July 13, 2017
Matthew 13:1-9, 18-23
for Sunday, July 16
Matthew 13:1-9, 18-23
This Week's Reflection Comes from
Sundays & Seasons (Augsburg Fortress)
Life in Every Direction
We can identify death in every direction. We see war, hunger, addiction, poverty, a dying planet, and broken hearts. This is not a new story. The children of Israel surely saw death in every direction, wandering in the desert and at least occasionally wondering about their next meal. Paul looks at his own life and, at first, sees nothing beyond spiritual death. He reminds us that death is not just physical, but also spiritual. In the parable of the sower, three-fourths of the seeds die and three-fourths of the sections of the field are inhospitable to flourishing life. Sometimes, life isn’t even given a chance. We might look at the world and ourselves and only see the places that are absent and inhospitable to God’s love.
Today’s texts all go a step further, however, to articulate or reveal God bringing forth life where there is only death and God’s absence in every direction. First, God renews the covenant with the children of Israel. After their own failures and disobedience, God restores a relationship with the children of Israel and gives them “the best of all the land in Egypt” (Gen. 45:20) and “provisions for the journey” (Gen. 45:21). Paul reflects on God growing new branches where old tree branches had fallen away. The parable of the sower elicits reflection, repentance, and, ultimately, new life from its readers and hearers in considering the sort of spiritual life they practice.
Are we hospitable or inhospitable to God’s word? This parable is a vivid reminder of all God has overcome—rocks, scorching sun, thorns, and snatching—to bring life to the world. God brings forth life in places where people see only death.
1That same day Jesus went out of the house and sat beside the sea. 2Such great crowds gathered around him that he got into a boat and sat there, while the whole crowd stood on the beach. 3And he told them many things in parables, saying: “Listen! A sower went out to sow. 4And as he sowed, some seeds fell on the path, and the birds came and ate them up. 5Other seeds fell on rocky ground, where they did not have much soil, and they sprang up quickly, since they had no depth of soil. 6But when the sun rose, they were scorched; and since they had no root, they withered away. 7Other seeds fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked them. 8Other seeds fell on good soil and brought forth grain, some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty. 9Let anyone with ears listen!”
18“Hear then the parable of the sower. 19When anyone hears the word of the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what is sown in the heart; this is what was sown on the path. 20As for what was sown on rocky ground, this is the one who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy; 21yet such a person has no root, but endures only for a while, and when trouble or persecution arises on account of the word, that person immediately falls away. 22As for what was sown among thorns, this is the one who hears the word, but the cares of the world and the lure of wealth choke the word, and it yields nothing. 23But as for what was sown on good soil, this is the one who hears the word and understands it, who indeed bears fruit and yields, in one case a hundredfold, in another sixty, and in another thirty.”
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.
***Scandinavian Folk Festival – will be held Fri., July 21 through Sun., July 23. If you can help at St. Timothy’s food booth, please sign up on the sheet in the church narthex by this Sunday or contact Kathy Carlson.
***Hoops for Honduras 3 on 3 Basketball Tournament is Fri. July 21 from 4-8pm and Sat. July 22 from 8am-6pm in Village Park in Bemus Point. Come and cheer on the players. Look for St. Timothy Confirmation Class members assisting at the food concession Saturday morning! Contact Bob Gould at 716-386-2288 to register a team. Sponsors also needed.
***Southwestern Conference Youth Ministries is hosting a day at Waldameer Park in Erie, Sunday, August 27. The park is open from 1pm - 10pm. Enjoy a discounted rate of $24.50 that includes unlimited rides and the waterpark. Discount is open to chaperones, drivers, and families too. Register with Ian Eastman at firstname.lastname@example.org or 716-720-8584 before August 6. Make checks payable to Immanuel Lutheran Church, 556 E 2nd St, Jamestown, NY 14701; put Waldameer in the memo line.
*** Stay connected with Pastor Ivy… parsonage: 386-1022; cell phone: 904-0855 (call or text); email: email@example.com ; mail: P. O. Box 43, Bemus Point, NY 14712.
Aluminum Can Tab Collection Results
A couple of tidbits before I give you the final results of the 2017 Synod Assembly Can Tab Collection Project:
• It takes 1400 can tabs to equal one pound. Across the Upstate NY Synod, we collected 407 pounds of can tabs. If I have done the math correctly, that equates to 569,800 can tabs collected.
• Can tabs come in every color of the rainbow plus the many other colors that are in a box of Crayola Crayons (the 64-variety size box).
Collections were brought to the Synod Assembly in a variety of containers. This included boxes, buckets, animal cracker containers, pretzel containers, contractor trash bags and a couple of glass vases. The total dollar amount that we realized is $163.79. The Synod Assembly Planning Team will make a decision at our August meeting where the money will be sent. That information will be published when the decision is made.
Thanks to everyone who participated in the collection project.
· 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 family and friends of Marilyn See who passed away on 7/9, Pastor Ivy Gauvin, Zachary Stewart, Deacon Gregg Davis, Rita Evans, Roy Pihl, Faye Stebbins, Gloria Gardner, Bob & Audrey Markwart, Al Lamb, Eleanor Burgeson Orman, Arden Johnson, Ralph Prieur, Todd Reel, Helen Cogliano, Joanne Aron, JoLynn Stearns, 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.