“The Harvest is Plentiful”, July 7, 2013

Title:“The Harvest is Plentiful”, July 7, 2013

 Week ending Sunday, July 7, 2013  (full size gallery)

The highlight of this Sunday was the Episcopal Church Men (ECM) picnic as Coffee Hour for July. What a great idea ! We had 35 in church and about 25 stayed for lunch. And what a lunch! Grillmaster Stanley did the honor on the hotdogs and hamburgers but the side dishes were plentiful – potato salad, tortileni salad, blueberry dish, tuna, corn dressing, cole slaw, tomatoes (contributed by Dave Fannan). Desserts include brownies, and various cakes. The children had a great time making mud pies and a number of delicacies – we had more than the usual number of children which was wonderful with Odessa and Johnathan’s family present.  

The weather was great – 80’s with plentiful sun.  Yes, it would have been hot in the open sun but we were in the shade and the humidity was low for the first week in July. 

One important announcement in Church was the completion of the new floor in the Parish House kitchen and bathroom (still under construction). The Royal Caterers (Eunice, Cookie and Betty) made it all possible. Over the years they have cooked for third party functions and contributed their profits to the church. What a generous ministry.!

Also, the ECW made close to $600 on July 4 from lunch sales which will go to their contribution toward various ministries. 

Nancy Long announced that Alex had come home three months early from Afghanistan which garnered an applause.

Catherine thanked  Elizabeth Heimbach, Becky and Tucker Fisher, Catherine Hicks and Cookie and Johnny Davis for providing luncehs to FredCamp at their site #9 in King George just a few miles away. Also as part of outreach, we offered canned foods for Caroline Social services, today. 

The Gospel and sermon centered around Luke which is the concentration of Year C of the Lectionary.  We are in midst of the long travel narrative in Luke (9:51 — 19:28). Jesus "set his face to go to Jerusalem" (9:51) and instructs those who would follow that the journey must be their first priority (9:57-58). Jesus sends the seventy ahead with no provisions for the journey and insists they depend on the hospitality of those in towns who welcome them (10:1-11). (Readings this week are here.)

The sermon concentrated on the what lays ahead in our lives and how to deal with it. The Old Testament reading from Isaiah stressed the Israelites return from Babylon to Jerusalem after 538BC did not find conditions as promised.

That may have been the case with the disciples at the time of Jesus with the sending out of the 70 as well as with us in our time – "We long and work and strive to get somewhere, only to arrive at last and that nothing is as we hoped and expected. " This is true in parenting and particularly in the "golden years" of retirement. 

Jesus message was important with the 70. There are two basic tasks 1. Bring the message, “God’s kingdom has come close to you!” All this is in the present tense and not the future. 2. Show by action. Bring deeds of the kingdom. (Namely, heal the sick.) Tell them the good news that “the kingdom of God has come near to you” (v. 9): it’s partly already here! The teams went out with an urgent message. “Turn around people – and seek peace – God’s reign has come close to you!” The message is timeless. 

The sermon provided hope and guidance for our own lives. "And God watches over us and cares for us as a mother watches over a new born infant, vulnerable and helpless and totally dependent on the mother for survival, totally dependent on the milk from the mother’s breast, totally dependent on the security and safety of the mother’s arms..We can’t know the power and the joyful audacity of this promise of God until we finally let go, admitting our helplessness and vulnerability, and opening ourselves to receive the love of God as an infant nestles in the arms of its mother—totally dependent, totally safe, totally loved. 

With the seventy, "Jesus tells the disciples that the success of their mission will depend on the fact that they know that they are vulnerable and that they must depend on God and on God alone for their success, not on their preparations, not on their own strength, not on their ingenuity, and certainly not as a result of their own power."  They go out in pairs since the work is dangerous but God is with them.

"And yet, Jesus ways to each one of us—“Go your way.”  
—to bring God’s peace, completeness, wholeness, and the evidence of God’s presence and activity—God’s shalom– to the people wherever we’re sent.

"So go your way, let go, drink deeply from God’s consoling breast, let yourself be carried in God’s arms, soak up God’s comfort, flourish even in your weakness, and Rejoice that your names are truly written in heaven." 

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