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Grace Notes
Sunday, June 26, 2022                                             Lectionary 13
Alleluia.
Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. Alleluia. (John 6:68)
Prayer of the Day             
Sovereign God, ruler of all hearts, you call us to obey you, and you favor us with true freedom. Keep us faithful to the ways of your Son, that, leaving behind all that hinders us, we may steadfastly follow your paths, through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord. Amen.
 
Readings and Psalm
Sunday, June 26 (Lectionary 13)
                        1 Kings 19:15-16, 19-21; Psalm 16; Galatians 5:1, 13-25;     Luke 9:51-62  
 
M         Psalm 140; Genesis 24:34-41, 50-67; 1 John 2:7-11
Tu        Psalm 140; Jeremiah 3:15-18; Ephesians 5:6-20
            W        Psalm 140; Jeremiah 23:16-22; Matthew 10:16-25
            Th        Psalm 66:1-9; 2 Kings 21:1-15; Romans 7:14-25
            F          Psalm 66:1-9; Jeremiah 51:47-58; 2 Corinthians 8:1-7
            Sa        Psalm 66:1-9; Zechariah 14:10-21; Luke 9:1-6
 
Sunday , July 3 (Lectionary 14)
                        Isaiah 66:10-14; Psalm 66:1-9; Galatians 6:1-16; Luke 10:1-11, 16-20
 
A Grave Misunderstanding
When was the last time you were misunderstood? Was it a social media post taken in a way you didn’t intend? A conversation with a relative that turned unintentionally tense? Maybe it was when you were giving directions to your children and they ended up lost or doing the wrong thing.
It’s frustrating to be misunderstood, especially by those you love. In today’s gospel reading Jesus is misunderstood by just about everyone. We find him today setting his “face to go to Jerusalem” (Luke 9:51), an ominous phrase intended to give the hearers of this text a sense of the foreboding future: confrontation, crucifixion, and the grave.
The Samaritans (outcasts in the eyes of the Judeans) didn’t understand his singular mindset. Neither do the disciples, who think he may want vengeance when truly he is seeking purposeful peace. His followers want to clear up tasks and other duties before walking the road he is walking. What none of them understand is that where Jesus is going and what he is about to do will require his full attention, his full body, his full heart. He cannot be stopped, he has no heart for retribution, and he has no time for other tasks; salvation is at hand.
It’s a grave misunderstanding.
On this final Sunday in June we find Jesus making clear that God’s gracious work will take undivided attention and deserves ours, because the love of God seen through Christ will redeem our whole selves: the parts of our being that feel like outcasts, the parts of our hearts that desire vengeance over forgiveness, and the distracted parts of our heads that just don’t seem to understand God’s mission.
God’s work in Jesus is comprehensive. We often have a hard time understanding this because our world is fragmented, distracted, and distracting in so many ways. But if there’s any misunderstanding today, the singular focus of Jesus provides clarity.
A Hymn for the Day In 1866 the Anglican priest John Bode composed the text to “O Jesus, I have promised” (ELW 810) for the confirmation of his three children, and when it was printed in 1869, it was tied to a verse from today’s gospel, Luke 9:57, “I will follow you wherever you go.” The imagery of walking on Christ’s pathway fits well with Luke’s imagery of plowing the field. As well, stanza 3 offers a connection to Paul’s lists of vices and virtues.
Visual Art     To plow a field, two zebu bulls are yoked together. In baptism, we have been yoked to one another, accompanying each other as we cultivate a field full of the fruits of the Spirit.
Paul describes the life of the Christian as filled with fruits of the Spirit.
Comments from the Cloud of Witnesses
You, O Christ, are the one who loves me into endless life. You open up the way of risk. You go ahead of me along the way of holiness. Day by day you transfigure the “No” in me into “Yes.” You ask me, not for a few scraps, but for the whole of my existence. You kept on saying: live the little bit of the gospel you have grasped. Proclaim my life. You, follow me. . . . Until one day I understood: you were asking me to commit myself to the point of no return.  —Roger Schutz
[Roger Schutz, Parable of Community (NY: Seabury, 1981), 58-59.]
Upcoming Commemorations
Cyril, Bishop of Alexandria, died 444                                             Monday, June 27, 2022
Cyril defended the orthodox teachings about the person of Christ. After a conflict involving all of the major Christian leaders of the time, it was decided that Cyril's interpretation, that Christ's person included both divine and human natures, was correct.
Irenaeus, Bishop of Lyons, died around 202                                  Tuesday, June 28, 2022
This important early church leader tried very hard to hold to the faith handed down by the apostles. An opponent of the movement known as gnosticism, Irenaeus was one of the first to speak of the church as catholic, or linked together.
Peter and Paul, Apostles                                                                   Wednesday, June 29, 2022
These two strong-willed apostles are the pillars of the church in the first generation after Christ. Peter was one of the Twelve, one who both offered a glorious confession of faith and later denied knowing Jesus. Paul once led the persecution of Christians, then was converted and helped bring the faith to non-Jewish people.
Catherine Winkworth, died 1878; John Mason Neale, died 1866; hymn translators
Friday, July 1, 2022
Neale was an English priest who specialized in the translation of Latin and Greek hymns into English. Winkworth lived in Manchester, England, and devoted herself to translating German hymns. Almost all English-speaking hymnals include many of their translations.
  From sundaysandseasons.com.
 
