When asked by the Pharisees which commandment was the greatest, Jesus responded with two: "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind" and "You shall love your neighbor as yourself." On this World Communion Sunday, we gather around the Lord's Table as neighbors across the globe, sharing in God's love for us and for one another.
Today's scripture is an episode from the Exodus of the Israelites as they journey from Egypt to the Promised Land. When they discover they have run out of water in the middle of the desert, they quarrel and complain to Moses. "Why did you bring us out of Egypt to kill us with thirst?", they cry out. Moses responds in frustration, "What shall I do with these people?" God instructs Moses to strike the rock at Horeb with his staff to produce water to save them. Today, we still quarrel with one another and test God. What does the ancient story tell us about God and our faith when we find ourselves in dire straits?
Today we reflect upon the parable of the Laborers in the Vineyard. A landowner goes out and hires laborers at different times of the day to work in his vineyard. At the end of the day, the landowner paid each of them the usual daily wage regardless of how many hours they worked. When those who worked all day complained that this was unfair, the landowner replied that it was his choice to be generous and pay everyone the same wage. So it is with God's grace: it is a gift to us, not based on merit, but on God's generosity.
Peter asks Jesus how many times he should forgive a church member. Really, Peter is asking if there are limits to forgiveness and mercy. Jesus illustrates the parable of the unforgiving servant: there are no limits to our forgiveness.
Jesus outlines a procedure for settling disputes within the church. He concludes with the teaching, "For where two or three are gathered in my name, I am there among them." We look today at how Christ's presence is manifested in communities, both large and small, and in the sharing of Holy Communion.
Jesus foretells his death and the cross to his disciples. The news is unwelcome to them and He provides them with the perspective they need in the face of the unfortunate.
Peter is giving his name and his pronouncement from Jesus. For knowing He is the Son of Man, Peter is to become the foundation of the world wide and massive Christian church.
The Canaanites are enemies of the Israelites, but desperate, one of them comes pleading to Jesus for mercy. His reaction is at first all too human, but he finds compassion in their conversation.
Peter's faith allowed him to walk on water... for a moment. Pastor's Greg and Kristie show how this miracle and the sink or swim moment is relevant in our current time.
The pandemic and online only worship continues into another month of 2020. We gather this morning to celebrate the ongoing good works of our Good Shepherd Ministry Center and to hear from our new Pastori, Rev. Kristie Grimaud.