Sunday, July 22, 2018

The Daily Readings for SUNDAY, July 22, 2018 - Ninth Sunday after Pentecost

Feeding the Five Thousand

The Daily Readings
SUNDAY, July 22, 2018 - Ninth Sunday after Pentecost
(Revised Common Lectionary Year B)

Greeting
Grace to you and peace from God our Father and from the Lord Jesus Christ.

Prayer of the Day (Collect)
Almighty God, the fountain of all wisdom, you know our necessities before we ask and our ignorance in asking: Have compassion on our weakness, and mercifully give us those things which for our unworthiness we dare not, and for our blindness we cannot ask; through the worthiness of your Son Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

Confession and Forgiveness
Trusting God's promise of forgiveness, let us confess our sins against God and one another.

Eternal God our creator, in you we live and move and have our being. Look upon us, your children, the work of your hands. Forgive us all our offenses, and cleanse us from proud thoughts and empty desires. By your grace draw us near to you, our refuge and our strength; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.


The Lessons

Old Testament
Jeremiah 23:1-6
Restoration after Exile
23:1 Woe to the shepherds who destroy and scatter the sheep of my pasture! says the Lord. 2 Therefore thus says the Lord, the God of Israel, concerning the shepherds who shepherd my people: It is you who have scattered my flock, and have driven them away, and you have not attended to them. So I will attend to you for your evil doings, says the Lord. 3 Then I myself will gather the remnant of my flock out of all the lands where I have driven them, and I will bring them back to their fold, and they shall be fruitful and multiply. 4 I will raise up shepherds over them who will shepherd them, and they shall not fear any longer, or be dismayed, nor shall any be missing, says the Lord.
The Righteous Branch of David
5 The days are surely coming, says the Lord, when I will raise up for David a righteous Branch, and he shall reign as king and deal wisely, and shall execute justice and righteousness in the land. 6 In his days Judah will be saved and Israel will live in safety. And this is the name by which he will be called: “The Lord is our righteousness.”

The Response
Psalm 23 Dominus regit me
1 The Lord is my shepherd;
I shall not be in want.
2 He makes me lie down in green pastures
and leads me beside still waters.
3 He revives my soul
and guides me along right pathways for his Name's sake.
4 Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I shall fear no evil;

for you are with me;
your rod and your staff, they comfort me.
5 You spread a table before me in the presence of those who trouble me;
you have anointed my head with oil,
and my cup is running over.
6 Surely your goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.

The Epistle
Ephesians 2:11-22
One in Christ
2:11 So then, remember that at one time you Gentiles by birth, called “the uncircumcision” by those who are called “the circumcision”—a physical circumcision made in the flesh by human hands— 12 remember that you were at that time without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. 13 But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. 14 For he is our peace; in his flesh he has made both groups into one and has broken down the dividing wall, that is, the hostility between us. 15 He has abolished the law with its commandments and ordinances, that he might create in himself one new humanity in place of the two, thus making peace, 16 and might reconcile both groups to God in one body through the cross, thus putting to death that hostility through it. 17 So he came and proclaimed peace to you who were far off and peace to those who were near; 18 for through him both of us have access in one Spirit to the Father. 19 So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are citizens with the saints and also members of the household of God, 20 built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the cornerstone. 21 In him the whole structure is joined together and grows into a holy temple in the Lord; 22 in whom you also are built together spiritually into a dwelling place for God.

The Gospel
Mark 6:30-34, 53-56
Feeding the Five Thousand
6:30 The apostles gathered around Jesus, and told him all that they had done and taught. 31 He said to them, “Come away to a deserted place all by yourselves and rest a while.” For many were coming and going, and they had no leisure even to eat. 32 And they went away in the boat to a deserted place by themselves. 33 Now many saw them going and recognized them, and they hurried there on foot from all the towns and arrived ahead of them. 34 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.
Healing the Sick in Gennesaret
6:53 When they had crossed over, they came to land at Gennesaret and moored the boat. 54 When they got out of the boat, people at once recognized him, 55 and rushed about that whole region and began to bring the sick on mats to wherever they heard he was. 56 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.


