Fifth Sunday after Pentecost
Many thanks to Mark Gerhardy for leading our worship service this morning
13 July 2014
THIS MORNING'S MUSIC OF PRAISE:
388, 430, 246, 221, 67, 844.
FIRST BIBLE READING:
Genesis 25: 19-34
'Jacob gains the birthright of Esau
This is the genealogy of Isaac, Abraham's son. Abraham begot Isaac. Isaac was forty years old when he took Rebekah as wife, the daughter of Bethuel the Syrian of Padan Aram, the sister of Laban the Syrian.
Now Isaac pleaded with the Lord for his wife, because she was barren; and the Lord granted his plea, and Rebekah his wife conceived. But the children struggled together within her; and she said, "If all is well, why am I like this?" So she went to inquire of the Lord.
And the Lord said to her:
"Two nations are in your womb,
Two peoples shall be separated from your body;
One people shall be stronger than the other,
And the older shall serve the younger."
So when her days were fulfilled for her to give birth, indeed there were twins in her womb. And the first came out red. He was like a hairy garment all over; so they called his name Esau. Afterward his brother came out, and his hand took hold of Esau's heel; so his name was called Jacob. Isaac was sixty years old when she bore them.
So the boys grew. And Esau was a skillful hunter, a man of the field; but Jacob was a mild man, dwelling in tents. And Isaac loved Esau because he ate of his game, but Rebekah loved Jacob.
Now Jacob cooked a stew; and Esau came in from the field, and he was weary. And Esau said to Jacob, "Please feed me with that same red stew, for I am weary." Therefore his name was called Edom.
But Jacob said, "Sell me your birthright as of this day."
And Esau said, "Look, I am about to die; so what is this birthright to me?"
Then Jacob said, "Swear to me as of this day."
So he swore to him, and sold his birthright to Jacob. And Jacob gave Esau bread and stew of lentils; then he ate and drank, arose, and went his way. Thus Esau despised his birthright.
SECOND BIBLE READING:
'You are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit'
There is no condemnation now for those who live in union with Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit, which brings us life in union with Christ Jesus, has set me free from the law of sin and death. What the Law could not do, because human nature was weak, God did.
He condemned sin in human nature by sending his own Son, who came with a nature like our sinful nature, to do away with sin. God did this so that the righteous demands of the Law might be fully satisfied in us who live according to the Spirit, and not according to human nature.
Those who live as their human nature tells them to, have their minds controlled by what human nature wants. Those who live as the Spirit tells them to, have their minds controlled by what the Spirit wants.
To be controlled by human nature results in death; to be controlled by the Spirit results in life and peace. And so people become enemies of God when they are controlled by their human nature; for they do not obey God's law, and in fact they cannot obey it. Those who obey their human nature cannot please God.
But you do not live as your human nature tells you to; instead, you live as the Spirit tells you to - if, in fact, God's Spirit lives in you. Whoever does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him.
But if Christ lives in you, the Spirit is life for you because you have been put right with God, even though your bodies are going to die because of sin.
If the Spirit of God, who raised Jesus from death, lives in you, then he who raised Christ from death will also give life to your mortal bodies by the presence of his Spirit in you.
Matthew 13: 1-9,18-23
'The parable of the sower'
That same day Jesus went out of the house and sat by the lake. Such large crowds gathered around him that he got into a boat and sat in it, while all the people stood on the shore.
Then he told them many things in parables, saying:
"A farmer went out to sow his seed. As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up. Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow.
But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root.
Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants. Still other seed fell on good soil, where it produced a crop - a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown. Whoever has ears, let them hear."
"Listen then to what the parable of the sower means: When people hear the message about the kingdom and do not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what was sown in their hearts. This is the seed sown along the path.
The seed falling on rocky ground refers to people who hear the word and at once receive it with joy. But since they have no root, they last only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, they quickly fall away.
The seed falling among the thorns refers to people who hear the word, but the worries of this life and the deceitfulness of wealth choke the word, making it unfruitful.
But the seed falling on good soil refers to people who hear the word and understand it. They produce a crop, yielding a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown.
NOTES ON THE READINGS:
As with Sarah, God overruled Rebecca's barrenness to enable the fulfilment of his promise to Abraham of a nation of descendants. No doubt Isaac's prayer was caused by his belief in the promise. The answer to his prayer included a crisis for Rebecca though, once again a part of God's future workings. This time the prophecy pointed to the relationship of two nations, the natures of both boys also prefiguring future history. While Jacob's dealing were not always wholly admirable, he shows here the spiritual interest and desire which respected God's promises connected with the Abraham-Isaac succession. Esau most emphatically did not.
The indwelling sin of a believer creates many a crisis of conscience (see previous chapter). However, the believing Christian now lives in the Spirit who brings one to faith. God took the condemnatory law and placed its burden on his own Son. Christ himself met the complete requirements of God's law which God rightly demanded of all people. Believers have in this way been set free from the law of sin and death. Therefore no believing Christian can set his/her mind on the things of the 'flesh', ie sinful pleasures which militate against the Spirit's indwelling. Even though a Christian is still afflicted by sin, yet the Spirit imparts life just as the Spirit raised Jesus from the dead.
Bible readings for Sunday 20th July 2014:
Genesis 28: 10-19a, Romans 8: 12-25, Matthew 13: 24-30, 36-43
1. This week in the Lord's Service - 13th - 20th July:
Tuesday - 12.30 pm - Kaffeestunde.
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. 'An Afternoon of Delight':
A further reminder of an upcoming fundraiser for our pipe organ, whereby 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.
3. New Cards - Hall Card Stand:
New birthday and sympathy cards as an 'in- house' resource to members are now available at reasonable prices from the hall card stand.
Coming up for your diary:
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.