Flash: OFF This site is designed for use with Macromedia Flash Player. Click here to install.   July 27, 2021 
Search:     
Grace Lutheran Church
 
 
Grace Notes


Sunday, July 25, 2021                                              LECTIONARY 17
Alleluia. A great prophet has risen among us!
God has looked favorably on us! Alleluia. (Luke 7:16)
Prayer of the Day  Gracious God, you have placed within the hearts of all your children a longing for your word and a hunger for your truth. Grant that we may know your Son to be the true bread of heaven and share this bread with all the world, through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord.  Amen.
Readings and Psalm
            Su        July 25 (Lectionary 17)          
                        2 Kings 4:42-44;         Psalm 145:10-18; Ephesians 3:14-21; John 6:1-21
 
            M         Psalm 111; Genesis 18:1-15; Philippians 4:10-20
            Tu        Psalm 111; Exodus 24:1-11; Romans 15:22-33
            W        Psalm 111; Isaiah 25:6-10a; Mark 6:35-44
            Th        Psalm 78:23-29; Exodus 12:33-42; 1 Corinthians 11:17-22
            F          Psalm 78:23-29; Exodus 12:43—13:2; 1 Corinthians 11:27-34
            Sa        Psalm 78:23-29; Exodus 13:3-10; Matthew 16:5-12
 
            Su        August 1 (Lectionary 18)                    
                        Exodus 16:2-4, 9-15; Psalm 78:23-29; Ephesians 4:1-16; John 6:24-35
 
A Feast of Grace
Five loaves of bread. Two fish. Thousands of hungry people. Baskets and baskets of leftovers. Today’s gospel is a story of startling juxtaposition and miraculous transformation.
It is a story in which God comes in the way God always does—in ordinary elements and imperfect circumstances. Jesus gathers up perceived scarcity, holds questions and fears of inadequacy, and turns meager offerings into a feast of grace for all. And there is enough—enough for everyone to have as much as they could ever want, with plenty to spare. It’s a feast that meets physical needs and nourishes physical bodies, and through the mystery of faith also unites the feasters with God and one another.
As we hear these words from John, we too are invited to this ordinary and holy feast. It’s a feast that crosses time and space to welcome us in and to send us out. We too get to rejoice in the transformation that happens when we show up to worship, with hands open to receive and a deep hunger for new life.
We recognize our hunger in confession and prayer. We feast on the promises of God’s word. We taste God’s abundance at the communion table. We are drenched in God’s generous love in the waters of baptism. We are joined with the other perfectly ordinary and holy banquetgoers as we raise our voices together in song. And we extend this exuberant lovingkindness to the world when we go forth from worship, filled with hope and prepared for service in Christ’s name.
With Christ as the host, there is forever enough food for all. Christ’s table is one brimming with grace. All of us are invited, just as we are, with whatever meager offerings we have. For we can trust that in Christ, it is more than enough.
A Hymn for the Day
Mary A. Lathbury (1841–1913), a Methodist teacher of art, wrote the first two stanzas of “Break now the bread of life” (ELW 515) for Sunday school children to sing at the Chautauqua Institution, a famous sophisticated Bible camp in New York State. Based on John 6, the hymn refers to Christ, the bread of life, as the living Word and “my All-in-All.”
Visual Art
For the next four weeks, options for depicting the multiplication of the loaves are suggested. For this Sunday, the 1888 painting by Ivan Aivazovsky of Christ walking on the water is a possibility. In this painting, as in John 6, the divinity of Christ is apparent.
Comments from the Cloud of Witnesses
Taking the loaves and fishes, the Lord looked up to heaven, then blessed and broke them, giving thanks to the Father that, after the law and the prophets, he is himself become the evangelical bread. The bread is given to the apostles, because it is through them that the gifts of the divine grace are to be given. The wonder of this deed surpasses human understanding. And while often things are done which the mind can grasp but words cannot explain, in these things even the acuteness of the mind to perceive is at a loss, astonished at the very thought of the complexity of the unseen action. The substance of the loaves progressively increases, whether at the place that served for tables, or in the hand of those taking it, or in the mouth of those who ate it, I know not. The power of him who makes and surpasses all nature exceeds our understanding of what he does.               —Hilary
[Hilary, in Sunday Sermons of the Great Fathers, II, 120-121.]
Upcoming Commemorations
James, Apostle                                                                                   Sunday, July 25, 2021
James and his brother John were the sons of Zebedee, fishermen by trade before their call from Jesus. He was the first of the twelve apostles to be martyred, and his death is the only one recorded in scripture (Acts 12:1-2).
Johann Sebastian Bach, died 1750; Heinrich Schütz, died 1672; George Frederick Handel, died 1759; musicians                                                                                Wednesday, July 28, 2021
These three German-born musicians have done much to enrich the life of the church. Schütz was an early master who focused on settings of biblical texts. Bach wrote over 300 cantatas along with works for organ and instrumental pieces, and has been called the "fifth evangelist" for the way he proclaimed the gospel in music. Handel's great work, Messiah, is a setting of scriptural texts.
Mary, Martha, and Lazarus of Bethany                                        Thursday, July 29, 2021
Friends of Jesus, Mary and Martha are remembered for the hospitality of their home that they offered him—Martha focused on serving their guest, and Mary on listening to him. Their brother Lazarus was raised from the dead as a sign of the greater resurrection to come.
Olaf, King of Norway, martyr, died 1030                                       Thursday, July 29, 2021
Considered the patron saint of Norway, Olaf went from a life of piracy to becoming Christian and declaring himself king of Norway. He revised the laws and tried to administer them fairly. Driven from Norway in a rebellion, he was killed in battle trying to regain his kingdom.
 