TAKING FAITH HOME 6/26
CARING CONVERSATION: Discuss in your household or small group:
Discuss in your household or small group:
•           What is something that you “put off” doing? Why?
•           Jesus asked people to follow him, but sometimes they put it off, saying “I need to do this or that first” (Luke 9:59-61). Is it hard for you to follow Jesus sometimes? If so, in what ways?
•           If Jesus asked you to move somewhere else to do his will, what  would be hardest for you to leave behind?
Devotional Practices:
Make a “tree” shape out of cardboard or color paper and cut out “fruit” shapes marked with the nine fruits of the Spirit mentioned in Galatians 5. In your home devotion times this week talk about and pray for these fruits in your lives. As you do, place the fruit shapes on your “tree”.
Service:
Some followers of Jesus today still give up “home, family, and means of income” to share him with others. Do you know of anyone who has (e.g. missionaries in other countries)? If not, ask your pastor or church friends to suggest someone to you. Find their address and write a note of encouragement and thanks to them.
Rituals and Traditions:
As a fun household activity, work together to make a fruit salad. Buy a selection of different fruits and work together to peel and slice them up. As you enjoy eating the salad, affirm household members for the fruits of the Spirit you see revealed in them e.g. “ I saw the fruit of love in you when…”
Scripture Verses for the Week:
But the fruit the Holy Spirit produces is love, joy and peace. It is being patient, kind and good. It is being faithful and gentle and having control of oneself. – Galatians 5:22-23a (NIRV)
Mealtime Refrain:
Christ has set us free: To serve each other with love. (Galatians 5:13)
Mealtime Prayer:
Thank you, Lord, for the fruit of the earth. Produce in us the fruits of your Spirit, so that our lives are ripe with love. Amen.
© 2010 Vibrant Faith Ministries. All rights reserved. Written by Pr. Greg Priebbenow and edited by Vibrant Faith Ministries


Sunday, July 3, 2022                                                          Lectionary 14
Alleluia.
Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts,
and let the word of Christ dwell in you richly.
Alleluia. (Col. 3:15, 16)
Prayer of the Day             
O God, the Father of our Lord Jesus, you are the city that shelters us, the mother who comforts us. With your Spirit accompany us on our life’s journey, that we may spread your peace in all the world, through your Son, Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord.  Amen.
 
Readings and Psalm
Sunday , July 3 (Lectionary 14)
                        Isaiah 66:10-14; Psalm 66:1-9; Galatians 6:1-16; Luke 10:1-11, 16-20
 
M         Psalm 119:73-80; Jeremiah 6:10-19; Acts 19:21-27
            Tu        Psalm 119:73-80; Jeremiah 8:4-13; Acts 19:28-41
            W        Psalm 119:73-80; Joshua 23:1-16; Luke 10:13-16
            Th        Psalm 25:1-10; Genesis 41:14-36; James 2:14-26
            F          Psalm 25:1-10; Genesis 41:37-49; Acts 7:9-16
            Sa        Psalm 25:1-10; Leviticus 19:1-4, 32-37; John 3:16-21
Sunday, July 10 (Lectionary 15)
                        Deuteronomy 30:9-14; Psalm 25:1-10; Colossians 1:1-14; Luke 10:25-37
 
