Saturday, June 1, 2013

June 9, 2013 - 3rd Sunday after Pentecost

Scriptures for June 9th: 1 Kings 17: 8-24; Psalm 146; Galatians 1:11-24; Luke 7:11-17; Theme: restorations of the sons; Song: Hope of the World – UMH 178 1 Kings: the word neighbor comes from the German word nachbar – which means one who is close by. In days of old, people often lived their whole lives around the same people. You grew up with those people, our families intermingled and you often had the same destiny. We don’t live in that world anymore. In today’s modern world those close to you, could live on the other side of the world. We have to be intentional about defining our neighbors. But we also have to realize that God back then and even now, God is intentional about who he sends into our lives. God called Elijah to live with the widow in Zarepath. In other words, God called Elijah to go live among his enemies. To get to know someone who was vulnerable, and to see what he could do to make a life better. To live among those who are next to you. We are not asked to teach them, or to be better them, or to even lead them. We are called to live with them, and God will show us how we can help, and God will provide for both of us. It is all done for the glory of God. Luke: Elijah showed many signs of the presence of God. Many people had faith, because of his faith. So in a story about the miracles of Jesus, you would expect a story of Jesus bringing someone back to life. Jesus too is a traveling prophet. He see’s a funeral procession of a son. He was his mother’s only child, and now she must bury him. Scripture says that Jesus has compassion on her and bought the son back to life. The mother was a widow, her son was her only means of support of a society that was geared towards men. That meant that if her son died, then she would die soon too. Jesus had compassion on her. Elijah is also with a widow, who would have been vulnerable. Both is these stories tell us that we have to stop and to love those around us. We have to be engaged enough in life to realize that their lives are in danger. Jesus had a soft spot in his ministry for those whom society had just left behind. Jesus wants us to change the society so that they are a part of us. Today, we have welfare systems, we have food pantries, we have social service agencies, and yet people are still in need. There are still people in the street who are not reached by anybody. Lord help them, Lord help us to help them. Questions: Who were your neighbors as a child? Who are your neighbors today? How have things changed? How can the church continue to help those who are not helped by others? Who are the most vulnerable of our world today?

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