Here ends the Lessons

Click HERE to read today's Holy Gospel Lesson message

The Apostle's Creed
We believe in God, the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth.

We believe in Jesus Christ, his only son, our Lord. He was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary. He suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried. He descended to the dead. On the third day he rose again. He ascended into heaven, and is seated at the right hand of the Father. He will come again to judge the living and the dead.

We believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen.

Closing Prayer
Lord God, you have called your servants to ventures of which we cannot see the ending, by paths as yet untrodden, through perils unknown. Give us faith to go out with good courage, not knowing where we go, but only that your hand is leading us and your love supporting us; through Jesus Christ ore Lord. Amen.

Blessing
The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face shine on you and be gracious to you; the Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace.

The Bible texts of the Old Testament, Epistle and Gospel lessons are from the New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright 1989 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Church of Christ in the USA, and used by permission. The Collects, Psalms and Canticles are from the Book of Common Prayer, 1979.
He had compassion for them.

"Compassion" The Sermon for SUNDAY, July 22, 2018 - Ninth Sunday after Pentecost


"Compassion"

The Holy Gospel comes to us this morning from Mark the 6th chapter, beginning at the 30th verse.

30* The apostles gathered around Jesus, and told him all that they had done and taught. 31* He said to them, “Come away to a deserted place all by yourselves and rest a while.” For many were coming and going, and they had no leisure even to eat. 32* And they went away in the boat to a deserted place by themselves. 33* Now many saw them going and recognized them, and they hurried there on foot from all the towns and arrived ahead of them. 34* 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. 53* When they had crossed over, they came to land at Gennesaret and moored the boat. 54* When they got out of the boat, people at once recognized him, 55* and rushed about that whole region and began to bring the sick on mats to wherever they heard he was. 56* 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.


Grace and peace to your from our Lord and Savior, Jesus who is the Christ. Amen

"A two year old boy was tired and fretful, all out of sorts, and so was his mother. It was a unusually trying day. Nothing was going right for them. As the day wore on things became even worse. To him everything seemed to go wrong. Mom was yelling at him at every turn he made it seemed. It seemed that life had become one big mountain of frustrations.

Finally, towards the end of the day, when it seemed he couldn’t take any more, he toddled over to the telephone, took the receiver off the cradle and without dialing anything, said to nobody in particular, in a voice of despair, of wanting of desiring some tender loving care, "Give me my Daddy, please."

The two year old boy wanted his Daddy to rescue him from the frustrations, all the hurts, all the trouble, all the brokenness he was feeling in his life. He needed someone else besides his mother to turn to, he needed someone to bring some needed change into his life. He needed someone to care for his feelings, his hurts, his inability to handle the challenges of life, so he asked, "Give me my Daddy, please!"

In our gospel lesson this morning, the people came to Jesus with that same kind of attitude. They needed someone to care for them.

The text says: 33* Now many saw them going and recognized them, and they hurried there on foot from all the towns and arrived ahead of them.

34* 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.

They saw Jesus and ran to him with all the frustrations, the hurts, the troubles in their lives. They ran to Jesus and in a sense said as that boy in our story, "Give me my Daddy, please!"

And notice what the text said 34* 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.

Jesus saw the crowds of people and though he was tired, he had compassion on them. Jesus saw that they needed a shepherd, they needed a guide. They needed a guide and he had compassion on them.

Jesus is like the policeman in the following story:

A pastor wrote, " I was on Time’s Square in New York during rush hour. Thousands of people were crowding and pushing at the corner ready to cross at the intersection. Ten lanes of cars were backed up for blocks screeching their tires and racing their motors waiting for the light to change.

