Worship at Home for July 23 2023

Dear Friends,

I hope that all is going well with you and that the recent storms have not caused many problems. Kaye West, Carol Nowack and Vickie Mayberry have been busy sorting through the items left from St. Peter’s Preschool. Church members are invited to select items for sale this Sunday. After Sunday the sale will be open to area schools and schoolteachers. Remaining items will be sold at the City-Wide Garage Sale. Thank you to ladies for all your work!

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

  • This Sunday (July 23), church members are invited downstairs to look through the items for sale from St. Peter’s Preschool. A donation is asked for whatever is taken. The area downstairs is ready. Everything is out. Please see the enclosed list of items which are available.
  • Volunteers are needed at the Gasconade County Fair Ice Cream Stand on Thursday, July 27 from 2-6pm.


Pastor Stephanie DeLong

Scripture: Genesis 28:10-19a, Psalm 139:1-12, 23-24 Romans 8:12-25, Matthew 13:24-30, 36-43

Sermon: Seeds

There is a scene in the 2003 movie “Second Hand Lions” which finds the three main characters tending their garden patch. Each row of vegetables has a stake with an attached seed packet to identify what is being grown. The gardeners talk about how wonderful it will be to eat all the delicious vegetables from their garden. Then the young nephew looks puzzled and asks what vegetables are growing in each row. His uncle looks at each of the seed packets and lists beets, potatoes, lettuce, carrots and bok choy which is Chinese cabbage. None of the rows look like the seed package. The nephew points to a row and says that looks right. That row is corn. The uncles realize that all the plants look like corn. Then they note that all the seeds looked alike. The duplicitous seed salesman had sold them packets depicting different vegetables, but they all turned out to be corn.

In today’s parable the householder had purchased good seed. His servants dutifully planted the good seed. Unlike the hapless gardeners in “Second Hand Lions”, the seed which was planted was the right seed for growing wheat. Unfortunately for the householder, he had an enemy who wished to create chaos in his garden. Bad seeds were planted among the good seeds. It was going to be difficult to discern which of the young plants were from the good seeds and which were from the bad. They did not have a field of all corn, but of wheat and weeds. What a dilemma for the householder and his servants!

The uncles and the nephew in “Second Hands Lions” did not rip out all the corn and replant. They chose instead to let all the corn mature and be harvested. Which resulted in funny scenes of the family eating corn for many meals.

Our householder does not wish to disturb the desired plants by removing the undesired weeds. After all, sometimes it is hard to tell a weed from a good plant when they first sprout from the ground. A “wait until harvest time” approach is taken. At that time the weeds will be gathered and used to fuel a fire. The wheat will be stored in the barn.

In our world God seeks to sow good seeds, but the evil one sows bad seeds. When the young plants sprout, it is often difficult to discern what is sown by God and what has been sown by evil. God takes a “wait until harvest time” approach towards the young sprouts. It is not for us to pull up bad weeds, because the ultimate harvest is left up to the angels. But what are we to do in the here and now?

It’s a struggle, isn’t it? The lambs in the Agnus Day cartoon below discuss this dilemma in relation to the text from Paul’s letter to the Romans. We pray that we are heirs to the promise but struggle with our collection of habits of the flesh. We want to be good seeds, but sometimes making good choices is very hard. In a world of division and strife, the labels on our choices might be the wrong ones. We might be tempted to judge others incorrectly and hurt struggling good sprouts. What is confused follower of Jesus to do?

We trust in the promise of redemption through Jesus. We sincerely pray for God to help us to discern what is the right choice. We seek to nurture all children of God to avoid ripping up a tender shoot of good seed. We recognize that we too struggle but hope in the promises of God.

Paul speaks about hope. Even in the suffering and groaning of creation we hope. Paul speaks of being saved in hope and waiting in patience.

For in hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what is seen? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience. Romans 8:24-25 (NRSV)

We live our lives doing the best that we can. We prayerfully listen for the good seed that Jesus has planted while trusting in the hope of redemption through Jesus.  Patiently waiting for the angels to harvest the good wheat.

Prayer: God forgive us when we trust in seeds that have been mislabeled and sown by the enemy. Help us to discern your will and way in our lives. Forgive us when we make foolish choices. May we live in the hope of redemption. 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, Jesse, Kate, Kyle, Carmen, Sandy, Gary, Terry, Bob, Mark’s brother Billy, Delores W., Tyra, Freya, Vicki B., Barb Z. Jesse, Mammie, Heath and JoEllen, Tammy and recovery from the storms.  If you know of anyone who would like a prayer shawl, please let us know.