Sunday, August 11, 2013
August 18, 2013 13th Sunday after Pentecost
Breaking Open the Scriptures Scriptures for August 18th: Isaiah 5:1-7; Psalm 80:1-2, 8-19; Hebrews 11:29: 12:2; Luke 12:49-56; Examples of Faith in those before us; Song: Am I a soldier of the Cross UMH 511 Isaiah: This scripture is a song, a love song, of sorts from God. God talks about how lovingly he took care of us, how carefully he nurtured us. He watched us grow. And yet as we grew, he became disappointed in the results. He expected us to be loving, caring, even respectful. But as we grew, we had a mind and a will of our own. We did what we wanted to do. We were self serving. God is disappointed in us, and now he contemplates what to do. How do you continue to care for someone or something that does not return the care and love? You have the power to help and you have to power to neglect. And yet with each sin, God makes a conscious decision to love us and to care for us. In this song God calls us to repent, turn from our sin and to love him back. Hebrews: Paul has been giving us a lesson on the power of faith, the meaning of faith, and the difference it makes in the lives of those who have it. Paul also explains to us why the old testament is important to those who have faith in Jesus Christ. All throughout the stories of the bible, demonstrate what faith can do for us. Paul is helping us to see that our ancestors did not just have faith, they had extraordinary faith. They were able to call upon the Lord in times of trouble and he answered in a mighty long way. In modern times, we expect miracles and we get angry when they do not happen. And yet Paul is not talking about miracles, he is talking about faith. Being determined to believe in God against all odds, and knowing in your heart that there is a God, and that God has been with you all this time, and that he is with you now! When we have extraordinary faith, we are never alone. All those who have believed and trusted in God for all time are with us also. Questions: Why is God disappointed in you and your sin? What will you do to do better? What are some ways that you know that God has taken care of you? How have you returned God’s favor? Who are some people of faith that you look to as role models? What is your definition of Faith?