Happening Now Blog

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Pastor's Weekly Message

Dear Friends in Christ,

As Christians we believe that God speaks to us in many and various ways.  In fact, Martin Luther was fond of saying that our God is a "chatty" God who has a lot to say to us--if we are listening.  Inevitably, sometimes the Lord says things that we don't want to hear--things that make us uncomfortable because they don't fit our expectations....

This is what happened to Peter and the other disciples in our gospel lesson for this coming Sunday.  When Jesus told them that the Son of Man would be betrayed, killed, and would rise again on the third day, it must have scared them out of their wits!  How could someone as good and as powerful as Jesus suffer such a terrible fate?!  They just didn't get why he would have to suffer....  And so Jesus tried to explain to the disciples that they will find their lives in losing them (Matthew 16:21-28).  In the lesson from Romans, Paul also speaks about this kind of sacrificial love when he urges us to associate with the lowly and not to repay evil with evil (Romans 12:9-21).

Prayer of the Day

O God, we thank you for your Son, who chose the path of suffering for the sake of the world.  Humble us by his example, point us to the path of obedience, and give us strength to follow your commands, through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord.  Amen

Announcements

• NOTE:  This Sunday, August 31, we will hold only ONE WORSHIP SERVICE at 10:30 am.  Beginning Sunday, September 7, our worship times will move back to 8:30 and 11 am.
• Sunday, September 7 is Rally Day at Shepherd of the Valley!  Lots of fun activities are planned for the kickoff of Sunday School, and there will be exciting things happening in worship, too!
• Sunday School for all ages begins Sept. 14.  The kids begin at 9:45, and the adult class will begin at 10 am.  The kids and their teachers will be using a new curriculum, Seasons of the Spirit, which focuses on the same Scripture lessons that are used in worship each week.  The adult class will begin the year with a seven-week course entitled "Opening the Book of Faith:  Lutheran Insights for Bible Study."  This is part of an exciting five-year initiative of the ELCA designed to promote greater familiarity with the Bible!

Prayer concerns:

…Prayers for strength and guidance for all who are caring for loved ones.

…Prayers for strength and guidance for all who are unemployed.