September Newsletter Pastoral Epistle
“Now it is not necessary for me to write you about the ministry to the saints, for I know your eagerness, which is the subject of my boasting about you to the people of Macedonia, saying that Achaia has been ready since last year; and your zeal has stirred up most of them.” – 2 Corinthians 9:1-2
I don’t know about you, but I love the underdog. Regardless who a team is playing in a particular sport, I often (unless it is against Fulham FC or Fresno State) root for the underdog. I like upsets. I like to see the prideful be humbled. It is this holdover of my sinful nature that loves to see other sinners brought low so I might, in some way, feel superior or at least equal. The danger is that, even in seeing the boastful fall, my own abilities to cheer that on become the same sin that I am decrying in the failures of another person.
Sermon for the 15th Sunday after Pentecost - Matthew 18:21-35
Then Peter came and said to him, “Lord, if another member of the church sins against me, how often should I forgive? As many as seven times?” Jesus said to him, “Not seven times, but, I tell you, seventy-seven times.“For this reason the kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who wished to settle accounts with his slaves. When he began the reckoning, one who owed him ten thousand talents was brought to him; and, as he could not pay, his lord ordered him to be sold, together with his wife and children and all his possessions, and payment to be made. So the slave fell on his knees before him, saying, ‘Have patience with me, and I will pay you everything.’ And out of pity for him, the lord of that slave released him and forgave him the debt. But that same slave, as he went out, came upon one of his fellow slaves who owed him a hundred denarii; and seizing him by the throat, he said, ‘Pay what you owe.’ Then his fellow slave fell down and pleaded with him, ‘Have patience with me, and I will pay you.’ But he refused; then he went and threw him into prison until he would pay the debt. When his fellow slaves saw what had happened, they were greatly distressed, and they went and reported to their lord all that had taken place. Then his lord summoned him and said to him, ‘You wicked slave! I forgave you all that debt because you pleaded with me. Should you not have had mercy on your fellow slave, as I had mercy on you?’ And in anger his lord handed him over to be tortured until he would pay his entire debt. So my heavenly Father will also do to every one of you, if you do not forgive your brother or sister from your heart.”
Sermon for the 13th Sunday after Pentecost - Matthew 16:21-28; Romans 12:9-21
No one will be able to stand against you as long as you live. I will be with you, just as I was with Moses. I will not leave you or abandon you. – Joshua 1:5
As both a father and a pastor, there is this double-whammy coming this fall with school and church. Things were always doubled as we prepared as a family for the beginning of school, and had the work of figuring out what and how to do things as we prepared for the fall activities at church. Whether it was Sunday School, Bible studies, confirmation, men’s and women’s groups, fellowship times; there has always been an increased necessity for a futurist mindset as we got things underway. As a dad I live in a world with a senior who is trying to get her senior pictures done, apply to college, being recruited to swim, begin and finish school, find financial aid; plus an 8th grader who is trying to navigate a weird existence with a new way of doing school this year (Did I say that he is going into 8th grade??).