July 17, 2016

Pentecost 9   July 17, 2016   Luke 24:36, 44-48; Acts 13:13-43 ******************************************* The ending to this sermon we’ve just heard may sound a little strange – considering Paul’s a guest preacher, in an unfamiliar setting. Where are his manners? His sermon ending is a bit in our face, isn’t it? – “Take care that what the prophets have said does not happen to you: ‘Look, you scoffers, wonder and perish, for I am going to do something in your days that you would never believe, even if someone told you.’” I’m probably way too timid, but – it’s hard for me to imagine ending a sermon like this… Yet, at the same time, we should notice, there are quite a few things Paul says here that are standard public speaking approaches. He start off by affirming common ground – greeting the congregation as ‘Fellow Israelites” – and – “Fellow children of Abraham…(before also including the Gentile believers in attendance)… He speaks several times of our people, our ancestors – God calling our ancestors into becoming a people – promises God made to our ancestors… Paul recalls a lot of common-ground history of Israel – slavery in Egypt, time in the wilderness, coming into the land of Canaan… He claims the heritage of King David, “a man after God’s own heart” – now for Jesus, the Messiah. Up to this point, and the introduction of Jesus – everything said is probably all good with the congregation… Next comes locating Jesus as fulfillment of the psalms, prophets, and legacy of King David – quoting psalms 2 and 16, quoting the prophets Isaiah (55) and Habakkuk (1) –  proclaiming Jesus as fulfillment of all that’s good in the heritage of Israel…. Starting with common ground before edging into less familiar turf – telling us now that Jesus was rejected by the leaders and people of Jerusalem because they didn’t recognize him for who he is – Messiah and Savior – or understand the prophets who spoke of his coming. Thus they crucified Jesus – fulfilling what the prophets said – prophets we heard – without really hearing… Paul then goes on to say Jesus stands ready to forgive every sin – which sounds like very good news to me. Jesus forgives all sins – adding this is something that doesn’t happen – by obeying the law of Moses. Which sounds again like good news. (I’ve never been much good at keeping all the law of Moses.) But this has also been one of those places where Christians have often misunderstood Judaism. There’s been an unfortunate tendency over the centuries to imagine Jews as believing in salvation by works of the law, and Christians as believing in salvation by grace alone. But the reality, bible scholars and historians now tell us, was that most Jews always believed their salvation and their selection as the people of God was entirely by grace. When Paul tells us in his letters – we are saved by grace, not law – he’s reminding Jews of what they should already know – and teaching Gentile pagans what they usually do not know. Pagan gods typically demand all kinds of works from their devotees. This way of thinking has to be corrected… But Jews and Christians alike believe we covenant...

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Week of July 17, 2016 – Bourne

THIS WEEK IN THE LIFE OF THE PARISH Sunday, July 17th: 11:00 AM Outdoor Worship   All-Church Pool Party Thursday, July 21st: 1:00 PM Bible Study at Bourne UMC Sunday, July 24th: 11:00 AM Worship Service The altar flowers today are given to the glory of God by Anne Marie Seitzinger, “In honor of UMW worldwide” ALL-CHURCH POOL PARTY-TODAY: Due to inclement weather last week, the Pool Party at the Jensen’s is after church today! All are welcome! Dessert and beverage will be provided. Please bring a cold dish to share, as well as a bathing suit and chair. THE JULY/AUGUST NEWSLETTER is available. Please pick up your copy on your way out today if you receive the hard copy, or check your email if you receive the e-version. There are also extras available in Crain Hall. If you would like to be added to our mailing list, please fill out an address card, available from the ushers. A MEMORIAL SERVICE for Marion Bradley, Marsha Burt’s mom, will be held on Saturday, July 30 at 11:30 AM at the First Baptist Church, 1580 Massachusetts Avenue, Lexington , MA, with a luncheon to follow. ALTAR FLOWERS ARE NEEDED for July 24th, as well as August 21st. CHURCH BLOCK PARTY: On Saturday, August 6th, from 4-7 pm we (that’s you! our church community) are inviting the people who live in our neighborhood to come for a get together.  It will be outside on our lawn but if it rains we will bring it inside to Crain Hall. The church will provide hamburgers/hot dogs and lemonade.  We are asking everyone to bring food to share, chairs and lots of happy smiles....

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