September 21, 2017
for Sunday, Sept. 24
Psalm 145 1-8
This Week's Reflection comes from
Sundays & Seasons
Discomfort: Sign of Grace?
Poor Jonah. The guy never could get comfortable. He was uncomfortable with his God-given call to preach to Nineveh; he was uncomfortable in the arms of the sailors as they hoisted him over the boat’s edge and tossed him into the sea; he was uncomfortable as the ocean’s raging waves flung him about like flotsam; he was—undoubtedly—uncomfortable in the fish’s belly; and he was uncomfortable and downright angry with God’s mercy on the people of Nineveh. Jonah had a hard time getting comfortable with himself and, even more so, Jonah was uneasy embracing the wideness of God’s grace.
The same can be said about the laborers in Jesus’ parable in Matthew 20. The laborers who came in the early morning hours grumbled against the landowner because they were paid the same as others who started later and worked fewer hours. These laborers are ill-at-ease with the landowner’s choice “to give to this last the same as I give to you.” Like Jonah, they are uncomfortable with the unchecked mercy offered by the landowner/God. God doesn’t play by our rules, and that can be very discomforting for us all.
Our discomfort with grace manifests itself in all sorts of ways. It can be discomforting for us to engage the poor and the outcast of our society. It can be discomforting for us to welcome immigrants into our communities. It can be discomforting to address the pervasive racism that still surrounds us. And it can be very discomforting for us to open our lives to the transforming power of the cross of Christ, whereby “the last will be first, and the first will be last” (Matt. 20:16).
Could it be that the more uncomfortable we become with the reckless love of God, the closer we are to understanding the meaning of grace?
Sundays and Seasons v.20170919.0934 Copyright © 2017 Augsburg Fortress. All rights reserved.
[Jesus said to the disciples:] 1“The kingdom of heaven is like a landowner who went out early in the morning to hire laborers for his vineyard. 2After agreeing with the laborers for the usual daily wage, he sent them into his vineyard. 3When he went out about nine o’clock, he saw others standing idle in the marketplace; 4and he said to them, ‘You also go into the vineyard, and I will pay you whatever is right.’ So they went. 5When he went out again about noon and about three o’clock, he did the same. 6And about five o’clock he went out and found others standing around; and he said to them, ‘Why are you standing here idle all day?’ 7They said to him, ‘Because no one has hired us.’ He said to them, ‘You also go into the vineyard.’ 8When evening came, the owner of the vineyard said to his manager, ‘Call the laborers and give them their pay, beginning with the last and then going to the first.’ 9When those hired about five o’clock came, each of them received the usual daily wage. 10Now when the first came, they thought they would receive more; but each of them also received the usual daily wage. 11And when they received it, they grumbled against the landowner, 12saying, ‘These last worked only one hour, and you have made them equal to us who have borne the burden of the day and the scorching heat.’ 13But he replied to one of them, ‘Friend, I am doing you no wrong; did you not agree with me for the usual daily wage? 14Take what belongs to you and go; I choose to give to this last the same as I give to you. 15Am I not allowed to do what I choose with what belongs to me? Or are you envious because I am generous?’ 16So the last will be first, and the first will be last.”
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.
*** Pastor Ivy Gauvin has returned to work. She will work limited hours until her next doctor appointment. At this time, in addition to leading worship at both churches on Sunday, Pr. Ivy plans to be in St. Timothy’s office on Thursday mornings and St. Mark’s office on Friday mornings.
*** A memorial service for John Bylund will be held at St. Timothy Lutheran Church, this Saturday, September 23 at 11:00 am. All are invited to attend the service and luncheon which follows in fellowship hall.
*** Healthy Bones Exercise Class has resumed at St. Timothy. New members always welcome! Fee is $25.00 for 10 week session. Class meets each Monday and Wednesday at 9:00 am.
Blessing of the Animals
On Saturday, October 7th at 11:00 am, Pastor Ivy
Gauvin will have a “Blessing of the Animals” to be
held in the front yard of St. Timothy Lutheran
Church. All pets welcome! (Please use leash for
What are we doing to help?
By Gary Roller, LDR Volunteer Coordinator
There have been many inquiries during the past month or so from individuals as well as congregations, asking what assistance can be provided to those persons who have been affected by hurricanes Harvey and Irma. I know that many people want to pack a bag, get in their car, and drive to the affected areas to help those in need. This is wonderful thinking and God bless you for the thought. However, it must be realized, that the affected areas are still in a State of Emergency, and the local, state and federal response teams are working around the clock to provide assistance to people in the areas.
The Lutheran Disaster Response (LDR) organization of the ELCA, our LDR affiliates across the United States, and the Upstate New York Synod, are collaborating with community leaders and government officials in a coordinated effort to determine when is the right time to ask for volunteers to help. Our LDR commitment is to provide long term assistance, not immediate response. LDR is still in many areas around the world that have been affected by a disaster 3, 4 or 5 years ago. We are committed to assisting in recovery efforts, until we are no longer needed, hence long term.
So, what can you do now to help? First of all, PRAY for those affected by the hurricanes. Next, GIVE to the Lutheran Disaster Response appeal (all money, 100%, goes to the disaster appeal). When the time is right to ACT, notice will be posted on the LDR and Synod websites. Finally, Spread the Word that financial help is needed, and this is the best way to help support those in need. Bulletin inserts are available for both Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma.
· 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 Ronald Amaral, Mardell Hanson, Adam Hull, Bryan Brown, Zachary Stewart, Deacon Gregg Davis, Rita Evans, Roy Pihl, Faye Stebbins, Gloria Gardner, Bob & Audrey Markwart, Al Lamb, Eleanor Burgeson Orman, Arden Johnson, 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 war who have no safe home in which to live.
· 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.