This week's lectionary readings (especially Psalm 23 and John 10:22-30) are centered around the theme of the Good Shepherd -- and with the deadly shootings at Virginia Tech still in the forefront of the nation's consciousness, these texts may provide a helpful perspective as your people attempt to come to grips with the senseless slaughter of so many "innocent sheep." In this installment of The Immediate Word, team member Paul Bresnahan discusses how Jesus, the true Good Shepherd, laid down his life to protect us and bring "order out of chaos." -- and how the Virginia Tech tragedy offer
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Contents “The Nurturing Trait of Faith” by Keith Wagner “Destinations Unknown” by Keith Wagner
The Nurturing Trait of Faith by Keith Wagner Psalm 67
When Paul met up with Lydia and some other women who were praying and worshipping in Philippi, they were inspired by his words. Lydia was baptized and insisted that Paul be a guest in her home, signifying her passion for the faith.
Perhaps on this holiday weekend, which culturally marks the beginning of summer, it is right for us to think of the image of coming and going. People traditionally do a lot of coming and going during the summer. The change in season combines with the relief from school schedules to make it rather common for folks to do much of their traveling and vacationing during the summer months. You and I as pastors will no doubt have to endure a lot of coming and going that may reflect itself in a dip in attendance.
But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you everything, and remind you of all that I have said to you.” (v. 26)
I am so glad to see you this morning. Know why? It's a time for worship. And more than that, I get to tell you good news. The good news from John's gospel today, is about a very special friend who is here with us today.
But first, how many of you have friends? (children respond)
Jenny was having fun. Her friend Martha had brought a graphical calculator into school. Martha had borrowed the calculator from her older brother, who used it for his advanced maths. He'd been off school for a week, so Martha had figured he wouldn't need his calculator for a while. She and Jenny had soon discovered a great bowling game hidden in the depths of the calculator, and Jenny, to her excitement had just reached level three.