First Church had been declining in membership and attendance for years. Twenty years
ago worship attendance was 220, but had dwindled down to 53. Every three or four years
they would receive a new pastor. With each new pastor they hoped he or she would be
able to bring new members into the church.
Across the street from the church was a bowling alley. Over the years, the people in the
church complained when beer cans were found in front of the church. On Saturday night,
the bowling alley would be filled with people. One pastor challenged the congregation to
UPCOMING WEEKS In addition to the lectionary resources there are thousands of non-lectionary, scripture based resources...
Thomas Willadsen Mary Austin Dean Feldmeyer Ron Love Bethany Peerbolte Christopher Keating George Reed
For August 25, 2019:
And a Little Child Shall Lead Them… by Tom Willadsen — There is no question of the passion, sincerity and prophetic nature of the work of young people confronting the most urgent and divisive issues we face as a society.
Literature is full of stories of mistaken identity. Sometimes the results are comic and other times tragic. But failing to recognize with whom you are dealing is never without consequence.
The pages of Scripture are filled with highest-order instances of mistaken identity. The residents of Sodom, for example, don’t know whom they are threatening. The Pharaoh of Egypt does not recognize the hand of Israel’s God at work. And the Jewish leaders who thought that Jesus was an agent of Beelzebul had it all wrong.
Perhaps what most people crave in today's world, is to love and to be loved. But it may also be true that not many people outside the church would use quite that terminology. Some people might say that they're looking for happiness, others might settle for contentment, especially the contentment of knowing that their family is happy and secure. Yet others might express their desires in different ways , such as the longing for good health or the desire for wealth, but probably at the root of all these wishes is the search for happiness.
Today, and for the next several weeks, the Revised Common Lectionary devotes attention to one of the most intriguing figures in all of the Old Testament -- the prophet Jeremiah. Jeremiah began his work as the bearer of God's word to the nation of Judah during the time of King Josiah's reign in 627 BC. His prophesying continued even as Judah's brightest and best were forced to leave their homeland for exile in Babylon in approximately 586 BC.