Worship at Home for March 19, 2023

Dear Friends,

This week has been one of tragedy in our community. The pain, fear, anger, and grief that blankets Gasconade County is deep, but God is with us through it all. God was there when people lined the streets on Monday to welcome Detective Sergeant/Police Chief Mason Griffith home. God was there at the Vigil at the Rosebud Barn on Tuesday evening. God is there in the 24-hour vigil being kept by area law enforcement and others at Gottenstroeter’s funeral home. God is here in the support that our community is showing to the Griffith and Sullentrup families. God is here in the amidst of tragedy, and Jesus the Good Shepherd will lead us home.

Our prayers are with all who serve in law enforcement, emergency management and more. Special prayers for Officer Sullentrup for recovery from his injuries and for the family of Chief/Detective Sergeant Mason Griffith as they grieve.

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

  • Pi Day Celebration today! Bring a pie to share and be prepared to play some games.
  • Bell Choir on Wednesday at 4:15pm
  • Wednesday Lenten Worship at 6:30pm
  • Choir and Confirmation after Wednesday Worship
  • Pub Theology at Clancy’s on Thursday, March 23 at 6:30pm
  • Eastern Association Meeting Saturday, March 25 at 10am at St. Peter’s in Washington
  • Youth to Lost Valley Lake on Sunday, March 26, talk to Carol Nowack for more information.


Pastor Stephanie DeLong

Scripture: 1 Samuel 16:1-13, Psalm 23, Ephesians 5:18-14, John 9:1-41


Have you ever wondered how a person with so much promise can go so wrong? This was the premise that George Lucas explored in the prequal Star Wars movies that were released in the early 2000’s. In the first movie Anakin is a gifted child who loves his mother, tinkers with machines and is filled with “The Force”. Because he is so filled with The Force that makes the Jedi Knights powerful, he is selected for training even though Jedi Master Yoda and others warn that there is something troubling about the boy.

Obi Wan Kenobi becomes Anakin’s Jedi Master and trains him. For most of the three prequals Anakin serves faithfully and exhibits an incredible power over The Force. But there are signs that Anakin’s emotions and power are corrupting him. He breaks his Jedi oath to remain celibate by marrying Padme. His pride causes him difficulties with the Jedi counsel. He is consumed with rage when his mother is murdered. All along he is groomed by Palpatine to become a Sith Lord. At the end of the third movie the sweet young Anakin has transformed into the evil Darth Vader who kills the younglings and injures his wife who dies giving birth to their children. Step by step we see the evolution of a promising young person into Darth Vader, who is considered to be one of the evilest movie villains of all time.

King Saul began with a great deal of promise. In 1 Samuel chapters 9-11, we can read about how God instructed Samuel to anoint Saul as King and how much promise Saul showed in the beginning. Saul was filled with the Spirit and prophesied with the prophets. Saul rescued the City of Jabesh. Saul was welcomed and hailed by the people as a good King.

Eventually, good King Saul turned away from God, misused his power and exploited the people. King Saul proved to be a disappointing King. God had warned the people that having a King was not in their best interest (1 Samuel 8), but the people had wanted to be like all the other nations. God was right King Saul proved to be a king who went to war and took sons, lands, and food from the people.

Samuel was grieving over Saul’s failure as King. In Samuel’s pain God was there. God told Samuel to go to Bethlehem and anoint a new King who would be one of the sons of Jesse. Samuel was afraid of what King Saul would do, if he found out that Samuel was going anoint another King. God helped Samuel to work around Saul’s wrath by telling him that he was travelling to offer a sacrifice in Bethlehem and to invite Jesse and his sons to the event. Samuel did as God instructed.

What followed was a Goldilocks parade of Jesse’s sons. The older sons looked good on the outside but none of them were just right for they did not meet God’s standards on the inside. God was waiting for the one who was just right. Turned out that son was out in the fields tending the sheep. A shepherd would be anointed as King David by Samuel.

A good shepherd cares for the sheep. The shepherd looks for the lost sheep. The shepherd sees the sheep’s injuries and tends to them. The shepherd seeks community. The shepherd is willing to lay down his life for his flock.

Jesus is our good shepherd. Jesus did lay down his life for us. Jesus welcomes us into his fold and loving community. Sometimes we need to get through some rough moments to get there. The man in the long story from John sure did.

The man born blind did not show the type of promise that Saul or David did. He was simply sitting by the side of the road when the disciples started a discussion about who sinned. Jesus said no one had sinned and healed him by using a folk remedy of mud and saliva. The man was told to wash his eyes in the pool of Siloam. The man does and returns to Jesus able to see.

Instead of throwing a celebration that a miracle had occurred. The people of his hometown began to question if a miracle even took place. They questioned the man. They questioned his parents. They questioned if Jesus who performed the miracle was a sinner because he healed on the sabbath. Those in power just could not accept that Jesus had the power to perform a miracle without their consent. When the man who was healed responded to the questioning community with “Here is an astonishing thing! You do not know where he comes from, and yet he opened my eye. …If this man were not from God, he could do nothing.” (John 9:30,34) When he finished speaking, they drove him out of town.

Jesus found the man when Jesus heard that the man had been rejected by his hometown. The man believed that Jesus was the Son of Man (another name for the Messiah) and worshipped Jesus. Jesus the Good Shepherd brought the man into his fold, into his community. Jesus will do the same for all of us. In the pain, God is with us.

Prayer: Good Shepherd, may we feel your comforting staff and comfort us in our sorrow, confusion, and pain for you are with us. 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 and for peace.

Special prayers for: Ken Ellis’ family at the passing of his mother Mary Ann last week.

Officer Sullentrup for healing. The family of Mason Griffith as they grieve his tragic passing.