September 28, 2017
for Sunday, Oct. 1
We are happy to have Pastor Ivy back writing for the E-ministry!
When we hear or read the word if, we expect something will follow that. If we do such and such then this or that will happen. At the beginning of this reading from Philippians, Paul piles up the ifs. Why does he do this? For one thing, it makes for a very persuasive argument. It is made more persuasive because the Greek language in which the New Testament was written meant, “If you’ve gotten anything at all out of following Christ (and you have), if his love has made any difference in your life (and it has) and so forth.
After all the ifs, Paul asks that the Philippians do him a favor—that’s the then—and it’s a doozy. It may help us if we look at the if-thens in a different order:
If you’ve gotten anything at all out of following Christ-
Agree with each other
if his love has made any difference in your life-
love each other
if being in a community of the Spirit means anything to you-
be deep-spirited friends
if you have a heart-
Don’t push your way to the front
don’t sweet-talk your way to the top
if you care
Put yourself aside, and help others get ahead.
Don’t be obsessed with getting your own advantage.
Forget yourselves long enough to lend a helping hand.
What Paul is giving us here is the way to live and function together as the people of God in community. This is how we are to be church together for the sake of the world.
May God grant us the grace to live our lives together so that the whole world may know of Jesus and his love through us.
If you’ve gotten anything at all out of following Christ, if his love has made any difference in your life, if being in a community of the Spirit means anything to you, if you have a heart, if you care— then do me a favor: Agree with each other, love each other, be deep-spirited friends. Don’t push your way to the front; don’t sweet-talk your way to the top. Put yourself aside, and help others get ahead. Don’t be obsessed with getting your own advantage. Forget yourselves long enough to lend a helping hand.
Think of yourselves the way Christ Jesus thought of himself. He had equal status with God but didn’t think so much of himself that he had to cling to the advantages of that status no matter what. Not at all. When the time came, he set aside the privileges of deity and took on the status of a slave, became human! Having become human, he stayed human. It was an incredibly humbling process. He didn’t claim special privileges. Instead, he lived a selfless, obedient life and then died a selfless, obedient death—and the worst kind of death at that—a crucifixion.
Because of that obedience, God lifted him high and honored him far beyond anyone or anything, ever, so that all created beings in heaven and on earth—even those long ago dead and buried—will bow in worship before this Jesus Christ, and call out in praise that he is the Master of all, to the glorious honor of God the Father.
What I’m getting at, friends, is that you should simply keep on doing what you’ve done from the beginning. When I was living among you, you lived in responsive obedience. Now that I’m separated from you, keep it up. Better yet, redouble your efforts. Be energetic in your life of salvation, reverent and sensitive before God. That energy is God’s energy, an energy deep within you, God himself willing and working at what will give him the most pleasure.
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.
*** Healthy Bones Exercise Class meets each Monday and Wednesday at 9:00 am at St. Timothy. New members always welcome!
*** Honduras Cookie Baking will begin soon. If you would like to help, see Sarah Goebel on Sunday.
*** 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 and working animals welcome! (Please use leash for your animals.)
Bishop Eaton on 'Face to Faith' podcast
ELCA Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton gives an incredibly candid interview on topics such as faith amid doubt, being a woman in leadership, transgender rights and Cleveland sports. She says it all with theological depth and good humor on the "Face to Faith" podcast of The Chicago Sun-Times. Listen to the interview at chicago.suntimes.com/section/podcasts/.
· 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 Rita Evans on her passing, Ronald Amaral, Mardell Hanson, Adam Hull, Bryan Brown, Zachary Stewart, Deacon Gregg Davis, 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 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.