Monday, October 11, 2010

MMC: Be persistent

Good morning Bethlehem!

Attached is the flyer of the Blessing of the Animals service which is this coming Sunday, October 17, at 2pm.  Please print off copies to hand out to friends and family so that they may come and bring their pets with them.  

Also this Sunday is our first intergenerational Sunday School lesson of the year.  Everyone is invited to talk about the care of God's creation.  We will meet in the Sunday School area at 9am.  

October 31st is Reformation Day and Confirmation.  Worship will be a festive experience as we give thanks to God for our reforming faith and as Ryan Hawley and Tori Muniz affirm their baptism.  Please wear red, the color of the church, and sign up to bring finger foods for the reception that will follow.  

The people of Bethlehem have been invited to join other Lutheran churches in Fairfield county on a intergenerational mission trip to southwestern Virgina.  The group will be repairing homes while learning about the Appalachian region.  The dates are tentatively set for July 23-30 and will cost approximatively $300.  Please let me know if you are interested in attending or would like more information.

Now onto this coming Sunday's text. 

The first reading is Genesis 32:22-31.  Jacob wrestles with a stranger who changes Jacob's name to "Israel" which means "he wrestles with God."  When have you wrestled with God?  Have you walked away injured like Jacob?  Did you wrestle alone like Jacob who sent his family away?  Did you realize it was God you were wrestling with during the midst of the struggle or not until it was over?

The second reading is 2 Timothy 3:14-4:5.  Timothy is given continued instructions on how to go about his ministry including the words: proclaim the message; be persistent whether the time is favourable or unfavourable; convince, rebuke, and encourage, with the utmost patience in teaching.  When have you been persistent in preaching the gospel and telling others about Christ?  When have you not been persistent?  When has talking to others about Christ required patience?  

The Gospel is Luke 18:1-8.  In the parable, a widow keeps coming to a judge asking for justice.  But the judge only grants her justice in order to keep her from pestering him.  Have you ever gotten something solely because you were annoying the person you were asking?  Or have you ever granted something in order to stop the person from asking you?  (Maybe this is especially true in a parent/child relationship)  When has your persistence been rewarded?  When have you been worn down due to someone else's persistence?  Jesus ends the parable by asking "Will not God grant justice to his chosen ones who cry to him day and night?" and "when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?"  Does faith equal crying to God day and night?  

As always I look forward to any thoughts you may have on these test either in response to my questions or additional ideas.  You may either respond via email or phone call and all women are invited to the Finer Things in Life, the women's bible study on Wednesday at 7:30pm at the parsonage where we will discuss the gospel and other text for the week.  

Hope you all have a blessed week.  

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