Greetings, everyone -

 

TODAY AT ST. MARK’S

 

The funeral service for Pr. Roy Jeremiah is today at St. Mark’s Lutheran at 2:30pm. Pr. Jeremiah served many years here at Central before his retirement and many of us were beneficiaries of his ministry. Please keep Helen and the rest of the family in your prayers as they adjust to life without Roy.

 

THIS SUNDAY AT CENTRAL

 

Reminder: There is NO VAN SERVICE THIS SUNDAY. Please make other arrangements if you need a ride to the church.

 

Coffee Hour: Our fellowship time this Sunday is hosted by the CLC Choir.

 

Education Hour: Join us in the Fireside Room at 9:15am for Bible studies, guest speakers, and topical conversations.

 

In Worship: Matthew narrates one of Jesus’ controversial parables, in which Jesus says the reign of God is like workers who get paid the same no matter when they start. When God changes his mind about punishing Nineveh for their evil ways, Jonah is angry. Yet God is gracious and merciful, abounding in steadfast love. In baptism we receive the grace of God that is freely given to all. As Luther wrote, in the presence of God’s mercy we are all beggars.

 

Readings and Psalm

Jonah 3:10--4:11

God’s concern for the city of Nineveh

Psalm 145:1-8

The Lord is slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love. (Ps. 145:8)

Philippians 1:21-30

Standing firm in the gospel

Matthew 20:1-16

The parable of the vineyard workers

 

Discomfort: Sign of Grace?

Poor Jonah. The guy never could get comfortable. He was uncomfortable with his God-given call to preach to Nineveh; he was uncomfortable in the arms of the sailors as they hoisted him over the boat’s edge and tossed him into the sea; he was uncomfortable as the ocean’s raging waves flung him about like flotsam; he was—undoubtedly—uncomfortable in the fish’s belly; and he was uncomfortable and downright angry with God’s mercy on the people of Nineveh. Jonah had a hard time getting comfortable with himself, and, even more so, Jonah was uneasy embracing the wideness of God’s grace.

 

The same can be said about the laborers in Jesus’ parable here in Matthew 20. The laborers who came in the early morning hours grumbled against the landowner because they were paid the same as others who started later and worked fewer hours. These laborers are ill-at-ease with the landowner’s choice “to give to this last the same as I give to you.” Like Jonah, they are uncomfortable with the unchecked mercy offered by the landowner/God. God doesn’t play by our rules, and that can be very discomforting for us all.

 

Our discomfort with grace manifests itself in all sorts of ways. It can be discomforting for us to engage the poor and the outcast of our society. It can be discomforting for us to welcome immigrants into our communities. It can be discomforting to address the pervasive racism that still surrounds us. And it can be very discomforting for us to open our lives to the transforming power of the cross of Christ, whereby “the last will be first, and the first will be last” (Matt. 20:16).

 

Could it be that the more uncomfortable we become with the reckless love of God, the closer we are to understanding the meaning of grace?

 

GIVING FOR HURRICANE RELIEF

If you would like to make a gift to help in relief efforts for those affected by Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, you can do so through our Kiosk or through our website. All moneys received will go to Lutheran Disaster Response for the victims of the hurricanes. Donate here.

 

EXPLORING FAITH (Tuesdays at Noon) begins on Oct. 3rd. (Sorry for the delay…some family medical issues have intervened.) A weekly study that will be broad-based drawing on a variety of resources to consider the role faith plays in our lives and in our world.

 

NEW MEMBERS WILL BE RECEIVED OCT. 29TH

We will be receiving new members during our worship on Reformation Sunday. Currently, ten people have requested to join. While it is not required to “join” the congregation to participate in its ministries, many people find it meaningful to publicly profess their intent to serve God through the mission and ministry of Central. Membership grants an individual the right to vote in congregational meetings and to hold leadership offices in the congregation. If this would interest you and you would like to be included in the group, talk to Pastor Dave.

 

THANK YOU!

Thank you to the CLCW Board who covered dozens of strawberries with chocolate for the Bishop’s installation reception last Saturday. A number of comments have been received that they were the “hit” of the reception.

 

LOOKING AHEAD

-          Saturday, October 14th – CLC Celebration Dinner, 4pm

Special Guest: Former Bishop Martin Wells

Watch for more info coming soon

-          Sunday, October 29th – Reformation 500 Hymn Festival, 3pm

Come explore the 500th commemoration of the Reformation through its music

 

GIVE THANKS TO GOD FOR WHAT YOU HAVE

“You may say to yourself, ‘My power and the strength of my hands have produced this wealth for me.’ But remember the Lord your God, for it is he who gives you the ability to produce wealth . . .” (Deuteronomy 8:17-18).

“Wealth and honor come from you; you are the ruler of all things.  In your hands are strength and power to exalt and give strength to all. Now, our God, we give you thanks, and praise your glorious name” (1 Chronicles 29:12-13).

“What do you have that you did not first receive? And if you did receive it, why do you boast as though you did not?” (1 Corinthians 4:7).

Prayer: Dear Lord, help me to remember that from your hand come all good things. Amen.

 

Blessing on your stewardship journey!

 

See you in worship!

 

Peace,

Pastor Dave

 

 
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