And, suddenly, a mother cat came out of an alley followed by her four little kittens. She started across that busy intersection. The policeman on duty dashed out in the middle of the traffic, at the expense of his life stopped the cars and the people and allowed that mother cat and her kittens to cross in the rush and excitement of life. Everyone stopped and watched this brave act exhibited by the policeman and the calm manner in which that cat and her kittens crossed the busy intersection, because of the sacrificial caring of that policeman."

The policeman had compassion for the mother cat and her kittens, so he guided them across the street. Jesus has compassion for us as a shepherd does for his flock, and he guides us across the busy intersections of life.

The most important verse in our gospel text is compassion. He had compassion for the people. He showed it in the beginning verses of the gospel text and in the later ones, verses 50 and so on.

What does compassion mean? The dictionary says: sympathetic pity and concern for the sufferings or misfortunes of others . And the dictionary says to see the word mercy which means compassion or forgiveness shown toward someone whom it is within one’s power to punish or harm.

Jesus had compassion for the people. He had concern for their suffering. He had mercy, forgiveness for the people.

Jesus is like the man on the horse in the following story:

There’s a story told about a bitter, cold evening in northern Virginia many years ago. An old man sat by a river, waiting for a ride across. His beard was glazed by winter’s frost and the wait seemed endless. His body became numb and stiff from the frigid north wind.

He heard the faint, steady rhythm of approaching hooves galloping along the frozen path. Anxiously, he watched as several horsemen rounded the bend. He let the first one pass by without an effort to get his attention. Then another passed by, and another. Finally, the last rider neared the spot where the old man sat like a snow statue. As this one drew near, the old man caught the rider’s eye and said, "Sir, would you mind giving an old man a ride to the other side? There doesn’t appear to be a passageway by foot."

Reining his horse, the rider replied, "Sure thing. Hop aboard." Seeing the old man was unable to lift his half-frozen body from the ground, the horseman dismounted and helped the old man onto the horse. The horseman took the old man not just across the river, but to his destination, which was just a few miles away.

As they neared the tiny but cosy cottage, the horseman’s curiosity caused him to inquire, "Sir, I notice that you let several other riders pass by without making an effort to secure a ride. Then I came up and you immediately asked me for a ride. I’m curious why, on such a bitter winter night, you would wait and ask the last rider. What if I had refused and left you there?"

The old man lowered himself slowly down from the horse, looked the rider straight in the eyes, and replied, "I’ve been around these here parts for some time. I reckon I know people pretty good." The oldtimer continued, "I looked into the eyes of the other riders and immediately saw there was no concern for my situation. It would have been useless even to ask them for a ride. But when I looked into your eyes, kindness and compassion were evident. I knew, then and there, that your gentle spirit would welcome the opportunity to give me assistance in my time of need."

Those heartwarming comments touched the horseman deeply. "I’m most grateful for what you have said," he told the old man. "May I never get too busy in my own affairs that I fail to respond to the needs of others with kindness and compassion."

With that, Thomas Jefferson turned his horse around and made his way back to the White House. Source: Author unknown

When the people looked into Jesus’ eyes they saw the same thing. When he looked into the eyes of Thomas Jefferson he saw kindness and compassion. When we look to Jesus, we see the same kind of thing, compassion and kindness.

In the movie Greatest Story Ever Told we see the young man Jesus standing in the shadow of a doorway in a town in Palestine observing the misery of mankind such as could be found on any street, in any town in that part of the world, in that day or in ours: the lame, the sick, the mentally deranged, the mean, the cruel, all the inhumanity of the world.

He watched it all. For years he watched it - and it rubbed his feelings raw, but he developed no callouses. He kept his sensitivity intact, and that’s what made him the perfect vehicle through which the divine compassion could enter the world. . .

As he was growing up, Jesus saw the human condition all around him. he saw sickness, he saw death, he saw poverty, he saw broken relationship, etc. He saw it all. So when his time for ministry began, he had already developed the compassionate heart that was needed now he could do something about the human condition. He healed the sick, he gave support to the grieving, he told the people that God loved them as they experienced the human condition.