 
TAKING FAITH HOME 7/25
.CARING CONVERSATION:  Discuss in your household or small group:
• Share about a time when you were in need.
 • Jesus performed a miracle to feed a large crowd (John 6:1-13).
 When have you experienced God providing for you in a special
 way?
 • One little boy’s lunch was used by God to meet the hunger of
 many people. In what ways might God be seeking to use you or
 what you have to help others?
DEVOTIONS:
God is able to do much more than we can even imagine through the power that is at work in us (see Ephesians 3.20). Share your future hopes and dreams, both as individuals and as a family. Then, consider what dreams God might have for you. Pray for God’s blessing on one another’s hopes and dreams.
SERVICE:
Set aside time as a household to bake bread or cookies. Wrap up what you bake into packages, and give it away to your neighbors.
RITUALS AND TRADITIONS:
Affirm one another as blessings from God. Focus on each member of the household in turn. Place a hand on that person’s shoulder while every other family member completes these statements: “One way that I see God using you is . . . ”
“A special quality that you bring to our family is . .
SCRIPTURE VERSE FOR THIS WEEK:
May you have power with all God’s people to understand Christ’s love. May you know how wide and long and high and deep it is. Ephesians 3:18 (NIRV)
A Prayer for the Week:
O God, I know you are near. When I call your name, you are there. Amen.
Mealtime Prayer:
Lord Jesus, bless the food upon our dishes, as you did the loaves and fishes. By your grace we breathe and live, accept our thanks for all you give. Amen.
A Blessing to Give:
May you have power to understand Christ’s love for you. May you know how wide and long and high and deep it is. Amen.
2011 Vibrant Faith Ministries. All rights reserved. Written by Pr. Greg Priebbenow and edited by Vibrant Faith Ministries

Don’t forget to LIKE us out on Facebook, Follow us on Facebook and Share us with your Friends. Contact Grace Lutheran Church office @ 814-226-7548.    Contact Pastor Jake Jacobson @ 814-229-0999 or jakejacobson77@gmail.com  Contact Pastor Deborah Jacobson @ 814-229-4610 or debjake7755@gmail.com  If you wish to be removed from this list please contact Pastor Deborah Jacobson @ debjake7755@gmail.com
You may donate to Grace online at: https://tithe.ly/give?c=1647800 )

Sunday, August 1, 2021                                           LECTIONARY 18
Alleluia. One does not live by bread alone,
but by every word that comes from the mouth of God. Alleluia. (Matt. 4:4)
Prayer of the Day O God, eternal goodness, immeasurable love, you place your gifts before us; we eat and are satisfied. Fill us and this world in all its need with the life that comes only from you, through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord.  Amen.
Readings and Psalm
            Su        August 1 (Lectionary 18)                    
                        Exodus 16:2-4, 9-15; Psalm 78:23-29; Ephesians 4:1-16; John 6:24-35
 
M         Psalm 107:1-3, 33-43; Numbers 11:16-23, 31-32; Ephesians 4:17-24
            Tu        Psalm 107:1-3, 33-43; Deuteronomy 8:1-20; 1 Corinthians 12:27-31
            W        Psalm 107:1-3, 33-43; Isaiah 55:1-9; Mark 8:1-10
            Th        Psalm 34:1-8; 1 Samuel 28:20-25; Romans 15:1-6
            F          Psalm 34:1-8; 2 Samuel 17:15-29; Galatians 6:1-10
            Sa        Psalm 34:1-8; 1 Kings 2:1-9; Matthew 7:7-11
 
            Su        August 8 (Lectionary 19)        
                        1 Kings 19:4-8; Psalm 34:1-8; Ephesians 4:25—5:2; John 6:35, 41-51
 
