August 25, 2019

Pentecost 11 August 25, 2019  Psalm 103, Isaiah 58:9b-14, Hebrews 12:3,7-9 Luke 13:10-21   Therefore – ************************************************************  Well – not everyone. The congregation is sternly rebuked by it’s chief elder, for this healing occurring on the sabbath: “Why don’t you do this any other day of the week?” But Jesus rebukes the church leader and any in agreement with him – saying, “Hypocrites! Don’t all of you lead your animals to drink on the sabbath? Ought not this daughter of Abraham be set free from bondage to crippling pain and affliction on the Lord’s day?” Jesus this woman is now freed from the bondage she’s been held in by demonic powers for eighteen long years. (He’s not implying she has sinned.) He’s letting us know she’s been bent-over-and-enslaved, not only by bodily crippling, but even-more-so by crippling-states-of-mind that insist on proper order, decorum, and regulations – over and against the free flow of God’s grace… healing…  and blessing. So there’s more than one dimension to this healing story. The healing itself. And the sabbath-day context. The healing wouldn’t be controversial on another day.  Even his opponents don’t disbelieve – or object to the healing except for it’s timing. Healing on the sabbath is controversial. The synagogue leader and at least a few others are upset because the fourth commandment says we’re not to work on the Sabbath, and they view healing as work. Jesus sees it differently. Jesus heals on the Sabbath five times in Luke’s gospel – it’s a Jesus pattern. His speaking of bondage reminds us of Deuteronomy (5) which says honor the Sabbath because you were slaves in Egypt, and the Lord brought you out from slavery with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm. Now here’s Jesus, hands-on, compassionate arms outstretched – commanding release for this daughter of Abraham, bound by forces of spiritual darkness and slavery. Reinforcing the message from Deuteronomy: slaves aren’t free to enjoy sabbath. Sabbath is for those freed from slavery. Our reading from Isaiah says – honoring the sabbath means not pursuing our personal interests on the sabbath. Jesus isn’t working for money – isn’t playing golf or fishing – isn’t selling anything… He’s doing Sabbath by the Book – doing  what Israel is told to do (especially) in the Sabbath Year (Deut 15) – freeing the enslaved and restoring right relationship with God and neighbor. Jesus, as Lord of the Sabbath, heals on the Sabbath, and restores Sabbath to what God intends. Yet so often we, the church, have misunderstand, and turned the Sabbath delight Isaiah speaks of into bondage to regulatory restrictions… *** So… Jesus keeps teaching after silencing his opposition… Because this healing needs a little more contextualizing to help us understand what Jesus is doing – Therefore (in Luke the gospel writer’s word-choice –) Therefore Jesus says – “What is the kingdom of God like? What can I compare it with? It’s like a mustard seed… someone took and sowed in the garden and it grew to become a tree, and the birds of the air made nests in its branches…” Again he said – “What should I compare the kingdom of God with? Its like yeast (leaven) that a woman takes and mixes in with a whole bushel of flour till it all rises up…to nourish...

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August 25, 2019 – Cataumet

ANNOUNCEMENTS Bible Study resumes Thursday September 5, 1pm in the Perry Room at the Bourne church. EVENTS EVERY WEEK Sunday   7:45 am  Choir practice Sunday   9:00 am  Worship Sunday   7:30 pm  AA Meeting Monday  9:30am   Osteo Exercise Monday   7:30 pm  N/A Meeting Tuesday   9:00am    Exercise Tuesday   7:00 pm  AA Meeting Thursday  9:00 am   Exercise Thursday  7:00 pm    NA Meeting Saturday  9:00 am  Osteo Exercise

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August 25, 2019 – Bourne

THIS WEEK IN THE LIFE OF THE PARISH Sunday, August 25th:                      11:00 AM    Worship Service Monday, August 26th:                      7:00 PM    Pumpkin Patch Planning Meeting Wednesday, August 28th:             10:00 AM   Prayer Group   Sunday, September 1st                   11:00 AM   Worship Service JOIN US tomorrow at 7:00PM for our 2019 Pumpkin Patch meeting. SEPTEMBER NEWSLETTER articles are due 8/27. BIBLE STUDY resumes Thursday September 5, 1pm, in the Perry Room. PRAYER GROUP will meets every second and fourth Wednesday of the month PLEASE REMEMBER TO RSVP by 9/6  for our Dinner 9/7, you can do so by calling 508-759-4898 or speaking with Susan Goux, Tracy Jaekel, Connie Soper, or Joan Davis....

