Sound like church? The three pastors worked on their respective ministries, setting down roots in the area and making connections with others.
Thanksgiving Day, , was a highlight because UrbanMission served as the city's Meals On Wheels staging area for preparation and distribution of meals by more than a dozen different organizations and agencies -- more than meals, to be exact! Conducted in a style known as "emergent worship," these gatherings include prayer, preaching, collection of offerings and prayers, and of course communion each week Our UCC tradition believes that, "God is still speaking," and we believe that this is true!
The surprise ending of the story is that the Pharisee, receives no commendation from God for his good works. He came asking nothing of God and he goes home getting nothing from God. He was so intent on making sure he was loveable, one wonders if he ever loved God or anyone else. And just like that, we fall into the same old trap the Pharisee was in.
The tragedy of all this is that in trying to make ourselves worthy of love through our supposed virtues, we end up like the Pharisee, casting a sideward glance at others and measuring ourselves against them. Instead of being united, living in communion, in love, we find ourselves separated from those around us and consequently from God.
Understand me, now. Ultimately, the Pharisee and the tax collector are the same.
He might just as well have stayed home for all the good church did him. But the tax collector knew he needed the love of God and a loving relationship with those around him. For him going to church made all the difference in the world… and in heaven.
Preparing Sunday Dinner: A Collaborative Approach to Worship and Preaching [Marlene Kropf, Rebecca Slough, June Alliman Yoder] on keostertatader.tk *FREE*. Editorial Reviews. Review. A delightful combination of the rigorously theoretical and the Preparing Sunday Dinner: A Collaborative Approach to Worship and Preaching - Kindle edition by Marlene Kropf. Download it once and read it on your.
Sibling rivalry. Birthright problems. That's what i t was. Esau was a whiny, bossy first-born; always conscientious, out hunting daddy's favorite game.
Jacob was a crafty, cunning, sneaky little mama's boy. Well, at least, Jacob would have agreed with the first part. The boys had been locked in a struggle from the beginning. Esau slipped out of mother's womb first, but Jacob was right on his heels—holding onto his heel, in fact.
When Esau, who tended to think with his stomach, was caught hungry, Jacob tried to defrauded him of his birthright , his right to an inheritance, for the price of a pot of stew. Things must have been a little hot after that. Jacob left town for a long time and lived and struggled with his Uncle Laban. Caught , at the end of his rope, Jacob panick s. Quite a guy, our forefather, this ancestor of Jesus. Alone and as prepared as he can be for what will surely come, Jacob trie s to get some rest.
All night he tosse s and turn s , struggling with his brother in his dreams. B ut this time, his heel-grabbing tricks get him no where. Then, as often happens in dreams, things changed suddenly. As dawn approaches the stranger does to him what Jacob had done to Esau and Laban, h e cheated.
Jacob had terrible feeling. The stranger was God ; he had been wrestling with God and he was a changed man. He got up, sent gifts to his brother Esau and then begged his forgiveness. Esau wrapped his arms around his brother and they cried. Thereafter they became friends and neighbors.
Life is often difficult. We struggle, and we need a struggler to show us the way.
Good advice for us, too , when our struggles bring night - long dreams and and a waking bathed in sweat? Struggle with Him with the persistence and desperation of Jacob. We are supposed to struggle against the World, but with God. Even if it seems at times that God cheats, well, feel free to tell God off. It will make you feel better.
The story of the ten lepers makes the point that there is always more we need than we think. But before we go there, we need to think about what it meant to be a leper. In some ways it was worse than being dead. Not only did you have to suffer with the degenerating effects of this disease, you were excluded from every part of ordinary community life. You had to keep a certain distance, 40 paces, between you and healthy people.
So you lived on the edges of everything and just watched the world you would never be able to experience again. Your only companions were those on the edges like you, other lepers. Imagine, a life without hope. Mercy was a loaf of bread, a coin, or a used piece of clothing. But when such an appeal is directed to the Son of God it becomes a simple prayer, a very good prayer. Jesus granted them mercy.
No reason is given or needed. Jesus heard their prayer and showed them mercy. He gave them their lives back. Now, this was more a medical mercy than a religious one. The law was very clear, a cure had to be certified by a priest before the healed individual could return to society. So Jesus told them to present themselves to the priests.
They had nothing to lose and everything to gain, so off they went to find a priest. And as they went, their leprosy went away; they were cured. Jesus stood there and watched. He gave them their lives back, and he put no conditions on the gift, and he just stood there, and watched and waited. Nine of the ten just kept going.
I know of no clearer picture of what our culture is mostly like, and of what our lives are mostly like, than the picture of Jesus standing there, watching those nine people running just as fast as they can run, watching them get smaller and smaller, the farther away from him they got. There is no way anyone could have such a thing happen to them and not be grateful. It is easy to imagine them, happily making plans, feeling just wonderful, and running just as fast as they could away from Jesus, in a big hurry to get on with their lives.