Worship at Home for Sunday, September 25

Dear Friends,

Welcome to the Sixteenth Sunday after Pentecost. This Sunday continues our stewardship theme: From Bread and the Cup to Faith and Giving. This week we will look at Jesus story about the Rich Man and Lazarus and the church at Laodicea in Revelation.

Thanks to all who helped with and attended the Community Forum on Homelessness!

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 need to pack the Dental Kits after worship this Sunday.
  • Please turn in your Time and Talent sheets and Pledge Cards.
  • Hand Bell Choir at 4:15 on Wednesday.
  • Wednesday Confirmation Class Wednesday at 6:30
  • Choir Practice on Wednesday at 7pm.
  • Walker/Ellis Wedding on Saturday, October 1 at 3pm.
  • Gasconade County Bible Society on Sunday, October 2 at 2pm
    We will need folks from St. Peter’s to help with refreshments and greeting our guests.
  • Gasconade County CROP Walk on Sunday, October 9 at 2pm
    Please take a CROP Walker envelope table in the back of the sanctuary and sign up to walk. 25% of the money raised by the CROP remains in our community.

Prayers and Blessings,

Pastor Stephanie DeLong

Scripture Lessons: Jeremiah 32:1-3a, 6-15, Psalm 91:1-6, 14-16, Luke 16:19-3, Revelation 3:14-20

Sermon: Dangerous Indifference

I remember learning a long time ago that the Rich Man ended up living in Hades and being tormented not because of his cruelty to Lazarus who lay at his gates, but for his indifference. The Rich Man went about his days enjoying good food and dressing in the most expensive clothing available. I imagine that Rich Man attended important meetings related to his status and wealth. He may have believed himself to be a pillar of the community. Lazarus simply longed for scraps from the Rich Man’s table while having his sores licked by dogs.

In her book “Uncanny Valley: A Memoir”, Anna Wiener writes of her experiences working in the tech industry in San Francisco. She is employed as a customer service representative with a couple of tech companies. In her book she describes the lifestyle of these young adults who work in the tech industry and the amazing amounts of money which can be made by CEOs and employees in tech start-ups. What bothered me most about this book was her descriptions of the displacement of ordinary people who had lived in San Francisco for years. As tech money poured into San Francisco the cost of living rose higher and higher which forced people who were not employed in the tech industry out on to the streets and out of town. She described homeless camps and beggars along side lavish parties and offices. No where does she mention anyone doing anything to help the displaced. The newly minted rich of tech walked by Lazarus daily with a dangerous indifference.

The wealthy of tech may or may not attest to any religious doctrine. So, the story of Lazarus being taken to heaven by angels and the Rich Man being tormented in Hades may not register with them. However, Lazarus’ identity did register with the Rich Man who looked across the chasm and requested that Abraham send Lazarus to serve him with cool water. The Rich Man’s dangerous indifference has morphed into a cry of indignant privilege.

As my father used to say when we would whine about wanting something, “Yeah and people in Hades want ice water.” Do they get it? No, as Abraham informs the Rich Man that his dangerous indifference to Lazarus, Moses and the Prophets created his current predicament.

In Revelation 3:14-20, the church at Laodicea is warned of their dangerous indifference. They run neither hot nor cold which is a reference to the lukewarm water supply for the city which ran from a hot spring through an aqueduct to the city. They are also mistaken about their spiritual status when they say, “I am rich, I have prospered, and I need nothing.” When in reality they are wretched, pitiable, poor, blind and naked in God’s eyes. Like the Rich Man they are not listening to Moses, the Prophets and most importantly Jesus.

Now for the good news, Jesus is standing at the door and knocking. Jesus longs for the door to be opened so that he may come in and eat with us. Jesus wants to share the bread and cup with us. Jesus wants us to shed our dangerous indifference and open our hearts to Him. But that requires us to get up, open the door and welcome him to our table.

Jesus wants to work with us. Jesus needs us to welcome others to the table of God’s loving banquet. We are not to look open ourselves with false pride and others with dangerous indifference. We need to let go of our petty squabbles. We must unite to care for one another as Jesus guides us in faith to share our riches and time. Let’s replace dangerous indifference with faithful love and service.

Prayer: God of the table for all, save us from dangerous indifference and petty squabbles. May we respond with welcome when you knock at our door. Let us give thanks as we share in the bread and cup. 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, Maybelle and Mary, La Rae, Lynda, and for peace in troubled and war-torn places.

Contents © 2022 St. Peter´s UCC in Owensville, Missouri • Church Website Builder by mychurchwebsite.netPrivacy Policy