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The kingdom of heaven is like… This week at ELC

Wheat-field-700x350Jesus’ story tells of a kingdom where different types live alongside each other, leaving the judgement to God.  Focusing instead on what is truly important.

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, Adult Bible Study and fellowship

10:30 a.m. Contemporary Worship

Devotions for this week:  PARABLES OF THE KINGDOM

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

READ: Read the following daily readings to deepen your understanding

Monday, Psalm 84:1-7, Psalm

Tuesday, Matthew 10:16-42, Coming Persecutions

Wednesday, Matthew 10:26-42, Coming Persecutions

Thursday, Matthew 11:1-19, John the Baptist

Friday, Matthew 11:20-30, Woes

Saturday, Matthew 12:1-8, Teachings of Jesus

 (Go to clergystuff.com/daily-devotions for devotions on the daily readings.)

 TALK: Consider some of these ideas:   The kingdom of heaven may be     

     compared to someone who sowed good seed in his field; but while  

     everybody was asleep, an enemy came and sowed weeds among

     the  wheat …”                                                         (Matthew 13:24b-25)

Jesus’ parables seem to leave many confused. But today’s message is clear: God’s kingdom is our greatest treasure, and it is this we should be seeking rather than the justification of our own views.

  • What does it mean that the kingdom of heaven is a reaping of “good seed” and “weeds”? Which are you? How do you know? Whose job is it to discern good from bad, and to reap?
  • How can you grow like the “good seeds” in Jesus’ parable? How might you make room in your life for others to grow alongside you?
  • For the littles: What does God’s kingdom of heaven look like? What will you find there? One day you will live in God’s kingdom of heaven!

PRAY: O God, your ways are beyond our understanding and your mercy is wide enough to include everyone. May we lay aside our temptation to judge, and instead seek after your heavenly kingdom on earth. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

BLESS: May God help you grow in faith and understanding. Amen

The Golden Rule — This week at ELC

golden

Like the people in Jesus’ day, we are often preoccupied with what others are doing, instead of examining our own hearts, actions, and motives.

Worship this week:  Saturday – 5:00 p.m. in the chapel

Sunday  8:30 a.m. Traditional Worship

9:30 a.m. – Sunday School, Adult Bible Study and fellowship

10:30 a.m. – Contemporary Worship

Devotions for this week:    THE GOLDEN RULE

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

READ: Read the following daily readings to deepen your understanding

Monday, Psalm 37:16-18, Psalm

Tuesday, Matthew 9:9-17, Call of Matthew

Wednesday, Matthew 8:18-27, Miracles of Jesus

Thursday, Matthew 8:28-9:8, Healings of Jesus

Friday, Matthew 9:18-38, Healings of Jesus

Saturday, Matthew 10:1-15, The Twelve Apostles                                    

   (Go to clergystuff.com/daily-devotions for devotions on the daily readings.)

TALK: Consider some of these ideas:  

Why do you see the speck in your neighbor’s eye, but do not notice the log in your own eye? (Matthew 7:3)

It’s becoming ever clearer that this Jesus is no ordinary teacher. He says things others would never dare to say. And when he talks, people listen.

  • What measurement is used to judge people within your community? (Money, beauty, power?) Are these measurements fair? Why or why not?
  • If you could see yourself from the outside, what might you see? Do you like what you see? Why or why not?
  • For the littles: Who helps you know the difference between right and wrong? God gives those people to us as a gift.

PRAY: O Lord, you give good things to all who ask of you. So move our hearts to the same generosity of spirit, that we might model your grace in our lives, to the glory of your name. Amen.

 BLESS: May God show you the truth. Amen.

Treasure in Heaven – This week at ELC

flowrs

 In his teaching, Jesus invites us to find worth, not in the praise of others, but in the love of God. We are worthy simply because we exist.

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, Ministry Fair in Fellowship Hall

10:30 a.m. Contemporary Worship

Devotions for this week:  TREASURE IN HEAVEN

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

READ: Read the following daily readings to deepen your understanding

Monday, Psalm 20:7, Psalm

Tuesday, Matthew 6:22-24, Teachings of Jesus

Wednesday, Matthew 6:25-34, Teachings of Jesus

Thursday, Matthew 7:15-20, Teachings of Jesus

Friday, Matthew 7:21-23, Teachings of Jesus

Saturday, Matthew 8:1-17, Healings of Jesus

 (Go to clergystuff.com/daily-devotions for devotions on the daily readings.)

 TALK: Consider some of these ideas: Jesus lays out for his followers a way to pray and fast which is pleasing to God: not a means to attract attention and credit on earth, but a pathway to a stronger bond with their holy parent in heaven.

  • How is the accumulation of more encouraged in your community? What media or messages could you stop listening to so that you could limit your exposure to those messages?
  • Name three things you wish you had more of. Reflect on how the desire for more shapes your behaviors and attitudes.
  • For the littles: What is your favorite prayer? God likes all prayers.

PRAY: Loving God, you desire a simple, humble relationship with us. Turn our hearts away from seeking others’ approval and toward your way of mercy and peace, as our savior taught us. Amen.

 BLESS: May God fill your heart with words of praise. Amen.

 

Salt of the Earth — This week at ELC

Salt of the EarthIn what we call the “sermon on the mount”, Jesus calls his followers salt and light for the world, and challenges us all to see the world in different way.

Worship this week:

Saturday at 5:00 p.m.  in the chapel

Sunday at 8:30 a.m. Traditional Worship

9:30 a.m. Sunday School,  Adult Bible study and fellowship

10:30 a.m. Contemporary Worship

Devotions for this week:  BEATITUDES

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

READ: Read the following daily readings to deepen your understanding

Monday, Psalm 1:1-3, Psalm

Tuesday, Matthew 5:21-26, Concerning Anger

Wednesday, Matthew 5:27-32, Concerning Adultery and Divorce

Thursday, Matthew 5:33-42, Concerning Oaths and Retaliation

Friday, Matthew 5:43-48, Love for Enemies

Saturday, Matthew 6:1-6, Concerning Almsgiving

 (Go to clergystuff.com/daily-devotions for devotions on the daily readings.)

TALK: Consider some of these ideas: “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled. Blessed are the merciful, for they will receive mercy. Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God. Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.” (Matthew 5:6-9)

  • How do the guidelines in Jesus’ sermon shape your community? Which are necessary today? Which have been adjusted to reflect the modern era? How can a community remain faithful to God’s laws?
  • How has God blessed you? How do you think Jesus would describe you in your current state of life?
  • For the littles: Jesus liked to teach people about God. What is your favorite thing to learn about?

PRAY: O Lord, your son came as the fulfillment of your law. Continue to lift up all who are oppressed in this world, that they might know your blessing and receive the joy you have promised. Through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

BLESS: May God bless you in whatever stage of life you are in. Amen.