4th Sunday after Pentecost

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Readings, Devotion, and Prayers for the Fourth Sunday after Pentecost, June 28, 2020, for both MLLC and Waldeck Evangelical Lutheran Church

Please note that we have had some issues with the mllccarmine.com web site.  Things are working better now.  We are sorry for any delays and changes in typical patterns with the devotions and sharing of information.

We resumed in-person services on the weekend of June 6-7, following the normal schedule for both MLLC and Waldeck.  The Facebook Live services will be offered on Sundays at 8:00 a.m. from Waldeck, and at 10:00 a.m. from MLLC.

Below are the readings, prayers, and various announcements for this Sunday and this week.  The Sunday devotion is at the end of the readings.

 

Remember Your Regular Offerings

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For both of our congregations, Waldeck and MLLC, please remember that our expenses continue even when we are unable to meet as usual.  Please make a point to give your offerings as you would on a typical week.  Here are some ideas of what to do:

For Waldeck Evangelical Lutheran Church in Ledbetter:

– send your offering by mail to the church office  – Waldeck Evangelical Lutheran Church; 6915 Waldeck Church Lane; Ledbetter, TX 78946

– set aside your offerings each week, and then bring these to church when you can be at worship again.

For MLLC in Carmine:

– send your offering by mail to the church office  – MLLC, P O BOX 362, Carmine, TX 78932-0362

– set aside your offerings each week, and then bring these to church when you can be at worship again.

– give offerings through the church web site:  mllccarmine.com/online-giving  This page has a link to our secure giving page.  Offerings can be made by bank draft, debit card, or credit card through this special web site.

 

JUNE 28, 2020

FOURTH SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST

 

First Reading: Jeremiah 28:5-9

R:  A reading from Jeremiah, the 28th chapter.

Through a symbolic action Jeremiah insisted that Judah and all the surrounding nations should submit to the king of Babylon (Jer. 27). Hananiah contradicted the word of Jeremiah, who in reply insisted that Hananiah’s rosy prediction should not be believed until it came true. God confirmed the word of Jeremiah and sentenced the false prophet Hananiah to death (vv. 16-17).  And now the reading.

5The prophet Jeremiah spoke to the prophet Hananiah in the presence of the priests and all the people who were standing in the house of the Lord; 6and the prophet Jeremiah said, “Amen! May the Lord do so; may the Lord fulfill the words that you have prophesied, and bring back to this place from Babylon the vessels of the house of the Lord, and all the exiles. 7But listen now to this word that I speak in your hearing and in the hearing of all the people. 8The prophets who preceded you and me from ancient times prophesied war, famine, and pestilence against many countries and great kingdoms. 9As for the prophet who prophesies peace, when the word of that prophet comes true, then it will be known that the Lord has truly sent the prophet.”

The word of the Lord. Thanks be to God.

 

Psalm: Psalm 89:1-4, 15-18

R:  Psalm 89, portions read responsively by verse.

1Your love, O Lord, forever will I sing;
from age to age my mouth will proclaim your faithfulness.
2For I am persuaded that your steadfast love is established forever;
you have set your faithfulness firmly in the heavens.
3“I have made a covenant with my chosen one;
I have sworn an oath to David my servant:
4‘I will establish your line forever,
and preserve your throne for all generations.’ ” 
15Happy are the people who know the festal shout!
They walk, O Lord, in the light of your presence.
16They rejoice daily in your name;
they are jubilant in your righteousness.
17For you are the glory of their strength,
and by your favor our might is exalted.
18Truly, our shield belongs to the Lord;
our king to the Holy One of Israel. 

 

Second Reading: Romans 6:12-23

R:  A reading from Romans, the 6th chapter.

Sin is an enslaving power which motivates us to live self-serving, disobedient lives. Sin’s final payoff is death. We, however, have been set free from sin’s slavery to live obediently under God’s grace, whose end is the free gift of eternal life. And now the reading.

12Do not let sin exercise dominion in your mortal bodies, to make you obey their passions. 13No longer present your members to sin as instruments of wickedness, but present yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life, and present your members to God as instruments of righteousness. 14For sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace.
15What then? Should we sin because we are not under law but under grace? By no means! 16Do you not know that if you present yourselves to anyone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin, which leads to death, or of obedience, which leads to righteousness? 17But thanks be to God that you, having once been slaves of sin, have become obedient from the heart to the form of teaching to which you were entrusted, 18and that you, having been set free from sin, have become slaves of righteousness. 19I am speaking in human terms because of your natural limitations. For just as you once presented your members as slaves to impurity and to greater and greater iniquity, so now present your members as slaves to righteousness for sanctification.
20When you were slaves of sin, you were free in regard to righteousness. 21So what advantage did you then get from the things of which you now are ashamed? The end of those things is death. 22But now that you have been freed from sin and enslaved to God, the advantage you get is sanctification. The end is eternal life. 23For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

The word of the Lord. Thanks be to God.

 

*Gospel: Matthew 10:40-42

P:  The holy gospel according to St. Matthew, the 10th chapter.  Glory to you, O Lord.

When Jesus sends his disciples out as missionaries, he warns them of persecution and hardships they will face. He also promises to reward any who aid his followers and support their ministry. And now the reading.

