Worship at Home for Sunday July 31

Dear Friends,

Welcome to the Eight Sunday after Pentecost. Think about how you would complete this sentence: God is …. There are a lot of ways to think about God. This Sunday we think about our relationship to God the loving parent.

If you would like a home visit, conversation, or home communion, please call me at 573-437-2779 (church) or 57 3-832-2475 (cell).

Announcements:

  • Christmas in July ornaments are on the tree in the narthex. Pick up your ornament and shop for items for the Advent Tea.
  • Pick up your copy of “These Days” devotional guides.
  • Thank you to all who worked at the Ice Cream Stand at the Gasconade County Fair
  • Dorcas meeting on Monday, August 1 at 7pm.
  • We will be packing Backpacks for the Back-to-School Fair on Sunday, August 7 after worship. There will be pizza.
  • We (St. Peter’s UCC and BEM) are now planning a trip to see “Joseph and the Technicolor Dream Coat” at the Muny on Thursday, August 18. The cost is $13.50 per ticket. Please sign up if you would like to go.

Prayers and Blessings,

Pastor Stephanie DeLong

Scripture Lessons: Hosea 11:1-11, Psalm 107:1-9, 43, Colossians 3:1-11, Luke 12:13-21

Sermon: Consider God’s Love

Last week’s reading from Hosea was very troubling. God had commanded Hosea to marry an unfaithful spouse. Hosea’s love for his wife who keeps hurting their relationship serves as a way of understanding God’s love for the unfaithful people of Israel. God is still there even when the people keep running away.

Hosea 11:1-11 expresses in poetic form God’s tenderness for Israel. God is a tender parent who continues to love a wayward child. Even through all the ups and downs of the relationship God holds out hope that the children of Israel will turn from their greed and idol seeking ways and turn back to trusting God.

Parent/child relationships are fraught with difficulties and misunderstandings. Sometimes the children need to figure out for themselves how to live life. When the people of Israel choose to trust in the might of Egypt to protect them or to worship the false idols of greed, God allows them to do this. But God also allows for the sufferings that are consequences of their wrong choices.

Eventually the people will acknowledge their need of God’s love and return like a flock of fluttering, migrating birds. The home fires are burning and their place at the dinner table is still set in the hope of their arrival.

Sadly, greed and self-centeredness have absorbed the man in the parable in Luke. The request that Jesus intervene in a family disagreement over an inheritance leads to a story of a man who only thinks of himself and his wealth. There is no thought about community. There is no thought about sharing his wealth. There is only bigger and fuller barns and a life of selfish enjoyment. This is no life at all.

God calls us to live in the tender love which our loving parental God offers to all God’s children. This means living in a community of sharing and caring. A community where we don’t fight over who gets the bigger piece of the pie especially when there are those who do not even have a crumb. All God’s children have a place at this table. So do not be distracted by the toys but seek God and God’s love.
 

Prayer: God you love and care for all of us. You call us to trust in you and not in ourselves or the power of other human beings. Keep us away from the greed and selfishness. May we share our resources for the good of the community and the glory of your kingdom. Amen.
 

Prayer list: All who have been on our list in the past and Elizabeth, Cheryl, Dave, David, Ken and Evelyn, Jason, Paulette, Jaqueline, Friends of Shelby, Bobby, Kevin, Jim, Darryl, Marilee, Uncle AJ, Beverly, Jim, Jenny, Dixon’s daughter, Barbara, Melvin, and for peace in the world troubled and war-torn places.

  • The family and friends of Uncle AJ who passed last Friday.
  • The family and friends of Gail (a friend of Dixon) whose funeral was Tuesday.

 

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