Hungry for More
They were hungry, but they didn’t know what they were hungry for. Their longing compelled them to cross the sea and comb through the villages in search of the one who could meet their deepest desires. They had seen the sign, after all—the baskets of leftover bread, the impossible abundance of fish. Surely, they must find the source to have their needs fulfilled once and for all.
Perhaps we too are hungry—for security, for certainty, for power, for recognition, for the simple assurance that we are good enough in a world that always seems to demand more. We too may find ourselves searching for the one who can calm our spirits or offer us those things on which our hearts are set. We cry out with the crowd, “Give us this bread always” (John 6:34). Care for us. Feed us. Help us. Reassure us. We have seen what you can do. Show us this sign again so that we may believe.
But God gives us more than bread; indeed, God gives us more than whatever we think we most desire. Jesus takes our questions and those things we think we need and redirects us to himself—the source of all life for the world. We ask for the things we most crave. Jesus offers us abundant life. We ask for what we can comprehend. Jesus gives us the promises of God that pass all understanding.
John’s gospel invites us to dwell with Jesus in the mysteries of God. Not to understand exactly. Not to have our fill of the things we demand. But to abide with God. To be wrapped in the promises of the one who has been feeding the hungry and sustaining life since the very beginning, giving us life that cannot be earned but is simply received through Jesus.
A Hymn for the Day
Sylvia Dunstan (1955–1993), an ordained minister in the United Church of Canada, wrote “All who hunger, gather gladly” (ELW 461) in 1990. The text is particularly appropriate for this Sunday, with its references to manna, the unified community, and Christ as bread. The tune, called holy manna, comes from the nineteenth-century Appalachian shape note tradition of rousing folk hymns. Don’t be maudlin with this tune: this is a banjo hymn!
Visual Art
A suggestion for art on this Sunday is one of countless depictions throughout Christian history of the manna descending from heaven to feed the Israelites
Comments from the Cloud of Witnesses
Eternal Goodness, I shall contemplate myself in you.
By this light I shall come to know that you, eternal Trinity,
are table and food and waiter for us.
You, eternal Father, are the table that offers us as food
the Lamb, your only-begotten Son.
He is the most exquisite of foods for us,
both in his teaching, which nourishes us in your will,
and in the sacrament that we receive in Holy Communion,
which feeds and strengthens us while we are pilgrim travelers in this life.
And the Holy Spirit is indeed a waiter for us,
who serves us this teaching by enlightening our mind’s eye with it
and inspiring us to follow it,
and who serves us charity for our neighbors
and the salvation of the whole world for the Father’s honor.
Catherine of Siena
[Catherine of Siena, The Prayers of Catherine of Siena, ed. Suzanne Noffke, op (New York: Paulist, 1983), 101-102.]
Upcoming Commemorations
Dominic, founder of the Order of Preachers (Dominicans), died 1221
Sunday, August 8, 2021
Dominic was a Spanish priest who saw the wealth of the clergy as a stumbling block for the church, so he formed a movement, the Order of Preachers (commonly called Dominicans) devoted to itinerant preaching and living in poverty.
 
TAKING FAITH HOME 8/1
.CARING CONVERSATION:  Discuss in your household or small group:
• What are your favorite foods?
 • Jesus called himself the “bread of life.” He said that those who come to him will never go hungry. What do you think he meant?
 • In what ways does Jesus feed you?
DEVOTIONS:
August 5 is observed across the world as “Universal Peace Day.” This day marks the anniversary of the dropping of atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki near the end of World War II. Many people suffered from radiation sickness and other diseases for years afterward. One such
victim was an 11-year-old girl named Sadako who developed leukemia in 1955. While she was in the hospital, her friends reminded her of the Japanese legend that if a person were to fold one thousand paper cranes, her wish of being healthy again might come true. She made well over a thousand cranes, but sadly died at the age of 12. Yet she never gave up hope, folding cranes until her death. Her work, and her life, was not in vane. The paper crane has since become a symbol of hope for peace in the world.
In your home devotional times this week, make paper cranes and dedicate yourselves to peace. For instructions, go to www.e22.com/peacecrane/fold.htm. As you make cranes, pray for peace in your home, community, nation and the world.
SERVICE:
As Jesus feeds us spiritually and physically, he invites us to feed others. Gather some grocery items to donate to a local food pantry that serves the needy in your community, or deliver them to a family in need. Pray for all those who do not get enough to eat.
RITUALS AND TRADITIONS:
Make bread together as a family. Try this simple recipe:
Ingredients: 1 cup milk (hot); ¼ cup sugar; 4 tbsp. margarine; 1 tsp. salt; 1
pkg. yeast; 1 egg; 4 cups all-purpose flour; ¼ cup warm water.
Instructions: To the hot milk, add sugar, margarine and salt, and let cool.
In a small bowl, mix the warm water and yeast. Set aside until bubbly
(about 5 min.) To the milk mixture, add 1 cup of flour and mix well. Add
one slightly beaten egg and yeast mixture. Use a wire whisk to mix this.
Next, add approximately 3 more cups of flour (use wooden spoon)
Knead, then place in greased bowl for first rise. Punch down or knead,
place in two greased bread pans, cover with a damp cloth and let rise
again. Bake at 350°F (180°C) for 20 minutes.
As you enjoy what you have baked, talk about how Jesus is the “bread of life” for you
 SCRIPTURE VERSE FOR THIS WEEK:
Jesus said, “I am the bread of life. No one who comes to me will ever go hungry. And no one who believes in me will ever be thirsty.” John 6:35 (NIRV)
A Prayer for the Week:
O God, just as you gave manna to the Israelites in the desert, help me to trust that you will give me all that I need this week. Amen.
Mealtime Prayer:
May Jesus, the bread of life, sustain us with the spiritual food that always abundant and available. Amen.
A Blessing to Give:
Jesus, bread of life, feed us, body and soul.  Jesus, bread from heaven, come and make us whole. Amen.
2011 Vibrant Faith Ministries. All rights reserved. Written by Pr. Greg Priebbenow and edited by Vibrant Faith Ministries
 