I Want to Be in That Number
In today’s gospel, Jesus sends out seventy disciples to do some evangelizing. But who are they? There is lore that says some of the first leaders of the church were in this original cadre of disciples sent out “like lambs into the midst of wolves” (Luke 10:3): Barnabas, Mark, Rufus, and Justus are a few who might be familiar to us. But this is all legend, and one has to wonder why these seventy aren’t explicitly named by the gospel writer, especially because it was the first mass evangelism tour that Jesus encouraged.
But perhaps the anonymity is on purpose. Perhaps they aren’t specifically named because their names can be ever-rotating—an ever-moving list of saints that, generation after generation, are sent out with the strong name of Christ to confront the evils of the world.
Perhaps you are one of the seventy, sent out by Jesus to confront the demons of this world: demons like racism and sexism, demons that destroy the temples of our bodies and cloud our minds with thoughts of hate and extremism.
It’s important to consider that the seventy came back rejoicing because even the demons submitted to the name of Jesus (Luke 10:17). We may not consider that the demons of our world today can be subdued when they seem so gargantuan. Yet it has happened before, by the power of God. Indeed, it happens again and again and again as followers of Jesus go out into the world with God’s name upon their brows, denouncing the ills of the world and working for justice and peace as our baptismal calling compels us to do.
That old spiritual “Oh, when the saints go marching in” (ACS 950) is most appropriate for this first Sunday in July. It speaks of longing to be among the saints entering the beloved kingdom of God, but it may also apply to these seventy saints sent out in today’s gospel.
We too are in that number, wielding the powerful name of Christ. Rejoice!
A Hymn for the Day The hymn “Lord Jesus, you shall be my song” (ELW 808), composed in 1961 and available in both the original French and an English translation, is identified with the international L’Arche communities which provide family-like homes for adults with disabilities. Appropriate for this Sunday, the hymn announces that throughout our life journey, we will sing to everyone about our Lord Jesus. Stanza 4 acknowledges that our journey may be difficult, but that at its end is God.
Visual Art  An Eastern Orthodox icon depicts the seventy missionaries as, along with Christ, looking out to beckon to us to join them. It seems that some of the seventy are women.
Comments from the Cloud of Witnesses
You, O Lord, brought me, a naked baby, into the light of day, for nature’s laws always obey your commands. You have nursed me with the spiritual milk of your divine words. You kept me alive with the solid food of the body of Jesus Christ, and you let me drink from the chalice of his life-giving blood, poured out to save the whole world. . . . You, O church, are a most noble assembly whose assistance comes from God. You in whom God lives, now receive an exposition of the faith that is free from error, just as our forebears handed it down to us.  —John of Damascus
[John of Damascus, in Prayerbook of the Saints, ed. Charles Dollen (Huntington, IN: Our Sunday Visitor, 1984) 67.]
Upcoming Commemorations
Thomas, Apostle                                                                                            Sunday, July 3, 2022
Though frequently remembered as "doubting Thomas," this apostle also demonstrated a willingness to suffer and die with Jesus (John 11:16), and finally claimed the risen Christ as "my Lord and my God!" By tradition, he later worked as a missionary in India. Long commemorated on December 21, Thomas's celebration is moved to July 3 in agreement with ecumenical calendars.
Jan Hus, martyr, died 1415                                                              Wednesday, July 6, 2022
Hus was a Bohemian (present-day Czech Republic) priest who spoke against abuses in the church, and was seen by Martin Luther as his predecessor in the reforming movement. He was found guilty of heresy by a council of the church, and burned at the stake.
 
TAKING FAITH HOME 7/3
CARING CONVERSATION: Discuss in your household or small group:
•           Share about a special trip you remember taking.
•           Imagine for a moment that Jesus sent you and a partner to another place to tell others about him. How would you do it? What would you do first? Who would you want as your partner?
•           Do you find it hard to talk to others about God? Why or why not?
 
Devotional Practices:
Make up a poster with the heading “A Name Written in Heaven” (see Luke 10:20). Each time you gather for home devotions this week, have a time of prayer for a members of your church or for your Christian friends – thank God for them and pray for their individual needs. Then add their names to the poster.
Service:
St. Paul says “Let us not become weary in doing good ... As we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.” What opportunities do you have to do good this week – in your church, neighborhood, school or places of work? Plan one way that you can “do good” as a household this week.
Rituals and Traditions:
When Jesus sent out seventy-two of his followers ahead of him he said that upon entering a house they were to say “Peace to this house.” Practice a homecoming greeting this week as a household. When a household member returns home from school or work, share this greeting with one another – “God’s peace be with you: And with you too.” You might want to add a touch of blessing, a hug or a kiss of greeting
Scripture Verses for the Week:
Jesus said to them: “A large crop is in the fields, but there are only a few workers. Ask the Lord in charge of the harvest to send out workers to bring it in.” - Luke 10:2 (CEV)
Prayer for this Week:
Lord Jesus, make me ready to serve as a worker in your fields.
Use me to share your peace with others. Amen. (Luke 10:2,5)
A Blessing to Share:
May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with you, through and through. Amen. (Galatians 6:18)
Mealtime Prayer:
You have blessed us, Lord, with food to savor. Send us forth, your fields to labor. Amen.
 
© 2010 Vibrant Faith Ministries. All rights reserved. Written by Pr. Greg Priebbenow and edited by Vibrant Faith Ministries
 
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