August 29th, 2021
Fourteenth Sunday after Pentecost
10 O’clock in the morning Online & Worship Celebration
We’re back in Mark’s Gospel and the Gospel-centered readings for this week all challenge us to live righteously and justly by following God’s law, living with humility and integrity and ensuring that we don’t focus on outward observance, but allow our hearts to be changed so that our service of God and others is a true, heartfelt response. Finally, Jesus demonstrates that following the law is not about legalistic, outward observance, but is about being changed by the values and practices of God’s Reign so that our hearts are pure and connected with God. The quest to follow Christ and work to bring God’s justice into our world can be tough, disheartening, and dehumanizing. It is not easy to face the horrors of injustice and the very real impact of evil across the globe, and the challenge to confront and change these realities can harden us and desensitize us. In addition, once we have become committed to a cause, or have invested significant amounts of time, resources, energy and passion to serving our world in Christ’s name, we can get so caught up in the work, that we lose the meaning, the spirit, of our work, and it can start to become mere legalistic, outward observance. But, when our hearts are captured by the Gospel again, and when we become passionate lovers of God, of people and of the world, we won’t have to “preach” in order to be heard. The Gospel will be seen in our lives, and others will know the life-giving touch of God through us. As individuals and as a community of faith, let us not underestimate the value of passionate hearts, both for our own spiritual health, and in bringing healing and restoration to those around us.
God has given us every good and perfect gift. Therefore, we need to live God’s law, remembering it and putting it into practice. We are called to be good listeners who are slow to anger, who have a humble attitude and who care for the marginalized and vulnerable in our world.
Jesus is questioned by the religious leaders because his disciples don’t wash their hands before they eat. In response Jesus warns against worship that is only lip service, and explains that it is not what comes from outside that defiles us, but what comes from the heart.
God of light, we confess that we live in the shadows of hypocrisy and self-righteousness. We honor you with our lips, but we have not served you in our hearts. We are satisfied with human traditions and norms and avoid your liberating truth. We have confused meekness with weakness, holiness with social conformity, and anger with righteousness.
Forgive us, we pray. By the power of your word save us from the prison of our conceit so that we may serve you with sincere hearts; through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen
Just a friendly reminder for those coming to IN Person worship that it is more important than ever to remember to wear our masks. In doing so we will be able to continue singing and participating in the liturgy.
Looking for those who love to sing and/or want to play bells! No experience necessary.
Chancel Choir and Aldersgate Ringers will resume rehearsals beginning Thursday, August 26th.
They will rotate every other Thursday with Fusion.
Choir will start at 6:15 PM in the sanctuary and bells will start at 7:15 PM upstairs in the “old Youth Room.”
Sunday, September 12– Ministries Extravaganza
Sunday, October 17– Oktoberfest Dinner /Auction
Thursday, September 2nd – Ministries of Music Rehearsal & Video Recording
Sunday, September 5th – 15th Sunday after Pentecost
Luis F. Reyes, Lead Pastor
Service of Holy Communion
Monday, September 6th – Labor Day.
Building will be closed