In the Sanctuary at 8:30AM and 11AM -
a blended service of traditional and contemporary elements with communion

In the hall at 9:45AM
scripture, prayer, and creative response with communion

Worship each Sunday @ 8:30AM, 9:45AM, and 11AM

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Our Many Gendered God

This week at Trinity Lutheran, we'll be thinking about issues of gender and the ways we still need to transform our society.  I've b...

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Meditation on This Sunday's Gospel

by Kristin Berkey-Abbott

The readings for Sunday, July 3, 2011:

First Reading: Zechariah 9:9-12

First Reading (Semi-cont.): Genesis 24:34-38, 42-49, 58-67

Psalm: Psalm 145:8-15 (Psalm 145:8-14 NRSV)

Psalm (Semi-cont.): Psalm 45:11-18 (Psalm 45:10-17 NRSV)

Psalm (Alt.): Song of Solomon 2:8-13 (Semi-continuous)

Second Reading: Romans 7:15-25a

Gospel: Matthew 11:16-19, 25-30

In this week's Gospel, we see the mystical Jesus that so many of us associate with the Gospel of John (but we're still exploring Matthew). The first part of this week's Gospel has those strange comparisons calling us children in the marketplace, and then Jesus reminds us that he and John are the latest in a long line of people sent by God to get our attention. And then the Gospel ends with that strange bit about easy yokes and light burdens, when the very definition of yoke and burden encompass experiences that aren't easy and light.

Maybe in these days of rising fuel and food prices, you're feeling the more traditional definition of yoke and burden (think strangling and crushing). Maybe you're weary of the world's problems and the inability of governments to even attempt to solve them. Maybe you wish for a savior to show up in our troubled times. But then you'd have to wonder if we'd even notice, in our world of noise and distraction.

Sometimes, when I feel most bleak, I like to return to the words of the Old Testament prophets. It's good to remember that no matter how terrible our historic age seems, it's not really a new situation. This week's reading from Zechariah commands us: "Return to your stronghold, O prisoners of hope."

That command is our burden and our yoke. We must be prisoners of hope. We are called to commit to resurrection. That doesn't stop with our belief in a resurrected Lord. That's just one sign, among a galaxy of signs, of a God who creates and recreates the cosmos daily.

In our deepest despair, we must remember that we're Resurrection People. To me, that's one of the beliefs that separates Christianity from the other major religions. We don't believe in a fixed universe. We don't believe that we're doomed. We don't believe that we have to accept our lot with stoic resignation and wait for a better life (in a future lifetime, in Heaven, but not right now).

No, our burden and our yoke is that God calls us into partnership in this remodeling of the world into one that is more in line with God's vision and plan. Could God just step in and order it to be so? Perhaps. But God didn't create that kind of universe. For whatever reason, God found it much more interesting to design a world in which we have free will. We can put our necks into the yoke that God offers us and discover that what appears to be a burden (taking care of the poor and eating together and praying regularly--who has time for that??!!) is, in fact, a blessing that transforms us as we transform the world.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

We learned about how God listens to us and the story of Elijah and the prophets of Baal. We sang! We danced! We crafted windchimes and yummy cupcakes! (And much more!)

Based upon your experiences this past week. We share a sampling of these in our weekly BLOG to encourage others in their walk with God; they are edited to maintain anonymity.

1. Where have you seen God working this week?
When we received a second surgery date despite a crowded calendar
Through the many volunteers God sent to help us with VBS preparation
In the perfect weather on my travels, when it was supposed to be stormy
In Many places
With Pastor Keith at Trinity
I had a wonderful week!
In my family
In answer to prayers about summer travel plans

2. Where Did God use someone else to bless you this week (whether they knew it or not?)
Many kind medical professionals
Family Members
Trinity friends
God sent E. to teach me some Bible lessons while we worked on VBS – thanks!
People I met on my travels
They prayed with me – encouraged me – offered me a ride – provided entertainment – provided much more than expected!
First Christian Church Bible Study
Through my goddaughter
God used my relative to bless us this week
In thanks shared by two ladies who overheard me sharing faith stories with our daughter

3. Where did God use you to bless someone else this week?
I used some spare time to teach a co-worker
Helped a friend with computer and filling out job resumes.
My daughter-in-law and grandson
Provided shelter, money, encouragement, prayed for someone on the phone.
At Celebrate Recovery at Calvary Chapel
At work.
In moving we were able to donate a large amount of clothing, household goods and even furniture to those less fortunate in this economy.
God used my daughter and I to bless a mother and her son this week.

How has Trinity helped to sustain you in your following of Christ in the world?
It helped me more to realize that there must be a reason for the difficulties we encounter.
It helped me turn to God when I felt helpless.
Keep me grounded and focused through volunteering at church.
By becoming more spiritual in my serving the Lord.
It keeps me grounded in my faith and my understanding of my God as a kind, loving, and forgiving God.
The Scriptures
The healing service came at a time when I needed it
Just by letting me know that they are there.

Monday, June 27, 2011