Shepherding, July 22, 2012

Title:Shepherding, July 22, 2012

We had 43 this Sunday with several people out (Keys and Kunstmans on vacation, Susan Linne von Berg sick with pneumonia). 

Baughmans

We were glad to welcome 3 friends from St. George’s Earl and Pat Baughman (above, with her niece Laura from New Jersey)  as well as a visit from Susan Onderdonk with her wonderful voice. (She played Gospel on the Rivah last year).  Several other people from the area were also here. 

Dew in spider web

This was a rainy Sunday but one which provided a different landscape. The dew were like little jewels on the spider web. The water made the flower blossoms. Grave stones become partially wet contrasting with dry spots. 

Helmut and Nancy July 22, 2012

Helmut and Nancy teamed up at the offertory for "Heal Me Hands of  Jesus". The hymns were closely connected to Jesus’ healing, and trust and the miracle of touch.   Hymn 108  Tis So Sweet – "O How sweet to trust in Jesus just to trust His Cleansing blood. Hymn  140 with the refrain "Thy touch will cleanse me from sin."  The sermon and sermon was about trust and discovering Jesus. Here is the bulletin

Laura Catherine Cookie

We welcomed Laura Long home from California to give the sermon. (Catherine did not get out of writing a sermon. She preached at the 5:30pm service at St. George’s).  This Sunday is about Shepherding through the 23rd Psalm and the Gospel of Mark.   Mark reported the re-gathering of Jesus’ "apostles" (6:30) from a successful mission (cf. 6:7-13) after depicting the death and burial of John last week.  "As he went ashore, he saw a great crowd; and he had compassion for them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd; and he began to teach them many things… And wherever he went, into villages or cities or farms, they laid the sick in the marketplaces, and begged him that they might touch even the fringe of his cloak; and all who touched it were healed.  The readings are here 

Laura started with the concept of Yahweh in the Hebrew scriptures (“I am who I am”), one of power and majesty but yet David in the 23rd Psalm claimed God as “mine”.  “I shall not want” which she contrast with our time of many wants and people failing to confide in Jesus. She went into the background of shepherding with the phrase – “He makes me lie down in green pastures”. A shepherd has to fold a sheep’s legs for that. In the same way we are the sheep to God. We can be as stubborn and need to be forced down. The green pastures are part of the healing God provides. God is also the protector and tests us as we move through the “valley  of the shadow of death.” We need to have confidence and rely on God in our times of trouble

The God of the Old Testament is the same God of the Gospel of John 10:14 “"I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me.”  She remarked that sheep are used to attract lost sheep back to the block.  The church will send a sheep out to bring another sheep home. 

She told a story about an actor and priest. The actor recited the 23rd Psalm with drama and flourish but the older priest simply said it as it was written.  The tag of the story was that the actor knew the Psalm but the priest knew Jesus.  She encouraged us to know Jesus. It has changed her in two ways quoting Hebrews knowing the scriptures and then in John 16:12 to know the Holy Spirit “I have much more to say to you, more than you can now bear.  But when he, the Spirit of truth,  comes, he will guide you into all the truth.”  

She sees Hollywood as her mission.  As she described many in Holywood are walking with “holes in their hearts.”  They need to find Jesus to find the true source of power to help them do the impossible. The disciples are described in Mark as obedient but it was Jesus who laid down his life for us. The congregation obviously appreciated Laura’s message

Our welcoming and greeting party was active after church – "Go in Peace to Love and Serve the Lord"

Dog and Duck

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