Sixth Sunday after Pentecost
20 July 2014
THIS MORNING'S MUSIC OF PRAISE:
503, 136, (N.C.) 142, 228, 846, (L.P.) 901, 900.
FIRST BIBLE READING:
Genesis 28: 10-19a
'Jacob dreams of a ladder from heaven to earth'
Jacob left Beersheba and started toward Haran.
At sunset he came to a holy place and camped there. He lay down to sleep, resting his head on a stone. He dreamed that he saw a stairway reaching from earth to heaven, with angels going up and coming down on it.
And there was the Lord standing beside him. "I am the Lord, the God of Abraham and Isaac," he said. "I will give to you and to your descendants this land on which you are lying. They will be as numerous as the specks of dust on the earth. They will extend their territory in all directions, and through you and your descendants I will bless all the nations.
Remember, I will be with you and protect you wherever you go, and I will bring you back to this land. I will not leave you until I have done all that I have promised you."
Jacob woke up and said, "The Lord is here! He is in this place, and I didn't know it!" He was afraid and said, "What a terrifying place this is! It must be the house of God; it must be the gate that opens into heaven."
Jacob got up early next morning, took the stone that was under his head, and set it up as a memorial. Then he poured olive oil on it to dedicate it to God. He named the place Bethel. (The town there was once known as Luz.)
SECOND BIBLE READING:
Romans 8: 12-25
'Our future glory is beyond compare'
Therefore, brothers and sisters, we have an obligation-but it is not to the sinful nature, to live according to it. For if you live according to the sinful nature, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live.
For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God. The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, "Abba, Father."
The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God's children. Now if we are children, then we are heirs-heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.
I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.
The creation waits in eager expectation for the children of God to be revealed.
For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the freedom and glory of the children of God.
We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the first-fruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption, the redemption of our bodies.
For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what they already have? But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.
Matthew 13:24-30, 36-43
'The parable of the weeds'
Jesus told them another parable: "The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field. But while everyone was sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat, and went away. When the wheat sprouted and formed heads, then the weeds also appeared.
"The owner's servants came to him and said, 'Sir, didn't you sow good seed in your field? Where then did the weeds come from?'
"'An enemy did this,' he replied.
"The servants asked him, 'Do you want us to go and pull them up?'
"'No,' he answered, 'because while you are pulling the weeds, you may uproot the wheat with them. Let both grow together until the harvest. At that time I will tell the harvesters: First collect the weeds and tie them in bundles to be burned; then gather the wheat and bring it into my barn.'"
Then he left the crowd and went into the house. His disciples came to him and said, "Explain to us the parable of the weeds in the field."
He answered, "The one who sowed the good seed is the Son of Man. The field is the world, and the good seed stands for the people of the kingdom. The weeds are the people of the evil one, and the enemy who sows them is the devil. The harvest is the end of the age, and the harvesters are angels.
"As the weeds are pulled up and burned in the fire, so it will be at the end of the age. The Son of Man will send out his angels, and they will weed out of his kingdom everything that causes sin and all who do evil.
They will throw them into the blazing furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Whoever has ears, let them hear.
NOTES ON THE READINGS:
GENESIS 28: 10-19a:
Unable to remain together with his family in Canaan because of his brother Esau's intention to kill him for obtaining the birthright and blessing by trickery, Jacob was fleeing to Haran. Although he was the covenant bearer by virtue of the blessing pronounced on him by old Isaac, Jacob's status was in retrogression. Cut off from the land promised by God to Abraham and his descendants, the dream re-established him under the reassurance of God's providing care through the ascending and descending angels. This appearance and the word of God brought affirmation by way of the covenant as given to Abraham in every detail.
As in the parable of the sower, the devil is seen to be active in sowing his seed of evil alongside the work of God. The point of the parable turns on human inability to determine the genuineness of church life or an individual's life on the evidence of an outward expression of faith. At the final judgment God's infallible scrutiny will determine the 'weeds' from the 'wheat' and the eternal future of both. Until then, the church must exercise responsible restraint against forcibly reacting to what appears to be a threat to Christ's kingdom. Otherwise mere human weakness, which can still be remedied, may be the reason for denying a fellow soul the blessings of eternal life. This parable, of course, does not preclude the necessity of church discipline in the case of deliberate protracted public denial of Christ's teaching by word and/or deed.
Bible readings for Sunday 27th July 2014:
Genesis 29: 15-28, Romans 8: 26-39, Matthew 13: 31-33, 44-52.
1. This week in the Lord's Service- 20th - 27th July: Wednesday - Studies continue on 'A Hearing Heart' - 11.00 am at the church and 7.30 pm on Wednesday
30th July at the home of Phil and Dorothea Worpel, 235 Scenic Road, Highton. All welcome!
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 final reminder of an upcoming fundraiser for our church 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, home phone 03 52 215466 or place names on list provided on notice board by tomorrow, (Monday 21st July).
3. 'Unfinished Objects' Camp:
Where: Araluen Lutheran Camp, Angelsea.
When: Friday 8th to Sunday 10th August, 2014.
For further details/application form, please see notice board near kitchen.
Coming up for your diary:
Friday 25th July - 7.30 pm - YPQ& A.
Tuesday 29th July - 7.00 pm - Church Council.
Friday 1st August - 9.30 am - Worship Team.
Sunday 3rd August - Sunday School resumes.
Wednesday 6th August - 7.30 pm - Deacons.
Thursday 7th August - 2.30 pm - Mid-week service with H.C. followed by fellowship afternoon tea - All welcome to come along!
Sunday 10th August - (A/W) - Half-Yearly meeting.
Thursday 14th August - 10.30 am - Ladies F'ship.
Tuesday 19th August - 12.30 pm - Kaffeestunde.