Don’t forget to LIKE us out on Facebook, Follow us on Facebook and Share us with your Friends. Contact Grace Lutheran Church office @ 814-226-7548.    Contact Pastor Jake Jacobson @ 814-229-0999 or jakejacobson77@gmail.com  Contact Pastor Deborah Jacobson @ 814-229-4610 or debjake7755@gmail.com  If you wish to be removed from this list please contact Pastor Deborah Jacobson @ debjake7755@gmail.com
You may donate to Grace online at: https://tithe.ly/give?c=1647800 )

 
Sunday, August 8, 2021                                           LECTIONARY 19
Alleluia. I am the living bread that came down from heaven.
Whoever eats this bread will| live forever. Alleluia. (John 6:51)
Prayer of the Day Gracious God, your blessed Son came down from heaven to be the true bread that gives life to the world. Give us this bread always, that he may live in us and we in him, and that, strengthened by this food, we may live as his body in the world, through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord.  Amen.
Readings and Psalm
                        Su        August 8 (Lectionary 19)       
                        1 Kings 19:4-8; Psalm 34:1-8; Ephesians 4:25—5:2; John 6:35, 41-51
 
            M         Psalm 81; 1 Kings 17:1-16      ; Ephesians 5:1-14
            Tu        Psalm 81; Ruth 2:1-23; 2 Peter 3:14-18
            W        Psalm 81; Jeremiah 31:1-6      ; John 6:35-40
            Th        Psalm 34:9-14; Job 11:1-20; Acts 6:8-15
            F          Psalm 34:9-14; Job 12:1-25; Romans 16:17-20         
            Sa        Psalm 34:9-14; Job 13:1-19; John 4:7-26
 
            Su        August 15 (Lectionary 20)     
                        Proverbs 9:1-6; Psalm 34:9-14; Ephesians 5:15-20; John 6:51-58     
 
A New Identity
In an increasingly polarized world, demographics are everything. Many of us rely on information about a person’s hometown, family, alma mater, or workplace to make assumptions about their politics, social concerns, or lifestyle. Internet algorithms make inferences based on our age, gender, and relationship status to market products, services, or ideas to us. At times it feels like our lives are reduced to a statistic or a political party affiliation.
The crowds following Jesus knew who they were, and they thought they knew exactly who Jesus was too. They knew who his ancestors were, and they knew the stories of faith they all shared.
After all, Jesus was the neighbor boy—the carpenter’s son. They had known him since he was just a kid. He was a simple Galilean peasant. He walked the same streets, fished in the same waters, and ate the same food as the rest of them.
And yet, he dared to claim a different identity: he was the bread of life, the living bread come down from heaven. His roots were not just in this rocky terrain of the Middle Eastern soil, but in the God of the cosmos.
This is not what God was supposed to look like. This is not the powerful king they were waiting for. This was just Mary and Joseph’s son. He was supposed to be one of them!
But this is the great mystery of our faith: God cannot be reduced to an algorithm or a stereotype. God dwells in the people we least expect, in the most ordinary places, in people scandalously like us and outrageously different than us. God abides with us, defying our expectations, challenging our self-proclaimed identities by offering us the bread of life in Jesus Christ. In this holy bread, we are given a new identity more powerful and enduring than any other in this world: child of God, beloved and whole; in God, of God, and with God for all of eternity. Thanks be to God.
A Hymn for the Day
Phrase after phrase in “O living Bread from heaven” (ELW 542) complements this Sunday’s readings. Like Elijah, we too are strengthened to live and to serve God by serving others. The author Johann Rist (1607–1667) was a Lutheran pastor who, while serving in many situations of social calamity and personal agony, wrote nearly 700 hymns. The tune was composed by Samuel Wesley, the grandson of Charles Wesley, one of the founders of Methodism!
Visual Art
Lutheran pastor and artist Daniel Erlander has provided graphics which he offers for free download. His image of the feeding of the five thousand is delightful, yet also unsettling—as befits a Lutheran interpretation! Note one character who says, “Next time let’s get here on time,” but another one says, “Some of these people don't deserve free food.”
Comments from the Cloud of Witnesses
From Edmund’s adventures in The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe:
At last the Turkish Delight was all finished and Edmund was looking very hard at the empty box and wishing that the Queen would ask him whether he would like some more. Probably the Queen knew quite well what he was thinking; for she knew, though Edmund did not, that this was enchanted Turkish Delight and that anyone who had once tasted it would want more and more of it, and would even, if they were allowed, to keep on eating it till they killed themselves. But she did not offer him any more. “It is a lovely place, my house,” said the Queen. “I am sure you would like it. There are whole rooms full of Turkish Delight.”
[C. S. Lewis, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, (New York: Macmillan, 1950), 29-30.]

