Pentecost 21 Preview

“Children, how hard it is to enter the kingdom of God! It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.” They were greatly astounded and said to one another, “Then who can be saved?” Jesus looked at them and said, “For mortals it is impossible, but not for God; for God all things are possible.” -Mark 10:25-27

Our Gospel reading from Mark chapter 10 tells of the interaction between Jesus and a rich man. The rich man who comes to ask Jesus what he should do to inherit eternal life is a good man, sincere in his asking. Mark’s Gospel is alone in saying that Jesus looked on him and loved him. Out of love, not as judgment, Jesus offers him an open door to life: sell all you own and give it to the poor.

Our culture bombards us with the message that we will find life by consuming. Our assemblies counter this message with the invitation to find life by divesting for the sake of the other.

Worship Music This Sunday

During our Traditional services we will sing Take My Life That I May Be as the Hymn of the Day. Today’s peppy rendition seems to be in direct opposition to the way the man’s face falls when he learns what he must do to enter the kingdom of heaven. Perhaps this peppy tune can reflect the joy giving one’s life to God can generate, rather than the despair over the loss of what once was.

During the New Day Praise service we will sing I Will Follow. With lyrics, “Where You go I’ll go, Where You stay I’ll stay. When You move I’ll move, I will follow,” we are reminded that our life is a dance and our Lord leads us step by step along the way.

Preaching Theme

Live And Let Go

For Further Reflection: The Word—Bible Readings

As we approach our yearly Reformation celebration focused on God’s saving word of grace, we turn our attention to the Word section of worship. God’s prophecy revealed in Isaiah 55:10-11 tells us: So shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty.

Having gathered for worship, we hear our story as God speaks to us through the word. Yes, this part of the service is not only instruction about God, it is the word of God addressed to us by God. We connect these stories to our own stories today and they become part of God’s loving-kindness and grace shared in our own community.

What does God accomplish in our sharing stories from the Bible on Sunday morning?

How can thinking about the readings as God speaking directly to us change how we worship?

How can it change us?

Are we ready to be changed when we listen to the readings on Sunday morning?

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Rev. Sarah Teichmann

Pastor of Christian Formation

Pastor Sarah served as Pastor of Christian Formation at St. Peter’s from 2014 – 2021. She now serves the wider church as a partner at Kirby-Smith Associates.

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