team at a future time.