Worship at Home for Sunday, October 8

Dear Friends,

Thank you to everyone at St. Peter’s for all that you do to keep this church active! You are keeping your eye on the goal of making St. Peter’s a presence of God’s love in our community.

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

  • Sunday, October 8, there will be a Congregational Meeting after worship concerning replacing the refrigerators.
  • Youth will be making signs to promote Tackle Hunger on Sunday.
  • CROP Walk Sunday October 8 at 2pm in Buschmann Park
  • Monday: Church Council Meeting at 6:30pm
  • Tackle Hunger at the Homecoming Football Game on Oct 13
  • We have Apple Butter for sale: Quarts - $10, Pints - $6, Half Pints - $4

Blessings, Pastor Stephanie DeLong

Scripture: Exodus 20:1-4, 7-9, 12-20 & Psalm 19 • Philip. 3:4b-14 • Matt, 21:33-46

Sermon: Jesus as Our Goal

God loves us and seeks us out in numerous ways. God loved the Hebrew slaves so much that God brough them out of Egypt. In return for this saving act, God makes a request that the people love God and one another. Sounds simple, but humans have always found it difficult. Knowing this God gave the people commandments to follow. The most well known of these commandments appear in our lesson from Exodus this Sunday in the form of the “10 Commandments”.

These commandments create a template for living our lives in response to God’s saving acts in the lives of God’s people. Exodus chapter 20 begins with

1-2 I am God, your God,

who brought you out of the land of Egypt,

out of a life of slavery.

3 No other gods, only me. (The Message)

God saved the Hebrews from slavery. In return God asked that all false gods be put aside. We are not to make idols nor to foolishly use God’s name. They were and we are called to put aside all that distracts us from loving and worshiping God who loves us and saves us. God even asks that we set aside one day in seven to worship God. The remaining commandments focus on how we live and love other people. First we are to honor our parents. Then there is the series of no’s: no murder, no stealing, no adultery, no lies, no desiring what your neighbor has. These commandments serve as a guide to living in a loving community.

Sometimes that loving community falls apart. Matthew 21:33-46 tells the second of Jesus’ vineyard parables. Last week had the parable about the vineyard in one said no to working in the vineyard, but later changed his mind and did work. The other son said yes to working in the vineyard, but never showed up. We and the Pharisees can answer properly to which son followed his father’s will.

This week’s parable tells the story of a landowner who planted a vineyard, fenced it, put in a winepress and a watchtower. The landowner who so lovingly planted this vineyard then leases the vineyard to greedy tenants who refuse to share the harvest with the landowner. The tenants cruelly beat one servant, kill another, and even kill his son. Who does this and why does the landowner keep giving the tenants chances to do the right thing? Human beings often forget who God is and keep failing, yet God keeps loving us and does not give up on us.

Paul made many mistakes in his life. He admits to his errors in his letter to the Philippians. God did not give up on Paul. Paul had a life changing experience and spent the remainder of his life serving Jesus.
I’m not saying that I have this all together, that I have it made. But I am well on my way, reaching out for Christ, who has so wondrously reached out for me. Friends, don’t get me wrong: By no means do I count myself an expert in all of this, but I’ve got my eye on the goal, where God is beckoning us onward—to Jesus. I’m off and running, and I’m not turning back. (Philippians 3:12-14, The Message)

Paul sought to model his life after Jesus’ life. He invited the church in Philippi and invites us to do the same. I appreciate Paul’s humility in admitting that he does not have imitating Jesus completely worked out. Paul does have his eye on Jesus as his goal and plans on running toward the goal of Jesus. That is the best that any of us can hope to do.

Prayer: God, you have done so much me, but sometimes I forget this and fail to love you and others. May Jesus become my goal today and always. 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. Tammy Vickie’s niece, Jennifer, Richard, Tamara, John, Dixon’s great granddaughter, Ashlely and Cody, Garth, Linda, Tessa, Carl, Kimbra 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.