So when the crowds followed him, he did not send them away but he had compassion on them. He saw their brokenness and he extended the compassion of God’s Son to them.

And that brings us to the question, if Christ had compassion on the crowds, what are we to do?

Martin Luther says in his commentary to Galatians " To love means to bear another’s burdens. Christians must have strong shoulders to bear the burdens of their fellow Christians. "

We must have strong shoulders to bear another burden. We need to have compassion like Christ. Luther says we are to be like "little Christs" in the world.

In the closing story we see that kind of compassion in our world.

The NY Times had a story about a little boy who was riding the bus. He sat so close to a woman dressed in a gray suit that everybody assumed he was her son and she his mother, until finally another lady sat down on the same seat with them.

When the little boy put his feet up on the seat and got the other lady’s dress dirty, she turned to the women in the gray suit and said, "Would you please tell your son to put his feet down because he is getting my dress dirty?"

The lady in the gray suit pushed the boy away and said, "He’s not my son. I’ve never seen him before in my life."

The second lady looked at the little boy sadly for a moment and then started talking with him. She asked him if he was traveling alone.

"Yes," he said, "I always travel alone. My mommy and daddy are both dead and I live with Aunt Clara. But Aunt Clara thinks that Aunt Mildred ought to take her turn in taking care of me too. So whenever she gets tired of me, she sends me to Aunt Mildred. I’m going to Aunt Mildred’s now."

The woman said, "It must be tough traveling alone."

"Yeah," said the little boy, "it is. But I never get lost. But," he said, "sometimes I do get very lonesome. So whenever I see someone with a kind face I sit close to them, and pretend that I belong to them and that they belong to me."

He continued, "I sure hope that Aunt Mildred is home when I get there, because it looks like it is going to rain and I don’t like to be outside when it rains."

The woman reached over and grabbed the boy, hugged him so tight that it almost hurt and wished for a moment that this little boy who wanted so much to belong could belong to her.

God in heaven, we offer our deepest appreciation for the many blessings you shower upon us every day. We are truly humbled by the bounty of your graces. Through this prayer, we ask for the compassion to follow the inspiring example of the good Samaritan. Help us to embrace and bring comfort to those suffering immensely overseas. Amen.


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The Bible texts of the Old Testament, Epistle and Gospel lessons are from the New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright 1989 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Church of Christ in the USA, and used by permission. Sermon written by Pastor Tim Zingale, July 17, 2006.
"and pretend that I belong to them and that they belong to me."

The Morning Prayer for SUNDAY, July 22, 2018


God in heaven, we offer our deepest appreciation for the many blessings you shower upon us every day. We are truly humbled by the bounty of your graces. Through this prayer, we ask for the compassion to follow the inspiring example of the good Samaritan. Help us to embrace and bring comfort to those suffering immensely overseas.
Amen

Verse of the Day for SUNDAY, July 22, 2018


Matthew 16:15-16 (NIV) “But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?” Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.”

Read all of Matthew 16

Listen to Matthew 16

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Un dia a la Vez - No dependas del hombre


No dependas del hombre

Es mejor refugiarse en el Señor que confiar en el hombre.
~ Salmo 118:8 (NVI)

¿Te has dado cuenta de las muchas veces que en tu vida te has puesto en la posición de «depender» de alguien? Quizá en tu trabajo dependas de alguien. Es obvio que no me refiero a que no respetes a los que están en autoridad. Claro que hay que respetarlos. De lo que hablo es de que tu vida gire en torno a esa persona, que des por sentado que nunca te va a fallar y que confíes más en ella que en Dios, por ejemplo. ¿Sabes que pasa con eso? Lo que pasa es que cuando te falla esa persona que es tan humana como tú, la desilusión es grande y tu dependencia se va al piso.

