July 12, 2018
for Sunday, July 22
So what do I do when I look at a reading like this? I think ugh! I check out the other readings to see if there may be a way of getting around preaching this gruesome gospel lesson. Maybe something else will inspire me, but no, nothing. So I look again and think ok, I’ll settle on verses 14-16 and preach on the power of Jesus’ name, but God was not going to let me off the hook so easily, so like it or not, I cannot ignore Herod’s flashback to the time when he had John the Baptist beheaded.
John the Baptist unashamedly preached the repentance and the coming kingdom of God, that God was sending his Messiah. It did not make him popular. Plus, John had a way about him…calling people vipers and challenging their motives when they came to him to be baptized. But speak he did and he didn’t care what anyone thought, even people in power, like Herod. It cost him his life. Our Lord Jesus had a similar relationship with so-called powerful people and it cost him his life as well.
Our nation is divided into so many camps and ideologies. People vilify each other, speaking the truth in hate, rather than love. Nevertheless, we as the people of God, are still called to speak the truth. We are not to hide our heads in the sand when wrong is being done, particularly when our leaders are the ones encouraging the wrong.
How will we respond in the face of all that is happening around us? Will we just continue on our way, happy that it doesn’t affect us—or does it? Or do we dare to speak truth and right no matter where that may lead? Being faithful believers in the Lord Jesus and walking the way of the cross may not always be comfortable, but walk that way we must. As Dietrich Bonhoeffer wrote, “When Christ calls a man (sic), he bids him come and die.” Following Jesus costs us our life too.
Sometimes we must die to self-interests, popularity or pleasure, to be sure that we are faithfully following Christ. Chances are we will not have to physically die for our faith, but if we are called to do so, we can’t say Jesus didn’t warn us.
Dear Lord, it can be so hard to follow you and to know how we should respond to all that is going on in our world today. May we keep our eyes on you and be led by your Holy Spirit. Amen.
Pastor Ivy Gauvin
14King Herod heard of [the disciples’ preaching,] for Jesus’ name had become known. Some were saying, “John the baptizer has been raised from the dead; and for this reason these powers are at work in him.” 15But others said, “It is Elijah.” And others said, “It is a prophet, like one of the prophets of old.” 16But when Herod heard of it, he said, “John, whom I beheaded, has been raised.”
17For Herod himself had sent men who arrested John, bound him, and put him in prison on account of Herodias, his brother Philip’s wife, because Herod had married her. 18For John had been telling Herod, “It is not lawful for you to have your brother’s wife.” 19And Herodias had a grudge against him, and wanted to kill him. But she could not, 20for Herod feared John, knowing that he was a righteous and holy man, and he protected him. When he heard him, he was greatly perplexed; and yet he liked to listen to him. 21But an opportunity came when Herod on his birthday gave a banquet for his courtiers and officers and for the leaders of Galilee. 22When his daughter Herodias came in and danced, she pleased Herod and his guests; and the king said to the girl, “Ask me for whatever you wish, and I will give it.” 23And he solemnly swore to her, “Whatever you ask me, I will give you, even half of my kingdom.” 24She went out and said to her mother, “What should I ask for?” She replied, “The head of John the baptizer.” 25Immediately she rushed back to the king and requested, “I want you to give me at once the head of John the Baptist on a platter.” 26The king was deeply grieved; yet out of regard for his oaths and for the guests, he did not want to refuse her. 27Immediately the king sent a soldier of the guard with orders to bring John’s head. He went and beheaded him in the prison, 28brought his head on a platter, and gave it to the girl. Then the girl gave it to her mother. 29When his disciples heard about it, they came and took his body, and laid it in a tomb.
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.
***Hoops for Honduras next weekend! The 3 on 3 Hoops for Honduras Basketball Tournament is a fundraiser for the Honduras Mission. It will be held at Village Park in Bemus Point, Friday July 20, 4:00-8:00pm and Saturday, July 21, 8:00 am-6:00pm. Come out and cheer on the teams! Sponsors always needed; contact Bob Goold at 716-386-2288 or email@example.com.
***5 & 2 Ministry Food Bins Donated to Date: 24
Keep bringing in items - donations collected during the summer!
***ONLINE GIVING now available at St. Timothy for Debit/Credit cards. 3 ways to give:
- Go directly to our website at www.sttimothybemus.com
- Use our QR code with the QR reader on your smartphone
- Download the app ‘GivePlus Church’. Create an account.
For further information, see Kathy Carlson on Sundays or call her at 485-1316.
· 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 Dan Kelly, Dan Caruso, Alice Goebel, Ilene Chiotti, Bryan Brown, Craig Jackson, Marty Maxwell, Debbie Stearns, Jim Doherty, Karen Brown, Ross Gardner, Maj-Britt Traynor, Bonnie Christoferson, Zachary Stewart, Al Lamb, Arden Johnson, Scott Stearns, Zachary Frazier, Matt Isaacson and Thom Shagla.
· For people serving in the military, including Ben Wickerham, 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.