Monday, October 25, 2010

MMC: Reformation Freedom

Good Morning Bethlehem

I hope you are enjoying our beautiful fall weekend and it looks like the next few days will be blessings as well.  

This coming Sunday will be an eventful day at Bethlehem and all are invited to celebrate with us.  Sunday is Reformation Day as we celebrate and remember the day that Martin Luther nailed 95 theses to the door of Wittenburg Chapel which started the Protestant reformation.  At 9am is an intergenerational Sunday School for all ages in which we will learn a little bit more about Martin Luther and the Reformation.  Sunday is also Confirmation Day, when Ryan and Tori will affirm their baptisms and become adult members of the congregation.  Please plan on joining us for this festive worship service, wear red (the color of Reformation), and bring some finger foods to share at the reception to follow.  

As Ryan and Tori affirm their faith, I am asking that if anyone has any advice to share about what has helped them in their faith life, to either email me or write out that piece of advice so that it can be passed on to Ryan and Tori on their confirmation day.  

The following Sunday, November 7th, is All Saints Day.  If you have a name to include in prayers of the saints for that day, please send me those names before November 7th.  We will be praying especially for those who have been born, baptized or have died within the last year.  

And this week's book of faith puzzler is: In Matthew, what did Jesus tell his disciples to fish for?  (Thanks to Tori Muniz for thinking of this week’s question.)  If you know the answer, or think you do, email me by Wednesday at noon to be entered into this week's drawing. 

Now onto this week's texts:

The first lesson is Jeremiah 31:31-34.  God promises that the day is coming when a new covenant will be made between God and God's people.  God's law will be written on our hearts and everyone will know the Lord and we will all be forgiven. Do you think this covenant has already been made or is it still to come?  If it already has happened, how is God's law written on your heart, how do you know the Lord and how do you feel forgiven?  If it hasn't already happened, do you experience any of those things at least on occasion?  

The second lesson is Romans 3:19-28.  Paul discusses the law and that we are made righteous outside of the law.  He also says that we are justified by Jesus' grace and that is a gift.  How is grace a gift to you?  Is it a gift that you realize that you have been given? Is it a gift that you accept? or one that you refuse?  Do you feel like you need to do something to receive this grace?  (Hint: verse 28 reads: For we hold that a person is justified by faith apart from works prescribed by the law.)

The Gospel is John 8:31-36.  Jesus tells some skeptics that if they follow his word they are his disciples and through following the Son and knowing the truth you will be free.  What are you a slave to?  How do you follow Jesus' word?  How do you ignore it?  What does it feel like to be free?

As always I welcome any thoughts you may have on these texts or my questions.  Also all women are invited to the parsonage on Wednesday evening at 7:30 to discuss these text over chocolate and wine.  

Have a wonderful week
Pastor Becca

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