All posts by john

Eve, the mother of all who live — this week at ELC

Eve 2

 

In the story of the garden of Eden we hear of both blessing and disobedience, and through it all, God’s presence and care.  Years of interpretation have given us a certain view of the impact of this tale, but perhaps we need to look at Eve, and ourselves in a little different light.

Worship this week:

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

Sunday – 8:30 a.m. Traditional

10:00 am. Contemporary

Devotions for this week:  Eve

SHARE:   What was a high point of your day? What was a low point?

READ: Read the following daily readings to deepen your understanding

Sunday, Genesis 1:26-31  The first telling creating humans

Monday, Genesis 2:4b-25 The second telling

Tuesday, Genesis 3:1-7  The fruit of the tree

Wednesday, Genesis 3:8-24  The consequences

Thursday, Genesis 4:1-16 Cain and Abel

Friday, Genesis 4:25-26 The birth of Seth

Saturday, 2 Corinthians 11:3  Paul cites Eve as example of sin

TALK:  Consider some of these ideas

6So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate; and she also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate. 7Then the eyes of both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made loincloths for themselves.                       Genesis 3:6-7

Eve is often blamed for bringing ‘sin’ into the world.  We have read and re-read this story many times, and it is covered in centuries of interpretation.   Yes, there is disobedience, but what is the Bible trying to convey about human beings and their relationship to God?

 Does the creation story talk only about guilt and sin?

  • Does the story describe the complexity of being human, knowing both the beauty and fragile nature of life?
  • Has Eve been made a scapegoat for all human disobedience?

 PRAY:  Help us Lord, to see both the beauty and the pain in our world and in our actions.  Then help us walk with you, trusting that you still care for us.

BLESS:  May you find wonder in all that God has created.

Tamar, Rahab, & Bathsheba – stories from Jesus’ family tree

Matt 1 1

 

There are interesting stories in Jesus’ family tree.  This week we hear a bit about Tamar, Rahab, and Bathsheba.  The stories of these women are the stuff of scandal, and intrigue, but they become part of Jesus’ family tree.

All worship services this weekend in the air-conditioned fellowship hall.

Saturday at 5:00 p.m.

Sunday at 8:30 a.m. (Traditional) & 10:00 a.m.  (Contemporary)

Devotions for this week:   Tamar, Rahab & Bathsheba

SHARE:   What was a high point of your day? What was a low point?

READ: Read the following daily readings to deepen your understanding

Sunday, Genesis 38:11-26  Tamar’s story

Monday, Joshua 2:1-21  Rahab and the spies

Tuesday, Joshua 6:22-25  Rahab and her family spared

Wednesday, 2 Samuel 11:1-5  David sees Bathsheba

Thursday, 2 Samuel 11:6-25 The death Uriah

Friday, 2 Samuel 12:1-15  Nathan confronts David

Saturday, 2 Samuel 12:19-24  The birth of Solomon

TALK:  Consider some of these ideas

3and Judah the father of Perez and Zerah by Tamar, and Perez the father of Hezron, and Hezron the father of Aram, 4and Aram the father of Aminadab, and Aminadab the father of Nahshon, and Nahshon the father of Salmon, 5and Salmon the father of Boaz by Rahab, and Boaz the father of Obed by Ruth, and Obed the father of Jesse, 6and Jesse the father of King David. And David was the father of Solomon by the wife of Uriah,                                                          Matthew 1:3-6

Jesus’ family tree has some unexpected names, Tamar, Rahab, and Bathsheba  (we’ll meet Ruth later).  These women, all outsiders, come into the story in unusual circumstances, but are named as part of God’s plan of salvation in Jesus.

  • Have you investigated your own family tree?
  • Did you find any unexpected or unusual characters?
  • What does the inclusion of these stories tell us about God’s family and who is part of it?

PRAY:  Dear Lord, your family is often bigger than our imagination.  Help us to see how you call unexpected people into our story.  Amen.

BLESS:  May God enrich your understanding of family today.

