Can we handle the truth? — This week at ELC

1908442_10152298710226008_7621024953899717583_nWhen Nathan confronts David with the truth, he must admit what he had done. How will we handle the uncomfortable truths about our lives? Then will we receive the word of God’s grace in Jesus Christ?

 Worship this week with Holy Communion:

Saturday – 5:00 p.m. in the chapel

Sunday – 8:30 a.m. Traditional Worship

9:30 a.m. Sunday School

10:30 a.m. Contemporary Worship

Devotions for the week:

October 18-19, 2014            Promises Threatened – David and Bathsheba

 One day while King David was walking upon the king’s roof, he saw a beautiful woman bathing. He asked about the woman and discovered she was Bathsheba, wife of Uriah. He sent for her, and lay with her, and she became pregnant.

When David discovered she was pregnant, he sent for Uriah who was serving as a soldier in David’s war. He tried to get Uriah to go home and lie with his wife so that it would seem as though her baby belonged to Uriah. But Uriah was a faithful servant, and soldiers were not to enjoy comforts of home while they were serving. To cover his indiscretion, David had Uriah sent to the front lines of the war, where he was killed. When Bathsheba’s time of mourning was over, David brought her to his house and she became his wife.

All of this angered God, who had given David everything he had ever wanted or needed. God sent the prophet, Nathan, to confront David. Nathan used the story of the rich and poor man to reveal David’s sin. David repented. As a punishment, God did not let his child live. But then God forgave David and remained faithful to God’s covenant with David.

Read:   Follow the stories of Solomon’s birth and rise to power, following the death of his father, David.

Sunday, 2 Samuel 12:1-9; Psalm 51:1-9, David and Bathsheba

Monday, 2 Samuel 12:15b-23, Bathsheba’s Child Dies

Tuesday, 2 Samuel 12:24-25, Solomon Is Born

Wednesday, 1 Kings 1:1-21, The Struggle for Succession

Thursday, 1 Kings 1:22-27, The Struggle for the Succession

Friday, 1 Kings 1:28-53, The Accession of Solomon

Saturday, 1 Kings 2:13-25, Solomon Consolidates His Reign

  • When have you committed a sin that you were unable to see? How did you come to realize your sin? What did you do next?

Do: Write a letter forgiving someone of a sin they committed against you. You need not send it; simply write it, and see how your forgiveness shapes your attitude this week.

 

Who will you serve? — This week at ELC

1969184_10152280185336008_5250028558005772241_nBob Dylan sang it years ago:  “You gotta serve somebody”.  This week we read a recap of all that the Lord had done for God’s people, then in light of all God has done, Joshua asks the people to “Choose this day who you will serve … but as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.”  (Joshua 24:15)  Daily we are still posed the same question.

Worship this week:

Saturday – 5:00 p.m.  Worship in chapel

Sunday – 8:30 a.m.  Traditional Worship

9:30 a.m. -  Sunday School

10:30 a.m. – Contemporary Worship

Devotions for the week ahead:

October 11-12, 2014 Promises Kept — Joshua Renews the Covenant

The first generation of Israelites to be freed from slavery in Egypt proved unfaithful to God, creating and worshiping idols for themselves, despite the overwhelming evidence that God had just delivered them from bondage. As a punishment for their wickedness, God did not allow them to enter the Promised Land, but instead they wandered the wilderness for 40 years; essentially a generation.

The second generation of Israelites were given the gift that their ancestors were denied. God led them into the Promised Land. The land God promised to Abraham and his descendants had finally been given to them. God remained faithful to God’s promise to Abraham, even when God’s people remained unfaithful to God.

Read: Follow the story of how Samuel became the judge who anointed David as king.

Sunday, Joshua 24:1-15, Joshua Renews the Covenant

Monday, 1 Samuel 1:1-28, Samuel’s Birth and Dedication

Tuesday, 1 Samuel 3:1-18, Samuel’s Calling and Prophecies

Wednesday, 1 Samuel 7:3-15, Samuel as Judge

Thursday, 1 Samuel 8:1-22, Israel Demands a King

Friday, 1 Samuel 9:27 – 10:8, Saul Anointing as King

Saturday, 1 Samuel 16:1-13, David Anointed as King

  • Why did the people want a king? What did God want for the people? How did Samuel choose the kings?
  • How are leaders in your community chosen? What might it look like to trust in God rather than trusting in people?
  • What covenants or agreements have you made with God? Are these healthy (commitment to follow) or unhealthy (bargaining) agreements? What commitment can you make to God this week?

