Worship at Home for Sunday September 11

Dear Friends,

Welcome to the Fourteenth Sunday after Pentecost. This Sunday we will begin reflecting on our Stewardship Theme for this year. The theme is From Bread and Cup to Faith and Giving. Jesus invites all of us to gather around the table in love to share in the bread and the cup. For the next few weeks, we will be reflecting on how we can faithfully live in gratitude for being invited to God’s table.

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:

  • We will be making Apple Butter on Saturday, September 10 beginning at 7am.
  • Fun Church Picnic on Sunday, September11 at 4pm in Luster Park. Bring a dish to share and a chair.
  • Items for the Dental Kits for the Festival of Sharing are being collected. Look for the box and list of needed items in the back of the sanctuary.
  • Recognition of Sunday School Teachers on Sunday, September 11
  • Hand Bell Choir at 4:15 on Wednesday.
  • Wednesday Confirmation Class Wednesday at 6:30
  • Choir Practice on Wednesday at 7pm.

Prayers and Blessings,

Pastor Stephanie DeLong

Scripture Lessons: Jeremiah 4:11-12, 22-28, Psalm 14, 1 Timothy 1:12-17, Luke 15:1-10, Matthew 26:26-29

Sermon: Seeking Guests for God’s Table

While they were eating, Jesus took a loaf of bread, and after blessing it he broke it, gave it to the disciples, and said, “Take, eat; this is my body.” Then he took a cup, and after giving thanks he gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you, for this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins. I tell you, I will never again drink of this fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom.”
Matthew 26:26-29

I try to imagine myself sitting at the table with Jesus that night so long ago. I wonder what it would be like to be gathered with him and the disciples as we eat the Passover meal and recalling how God saved the Israelites from slavering in Egypt. Would I thoughtfully be chewing and enjoying my food? Would I be listening to the conversation around me? Would I be making sure that everyone’s cup remained full? I would not have expected what Jesus does during the meal.

Jesus starts speaking and begins to bless the bread and breaks it saying, “Take, eat; this is my body.” Jesus also shares the wine with words that we should all drink of this cup of the blood of the covenant which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins. Now I imagine myself taking a piece of bread and drinking some wine all the time bewildered by what this might mean.

The events of the days to follow gave precious meaning to the sharing of the bread and the cup. Soon it became evident that Jesus was willing to give all so that we might live in the Father’s Kingdom with him and the Holy Spirit. This bread and cup places us around God’s heavenly table.

Jesus in his words says that this bread and cup are for many, not just the few who were gathered that night. Who belongs around God’s table? In the lessons from Luke for this Sunday, Jesus tells us that he seeks guests for the table as when he dines with both sinners and saints. To explain just how much he cares and wishes to bring all of us around the table Jesus tells two stories.

The first is the one where the shepherd leaves the 99 sheep to seek the one sheep who is lost. Even the lost sheep is invited to and wanted at the table. So much love does Jesus have for us that he is willing to venture out and look for us when we lose our way. Jesus wants all of us to be gathered around the table.

The story about finding the lost coin might be relatable to any of us who have had to search for a lost document whether the document be on our computer or misfiled. My mother used to be a very organized person, but with the onset of dementia she began to put important pieces of information in odd places. You can imagine my frustration when I couldn’t find her Medicare card and other necessary documents. My sister and I had to diligently go through all her piles until the necessary documents appeared. The relief at finding them made me do a little happy dance.

I like to picture Jesus and the angels doing the happy dance in heaven when all who have wondered off are united around the table and sharing in the bread and cup. We as the guests around the table are the recipients of an incredible gift of God’s love and grace. How may we respond to this love and grace as embodied in the bread and cup?

My prayer is that we respond with rejoicing and gratitude. As stewards of God’s good gifts, we are asked to share what we have to support God’s ministry. We can show our gratitude monetarily through our offerings and by serving God through the church and community. We can also express our thanks by inviting others to join us around God’s table of love as we join Jesus in seeking guests for God’s table.
 

Prayer: Merciful God, we give thanks that you seek us to share in your bread and cup. May we live lives of gratitude for your table of love. 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 (doing better!), Marilee, Beverly, Jim, Jenny, Dixon’s daughter, Barbara, Melvin, Mitchell, Mahala, the family involved in the car crash on 50 last week, La Rae, and for peace in troubled and war-torn places.

Let us take time to pray as we remember September 11, 2001,

Prayers for England as the mourn the loss of Queen Elizabeth.

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