Year A Proper 16 "Gift of Life"

Ex. 1:8-2:10    Ps. 124    Ro. 12:1-8    Mt. 16:13-20

In the name of God, 
the Source of all life,
Giver of all good things,
who was, is now, and forever will be. Amen

 Finding of Baby Moses West Wall Synagogue of Dura Europos Syria 244-245 CE

In the gospel hymn, we just sang "He's Got the Whole World in his hands" remember the verse about the tiny little baby? Certainly, the fate of Moses was in God's hands as a courageous mother tried everything she could to hide the baby from a new king bent on destroying the threat to his kingdom, that is the male Hebrew babies.

The story of Moses begins amid a backdrop of fear. The new king of Egypt already knew in his heart that oppressing the Israelite people would lead to rebellion and flight. His cheap source of slave labor would vanish.This story has been repeated in various ways over and over again throughout the ages.

The twelve tribes of Jacob living under the protection of brother Joseph who had the highest standing under Pharaoh, face harsh and ruthless treatment under their oppressors now that the former generation, Joseph and the king are gone. It's a new era and the new king thinks he's holding all the cards.

Read more: Sermon this week

“A gift isn’t fully realized until it is given away” - Lewis Hyde

Child giving flower

Thank goodness for friends who recommend good books! It began casually when a colleague was inquiring about my work as an artist. Out of that conversation came his recommendation to read The Gift: Creativity and the Artist in the Modern World by Lewis Hyde. Initially written in 1979 its message is as timely as ever. I’m reading it slowly and carefully because it offers great insight about what gift culture can teach us. It reveals the distinctions between gift and capitalist ‘economies’. Even though the intention is not to be a theological treatise one cannot help but understand the implications as a Christian and the author does point out the obvious from time to time not just in terms of the Christian tradition but from many diverse faith traditions.

Read more: Gift

HOSPITALITY

“Hospitality is not optional for Christians… it is a necessary practice in the community of faith.”  – Christine D. Pohl  (Making Room: Recovering Hospitality as a Christian Tradition, 1999)

On a beautiful afternoon on the last Sunday of July, the people of St. John’s gathered for our monthly parish social, hosted this time at the rectory. It meant a lot to myself and family because in the process of welcoming our faith community into our home we are given so much more in return. These are some of the gifts we receive: deeper knowledge of who individuals are – hearing their stories, learning what’s important in their lives, insights and wisdom is shared, and we laugh A LOT! Our youngsters run around A LOT! And the adults watch them and smile A LOT! Oh, and there is A LOT of good food to eat!

These are happy moments for us and I hope for you. And I know that many others joined us in spirit while they were away visiting family and friends, giving and receiving in the practice of hospitality.

Read more: Rector's Message

A congregation gathers on a Sunday morning. There has been a lot of preparation. The altar has been set, bulletins have been printed, the heat turned up. The choir has practiced, the children have been at Sunday School. The words of Scripture, the hymns, the sermon, the prayers have challenged and inspired. All have come to the altar rail for Christ's body and blood. The fellowship of coffee hour awaits. The Church, St. Paul said, is the body of Christ and each a member. It's true! Never perfect, filled with all sorts and characters. And yet, a beautiful living organism of God's grace.

Coming Events

Tuesday, September 2, 2014 6:15 PM
Evening Prayer

Wednesday, September 3, 2014 12:00 PM
Eucharist & Bible Discussion

Sunday, September 7, 2014 10:00 AM
Eucharist

Tuesday, September 9, 2014 6:15 PM
Evening Prayer

Wednesday, September 10, 2014 12:00 PM
Eucharist & Bible Discussion

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