Para que no sufras es mejor que no dependas de nadie. Así que aprende a depender de manera exclusiva de Dios. Quizá te preguntes: «¿Y cómo lo logro?».

Primero, pídele perdón a Dios en oración por no haberlo puesto a Él ante todo en tu vida. Segundo, pídele que te ayude a fin de que puedas ponerlo en práctica. Tercero, solo dale la oportunidad a Dios que te sorprenda. Él, que es amor, te demostrará con muchos detalles que se preocupa por tu bienestar. Por último, lee la Palabra. Allí encontrarás muchas promesas que, cuando las analices, serás capaz de ver que Él sí ha estado dispuesto a bendecirte.

Un Día a la Vez Copyright © by Claudia Pinzón
¿Te has dado cuenta de las muchas veces que en tu vida te has puesto en la posición de «depender» de alguien?

Standing Strong Through the Storm - THE VALUE OF SALT


THE VALUE OF SALT

Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.

At the end of His Beatitudes, Jesus stated that His followers were to be salt and light in the world. Salt was highly valued in the ancient world for four special qualities:
  1. Its purity - glistening white and coming from the sun and the sea, it was the most primitive of all offerings to the gods. If we are to be salt, we must be an example of purity. In the world, efforts to lower standards of honesty, diligence in work, conscientiousness and morality are going on all the time. The Christian must be the person who holds aloft the standard for purity of speech, conduct and thought. Words cannot be effective unless backed up by pure living.

  2. It was inexpensive but precious - Christians may seem few, insignificant and of no consequence to society. In 1 Corinthians 1:26-31, Paul addressed the early church with the concept that though few in numbers, lowly and unimportant, Christians are called to exercise godly influence over the whole of society.
  3. As a preservative to keep meat from going bad - salt rubbed into meat slowed the rotting process. Christians whose lives exhibit “blessedness” will have a preserving impact upon a society that, if left to itself, will rot and deteriorate. In Judges 9:45, Abimelech, after defeating the city of Shechem destroyed it and scattered salt all over it. Spiritually, this is what the Christian does when he takes his stand for God in society. He makes that society, be it his friends in school, his fellow students at college, his co-workers, or those with whom he plays sports, less fertile soil for other ungodly influences. We too can have a preserving witness, by being involved with this world gone wrong, if we will pay the price.
  4. To season food - salt brings out the distinctive flavor of food. The increase of God’s people should increase the flavor of life in many different ways. By His very presence, Jesus raised the spirits of people. There was a quality about His life that could not be explained in natural terms. As our verse for today says, our speech especially should be seasoned with salt. In this context Paul also talks about not grieving the Holy Spirit. Since speech is linked to a person’s spiritual state and has tremendous potential for building up or tearing down (James3:3-12), the constant reminder is to watch not only what is allowed to come forth but how it comes.
By our presence, participation and penetration of society, in our daily contacts in our neighborhood and community, we are to bring the flavor of Christ to an unbelieving world. 

RESPONSE: Today I will check my conversation and be sure I season it with the salt of purity.

PRAYER: Lord, forgive me when I grieve Your Holy Spirit by what I do and what I say and how I say it.

Standing Strong Through The Storm (SSTS), a daily devotional message by SSTS author Paul Estabrooks. © 2011 Open Doors International. Used by permission.

LHM Devotion - July 22, 2018 - Stress Reliever

https://www.lhm.org/dailydevotions/default.asp?date=20180722

Daily Devotions from Lutheran Hour Ministries

"Stress Reliever"

Jul. 22, 2018

(Jesus said) "Come to Me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest."
~ Matthew 11:28 (ESV)

There are good days, and days which are, well, you know ... days when

* the alarm doesn't go off and if it did, you shut it off and went back to sleep;

* it's raining and your umbrella is nowhere to be found;

* one child just remembered he is responsible for show-and-tell, and your other child is crying because he has a stomach ache;

* you can't find your keys and when you do, you find one of the tires looks flat.