 
Upcoming Commemorations
Dominic, founder of the Order of Preachers (Dominicans), died 1221
Sunday, August 8, 2021
Dominic was a Spanish priest who saw the wealth of the clergy as a stumbling block for the church, so he formed a movement, the Order of Preachers (commonly called Dominicans) devoted to itinerant preaching and living in poverty.
Lawrence, deacon, martyr, died 258                                   Tuesday, August 10, 2021
As one of the seven deacons of the church at Rome, Lawrence was responsible for the church's financial matters and for the care of the poor. Asked by the emperor to gather the church's treasure, he presented a collection of orphans, lepers, and the like. The enraged emperor had him put to death.
Clare, Abbess of San Damiano, died 1253                          Wednesday, August 11, 2021
A contemporary of Francis of Assisi, Clare and a growing number of companions established a women's Franciscan community, called the Order of Poor Ladies, or Poor Clares. She inspired other women to pursue spiritual goals.
Florence Nightingale, died 1910; Clara Maass, died 1901; renewers of society
Friday, August 13, 2021
Nightingale was born in England, and horrified her wealthy family by deciding to become a nurse. She led a group of nurses in ministering in the midst of the Crimean War, and worked for hospital reform. Maass, a native of New Jersey, was also a war nurse, and volunteered as a subject for research on yellow fever. She died of the disease.
Maximilian Kolbe, died 1941; Kaj Munk, died 1944; martyrs     Saturday, August 14, 2021
Father Kolbe was a Franciscan priest arrested by the Nazis and confined in Auschwitz. Kolbe gave generously of his meager resources, and finally volunteered to be starved to death in place of another man. A Danish Lutheran pastor and playwright, Munk strongly denounced the Nazis who occupied Denmark in the Second World War. His sermons and articles helped to show the anti-Christian nature of the movement.
 
TAKING FAITH HOME 8/8
.CARING CONVERSATION:  Discuss in your household or small group:
• Who is someone you respect or look up to? Why? What about them do you try to imitate or copy in your own life?
 • Saint Paul says that we imitate or copy God by living lives of love. How does God show his love to you?
 • Read Ephesians 4:25-5:2. In what ways, according to Saint Paul, can you show love to others?
DEVOTIONS:
Saint Paul writes, “Don’t let any evil talk come out of your mouths. Say only what will help to build others up and meet their needs. Then what you say will help those who listen” (Ephesians 4:29). In your home devotional gatherings this week, give each other compliments or words
of encouragement. Have each person give a compliment or affirmation in turn. Pray that God will help you become more encouraging to one another.
SERVICE:
Saint Paul reminds us that, as Christians, we work not only to provide for ourselves, but so that we “have something to share with those in need” (Ephesians 4:28). Collect a household offering to support an organization helping the poor or needy. Have children contribute from their allowances or do chores around the house to earn money to give.
RITUALS AND TRADITIONS:
On birthdays, we build one another up with special gifts and treats and kind words. But, what about the rest of the year? Consider choosing one day of every week to mark as Special Person Day. Each week, focus on a different family member by giving him or her a special plate or cup to use at mealtimes, preparing a favorite food or drink, and saying a special prayer for the person
SCRIPTURE VERSE FOR THIS WEEK:
Be kind and tender to one another. Forgive each other, just as God forgave you because of what Christ has done.  Ephesians 4:32 (NIRV)
A Prayer for the Week:
O God, may we taste and see your goodness each moment of the day. Amen.
Mealtime Prayer:
We thank you, God, for this our food; for life and health and every good. Amen.
A Blessing to Give:
May God bless you with forgiveness and love, and in turn may God help you to be forgiving and loving toward others. Amen
2011 Vibrant Faith Ministries. All rights reserved. Written by Pr. Greg Priebbenow and edited by Vibrant Faith Ministries
Sunday, August 15, 2021                                         LECTIONARY 20
Alleluia. Those who eat my flesh and drink my blood abide in me,
and I abide in them. Alleluia. (John 6:56)
Prayer of the Day Ever-loving God, your Son gives himself as living bread for the life of the world. Fill us with such a knowledge of his presence that we may be strengthened and sustained by his risen life to serve you continually, through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord. Amen.
Readings and Psalm
            Sunday            August 15 (Lectionary 20)      
                        Proverbs 9:1-6; Psalm 34:9-14; Ephesians 5:15-20; John 6:51-58                                         
            M         Psalm 36; Genesis 43:1-15; Acts 6:1-7
            Tu        Psalm 36; Genesis 45:1-15      ; Acts 7:9-16
            W        Psalm 36; Genesis 47:13-26; Mark 8:14-21
            Th        Psalm 34:15-22; Joshua 22:1-9; 1 Thessalonians 5:1-11
            F          Psalm 34:15-22; Joshua 22:10-20; Romans 13:11-14
            Sa        Psalm 34:15-22; Joshua 22:21-34; Luke 11:5-13
 
