July 18th, 2021
Eighth Sunday after Pentecost
Online & Worship Celebration 10 o clock in the morning
The image of the shepherd is one of God’s favorite metaphors in both Hebrew and Christian scriptures. God will never lose sight of us, never forget us, and will go after those who are lost, those who are considered least. In the Hebrew scriptures, the prophets looked to the hope of a new king who would lead in God’s ways, who would not lead the people astray the way the false prophets, priests, and kings had, becoming corrupt for power and money. The good shepherd would lead like David did, knowing God and seeking God’s will over their own. In Christian scriptures, Jesus, especially in John’s account of the Gospel, takes on the mantle of the good shepherd. In Mark’s account, Jesus recognizes that the people have lost hope—they are like sheep without a shepherd. They need hope again that they will find their way, that they will follow God’s ways. Jesus brings that hope to their lives in tangible ways by healing those who are sick, feeding those who are hungry. Jesus leads the people in a new way—not as a king, or a prophet prophesying against those who’ve gone wrong, but as someone who cares for their basic needs, someone who loves them deeply as a good shepherd loves their sheep.
Jews and Gentiles together have been reconciled to God in Christ and brought into one community in which the lines of division have been removed by God through Christ’s cross. Now both are part of God’s household, and are built into a temple for God’s Spirit.
When the disciples return from their mission, they tell Jesus about all they have done, and he calls them to rest. But, as they try to withdraw to a quiet place, the crowds follow them and Jesus has compassion on them because they are like sheep without a shepherd. Then, wherever he goes, the people bring the sick to him for healing.
Loving Shepherd, guide us into Your ways. Help us to never leave anyone behind, to remember the last, the lost, the least are Your beloved, and we have a mutual responsibility to care and love one another. Keep close to us in the shadows and save us from the wolves that seek to devour us with the world’s concerns for wealth, power, and notoriety. We know You have prepared a place for us, with cool waters and green pastures, a way of life where evil cannot harm us, especially when we remember that we dwell with You forever. Guide us into Your way of life, Loving Shepherd. Amen.
Thursday, July 22nd
Ministries of Music Rehearsal & Video Recording
Sunday, July 25th
Ninth Sunday after Pentecost
Fellowship Time after Worship
July 16 & 17 – NIC– Annual Conference on ZOOM
Saturday, July 17 @ 1pm – Memorial Service for Linda Shaver-Gleason
Friday, August 13 – Outdoor Movie Night
Saturday, August 14 – Teddie Knapp Memorial Service @ 10am
Sunday, September 12 – Ministries Extravaganza Celebration—Fall Kick Off!
Sunday, September 19 – Lilac Parade