St. Timothy Lutheran Church

                              

                                                                     September 12, 2019

                           

                                                               Luke 15:1-10

Scripture readings

for Sunday, Sept. 15

Exodus 32:7-14

Psalm 51:1-10

1 Timothy 1:12-17

LUke 15:1-10

REFLECTION


When we look at the common, most repeated words in this part of Luke’s gospel, a pattern emerges concerning what these parables are about. Something was lost (5 times), was found (6 times) and the result is joy and rejoicing (5 times).

 

There are many ways these parables may be interpreted, but what particularly strikes me is the great lengths to which both the shepherd and the woman go to finding the lost object. For the shepherd, one sheep was 1/100th of the flock. For the woman, her loss was 1/10th of her wealth. As far as financial value, neither the sheep nor the coin were worth that much, except to the seeker.

 

God is like the shepherd and the woman and we are like the lost objects. No matter how low we get, how worthless we may feel, how deeply we find ourselves in the bowels of depression or regret or addiction, God seeks us out and does not let up until we are found.

 

And after the finding?  There’s a party and that means feasting as well. When we are found, we experience joy that needs to be shared with others; for not only do we get lost from time to time, but there are many people in our world who are also lost. God can use us to find them.

 

Let us pray. Seeker of the lost, Restorer of the found, make us aware of your presence and love in our lives. Use us to seek others who are lost and restore them to you. Amen.

 

Pastor Ivy Gauvin

1Now all the tax collectors and sinners were coming near to listen to [Jesus.] 2And the Pharisees and the scribes were grumbling and saying, “This fellow welcomes sinners and eats with them.”

3So he told them this parable: 4“Which one of you, having a hundred sheep and losing one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness and go after the one that is lost until he finds it? 5When he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders and rejoices. 6And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and neighbors, saying to them, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep that was lost.’ 7Just so, I tell you, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance.

8“Or what woman having ten silver coins, if she loses one of them, does not light a lamp, sweep the house, and search carefully until she finds it? 9When she has found it, she calls together her friends and neighbors, saying, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found the coin that I had lost.’ 10Just so, I tell you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.”

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.

ANNOUNCEMENTS


***Pastor Ivy will be in Canandaigua next week, Monday-Wednesday for the Synod Ministerium. 


***5 & 2 Ministry Food Bins Donated to Date: 63

 

5 Loaves and 2 Fish Backpack Ministry begins packing for the new school year this month.  A new grade level has been added to all the schools receiving food, so donations are greatly appreciated.  Let’s work toward 75 bins donated by our congregation.

The first 5&2 packing will be Tuesday September 17, at 7 pm. Come join us and help a great cause.
















Big Questions: Why Do I Have to Go to Church?

By Phil Ressler on Jun 05, 2019 03:37 pm

Thank you to everyone who submitted a question to my blog this past week. I have received several dozen questions. Some of the questions were similar. So I may not answer every individual question, but rather combine some questions. I will be looking at one or two questions each week throughout the summer.


Question

I have been told all my life that I need to go to church every week. I would go, but I got nothing out of it. Someone told me you get out of it what you put into it. So what am I supposed to put into it, so I get something out of it? What am I supposed to get from going to church every week? – Holly


Answer

Holly, the first thing I want to say is that God does not call us to go to church. He calls us to be the Church. A big part of being the Church is attending worship with fellow believers. It is hard to be the Church if we are isolated from one another and do not gather on any consistent basis.


To go along with that, the idea of attending worship should not be about what we get out of it. Worship is about what we give. We gather to worship God. We give God the gift of our praises through song. We bring him tithes and offerings. These are ways we honor him for his amazing love and sacrifice. So we put into worship our time. We put into worship our voice. We put into worship our financial gifts. We put into worship our attention and energy. All these things are done, not to get something out of it, but to give glory to God.


Another thing, look for ways to contribute beyond simply showing up. Worship is not like a typical American consumer experience. Rather, it is the community of believers coming together with a common purpose. Each person has a role to play.


Every Sunday, our local church has ample opportunities to serve. We have people who serve as ushers and nursery workers. There are Sunday School teachers and sound techs. There are Praise Team members and Scripture readers. Ideally, it would be great if every person would find one way to serve on a Sunday morning. The life of faith is not to sit in a pew, but rather exercising our gifts and abilities with other believers for the building of the kingdom.


If you attend a church where there is not an opportunity to serve, then you might consider finding a different church. I am not an advocate of church-shopping. But if you don’t have a way to make a meaningful contribution to the ministry of said church, then I don’t believe you are where God would have you be.

Furthermore, serving does not mean we don’t get anything out of it. You may not always see the benefit of the discipline at the moment. For example, we know it is good to eat healthy food. When you choose to have a salad instead of pizza, you may not think you gained much from this choice. You may wonder what the benefit was. The salad does not taste nearly as good as the pizza. And the salad did not make you feel any better.

In our culture of immediate gratification, we look for quick fixes and immediate results. But the most beneficial things in our lives come through disciplined commitment and consistent habits. The benefit of a salad instead of the pizza does not come from making that choice one time. Instead, the benefit comes from making that consistent choice repeatedly.

In a similar fashion, it may feel more satisfying to sleep in or go to the beach on Sunday morning instead of gathering with fellow believers. But a consistent disconnection from the family of faith will leave us disconnected God. When we honor God, by consistently giving him the first hours of our week, the bond with our Lord will strengthen over time.


When we miss worship, we also miss out on the Sacrament. When Jesus gave his body and blood through the bread and the wine, he said, do this often. By faith, we receive the presence and power of God in our lives when we encounter the bread and the wine. What you may be failing to connect is that conflict with a spouse, a feeling of being overwhelmed and anxiousness, the anger and resentment that has been building towards your boss at work are the consequence of a disconnect with God. So many of our challenges difficulties in life are caused because we lack a deep and meaningful relationship with the Lord.


When we miss worship, we also miss an opportunity to pray with others. Maybe the illness or pain I am suffering is because I have not called upon the elders of the church to anoint me with oil and pray with me. I know a lot of people who could have saved a lot of money along with trips to the doctor if they had seen prayer as their first option rather than their last resort. Certainly, you can pray on our own. But so many promises of God connected to prayer involve the community.


Finally, if you are going to worship because you “got to,” then you are going for all the wrong reasons. Worship is a “get to” experience. We should not approach worship as an obligation to “please” God so that he will be generous and gracious to us. Worship is a response to what God has already done for us. When our faith is placed in Jesus as Savior, the desire to worship with others is the natural result. And if you do not have the desire to worship, then consider if it is Jesus in whom your faith is placed. We all worship something, the question is not if we worship, but what it is that we worship.


So why do you believe it is important to attend worship on Sunday morning with fellow believers? Please share in the comments section.




















 

 

***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 victims of wildfires, flooding and earthquakes.

·         For:  Jerry Saar, Marty Hunt, Delores Thompson, Bob Ivey, Rev. Don Ray, Pat & Maureen Kibbe, Beverly Klang, Trudy Fetzner, Arden Johnson, Thom Shagla, Matt Isaacson, Sarah Van Staalduinen, Mabel Tranum,  Bryan Brown, Craig Jackson, Jim Doherty, Karen Brown,  Bonnie Christoferson, Zachary Stewart, Scott Stearns, Zachary Frazier. 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.

·         For:  The ELCZ Evangelical Lutheran Church in Zimbabwe and ELCZa Evangelical Lutheran Church in Zambia.