            Sunday            August 22 (Lectionary 21)
                        Joshua 24:1-2a, 14-18; Psalm 34:15-22; Ephesians 6:10-20; John 6:56-69
 
What’s for Dinner?
Whether you plan meals weeks in advance, rummage through the pantry for inspiration at 4:30 p.m., or pull a stack of well-worn takeout menus from the kitchen drawer; whether you purchase the ingredients, help create the meal, or have no input at all and gratefully eat whatever someone else provides, it’s a seemingly universal question: What’s for dinner? What we eat is important. Most of us try to balance our personal tastes and preferences with some attention to health and nutrition. Some of us follow specific dietary trends and plans: keto, paleo, low-carb, low-cal . . . the list goes on. Others of us, restricted by tight budgets and food deserts, make choices we would rather not.
What we eat, how it was raised and grown, how it got from the farm to our table, and even how much it costs are hot topics today. It can be easy to get lost in the wilderness of these discussions. But along comes Jesus, right on time. Turning the world’s conversation on its head, he boldly announces, “My flesh is true food and my blood is true drink” (John 6:55). Here our debates about fat versus carbs, allergens and alternatives, and the price of ingredients are brought to a halt: the menu is set.
Here there is no lack of access or money, for all is freely given. Here the stresses of planning, shopping, and cooking on a tight schedule fade away in the light of eternity as the great heavenly banquet is set before you. As you approach the table, you approach the Lord of your salvation, here in flesh and blood. As you receive the bread and wine, you receive the true body and blood of Jesus Christ, crucified and risen for you. As you return to the world and your various vocations, know that no matter what is for dinner, you abide in Christ, and he abides in you. Truly, this is “true food” and “true drink.”
A Hymn for the Day
A hymn that celebrates the imagery of Woman Wisdom is “We eat the bread of teaching” (ELW 518). For centuries, Christians applied the descriptions of Wisdom to Christ. The contemporary interest in female imagery for God has made this image popular once again.
Visual Art
A nineteenth-century painting of the last supper by Pascal Dagnan-Bouveret makes symbolically clear that the Jesus who serves his disciples bread and wine is the divine one who is the life of the world.
Comments from the Cloud of Witnesses
There is in Wisdom a spirit that is intelligent, holy,
unique, manifold, subtle,
mobile, clear, unpolluted,
distinct, invulnerable, loving the good, keen,
irresistible, beneficent, humane,
steadfast, sure, free from anxiety,
all-powerful, overseeing all,
and penetrating through all spirits
that are intelligent, pure, and altogether subtle.
For Wisdom is a breath of the power of God,
and a pure emanation of the glory of the Almighty.
She is a reflection of eternal light,
a spotless mirror of the working of God,
and an image of his goodness.
She reaches mightily from one end of the earth to the other,
and she orders all things well.
—Wisdom of Solomon 7:22-26; 8:1
Upcoming Commemorations
Mary, Mother of Our Lord                                                  Sunday, August 15, 2021
The church (including Martin Luther) honored Mary with the title theotokos, meaning "God-bearer," for her role in giving birth to the Son of God. Her song, the Magnificat, speaks eloquently of God's lifting the lowly and feeding the hungry.
 
Bernard, Abbot of Clairvaux, died 1153                            Friday, August 20, 2021
Bernard, a Cistercian monk, was a man of great spirituality who wrote mystical works and criticized those whom he thought took an overly intellectual approach to the faith. He became an abbot, and wrote several hymns that are still beloved today.
 