Stress has a way of taking little things, blowing them out of proportion, and transforming kind-and-gentle you into a touchy, short-tempered grouch. We know we are not fit to be around, and we know we should curb our temper, but we just can't manage to pull off nice.

Our stress can break free at the most inconvenient times; it can lash out at any unsuspecting soul who crosses our path.

Now I've looked through a few translations of the Bible and the vast majority of them don't have a single reference to the word "stress." That doesn't mean, however, that stress is confined to our modern age.

* Joseph's string of unfortunate episodes must have put the poor fellow under stress.

* Listening to the continuous complaints of his people must have stressed out Moses.

* In the Garden of Gethsemane Jesus sweat, as it were, great drops of blood. I can't imagine a more stressful situation than facing an unfair death while you are carrying the sins of the entire world.

Over the centuries humankind has developed many ways to deal with stress. They can be as uncomplicated as "finding your happy place" or as physically taxing as high-temperature yoga. The problem with all these programs is they depend on the individual to bring about his own healing.

And that "Physician, heal thyself" plan of action doesn't always work so well.

No, if we really want to de-stress ourselves, we would do better to go to our Maker and listen to what He has to say about the matter. If we do, we will be amazed to see the number of times the Lord has dealt with the subject and given us advice. He says we should

* cast all our burdens on the Lord, and He will sustain us (see Psalm 55:22);

* not be anxious, since we can make our needs known to the Lord (see Philippians 4:6);

* remember He is a stronghold for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble (see Psalm 9:9).

God's invitation list shows that our stress has met its match in the Savior's presence.

THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, a sinful world will produce stress. May I always give thanks for the love of my Savior who asks us to cast our burdens on Him. In Jesus' Name. Amen.

Use these devotions in your newsletter and bulletin! Used by permission; all rights reserved by the Int'l LLL (LHM).
There are good days, and days which are, well, you know ...

Notre Pain Quotidien - Espérer envers et contre tout

https://www.ministeresnpq.org/2018/07/22/esperer-envers-et-contre-tout/

Espérer envers et contre tout


C’est ma consolation dans ma misère, car ta promesse me rend la vie. Psaume 119.50

Parmi les centaines de méditations que j’ai écrites pour le Notre Pain Quotidien depuis 1988, quelques‑unes me restent en mémoire. L’une d’elles remonte au milieu des années 1990, lorsque j’ai raconté que nos trois filles étaient en colonie de vacances ou en voyages missionnaires, si bien que le petit Steve alors âgé de 6 ans et moi avons passé du temps entre garçons.

En excursion avec moi vers l’aéroport, Steve s’est tourné vers moi et m’a dit : « C’est pas aussi amusant sans Melissa », sa sœur et copine de 8 ans. Ni l’un ni l’autre ne savait à l’époque à quel point cette remarque allait devenir émouvante. En effet, la vie n’a pas été « aussi amusante » depuis que Mell a trouvé la mort dans un accident de voiture alors qu’elle était adolescente. Le passage du temps peut adoucir la douleur, mais rien ne peut l’éliminer. Voici toutefois quelque chose qui peut nous venir en aide : accueillir, méditer et savourer la consolation que nous promet le Dieu de toutes consolations.

Accueillir : « Les bontés de l’Éternel ne sont pas épuisées, ses compassions ne sont pas à leur terme » (LA 3.22).

Méditer : « Car il me protégera dans son tabernacle au jour du malheur » (PS 27.5).

Savourer : « C’est ma consolation dans la misère, car ta promesse me rend la vie » (PS 119.50).

Même si après le départ d’un être cher la vie n’est plus jamais la même, les promesses de Dieu nous procurent espoir et consolation.

La Parole de Dieu est la véritable source de consolation.


© 2018 Ministères NPQ
Parmi les centaines de méditations que j’ai écrites pour le Notre Pain Quotidien depuis 1988, quelques‑unes me restent en mémoire.