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...

Saturday, July 26, 2014


From the week of JUNE 29th – JULY 5th                      

Sermon on The Ten Commandments
Week Four   July 27, 2014
These last few weeks we have been pondering the Ten Commandments.  We have declared over this past month that our God frees us. Liberates us. That our God is a God of deep and abiding relationship. A God who establishes that relationship with us by first choosing us.  In and through Christ Jesus, God chooses to save and redeem, you, me, the children sitting just across our border filling centers and schools and an army barracks. God chooses to save and redeem the homeless, the broken, the business people, the poor, the rich, the in-between, the people who water their lawns under the cover of darkness more than two times a week, the people who wait patiently at bus stops in the rain, grandmothers taking a stroll with their grandchildren through Butterfly World, veterinarians who charge below cost for tests and medications for the sake of a little abandoned sick kitten, even people who sample grapes out of the bag that you had your eye on and then walk away. God chooses in and through Christ Jesus to save them. And us. Before any of us, before any of them could take the first step towards God, God in and through Christ Jesus has already loved us. Claimed us. Embraced us. Before we could even take the first step.

Remember:  Luther says that if we know the Ten Commandments we know all of Scripture.  Love God. Love Neighbor. And today we conclude our time with the Ten Commandments by focusing on two of them: a pair of commandments from the second table  - from that list of commandments that address our relationship with one another and with the people of the world.

Thou shall not covet thy neighbor's house.

Thou shall not covet thy neighbor's wife, nor his man-servant, nor his maid-servant, nor his cattle, nor anything that is your neighbors.

Why these two? Because the road of covetousness leads us far away from the love of our neighbor.  Covetousness begins so lightly, ever so innocently, and then…well… let’s look at just one of a number of stories that Professor Rolf Jacobsen from Luther Seminary suggests we review in order to understand the dangers of coveting. 

Turning to Samuel chapter 11 and we find this story about King David.

He sends the troops off to war and decides to sit this one out. We read: “In the spring of the year, the time when kings go out to battle, David sent Joab with his officers and all Israel with him; they ravaged the Ammonites, and besieged Rabbah. But David remained at Jerusalem.” He was supposed to go out to war – but perhaps he had other things on his mind.
The scriptures continue: It happened, late one afternoon, when David rose from his couch and was walking about on the roof of the king's house, [since he had so much time on his hands] and he saw from the roof a woman bathing; the woman was very beautiful. David sent someone to inquire about the woman. It was reported, "This is Bathsheba daughter of Eliam, the wife of Uriah the Hittite." So David sent messengers to take her and bring her to him.

Coveting started with a thought – “That woman is very beautiful” and then the King is committing sin piling upon sin. He gets her pregnant and then the simple thought “She is very beautiful” which has turned into King David using his power to take her forcibly and leave her pregnant becomes a story of reputation protection that quickly falls apart into plots and murder.
6So David sent word to Joab, "Send me Uriah the Hittite." And Joab sent Uriah to David. 7When Uriah came to him, David asked how Joab and the people fared, and how the war was going. 8Then David said to Uriah, "Go down to your house, and wash your feet." Uriah went out of the king's house, and there followed him a present from the king. 9But Uriah slept at the entrance of the king's house with all the servants of his lord, and did not go down to his house. 10When they told David, "Uriah did not go down to his house," David said to Uriah, "You have just come from a journey. Why did you not go down to your house?" 11Uriah said to David, "The ark and Israel and Judah remain in booths; and my lord Joab and the servants of my lord are camping in the open field; shall I then go to my house, to eat and to drink, and to lie with my wife? As you live, and as your soul lives, I will not do such a thing." Uriah proves himself a man of honor, while King David plots on. Then King David tries to get him drunk figuring that finally a drunk soldier who has not seen his wife in a long time will trade his honor for sex. But Uriah proves himself steadfast. So King David takes it up a notch.

14In the morning David wrote a letter to Joab, and sent it by the hand of Uriah. [Can you believe this?] 15In the letter he wrote, "Set Uriah in the forefront of the hardest fighting, and then draw back from him, so that he may be struck down and die." 16As Joab was besieging the city, he assigned Uriah to the place where he knew there were valiant warriors. 17The men of the city came out and fought with Joab; and some of the servants of David among the people fell. Uriah the Hittite was killed as well.
King David covetously acted upon his one simple thought “She is very beautiful” and by the time that all the dust had settled, not only was the honorable Uriah the Hittite dead, but also some of David’s own servants as collateral damage. And King David’s reaction?  

