Fourth Sunday after Pentecost
Many thanks to Graeme Huf for leading our worship service this morning
6 July 2014
THIS MORNING'S SONG'S OF PRAISE:
280, 'O Come Let's Sing', 137, 99, 330, 399.
FIRST BIBLE READING:
Genesis 24: 34-38,42-49,58-67
'Abraham's servant finds a wife for Isaac' (GNB)
Laban's guest said: 'I am Abraham's servant. The Lord has greatly blessed my master and made him a rich man. He has given him flocks of sheep and goats, cattle, silver, gold, male and female slaves, camels, and donkeys. Sarah, my master's wife, bore him a son when she was old, and my master has given everything he owns to him.
My master made me promise with a vow to obey his command. He said, "Do not choose a wife for my son from the girls in the land of Canaan. Instead, go to my father's people, to my relatives, and choose a wife for him..."
'When I came to the well today, I prayed, "Lord, God of my master Abraham, please give me success in what I am doing. Here I am at the well. When a young woman comes out to get water, I will ask her to give me a drink of water from her jar.
If she agrees and also offers to bring water for my camels, may she be the one that you have chosen as the wife for my master's son".
Before I had finished my silent prayer, Rebecca came with a water jar on her shoulder and went down to the well to get water. I said to her, "Please give me a drink".
She quickly lowered her jar from her shoulder and said, "Drink, and I will also water your camels". So I drank, and she watered the camels. I asked her, "Who is your father?"
And she answered, "My father is Bethuel son of Nahor and Milcah". Then I put the ring in her nose and the bracelets on her arms. I knelt down and worshipped the Lord. I praised the Lord, the God of my master Abraham, who had led me straight to my master's relative, where I found his daughter for my master's son.
Now, if you intend to fulfil your responsibility toward my master and treat him fairly, please tell me; if not, say so, and I will decide what to do.'
So they called Rebecca and asked, 'Do you want to go with this man?' Yes', she answered.
So they let Rebecca and her old family servant go with Abraham's servant and his men. And they gave Rebecca their blessing in these words:
'May you, sister, become the mother of millions!
May your descendants conquer the cities of their enemies!'
Then Rebecca and her young women got ready and mounted the camels to go with Abraham's servant, and they all started out.
Isaac had come into the wilderness of 'The Well of the Living One Who Sees Me' and was staying in the southern part of Canaan. He went out in the early evening to take a walk in the fields and saw camels coming.
When Rebecca saw Isaac, she got down from her camel, and asked Abraham's servant, 'Who is that man walking toward us in the field?'
'He is my master', the servant answered. So she took her scarf and covered her face.
The servant told Isaac everything he had done. Then Isaac brought Rebecca into the tent that his mother Sarah had lived in, and she became his wife. Isaac loved Rebecca, and so he was comforted for the loss of his mother.
SECOND BIBLE READING:
Romans 7: 15-25a
'The struggle of the sinner-saint'(NIV)
I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature.
For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For what I do is not the good I want to do; no, the evil I do not want to do -this I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it.
So I find this law at work: When I want to do good, evil is right there with me. For in my inner being I delight in God's law; but I see another law at work in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within my members.
What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? Thanks be to God - through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Matthew 11: 16-19, 25-30
'Jesus reveals the Father, and the weary find rest in him' (GNB)
Jesus said to the crowds, 'Now, to what can I compare the people of this day? They are like children sitting in the market place. One group shouts to the other, "We played wedding music for you, but you wouldn't dance!
We sang funeral songs, but you wouldn't cry!" When John came, he fasted and drank no wine, and everyone said, "He has a demon in him!" When the Son of Man came, he ate and drank, and everyone said, "Look at this man! He is a glutton and wine drinker, a friend of tax collectors and other outcasts!" God's wisdom, however, is shown to be true by its results.'
At that time Jesus said, 'Father, Lord of heaven and earth! I thank you because you have shown to the unlearned what you have hidden from the wise and learned. Yes, Father, this was how you were pleased to have it happen.
'My Father has given me all things. No one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.
'Come to me, all of you who are tired from carrying heavy loads, and I will give you rest.
Take my yoke and put it on you, and learn from me, because I am gentle and humble in spirit; and you will find rest. For the yoke I will give you is easy, and the load I will put on you is light'.
NOTES ON THE READINGS:
GENESIS 24:34-38, 42-49, 58-67:
This charming but lengthy account complements the intricate weaving together of events leading up to the birth of Isaac. The promise to Abraham of descendants occupying the land of Canaan prevented Isaac leaving himself, yet marriage to a godly wife required a return to Haran (Abraham's place of origin). A marriage from among the Canaanites would mean a future generation's confusion of loyalty to God, not to mention interference with God's long-term plans against the Canaanites. Hence the importance of the servant's mission. This reading serves to illustrate that God guides through signs and minor miracles involving even the smaller details of life. It also reminds us that a godly marriage highly enhances a true loving marriage relationship.
ROMANS 7: 15-25a:
The fact that Paul doesn't want to do the things which are wrong shows that he agrees that God's law is right, even though he fails to obey it. This demonstrates that in his innermost soul he is still motivated and controlled by his own inborn sinfulness. Even his honest desire to do what he knows to be right is thwarted because of this. On the one hand he delights in God's law, but at the same time this propensity to evil leads him into wretched misery.
Rescue from this contradictory spiritual upheaval can only come from Christ. For this he gives thanks.
Bible readings for Sunday 13th July 2014:
Genesis 25:19-34, Roman 8: 1-11, Matthew 13: 1-9, 18-23.
1. This week in the Lord's Service - 6th - 13th July:
Please note: Studies continue on 'A Hearing Heart' - 11.00 am at the church and 7.30 pm on Wednesday 16th July at the home of Phil and Dorothea Worpel, 235 Scenic Road, Highton.
Thursday - 10.30 am - Ladies Fellowship Group.
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 - (Non Holy- Communion).
2. 'An Afternoon of Delight':
As a fundraiser for our pipe organ, everyone is invited to come along to an afternoon of music, choral singing and other performances at 'Our Redeemer' on Sunday 27th July at 2.30 pm.
This will be followed by a scrumptious high tea.
Tickets $10.00 per person. RSVP Dorothea Worpel,
Mobile 0407 092 950, or place names on list provided on notice board by Monday 21st July.
Coming up for your diary:
Tuesday 15th July - 12.30 pm - Kaffeestunde.
Tuesday 29th July - 7.00 pm - Church Council.
Sunday 3rd August - Sunday School resumes.
Tuesday 6th August - 7.30 pm - Deacons.
Thursday 7th August - 2.30 pm - Mid-week service with H.C. followed by fellowship afternoon tea.
Sunday 10th August - (A/W) - Half-Yearly meeting.