TAKING FAITH HOME 8/15
.CARING CONVERSATION:  Discuss in your household or small group:
• What was your “high” from the last day? What was your “low”?
 • Saint Paul encourages us to make the most of every chance we have to do God’s will. In what ways did you seek to do God’s will this past day?
 • Think about the upcoming week, what you will do and who you will see. What special opportunities may there be to serve God and point others toward Christ?
DEVOTIONS:
Ephesians 5:19-20 urges us to “speak to one another with psalms, hymns and songs from the Spirit, singing and making music from the heart to the Lord, and always giving thanks to God for everything.” In your family devotion times this week, read a favorite psalm and sing a favorite hymn or Christian song. Have each person complete this sentence: “Today, I thank God for . . .”
SERVICE:
Have you begun putting together a “Shoebox for Christmas” as part of Samaritan’s Purse Operation Christmas Child? This is a wonderful way of sharing the material blessings you have been given with needy children in other countries. Visit www.samaritanspurse.org for more information and begin gathering items for your shoebox of gifts.
RITUALS AND TRADITIONS:
Together, make a list of your ten favorite Christian hymns or songs. Then, make up your own songbook that you can use each week and take with you on holidays. Family members can decorate the songbook with drawings and other artwork
SCRIPTURE VERSE FOR THIS WEEK:
Always giving thanks to God the Creator for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. Ephesians 5:20 (NIV)
A Prayer for the Week:
O God, I hang on your every word. Teach me your ways so that I may live in the shadow of your wing.
Mealtime Prayer:
Thank you, God, for blue skies above us, green grass below us, good friends beside us, and fine food before us. Amen.
A Blessing to Give:
May God help you understand what you are called to do, and may the Holy Spirit give you the power to do it. Amen. (Ephesians 5:17-18)
2011 Vibrant Faith Ministries. All rights reserved. Written by Pr. Greg Priebbenow and edited by Vibrant Faith Ministries
 
Don’t forget to LIKE us out on Facebook, Follow us on Facebook and Share us with your Friends. Contact Grace Lutheran Church office @ 814-226-7548.    Contact Pastor Jake Jacobson @ 814-229-0999 or jakejacobson77@gmail.com  Contact Pastor Deborah Jacobson @ 814-229-4610 or debjake7755@gmail.com  If you wish to be removed from this list please contact Pastor Deborah Jacobson @ debjake7755@gmail.com
You may donate to Grace online at: https://tithe.ly/give?c=1647800 )
 

 
Sunday, August 22, 2021                                         LECTIONARY 21
Alleluia. Lord, to whom shall we go?
You have the words of eternal life. Alleluia. (John 6:68)
Prayer of the Day Holy God, your word feeds your people with life that is eternal. Direct our choices and preserve us in your truth, that, renouncing what is false and evil, we may live in you, through your Son, Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord.  Amen.
Readings and Psalm
            Sunday            August 22 (Lectionary 21)
                        Joshua 24:1-2a, 14-18; Psalm 34:15-22; Ephesians 6:10-20; John 6:56-69
 
            M         Psalm 119:97-104; Nehemiah 9:1-15; Ephesians 5:21—6:9
            Tu        Psalm 119:97-104; Nehemiah 9:16-31; Ephesians 6:21-24
            W        Psalm 119:97-104; Isaiah 33:10-16; John 15:16-25
            Th        Psalm 15; Exodus 32:1-14; James 1:1-8
            F          Psalm 15; Exodus 32:15-35; James 1:9-16
            Sa        Psalm 15; Exodus 34:8-28; John 18:28-32
 
            Sunday            August 29 (Lectionary 22)     
                        Deuteronomy 4:1-2, 6-9; Psalm 15; James 1:17-27; Mark 7:1-8, 14-15, 21-23
 
