Tenth Sunday after Pentecost
17 August 2014
THIS MORNING'S HYMN'S OF PRAISE:
777, 159, 392, 87,835, 436 (3,4), 844.
FIRST BIBLE READING:
Genesis 45: 1-15;
'Joseph makes himself known to his brothers'
Joseph was no longer able to control his feelings in front of his servants. So he ordered them all to leave the room. No one else was with him when Joseph told his brothers who he was. He cried with such loud sobs that the Egyptians heard it, and the news was taken to the king's palace. Joseph said to his brothers, 'I am Joseph. Is my father still alive?'
But, when his brothers heard this, they were so terrified that they could not answer. Then Joseph said to them, 'Please come closer'. They did, and he said, 'I am your brother Joseph, whom you sold into Egypt. Now do not be upset or blame yourselves because you sold me here. It was really God who sent me ahead of you to save people's lives.
This is only the second year of famine in the land; there will be five more years in which there will be neither ploughing nor reaping. God sent me ahead of you to rescue you in this amazing way and to make sure that you and your descendants survive.
So it was not really you who sent me here, but God. He has made me the king's highest official. I am in charge of his whole country. I am the ruler of all Egypt.
'Now hurry back to my father and tell him that this is what his son Joseph says, "God has made me ruler of all Egypt; come to me without delay.
You can live in the region of Goshen, where you can be near me - you, your children, your grandchildren, your sheep, your goats, your cattle, and everything else that you have.
If you are in Goshen, I can take care of you. There will still be five years of famine; and I do not want you, your family, and your livestock to starve"'.
Joseph continued, 'Now all of you, and you too, Benjamin, can see that I am really Joseph. Tell my father how powerful I am here in Egypt and tell him about everything that you have seen. Then hurry and bring him here'.
He threw his arms around his brother Benjamin and began to cry. Benjamin also cried as he hugged him. Then, still weeping, he embraced each of his brothers and kissed them. After that, his brothers began to talk with him.
SECOND BIBLE READING:
Romans 11: 1, 2a, 29-32;
'The salvation of the Jews as well as the Gentiles'
I ask, then: Did God reject his own people? Certainly not! I myself am an Israelite, a descendant of Abraham, a member of the tribe of Benjamin. God has not rejected his people, whom he chose from the beginning.
For God does not change his mind about whom he chooses and blesses. As for you Gentiles, you disobeyed God in the past; but now you have received God's mercy because the Jews were disobedient. In the same way, because of the mercy that you have received, the Jews now disobey God, in order that they also may now receive God's mercy. For God has made all people prisoners of disobedience, so that he might show mercy to them all.
Matthew 15: 10-20, 21-28;
'The healing of an unclean woman's daughter'
Jesus called the crowd to him and said, "Listen and understand. What goes into a man's mouth does not make him 'unclean,' but what comes out of his mouth, that is what makes him 'unclean.' "
Then the disciples came to him and asked, "Do you know that the Pharisees were offended when they heard this?"
He replied, "Every plant that my heavenly Father has not planted will be pulled up by the roots. Leave them; they are blind guides. If a blind man leads a blind man, both will fall into a pit."
Peter said, "Explain the parable to us."
"Are you still so dull?" Jesus asked them. "Don't you see that whatever enters the mouth goes into the stomach and then out of the body? But the things that come out of the mouth come from the heart, and these make a man 'unclean.'
For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander. These are what make a man 'unclean'; but eating with unwashed hands does not make him 'unclean.' "
Leaving that place, Jesus withdrew to the region of Tyre and Sidon. A Canaanite woman from that vicinity came to him, crying out, "Lord, Son of David, have mercy on me! My daughter is suffering terribly from demon-possession."
Jesus did not answer a word. So his disciples came to him and urged him, "Send her away, for she keeps crying out after us." He answered, "I was sent only to the lost sheep of Israel."
The woman came and knelt before him. "Lord, help me!" she said.
He replied, "It is not right to take the children's bread and toss it to their dogs."
"Yes, Lord," she said, "but even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their masters' table."
Then Jesus answered, "Woman, you have great faith! Your request is granted." And her daughter was healed from that very hour.
NOTES ON THE READINGS:
If anyone might have been tempted to exact pay-back from someone who had wronged him it would surely be Joseph. Rather, now in the position of power, he chose the higher ground of loving generosity expressed in total forgiveness of his brothers. They, full of evil intentions, had sold him to foreigners into slavery. Wrongful imprisonment followed. Joseph could see that it was the hand of God which had brought him to Egypt to save many people from starvation over and above his brothers' evil intentions. His whole life was governed by his love for God, hence his care for the family.
ROMANS 11: 1,2a,29-32:
The Jews had often rejected God right through their history. Had God therefore abandoned them? Paul's answer is a definite NO. He himself was a proof of this (vv 1,2).
He also feels sure that just as their rejection of Christ led to the inclusion of the Gentiles (heathen), so God will also save the Jews one day through Gentile believers. God's kingdom is open to all unrighteous people, Jews or Gentiles, to all who will but repent and believe the gospel.
MATTHEW 15: (10-20)21-28:
The Canaanite woman's initial piteous cry for help was met by silence from the Lord. Her faith was further put to the test by his seeming heavy rebuff. A Gentile, she yet continued to call on him as 'Messiah' (Son of David) to help. Jesus honoured that persistent expression of faith. Faith is the key to receiving the blessings of Christ, regardless of race, sex, colour or ability.
Bible readings for Sunday 24th August 2014:
Exodus: 8- 2: 10, Romans 12 1-8, Matthew 16: 13- 20.
1. This week in the Lord's Service - 17th - 24th Aug:
This morning - Sunday School.
Tuesday - 12.30 pm - Kaffeestunde.
Wednesday - Studies continue on 'A Hearing Heart' - 11.00 am at the church and 7.30 pm on Wednesday 3rd September at the home
of Phil and Dorothea Worpel, 235 Scenic Road, Highton. All most welcome to come along!
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. LCA 'Ordination' Resources:
Further notice is given that as an assist to members in sourcing information, the link for the "Ordination" resources on the LCA website is:
The link for the "Ordination, We're Listening,"
The Dialogue resources are under the section headed "Engaging" on that same page.
The direct link is: http://owl.lca.org.au/?cat=6
4. Performance by Robin Mann:
Writer of songs (like 'Father Welcomes', 'May the feet of God walk with you' 'Feed us now'), compiler of songbooks (All Together Now ... & 5 more), singer,
guitar player, worship leader, husband of Dorothy, long-time Christian on the low-way, Adelaidean, inter- denominational Lutheran, father of Kris, Jon & Thom
Robin is coming to Geelong for a sing-a-long and to share with us some of the new songs from the latest 'All Together' song book.
When: Sunday, 5th October, 2014.
Time: 5.30pm for dinner. (bring a plate ofsomething to share) - 6.30pm for singing.
Venue: St John's Lutheran Church, Yarra St.
Cost: Donations taken on the night.
Coming up for your diary:
Friday 5th September - 7.30 pm - YPQ&A
Thursday 11th September - 10.30 am - L.F.G.
Tuesday 16th September -12.30 pm - Kaffeestunde.
Tuesday 7th October - 7.30 pm - Deacons.
Friday 10th October - 9.30 am - Worship Team.
Tuesday 14th October - 7.00 pm - Church Council.