21st July 2013

Ninth Sunday after Pentecost
21 July 2013

157, 379, Ps 15 (LH 308), 246, 45, 148.

Hear the Word of the Lord as it is written in
Genesis 18: 1-10a;

'A son promised to old Abraham and Sarah'

The Lord appeared to Abraham near the great trees of
Mamre while he was sitting at the entrance to his tent in the heat of the day. Abraham looked up and saw three men standing nearby. When he saw them, he hurried from the entrance of his tent to meet them and bowed low to the ground.
He said, 'If I have found favour in your eyes, my lord,
do not pass your servant by. Let a little water be brought, and then you may all wash your feet and rest under this tree. Let me get you something to eat, so you can be refreshed and then go on your way - now that you have come to your
servant.' 'Very well,' they answered, 'do as you say.'
So Abraham hurried into the tent to Sarah. 'Quick,' he
said, 'get three seahs of the finest flour and knead it and
bake some bread.'
Then he ran to the herd and selected a choice, tender calf and gave it to a servant, who hurried to prepare it.
He then brought some curds and milk and the calf that had been prepared, and set these before them. While they ate,
he stood near them under a tree.
'Where is your wife Sarah?' they asked him.
'There, in the tent,' he said.
Then one of them said, 'I will surely return to you about this time next year, and Sarah your wife will have a son.'

Hear the Word of the Lord as it is written in
Colossians 1: 15-28;

'The supremacy of Christ; Paul a servant ' (NIV)

The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn
over all creation. For in him all things were created:
things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him.
He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church; he is
the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy. For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.
Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of your evil behavior. But now he has reconciled you by Christ's physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation - if you continue in your faith, established and firm, and do not move from the hope held out in the gospel. This is the gospel that you heard and that has been proclaimed to every creature under heaven, and of which I, Paul, have become a servant.
Now I rejoice in what I am suffering for you, and I fill
up in my flesh what is still lacking in regard to Christ's
afflictions, for the sake of his body, which is the church.
I have become its servant by the commission God gave me to present to you the word of God in its fullness - the
mystery that has been kept hidden for ages and generations, but is now disclosed to the Lord's people.
To them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.
He is the one we proclaim, admonishing and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone fully mature in Christ.

Hear the Gospel of the Lord as it is written in
Luke 10: 38-42;

'Jesus visits Mary and Martha'

As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord's feet listening to what he said.
But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, 'Lord, don't you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me'.
'Martha, Martha', the Lord answered, 'you are worried and upset about many things, but only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her'.


GENESIS 18:1-10a:
The account reverberates with an intense fervour on Abraham's part to please his guests. The three men are identified later in the chapter. One is the Lord (Jahweh) (v 13), and two are angels (ch 19 v 1).
This event occurs soon after God's detailed revelation to Abraham of the coming miraculous birth of a son to him and Sarah (ch 17).
His meticulous attention to detail as he turns from task to task in the preparations suggests Abraham's awareness of the true identity of his guests and a possible covenantal aspect to the meal. The uncustomary enquiry after Sarah and announcement about her coming motherhood powerfully suggest the importance and nearness of the birth. The Lord's promise to return after a year (most translations) not only pinpoints expressly the time, but also indicates it will not come to pass of itself but by the Lord's own agency.

Salvation is at stake when the gospel is set aside for an altered belief system. Paul therefore in this section directs the Colossian Christians back to the only true understanding on which saving faith can rest. He refers firstly to Christ's pre-eminence in the created order and his active role in the initial creation itself. This is the Christ whose blood has expunged the guilt of sin. He reminds them that their blamelessness before God came solely through this gospel message they had heard. On account of this message Paul had suffered, just as Christ suffered, for the sake of the church. The mystery of salvation in its glory is made known plainly to all, including the Gentiles, though it was previously hidden. This message alone empowers and continues spiritual growth and maturity.

LUKE 10:38-42:
This incident teaches how our Lord evaluated the divine word. While Martha was properly and usefully engaged in her preparations, she allowed them to distract her. Mary had chosen to be occupied with the 'share' or 'portion' of Jesus' presence, which was really the primary need, namely to give attention to the word of God. The importance of this saying is emphasised by the 'Martha, Martha!', and the fact that Luke refers to Jesus twice as 'the Lord' (vv 39 and 44).
We are surely taught that what we gain from similar eager searching will certainly generate spiritual life which will never be taken away from us.

Bible readings for Sunday 28th July:
Genesis 18: 20-32,   Colossians 2: 6-15, (16-19),   Luke 11: 1-13.

1. This week in the Lord's Service - 21st - 28th July:

Wednesday - 11.00 am - Group Bible study sessions on Galations continue at the church.
Wednesday - Confirmation class at the church.
Saturday - 11.00 am to 12 noon - Choir practice.
Next Sunday - 9.30 am - Public Divine service (with Holy Communion).
Next Sunday (after worship) - Half -Yearly meeting.

2. 2013 Christian Life Week Camps:
The remaining Christian Life Week Camps for young people 13 -18 years, theme "MeMe's"; are to be held at Tandara Camp, Hall's Gap; as follows:
Green: September 23rd - 27th,
Yellow: September 30th - October 4th.
More information is contained in the camper's and parent's letters, along with registration forms are available from the front foyer. Please see notice
board near kitchen.

3. Concordia College Geelong Reunion:
Old scholars of Concordia College, Adelaide, are gathering for a local reunion on Saturday 3rd August 2013 at 6:30 pm at St. John's Lutheran Church Hall,
165 Yarra Street, Geelong. $35 per person includes complimentary drink on arrival and a three course meal. BYO drinks. You are also welcome to attend
the Sunday morning service at 9:00 am.
RSVP to Concordia Old Collegians Association, 45 Cheltenham Street, Highgate SA 5063 phone 08 8272 0444 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
by Wednesday July 24th. Guest Speaker will be the Concordia principal and congregation members who are not old scholars are also welcome to attend.
4. 'Un-Finished Objects Camp' 2013:
Where: Araluen Lutheran Camp, Angelsea.
When: Friday 9th to Sunday 11th August.
Details of program, camping fees etc along with application form are available from notice board near kitchen.
5. Half-Yearly meeting - 28th July:
For those members who have yet to receive an agenda, some are available from the front foyer to take home today.

Coming up for your diary:
Tuesday 30th July - 7.30 pm - Deacons.
Wednesday 31st July - 7.30 pm - Evening Bible study group meets at the home of Taria and Adam Schulze, Cape Otway Road, Moriac.

Thursday 8th August - 10.30 am - Ladies Fellowship.
Tuesday 13th August - 7.00 pm - Church Council.
Friday 16th August - 9.30 am - Worship Team.
Tuesday 20th August - 12.30 pm - Kaffeestunde.