To Whom Can We Go?
The disciples following Jesus knew that he often had some rather unusual things to say about himself and about God, but in today’s gospel, they feel that their teacher has gone too far: “Those who eat my flesh and drink my blood abide in me and I in them,” Jesus proclaims (John 6:56). For Jesus’ Jewish contemporaries, for whom consuming blood of any type was forbidden and who killed animals according to strict religious regulations, this statement was nothing short of sacrilegious. For everyone else, it was just ridiculous. “Whoever eats me will live because of me” (John 6:57). Say what? The scandal caused large numbers of Jesus’ disciples to leave; after all, what sort of person would say such a thing?
Like the early disciples, we can find following Jesus baffling and difficult. Love our neighbors when they are so unlovable? Take sabbath rest when there’s work to be done? Trust that this Jesus fellow really is God-become-human and was crucified, died, and raised back to life? When the culture tells us to speak our own truth, eat fewer carbs, build up our bank accounts, exercise more, buy a better day planner or a new car or more expensive laundry detergent, and lean into our own potential to optimize our lives, it can be tempting to take hold of the latest self-help gospel. It’s so concrete. Trusting God instead of ourselves? How scandalous, how ridiculous. “I’ve got this,” we prefer to say.
But hear Jesus’ words in this week’s gospel: “It is the spirit that gives life; the flesh is useless” (John 6:63). This is not a condemnation; it is a promise that the one who meets us at the table in bread, wine, flesh, and blood also sends his Spirit to give you life. May you hear that promise today and let the Holy Spirit draw from your lips the same confession as Peter: “Lord, to whom can we go? You have the words of eternal life” (John 6:68).
A Hymn for the Day
Of considerable interest to many contemporary scholars is the document called The Didache, “the Teaching of the Apostles,” a late-first-century catechetical guide probably written in Alexandria, Egypt, or in Syria. From its passages about the eucharist, several hymns have been constructed. One is “Father, we thank you” (ELW 478). Singing the first stanza allows us to complement our New Testament readings with other first-century words. The second stanza fits well with the Ephesians’ warning against the power of evil.
Visual Art
Lutheran pastor and artist Daniel Erlander has provided art that can be downloaded for our use for free. His drawing of a communion service that has “a place for you” is most appropriate for this Sunday, when John’s gospel seeks to make clear that Christ has given this food to us here and now.
Comments from the Cloud of Witnesses
I ask you, brothers and sisters, tell me: which to you seems the greater, the word of God, or the body of Christ? If you wish to say what is true, you will have to answer that the word of God is not less than the body of Christ. Therefore, just as when the body of Christ is administered to us, we use great care so that nothing of it falls from our hands to the ground, so should we with equal care see that the word of God that is being imparted to us shall not be lost to our soul, while we speak or think of something else. For they who listen carelessly to the word of God are not less guilty than they who through their own inattention suffer the body of Christ to fall to the ground.                        —Caesarius
[Caesarius, in Sunday Sermons of the Great Fathers, II, 458.]
Upcoming Commemorations
Bartholomew, Apostle                                                                      Tuesday, August 24, 2021
Mentioned as one of Jesus' disciples in Matthew, Mark, and Luke, Bartholomew's name is replaced in John's gospel by Nathanael, leading many to believe that the two are different names for the same person. Little is known about his work, though some traditions place him later in India or Armenia.
Augustine, Bishop of Hippo, died 430                                             Saturday, August 28, 2021
Augustine was one of the greatest theologians of the Western church. A native of North Africa, he recovered from a debauched young adulthood through the influence of his mother, Monica, and Bishop Ambrose of Milan. Besides writing influential theological books, he served as bishop of Hippo, in present-day Algeria.
Moses the Black, monk, martyr, died around 400                         Saturday, August 28, 2021
Converted from life as a thief and a robber to Christianity, Moses was an Ethiopian who became a desert monk at Skete. The change in his heart and life had a profound impact on his native country. He was murdered when Berber bandits attacked his monastery.
 
TAKING FAITH HOME 8/22
.CARING CONVERSATION:  Discuss in your household or small group:
• What does it mean to struggle? What struggles have you experienced in your life?
 • Saint Paul describes the Christian life as a struggle (Ephesians  6:12). In what ways have you found this to be true?
 • Read Ephesians 6:14-18. What gifts does God give us to use when our faith is under attack?
DEVOTIONS:
Work together as a family to draw a suit of armor, including the following pieces: belt, breastplate, shoes, shield, helmet and sword (if you have younger children, you could play a game of “dress-up”). Read Saint Paul’s description of the “armor of God” in Ephesians 6:13-18 and discuss what each part means.
SERVICE:
The apostle Paul wrote, “At all times, pray by the power of the Spirit. Pray all kinds of prayers. Be watchful, so that you can pray. Always keep on praying for all of God’s people” (Ephesians 6:18). One important way to serve others is to pray for them! Make up a list of members of your
congregation to pray for this week. Post the list in a prominent place in your home, or give each family member a copy to carry with them throughout the week.
RITUALS AND TRADITIONS:
Read Joshua 24:1-2,14-18. Talk about what it means for your household to “serve the Lord.” Write a statement together that begins: “As a family we will serve the Lord by . . . ” Decorate your statement and display it prominently in your home.
SCRIPTURE VERSE FOR THIS WEEK:
“As for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.” Joshua 24:15 (NIV)
 
A Prayer for the Week:
Blessed are those who dwell in your house, O God, for they are ever pleasing to you (Psalm 84.4). Amen.
Mealtime Prayer:
You give us bread for living, O God. Save us from merely living for bread. Amen.
A Blessing to Give:
May the Lord listen to your prayers, comfort you when you are sad, and save you from your troubles (Psalm 34:15-18). Amen
2011 Vibrant Faith Ministries. All rights reserved. Written by Pr. Greg Priebbenow and edited by Vibrant Faith Ministries
Don’t forget to LIKE us out on Facebook, Follow us on Facebook and Share us with your Friends. Contact Grace Lutheran Church office @ 814-226-7548.    Contact Pastor Jake Jacobson @ 814-229-0999 or jakejacobson77@gmail.com  Contact Pastor Deborah Jacobson @ 814-229-4610 or 
 
Copyright ©  2021 Grace Lutheran Church. All Rights Reserved. Powered by Finalweb.