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August 18, 2019

Pentecost 10 C August 18, 2019   (Ps 80, Isaiah 5:1-7, Hebrews 11:23-31, 12:1-2) Luke 12:49-56      Stormy weather **************************************************************** Jesus seems to be in a stormy mood today – telling us he’s come to bring fire on earth and division in families – asking ‘how is it we can tell what the weather’s going to be – looking at the signs of earth and sky – but we don’t know how to interpret the signs of the times?’ We may not have as good a “weather-eye” as people in Jesus’ day – who mostly worked outside, observed nature closely, and could tell with a quick look at clouds and sky – what kind of weather was coming. Now weather-watching’s become an industry, with entire tv channels and websites dedicated to nothing but weather.  And though many people claim to understand the signs of the times… Whether any really do – God knows…  And… We’re in the middle of Luke’s gospel now and the mood is very different from our opening chapters – where, before Christmas, in Luke’s first chapter, we heard Zechariah, daddy of John the Baptist, prophesying of Jesus leading us into paths of peace. Then in Luke’s second chapter, angels we have heard on high tell shepherds tending their flocks by night – (that) baby Jesus, born this night, represents God’s promise of peace on earth, mercy mild, God and sinners reconciled.  And as it is in the beginning, so again it will be in the end – as Jesus, risen from the dead, greets disciples saying Peace be with you. But here in the middle of the story, Jesus is telling us – be ready for division – before we get to multiplication. Be prepared for family feuds… and stormy weather… Over the years I’ve often tried to avoid difficult scripture readings when they come up in our lectionary bible reading schedule. But difficult readings come up rather frequently, since scripture comments on life, and life is good, but difficult. And Jesus tells us he hasn’t come to make life less difficult. More interestingly and healthily difficult – but not less difficult. So – our lectionary bible reading schedule often clusters difficult bible readings together thematically to make it harder for pastors like me to wimp out and cherry-pick only the sweetest scriptures while avoiding the more difficult parts of the bible. Parts of the word of God we do need to hear and consider. If it were otherwise, why does Jesus give us so many difficult sayings to ponder? But over time I’ve been slowly learning – there’s nearly always good news somewhere even in the hardest parts of scripture… If we’re patient enough to listen and hear. What’s been helping me see and hear more of the good news that’s nearly always there, mixed-in with what’s otherwise harder-to-hear-news… has been learning more about the bible’s many ways of communicating indirectly – through analogies, parables, poetry and allusions to other parts of the bible. Parts of scripture are labeled as songs, and in Judaism nearly all scripture has at times been sung in worship settings… So, following the lead of bible scholars, I hear God and Israel singing to each other today – each using vineyard as a familiar and affectionate nick-name for Israel. And since...

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August 18, 2019 – Bourne

THIS WEEK IN THE LIFE OF THE PARISH Sunday, August 18th:                      11:00 AM    Worship Service Thursday August 22nd:                   5:30 PM    Brookside            Sunday, August 25th:                     11:00 AM    Worship Service        BIBLE STUDY will be on recess for July and August. PRAYER GROUP will meets every second and fourth Wednesday of the month JOIN US August 26th at 7:00PM for our 2019 Pumpkin Patch meeting. PLEASE REMEMBER TO RVSP by 9/6  for our Dinner 9/7, you can do so by calling 508-759-4898 or speaking with Susan Goux, Tracy Jaekel, Connie Soper, or Joan Davis....

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