Second Sunday after Pentecost
22 June 2014
¯ THIS MORNING'S HYMN'S OF PRAISE:
501, 465, Ps 86, 195, 353, 436.
FIRST BIBLE READING:
Genesis 21: 8-21
'God's promise to Hagar and Ishmael ' (GNB)
The child Isaac grew, and on the day that he was weaned, Abraham gave a great feast.
One day Ishmael, whom Hagar the Egyptian had borne to Abraham, was playing with Sarah's son Isaac. Sarah saw them and said to Abraham, 'Send this slave girl and her son away.
The son of this woman must not get any part of your wealth, which my son Isaac should inherit'. This troubled Abraham very much, because Ishmael also was his son.
But God said to Abraham, 'Don't be worried about the boy and your slave Hagar.
Do whatever Sarah tells you, because it is through Isaac that you will have the descendants I have promised. I will also give many children to the son of the slave girl, so that they will become a nation. He too is your son'.
Early the next morning Abraham gave Hagar some food and a leather bag full of water. He put the child on her back and sent her away. She left and wandered about in the wilderness of Beersheba.
When the water was all gone, she left the child under a bush and sat down about a hundred meters away.
She said to herself, 'I can't bear to see my child die'. While she was sitting there, she began to cry.
God heard the boy crying, and from heaven the angel of God spoke to Hagar, 'What are you troubled about, Hagar?
Don't be afraid. God has heard the boy crying. Get up, go and pick him up, and comfort him. I will make a great nation out of his descendants'. Then God opened her eyes, and she saw a well. She went and filled the leather bag with water and gave some to the boy.
God was with the boy as he grew up; he lived in the wilderness of Paran and became a skilful hunter. His mother got an Egyptian wife for him.
SECOND BIBLE READING:
Romans 6:1 b-11
'Dead to sin, but alive to Christ' (NIV)
Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? By no means!
We died to sin; how can we live in it any longer? Or don't you know that all of us who were baptised into Christ Jesus were baptised into his death?
We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.
If we have been united with him like this in his death, we will certainly also be united with him in his resurrection. For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin - because anyone who has died has been freed from sin.
Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. For we know that since Christ was raised from the dead, he cannot die again; death no longer has mastery over him. The death he died, he died to sin once for all; but the life he lives, he lives to God.
In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus.
Matthew 10: 24-39
'Do not be afraid; take up your cross and follow Christ'
Jesus said to the twelve apostles:
'No pupil is greater than his teacher; no slave is greater than hismaster. So a pupil should be satisfied to become like his teacher, and a slave like his master. If the head of the family is called Beelzebul, the members of the family will be called even worse names!
'So do not be afraid of people. Whatever is now covered up will be uncovered, and every secret will be made known. What I am telling you in the dark you must repeat in broad daylight, and what you have heard in private you must announce from the housetops.
Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul; rather be afraid of God, who can destroy both body and soul in hell. For only a cent you can buy two sparrows, yet not one sparrow falls to the ground without your Father's consent.
As for you, even the hairs of your head have all been counted. So do not be afraid; you are worth much more than many sparrows!
'If anyone declares publicly that he belongs to me, I will do the same for him before my Father in heaven.
But if anyone rejects me publicly, I will reject him before my Father in heaven.
'Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the world. No, I did not come to bring peace, but a sword.
I came to set sons against their fathers, daughters against their mothers, daughters-in-law against their mothers-in-law; a man's worst enemies will be the members of his own family.
'If you love your father or mother more than me, you are not fit to be my disciple. If you love your son or daughter more than me, you are not fit to be my disciple.
If you do not take up your cross and follow in my steps, you are not fit to be my disciple. If you try to gain your own life, you will lose it; but if you lose your life for my sake, you will gain it'.
NOTES ON THE READINGS:
As the infant Isaac grew, jealousy prompted Sarah to demand the expulsion of the older slave-born son of Abraham. Ishmael under current custom had certain rights of inheritance. Abraham's natural affection also made him unwilling to send Ishmael and Hagar away. God, however, once again transcended human frailty to enhance the practical long-term unfolding of his will. The further intervention of God to save Hagar and Ishmael in the desert underscores also God's purposes interplaying in the development of a future race of people, namely Ishmael's descendants.
MATTHEW 10: 24-39:
This reading belongs to a lengthy discourse of instruction by Jesus about what his disciples should expect and do when taking the gospel out into the world. If the master is maligned and rejected, the disciples should expect the same experience. Yet they will not need to be afraid even of those who have the power of physical death. That which Jesus was teaching them in private, God's word, would fearlessly be made known by them under the Father's gracious keeping. Acknowledgment, or on the other hand denial, of Jesus would bring on them either eternal continuation of the loving relationship in glory or eternal rejection and punishment. Christ's message divides people, and will therefore result in hostility and rejection at even the closest family levels. Discipleship means first loyalty and total attachment to Christ himself over against all people and things. To love Jesus means to follow him regardless of the pain, rejection or persecution which may result.
Bible readings for Sunday 29th June 2014:
Genesis 22:1-14, Romans 6: 12-23, Matthew 10: 40- 42.
1. This week in the Lord's Service- 22nd - 29th June:
Wednesday - Studies continue on 'A Hearing Heart' - 11.00 am at the church and 7.30 pm at the home of Phil and Dorothea Worpel, 235 Scenic Road, Highton.
Saturday - 10.00 am - 11.00 am - 'Sing - along' time. 11.00 am to 12 noon - Choir practice.
Next Sunday - 9.30 am - Public Divine service - (With Holy- Communion).
2. Pastor Lester - On Leave:
Pastor Lester will be taking leave from 30th June to 13th July, 2014. During this period, contact may be made via the church office 03 52 78 2443 or if unattended, please leave message.
Coming up for your diary:
Friday 27th June - 6.30 pm - YPQ&A.
Thursday 10th July - 10.30 am - Ladies Fellowship
Tuesday 15th July - 12.30 pm - Kaffeestunde
Tuesday 29th July - 7.00 pm - Church Council.
Sunday 3rd August - Sunday School.
Tuesday 6th August - 7.30 pm - Deacons.
Sunday 10th August - (A/W) - Half-Yearly meeting.