[Jesus said to the twelve:] 40“Whoever welcomes you welcomes

me, and whoever welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me. 41Whoever welcomes a prophet in the name of a prophet will receive a prophet’s reward; and whoever welcomes a righteous person in the name of a righteous person will receive the reward of the righteous; 42and whoever gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones in the name of a disciple—truly I tell you, none of these will lose their reward.”

The gospel of the Lord. Praise to you, O Christ.

 

Devotion

“Trash and Treasure”

Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Over the decades on PBS there has been the program called Antiques Roadshow. On this program people bring items to staff antique appraisers to determine if what they have is of interest or value.  Sometimes there are amazing finds which surprise the owner.  One time in 2014 there was a painting brought in for appraisal.  It was an oil painting by Joseph Kleitsch was dated around 1925.  Joseph Kleitsch was part of what art historians call the California School of Impressionism. He died in 1931.

The owner of this painting had originally purchased it for approximately $100.  The Antiques Roadshow fine art appraiser Debra Force gave the owner quite the surprise when she offered an estimated gallery price of $500,000.  What was not much for one person became something of high value for another.

The Apostle Paul, in his letter to the Romans, chapter 6, verse 13, says, ” No longer present your members to sin as instruments of wickedness, but present yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life, and present your members to God as instruments of righteousness.” Paul is telling us that as God encounters us with his love and grace, we get to live a new way.  We no longer have to be living as sinners. Life is no longer the same because of what God is done for us in Jesus Christ. We know that humanity had turned from God’s ways. This rejection of the Lord had broken the special relationship we have with God. As a race we were no longer living in union with our Creator. The original intent for our lives was lost, and our perceived value was nothing. Death ruled the lives of humanity.

God chose to so value us that Jesus Christ went to the cross to die for us. Our value in God’s eyes grew from us being sinners to being those for whom his son had died. This is an astronomical change. God the Father saw his Son as so valuable that he gives up what was most valuable to himself for our sake.

Paul presents God’s call for us to turn from our old slave master and now to serve with a loving Savior who has bought us with his own precious body and blood. We are so valuable to God, and we cannot even imagine the full nature of the price he paid for our life and freedom.

There are two events in history that I look back at to remind me I have precious I am to God. The first is the saving work of Jesus Christ. I look back to his death on the cross. It’s where God bought me, it is where God bought you, it is where God bought humanity back from the power of sin and death and evil. The Lord has taken what was broken and dead and worthless, and he has made it precious and eternal. For this, I am most thankful.

The other is my baptism. Baptism is, as St. Paul teaches earlier in Romans chapter 6, the work of God which unites the person being baptized with the saving work of Jesus Christ.  At that point 54 years ago, I was claimed by Christ as one of his own. It was my special moment where I was set apart as a child of God and as an inheritor or eternal life with Christ. Throughout my days I remember God’s gift of life and direction granted by this sacred act. Because of my baptism I am a servant of for God just as all the baptized are. My hope and prayer for all of us is that we will see that our baptism is the entry point for our ministry as Christians.

Think about that $100 piece of art.  It was a simple item someone likely bought to put on her wall.  Over time she may not have thought about it very much at all.  Over time, the painting and other works by the same artist became treasured and respected by those who collect and display art.  Someone greater than the painting saw that it was special.  Someone delighted in the painting and treated it as something of great and precious value.

For us, we are a bit like that painting.  We were once lost in sin and death.  By the work of Jesus and the love of God, we are declared precious and valuable.  We are loved.  By this and by God’s guidance we move from the realm of sin and into the realm of God’s abundant love.  With this new environment we get to live the new life which God has prepared for us.

Prayer

Loving God, thank you for seeking us out and treating us as your beloved treasure.  By you Spirit help us to live as your faithful followers this day and forevermore.  We pray this in the holy name of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen

 

*Prayers of Intercession

A:  Let us pray for the whole people of God in Christ Jesus, and for all people according to their needs.

A brief silence.

Lord God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit: you alone are worthy of our praise.  You alone are the Holy One.  Receive our prayers and songs of worship.  Lord, in your mercy, Hear our prayer.

We give thanks for the blessings of this nation.  Help us to strive together as one people toward liberty and justice for all in this land.  We give thanks for those who have risked their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor for our freedom.  Lord, in your mercy,   Hear our prayer.

We pray for those who manage the finances of this congregation.  Help them to continue to be faithful to their task, and help us to grow in our generosity toward you and your church.  Lord, in your mercy,        Hear our prayer.

We pray that your Holy Spirit will stir in the lives of your people.  Help us, by your Spirit, to discern individuals who are called to serve as pastors and deacons in your church.  Lord, in your mercy, Hear our prayer. 

Other petitions may be added here.

You comfort all who struggle in body, mind or spirit.  Bring healing, strength and hope to all for whom we pray, including…   and those whom we name aloud or in quiet prayer…   Lord, in your mercy, Hear our prayer.

You comfort us as we mourn.  Bring encouragement and support to all who grieve following the death of a loved one or friend. (We especially remember…).

Lord, in your mercy, Hear our prayer.

P:  Into your hands, O Lord, we commend all for whom we pray, trusting in your mercy; through your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.

Amen

Copyright © 2020 Augsburg Fortress. All rights reserved. Reprinted by permission under Augsburg Fortress Liturgies Annual License #27061.

New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989, Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

 

 

 

 

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