Worship at Home for October 22

Dear Friends,

The leaves are beginning to fall, and the mornings are cooler. Homecoming weekend at OHS is past. Anya Binkhoelter looked lovely as part of the homecoming court. As we near the end of October our thoughts turn towards the holidays and at St. Peter’s that is a very busy season indeed.

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

  • Communion at Gasconade Manor will be Tuesday, October 24 at 1:30pm.
  • Pub Theology will be on Thursday, October 26 at 6:30pm at M. Clancy’s in Rosebud
  • We have Apple Butter for sale: Quarts - $10, Pints - $6, Half Pints - $4


Pastor Stephanie DeLong

Scripture: Exodus 33:12-23 and Psalm 99 • 1 Thessalonians 1:1-10 
Matthew 22:15-22

Sermon: Tricky Situations

They say that it is not paranoia if people are truly to get you. Some of the religious leaders were truly out to get Jesus. Jesus was fully aware of their malice. The lesson from Matthew gives an example of just how these leaders sought to entrap Jesus and how Jesus deftly avoided their trap. Those who sought to entrap Jesus first used words of false flattery. Then they gave their trick questions, “Is it lawful to pay taxes to the emperor or not?” Jesus then asks for the coin used to pay the taxes as Jesus did not carry one.

What we carry tells us a lot about who we are. The October selection for the library book club was “The Things They Carried” by Tim O’Brien. Tim O’Brien was a foot soldier in 1969 in Vietnam. This book is a work of fiction that he wrote to get at the truths of the war in Vietnam. (https://www.arts.gov/stories/podcast/tim-obrien#audio-file) The book contains a series of short stories that build upon each other. The first story tells about what the soldiers in the fictional Alpha company carried with them as they patrolled the jungles of Vietnam. Each object that they carried is listed with the weight of the burden. Here is a paragraph from the book:

The things they carried were largely determined by necessity. Among the necessities or near-necessities were P-38 can openers, pocket knives, heat tabs, wristwatches, dog tags, mosquito repellent, chewing gum, candy, cigarettes, salt tablets, packets of Kool-Aid, lighters, matches, sewing kits, Military Payment Certificates, C rations, and two or three canteens of water. Together, these items weighed between 15 and 20 pounds, depending upon a man's habits or rate of metabolism. Henry Dobbins, who was a big man, carried extra rations; he was especially fond of canned peaches in heavy syrup over pound cake. Ted Lavender, who was scared, carried tranquilizers until he was shot in the head outside the village of Than Khe in mid-April. By necessity, and because it was SOP, they all carried steel helmets that weighed 5 pounds including the liner and camouflage cover. (The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien, Copyright © 1990, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company)

Each of the soldiers were burdened and comforted by the things they carried both physically and emotionally. What they carried told a story about who they were and where they were.

Each of us carries with us things that are physical and emotional. Ask someone what is in their purse or pockets, and you will learn more about who that person is. A mother of young children will carry snacks, toys, and diapers. Someone who fixes things will often carry a multitool. As a pastor I often have a prayer book in my purse. Most people carry some form of identification and a way to pay for purchases. What we carry tells a story of who we are.

So does what we do not carry. Jesus did not carry a Roman coin, but those who questioned him did. Jesus being of God did not carry the image of a Roman Emperor on his person. The coin was of the empire and to be given back to Ceasar.

Those of us who seek to follow Jesus must do so while living in this world filled with the things of this world. These objects carry a weight to them which is burdensome and confusing. Coins can weigh us down. Not having enough money is even more burdensome. The world can be a tricky place full of flattery and deception. Jesus who is not of this world, but of God offers to ease our burden and lighten our loads. “For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:30) Jesus outwits those who seek to entrap him so that they shake their heads and walk away. Jesus will do the same for us.

Prayer: Jesus ease the burdens which we carry. May give our hearts to God today. Amen.

Prayer list: All who have been on our list for a while, Mark’ s brother Billy, Delores W., Tyra, Freya, Vicki B., Barb Z., Jesse, Heath who is at Lifecare in Sullivan, Tammy. Jennifer, Richard, Tamara, John, Dixon’s great granddaughter, Ashlely and Cody, Garth, Linda, Tessa, Carl, Kimbra, Liz’s father, Dannie, Lathe, Marilyn, Kris, Lee Ann, Bob and all who are in need about which we do not know. If you know of anyone who would like a prayer shawl, please let us know.

Prayers for all the places in the world where there is war, special prayers for Israel and Gaza.