God of grace, your word inspires our faith. Speak so that we may clearly see the options we face and have wisdom to choose those that draw us to you. Amen.

 

Command and Covenant — This week at ELC

CommandGod acted powerfully to set the people free from slavery, now God spells out the way in which this newly free people can live well together. We would do well to recall both God’s acts of power for us, and God’s words of instruction for us.

Worship this week with Holy Communion –

Saturday — 5:00 p.m. in the chapel

Sunday — 8:30 a.m. Traditional Worship

9:30 a.m. Sunday School

10:30 a.m. Contemporary Worship

October 4-5, 2014           Promises Kept – Covenant & Commandments

The people of Israel had been slaves in Egypt for over 400 years – many generations. They had forgotten how to govern themselves, as they had been ordered how to live by the Egyptians since birth. Many had likely learned to worship the Egyptian gods of their masters. When they were delivered from slavery in Egypt, they were like sheep without a shepherd.

God gave them what they needed first: deliverance, shelter (they set up camp), and food (manna and quail). Next, God set out to teach them how to govern themselves under God’s rule. God gave Moses Ten Commandments to bring to the people as basic tenants for living safely and peacefully. God’s Ten Commandments were not restrictions as much as they were promises. In each commandment, God promises (explicitly or implicitly) safety, God’s presence, prosperity, serenity, and long life.

Daily Devotions for this week:

Read:Follow the story of how Joshua took Jericho after Moses’ death. See how God led the Israelites during this time.

Sunday, Exodus 19:3-7; 20:1-17, Covenant and Commandments

Monday, Deuteronomy 34:1-12, Moses Dies

Tuesday, Joshua 1:1-9, God’s Commission to Joshua

Wednesday, Joshua 2:1-21, Spies Sent to Jericho

Thursday, Joshua 3:1-17, Israel Crosses the Jordan

Friday, Joshua 6:1-14, Jericho Taken and Destroyed

Saturday, Joshua 6:15-27, Jericho Destroyed and Rahab Spared

  • How did God lead the Israelites, through Joshua, during this time of transition into the Promised Land? How did God keep God’s promises?
  • What gods are served in your community other than God (sports, money, progress, etc.)? Which gods fail to live up to their promises?
  • Which commandments do you find hardest to follow? What gets in your way of following God’s laws?

Precious Creator, in the reading of your word, make us a faithful people. Shape our lives to bring glory to your name. Amen.

Rescue at Sea – This week at ELC

RescueAs God’s people escaped slavery in Egypt they faced new dangers and uncertainties. Many complained, even wished to go back, but even when all looked hopeless, God created a new future for them. We belong to that same God who, despite our fears and complaints, is still creating a new future for us.

Worship this week:

Saturday at 5:00 p.m. in the chapel

Sunday – 8:30 a.m. Traditional Worship

9:30 a.m. Sunday School

10:30 a.m. Contemporary Worship

September 27-28, 2014                                                        Rescue at the Sea

God’s people, Israel, were slaves in Egypt for over 400 years. They prayed for deliverance. Finally, God heard and answered their prayers. God sent Moses to help free the people from slavery.

Once set free from Egypt, the people fled. But Pharaoh changed his mind, and set out after the people with the plan of bringing them back to Egypt. When the people came to the Red Sea, it appeared they were trapped. But God held Pharaoh’s armies back with pillars of fire and cloud. Then God parted the sea with a strong east wind so that the dry land appeared, and the people crossed safely. God allowed Pharaoh’s armies to follow, then clogged their chariot wheels to slow down their pursuit long enough to trap them in the seabed. Once trapped, God released the waters and the armies were drowned and washed away. God’s people were truly free. God had delivered them from slavery.

Read:Follow the stories of God’s continued faithfulness to the people, despite their complaining and lack of faith.

Sunday, Exodus 14:10-14, 21-29, Rescue at Sea

Monday, Exodus 15:1-21, Songs of Moses and Miriam

Tuesday, Exodus 15:22-27, Bitter Water Made Sweet

Wednesday, Exodus 16:1-21, Bread from Heaven

Thursday, Exodus 17:1-7, Water from the Rock

Friday, Exodus 17:8-16, Amalek Attacks Israel and Is Defeated

Saturday, Exodus 18:13-27, Jethro’s Advice

How did God respond to the people’s requests and their complaining?

  • What is your community enslaved to? (technology, peer pressure, economy?) How might God deliver you and your community from enslavement to these things?

Do: Free yourself of one thing that entraps you this week. If you are a slave to your schedule, remove some events to make time for yourself and God.