'Do not let this matter trouble you, for the sword devours now one and now another; press your attack on the city, and overthrow it.'
King David wanted to have it all – well at least everything that his heart desired - and didn’t worry about what might stand in his way. Coveting starts so simply then everything can quickly fall apart and fall to ruin. Broken relationships often left among those ruins.

Have you ever noticed that they do not make commercials for the things we really need? Like a good manual can opener? Or a pot topper than prevents the water in your pot of spaghetti from boiling over  onto the stove when you are so busy focusing on other things like catching up on your twitter feed or preventing the dog from eating the couch. Can openers and pot toppers are not sexy. They do not typically inspire covetousness in our hearts. But what about those commercials for those expensive Caribbean Resorts or any number of cruise lines in which perfect couples and perfect families have perfect fun and drink lots of perfectly frozen margaritas with perfect little umbrellas in them. Such commercials invite us to look at our life and find holes in it that can only be filled with what they have to offer and so that the seeds of covetousness are planted. “Just imagine” the announcer on a state Lottery commercial declares. “Just imagine boundless possibilities.” And the young man who is sitting on a nice chaise on the beach begins to dream and the clouds become mansions and yachts and such. Just imagine.
Most commercials work this way – trying to plant the seeds of covetousness in our hearts – tell us our life now is incomplete and full of holes we need to fill – to have us dream of More. Bigger. Better. Of Status.

The Ten Commandments spend extra time on covetousness because God knows that our relationships with one another based upon love will constantly be under assault from covetous desires that birth enmity and jealously. When the seed of covetousness is planted in our hearts we need to help one another to find our way back to our life of love and compassion and humility. To hold one another accountable. To pray and pray and pray and in our brokenness to seek forgiveness from a God all too ready to forgive and renew us and to invite us once again to embrace a life in which God in and through Christ Jesus becomes our all in all. In which God has already freed us to love God with all of our heart, our mind, our soul and our  strength and our neighbor as ourselves.

Following the Revised Common Lectionary)
by Kristin Berkey-Abbott
The readings for Sunday, July 27, 2014:
First Reading: 1 Kings 3:5-12
First Reading (Semi-cont.): Genesis 29:15-28
Psalm: Psalm 119:129-136
Psalm (Semi-cont.): Psalm 105:1-11, 45b
Psalm (Alt.): Psalm 128 (Psalm 128 (Semi-continuous) NRSV)
Second Reading: Romans 8:26-39
Gospel: Matthew 13:31-33, 44-52

Today we have a series of interesting parables which Jesus uses to explain the Kingdom of Heaven. I don't think that Jesus is explaining the afterlife, the way that many of us might assume when we hear the word "Heaven." Instead, Matthew uses that word as shorthand for a concept that's closer to "life as God intended." Of course, I'm grossly simplifying, but instead of doing an in-depth exploration of the word "Heaven," let's look at the images Jesus uses.

Note the smallness, the almost invisibility, of the first two images (verses 31-33): mustard seeds and yeast. There are two elements which are interesting. One is that these small grains left alone will transform themselves into something bigger--and in the case of yeast, will transform the surrounding elements too. Leave flour alone, and it won't change much in terms of volume. Even if it gets buggy, the bag won't explode. But add yeast and water and a bit of sweetness and leave the bowl in a warm place for a few hours--when you return to the bowl, the dough might be overflowing. Likewise with a seed. Plant it in the earth, add some water, and leave it alone--if you're lucky, you get a shrub or a tree. If we go out looking for the kingdom to be a big, glorious thing, we might miss the Kingdom.

Many people simply don't register the presence of God because they're looking for the wrong thing. They're looking for something huge and powerful. For example, think about the Jews of Jesus' time. They didn't want spiritual salvation. When they talked about a savior, they wanted someone who would kick the Romans out of their homeland. They missed the miracle of Jesus because they looked for the wrong sign.

The next set of metaphors (verses 44-46) talks about the preciousness of the Kingdom and also a bit about the effort required to find it. The treasure/pearl doesn't just fall into the men's laps--they're out looking.
We live in a culture that doesn't want to put in a lot of work. If you don't believe me, watch the claims that advertisers make: I can lose weight by eating a cookie, I can make by working just 15 minutes a day, I can get a college degree without leaving my house. I love talking to my colleagues and collecting their strange student stories. One of my colleagues had a student stomp out in a huff when she realized she'd have to write essays. Keep in mind, my colleague teaches an English Composition class. Did the student think they'd be creating macaroni collages?

