Thursday, August 26, 2010

September 5, 2010

scriptures: Hebrews 13:1-8;15-16
Luke 14:1, 7-14

sermon: The Angels Present in your Life
"Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by doing that some have entertained angels without knowing it."
Hebrews 13:2

Scriptures for next week:
Jeremiah 18:1-11 and Psalm 139:1-6, 13-18

song for Englewood: In Christ there is no East or West UMH 548

for Rust

Call to Worship

Leader: The One who speaks harsh words calls us this day
People: Too often we take kinds words as weakness and soft words as permission to do our own thing.
Leader: The God who challenges our turning away summons us this day.
People: the way of life is do difficult. We have sinned, but we have some excellent excuses!
Leader: God has heard all of our excuses and will not accept any of them.
People: We have come to worship and to be made right with our God.

Breaking Open the Scriptures:
Scriptures for September 5th: Jeremiah 18:1-11; Psalm 139:1-6,13-18; Philemon 1-21; Luke 14:25-33 Theme: God’s intention for your life

Jeremiah: We tend to be very fearful of judgment. As Christians we don’t want to come out and do it to others, and we don’t appreciate it when others do it to us. We attribute this fear to Jesus, and say that Jesus tells us not to judge. When that is not what Jesus said. He said, judge others with the same measure that you expect to be judged. If you expect to be judged fairly and respectfully , then do the same to others. There is nothing wrong with judgment. God uses it to bring healing and reconciliation to the world. He shapes our lives with judgment and encouragement. How willing are you to be shaped by the potter’s hand?

Psalm 139: Is it a comfort that God knows all about you? Or is that threatening? Is it a comfort that God plans and directs your life, or is that a confining thought? Well like it or not, God has known us since before our birth. God has had plans for us and that is why we are here. To discover those plans as we discover our relationship with the holy.

Questions: In the hands of God we are like clay, how has God reformed you? How do you respond when others judge you? How do you respond when God judges you? What is the difference? What proof do you have in life that God is always present with you? How do you know when you are following God’s lead in your life?

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

August 22, 2010

Scriptures for August 22nd: Jeremiah 1:4-10; Psalms 71:1-6; Hebrews 12:18-29; Luke 13:10-17 Theme: Listening to God’s call in your life

Jeremiah: We will be looking at the words of the prophet Jeremiah for the next six weeks. Chapter one starts with the story of his call. The other prophets that we look at were called as adults. They became God’s spokesperson as a result of something they say going on in their lives. Jeremiah realizes that he was called from birth, from before birth to be a prophet of God. He calls himself a prophet to the nations – which means that he is called to speak to the Hebrews and gentiles. Everyone else (in some ways even Jesus) believes they are to speak just to the Hebrews. Jeremiah is alive in a time when his people are forced to live and deal with others, and Jeremiah must speak to the times – the time of exile.

Hebrews: This entire book helps us to remember the value of faith. It gives us advice on what we should remember. Today, we should remember that the gospel is good news. In a difficult atmosphere, we look for a tame faith, a dependable faith, a faith that makes sense to us. That is why we call Jesus our brother, and God our Father – we are looking for support. The author reminds us here that faith is anything but tame and predictable. The God we worship is an unquenchable fire, and he puts fire in our faith – to et up and do something.

Questions: When you look back at your life, what evidence do you have that God has been with you all along? What does it mean to be called by God? How is God calling you right now? How you try to make God dependable? How can you break out of your routine and see God in all of God’s glory?

Thursday, August 5, 2010

August 15, 2010

Scriptures for August 15th: Isaiah 5:1-7; Psalm 80:1-2, 8-19; Hebrews 11:29-12:2; Luke 12:49-56 Theme: The value of having faith in the unseen

Isaiah: These verses are a love song – to remind us of how much we are loved by God: A God who created us and will do anything for us. Who has been with us through all of the ups and downs of our lives. God is always there for us, but realizes that we are not always there for God. He expected that we would be grateful for return the favor. But we live in a world where hatred is present, where violence is present, where self centeredness is present. What happened? More importantly, what can be done about it?

Hebrews: Hebrews has a very powerful message for us to remind us how important our faith is. Last week Paul defined what faith us. This week he traces the role of faith in the history of the faithful. He gives examples of people who became heroes because they followed their faith into new lives. And when we look back at our lives, we can be grateful for these acts of faith. But we can also follow their example and pave new paths for those coming after us.

Questions: What actions have we taken, which contributes to God’s despair? What has happened in the world? What have we done personally? How can we make amends to God? What obstacles do you face that require you to have faith? What things can you do in your life to follow your faith and to pave the way for others?