Who will play the peacemaker? — This week at ELC

1 sam 25

We continue our series on the women in the Bible story with Abigail, who used her  strength, wisdom, and tact to diffuse a difficult situation.  Her courage in intervening outside of the normal ‘roles’ helps bring safety and justice for her own household and David’s as well.  What could we still learn from Abigail’s witness?

Worship this week:

Saturday — 5:00 p.m. in the chapel

Sunday — 8:30 a.m. Traditional Worship

10:00 a  a.m. Contemporary Worship

Devotions for this week:  Abigail  June 10, 2018

SHARE:   What was a high point of your day? What was a low point?

READ: Read the following daily readings to deepen your understanding

Sunday, 1 Samuel 25:1- 8  David’s dealing with Nabal

Monday, 1 Samuel 25:9-13, Nabal turns David’s servants away

Tuesday, 1 Samuel 25:14-17 Abigail told of Nabal’s actions

Wednesday, 1 Samuel 25:18 – 22 Abigail prepares a plan

Thursday, 1 Samuel 25:23-31 Abigail intervenes with David

Friday, 1 Samuel 25:32-35  David’s response

Saturday, 1 Samuel 25:36-43 The death of Nabal, David & Abigail marry

TALK:  Consider some of these ideas

 32David said to Abigail, “Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel, who sent you to meet me today! 33Blessed be your good sense, and blessed be you, who have kept me today from bloodguilt and from avenging myself by my own hand!

                                                             1 Samuel 25:32-33

When she can see problems arising, Abigail intervenes.  She was a smart, strong, young woman who ultimately helped her husband by going against his wishes.  She uses her wisdom to care for her whole household, and see to the safety of those around her. 

  • Have you ever had to intervene to head off trouble between people?
  • When has someone helped you to see a situation differently?
  • How might we use our wisdom to step in to difficult situations today as well?

PRAY:  Lord, help us to avoid rash words and actions which we might regret, and help us to do what we can to prevent others from causing harm as well.  Give us your grace and courage this day.  Amen.

BLESS:  May God give you grace and good sense for this day!

A strong, wise woman named Deborah – this week at ELC

DeborahGod’s people have a history of straying away from the worship and service of God.   One of the first people called to bring them back was a wise, strong woman named Deborah.  We look at her story and ask ourselves if we are ready to listen to whoever God calls to speak the truth to us today?

Worship this week with Holy Communion:

Saturday – 5:00 p.m. in the chapel

Sunday – 8:30 a.m. Traditional Worship

10:00 a.m. Contemporary Worship

Devotions for this week: Deborah

SHARE:   What was a high point of your day? What was a low point?

READ: Read the following daily readings to deepen your understanding

Sunday, Judges 4:1-5 Israel sins, turns to Deborah

Monday, Judges 6-9:14-16, Deborah & Barak go to battle

Tuesday, Judges 4:17-24 Jael  and Sisera

Wednesday, Judges 5:1-11 Deborah’s song (part 1)

Thursday, Judges 5:12-22 Deborah’s song (part 2)

Friday, Judges 5:23-31 Deborah’s song (part 3)

Saturday, Judges 6:1-10 Israel sins, new judge arises

TALK:  Consider some of these ideas:

8Barak said to her, ‘If you will go with me, I will go; but if you will not go with me, I will not go.’ 9And she said, ‘I will surely go with you; nevertheless, the road on which you are going will not lead to your glory, for the Lord will sell Sisera into the hand of a woman.’      —  Judges 4:8-9

When the people sinned and turned away from God, the Lord raised up a judge to call them back to faithfulness.  Barak looks to Deborah as a source of wisdom and strength, and depends on her counsel and presence before he acts. 

  • When have you had to admit that you needed to change something in your life? Who could you turn to give you guidance and counsel?
  • Women like Deborah were seen as leaders early on in the Bible story, why have later generations been slow to acknowledge the wisdom and strength of women as leaders?

PRAY:  Holy God, help us to recognize your voice speaking through your people, and help us to trust your promise and presence..  Amen.

BLESS:  May you listen to God’s counsel this day. Amen.