And then I start to wonder why this student imagines that she can go to college and not have to work. Where does she get that message? Of course, the culture in which she lives beams that to her all the time.

Likewise, Kingdom living requires some effort on our part. God wants to meet us, but we have to go forward towards God. We have to look for the right signs, and we have to make some effort. That effort might be regular prayer, spiritual reading, going to church, turning ourselves into caring people, giving more of our money away.

But the end of this week's Gospel assures us that the effort will pay off. We don't want to be in the furnace where men weep and gnash their teeth. For those of you who read the end of the Gospel as a metaphor of Hell after death, you might be right. But I would argue that life is terribly hellish right here and now for people who aren't doing transformational work.

Trinity Lutheran Church
8362 Pines Blvd Suite 431 Pembroke Pines, FL 33024

Office (954) 989-1903 Pastor Keith’s Cell (954) 668-6077

Denise Payne – President                      Reed Talbert – Vice President
Zory Graciani – Secretary                       Ron Mccoy – Treasurer
Kristin Berkey-Abbott                               Richie Cannezzaro
Tina Hines                                                 Eileen Manella                      
Pastor Keith

 Care and Concern Team
(for prayer and visitation for those homebound or in the hospital)
Contact Bev Grant  954-885-0394 or Dora Gressley 954-443-5734 or leave a message with the office

2nd     Church Yard Day
10th   Blessing of Teachers and Staff
17th   Blessing of Back Packs and CUPCAKE-A-PALOOZA!
22nd Why Is that Old Testament God So Mean and Other Thoughts About the Bible: Our Monthly Bible Study at Crispers 6:30PM
31st   Healing Sunday

6th     Church Yard Day
9th     WELCA Potluck and Meeting
12th – 14th GODSPA RETREAT
18th  Bible Study at Crispers



8:30AM Simple Service of Holy Communion in the Choir Loft

30 minutes. No music.

9:45AM Worship Together, our CROSS+GENERATIONAL blend of Sunday school, family faith formation and inter-generational worship. Faithful. Inter-Active. Relational. Incorporates the arts. With Communion!

11AM Holy Communion Liturgy. Preaching, Choir, Hymns, Instrumentalists, Communion, Prayers.



Traditional Evening Prayer with Holy Communion

Worship 6PM-6:45PM.

Neighborhood Prayer Walk 6:45PM-7:30PM. 

As we prepare to more deeply embed ourselves in the neighborhood into which God both calls us and sends us, we take the time to walk and pray, to meet and greet, and to listen in love. 

A Simple meal at which we with reflect on our worship, walk and prayer. Beginning at approximately 7:30PM

Summer has been busy for Trinity's food pantry. Lots of families with their children home for the summer are in need of groceries. Here is our current wish list:
TUNA - we are completely out!
CEREAL- we are completely out

Trinity women are heading to God Spa at Luther Springs this September 12th-14th. Luther Springs is located just north of Ocala, and God Spa activities include devotions, music, journaling and spa type activities (facials, hand/foot scrubs, mani/pedis).  We will carpool from Trinity. The cost is $143 and includes room, meals, and program. You can register at www.novusway.com  Request Kuehner Center and either a specific roommate or just say "anyone from Trinity Lutheran."  If you need financial assistance, contact Pastor Keith.  All women who are interested should meet with Piper after church in Charter Hall on August 17th.

Please bring in your pineapple tops! We will be adding them to our fruit garden as they come in. Help is needed for weeding – any time! If you are worried about being able to recognize a butterfly friendly plant from a weed, Pastor Keith is happy to give a quick lesson.

A reminder: All are welcome to join the 11AM Summer Choir and Worship Band.  

They rehearse WED 7PM and SUN 10AM or just can just come SUN at 10AM and they will have music ready and waiting for you!

Our hand chimes now are over 15 years old and in significant need of refurbishment. The cost of refurbishment, shipping and insurance is approximately $1000. Gifts are welcome to Trinity Lutheran Church memo line “Music Program” to help make this a reality. Our Worship Choir is growing and a blessing each Sunday. Approximately $330 is needed for the purchase of hymnals so that each member can have a complete set. Gifts are welcome to Trinity Lutheran Church memo line “Music Program” to help make this a reality.

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