Worship at Home for February 12

Dear Friends,

This Sunday we will reflect on choosing life by following God’s instructions for our community. Part of choosing life is taking care of all people in love. This Sunday we will have our Souper Bowl lunch to raise money for Helping Hands Outreach Center of Gasconade County. Come have a bowl of soup and help feed people in our community.

Go Chiefs!

If you would like a home visit, conversation, or home communion, please call me at 573-437-2779 (church) or 573-832-2475 (cell).

  • Souper Bowl Sunday on February 12 after worship. Enjoy delicious soup and donate to Helping Hands.
  • Church Council Installation during worship
  • Church Council meeting on Monday at 6:30pm.
  • Bell Choir on Wednesday at 4:15pm & Choir Practice at 7pm
  • Confirmation on Wednesday at 6:30pm
  • Ash Wednesday Worship on February 22 at 6:30pm


Pastor Stephanie DeLong

Scripture: Deuteronomy 30:15-29, Palm 119:1-8, 1 Corinthians 3:1-9,
Matthew 5:21-37

Sermon: The Ways of Life

“Choose life so that you and your descendants may live, loving the Lord your God, obeying him, and holding fast to them; for that means life to you…” Deuteronomy 30:19b-20a

Most of us when asked to choose whether we would like to live or die, we would say that we want to live. But then we turn around and do many things that may put our lives in danger. You might say oh I would never do that but take a moment to reflect on these questions: 1. Have you chosen to eat something that you know is unhealthy? 2. Have you ever avoided going to the doctor because you feared what you would hear? 3.Have you ever driven too fast? If we are honest with ourselves, we need to confess that we have done these things and more. We want to choose life, but being human, we often do things that put ourselves and others in danger.

Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg recently held a press conference about his Call to Action to increase roadway safety. (https://www.transportation.gov/briefing-room/part-major-push-bring-down-traffic-deaths-usdot-launches-roadway-safety-call-action)  Traffic accidents, injuries and deaths have been on the rise. In 2021 there were over 43,000 traffic deaths and when the fatalities for 2022 are totaled the total number of deaths is expected to be even higher. I believe that everyone knows at least one person who has died in a traffic accident. Mr. Buttigieg pointed out that these deaths are something that we have come to accept. He wants people to come together to change this. He wants safer roads and our nation to choose life on our highways.

When we say that we choose life, we need to think about choosing life for our whole community. Not just for ourselves. God’s laws for us are about choosing God’s life for us, not just as individuals but as a community and for generations to come. Yet for some reason, we human beings tend to do what does not give life or could be life destroying.

The enormous number of traffic deaths and injuries are an example of how we become comfortable with ways that lead to death. If more people drove safely the number of deaths would go down. If more people chose to follow God’s laws our communities would be living in God’s love. Remember the passage for Micah 6:8, “He has told you, O mortal, what is good, and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice and to love kindness and to walk humbly with your God?” (NRSVUE) In choosing the ways life, we choose kindness, justice, and reverence for God.

Jesus brings all this a step further when he calls on us to examine our hearts and our intents when following the law. Jesus came to fulfill the law not to do away with it. In this portion of the Sermon of the Mount Jesus expands about how when following God’s instructions or law we need to do so with our hearts and thoughts as well as our actions. Even calling people “fool” is a step toward killing. Confession, I call people who tailgate and pass on curves fools. Truth be told we all have trouble following the law in hearts.

Jesus deals with issues that would have been hot topics in his days with popular Rabbis taking opposing views on the issues. In this passage he shares his teachings about accusations, divorce, and verbal contracts. Jesus encourages us to act with love and faithfulness for the whole community, not just our personal self-interest. The law is to strengthen our relationship with God and each other.

The ways of life require a deep commitment to following the instructions of God (another way of saying “Torah”). These instructions are for the upbuilding of the whole community. These instructions are not for some people use the law to lift themselves us as superior while making others feel inferior. Let’s face it, we all make mistakes. Jesus is the only one who followed the law as God intended and even, he was criticized by those filled with self-importance concerning the law. So, when seeking to follow God’s instructions concerning the ways of life remember: 1. These instructions are for the good of the community. 2. These instructions bring us close to God. 3. All of us need the loving grace that comes through our Savior Jesus. 4. Treat one another with patience and loving kindness.

Prayer: May we choose God’s ways of life for ourselves and our communities. Amen.

Prayer list: Elizabeth, Cheryl, Dave, David, Evelyn, Jason, Paulette, Bobby, Kevin, Jim, Darryl (doing better!), Marilee, Beverly, Jim, Jenny, Jaqueline-Dixon’s daughter, Kirk, Barbara, Mitchell, Mahala, Mary, La Rae, Bud, Tyra, Marilyn, Tom, Jeff, Ken’s mom, Jesse and for peace.
Prayers for Turkey in the aftermath of the devastating earthquakes.

Special Prayers for Laura Hengstenberg and her family at the passing of her mother, Louise Guest.
Special Prayers for the family of the Rev. Robert A. Bauer who passed away on February 6.