In you, O Lord, I seek refuge;
do not let me ever be put to shame;
in your righteousness deliver me.
Incline your ear to me;
rescue me speedily.
Be a rock of refuge for me,
a strong fortress to save me.
You are indeed my rock and my fortress;
for your name’s sake lead me and guide me,
take me out of the net that is hidden for me,
for you are my refuge.
Into your hand I commit my spirit;
you have redeemed me, O Lord, faithful God.
My times are in your hand;
deliver me from the hand of my enemies and persecutors.
Let your face shine upon your servant;
save me in your steadfast love.
Like newborn infants, long for the pure, spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow into salvation — if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is good. Come to him, a living stone, though rejected by mortals yet chosen and precious in God's sight, and like living stones, let yourselves be built into a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ .For it stands in scripture: "See, I am laying in Zion a stone, a cornerstone chosen and precious; and whoever believes in him will not be put to shame." To you then who believe, he is precious; but for those who do not believe, "The stone that the builders rejected has become the very head of the corner," and "A stone that makes them stumble, and a rock that makes them fall." They stumble because they disobey the word, as they were destined to do. But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God's own people, in order that you may proclaim the mighty acts of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. Once you were not a people, but now you are God's people; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.John 14:1-14
“Do not let your hearts be troubled. Believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house there are many dwelling places. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, so that where I am, there you may be also. And you know the way to the place where I am going.” Thomas said to him, “Lord, we do not know where you are going. How can we know the way?” Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you know me, you will know my Father also. From now on you do know him and have seen him.”
Philip said to him, “Lord, show us the Father, and we will be satisfied.” Jesus said to him, “Have I been with you all this time, Philip, and you still do not know me? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on my own; but the Father who dwells in me does his works. Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; but if you do not, then believe me because of the works themselves. Very truly, I tell you, the one who believes in me will also do the works that I do and, in fact, will do greater works than these, because I am going to the Father. I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If in my name you ask me for anything, I will do it.
A blessed Mother’s Day weekend to you all as we set aside time to give thanks for the gift of a mother’s love.
In our reading for this weekend from 1 Peter there are many images used to describe the church. Scholars believe the letter of 1 Peter was circulated through churches in Asia Minor facing severe persecution.
The writer moves rapidly through many images that help describe the church as he sees it, and wants it to become. The reading from 1 Peter which will be shared in worship this weekend begins with the image of spiritual milk as nourishment, necessary for spiritual lives. We all start our lives on mother’s milk, in some form.
So, too, does the church.
Next, the church is associated with Christ, the “living stone,” an image of strength and life.
And then the picture of a cornerstone emerges. A cornerstone is the reference point for a building, and Jesus is our cornerstone.
1 Peter calls Christians “a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s own people” (1 Peter 2:9).
The writer is on a roll; the poetry rolls off his tongue. He says that we, as Christians, are associated with Christ, the King and high priest, and thus we have become a royal priesthood. “Once they were no people. Now they are God’s people” (1 Peter 2:10).
And what should God’s people proclaim?
According to 1 Peter, we are to proclaim “the mighty acts of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light” (1 Peter 2:9).
We are to proclaim the mighty acts of God, who raised Jesus from the dead.
This is a mission of the church.
Which biblical images come to mind when you think about the ministry we share here at Shepherd of the Prairie Lutheran Church?
Does any of the images from this text, such as spiritual milk, cornerstones, living stones, a chosen people, holy nation, royal priesthood, or God’s people or maybe “sheep” in reference to last weekend?
Are there any other common images for the church we share here? What messages are proclaimed at SOTP? Do you find these messages helpful, believable, encouraging, confusing, questionable?
Have any of these messages been nourishing to you, like spiritual milk or spiritual vegetables?
What message would you like to see proclaimed to help create an alive church for the next generations? In our Gospel reading for this weekend we will hear Jesus proclaim that we will do even “greater things” than he did while upon the earth. What are those great things?
Ponder some of these questions, pray about them and share them as God gives you ability to do so.
I’ll see you in worship this weekend.
Due to Mother's Day this Sunday, our adult education classes will not meet on Sunday or next Wednesday. However, we will resume on Sunday, May 21, and on Wednesday, May 24. These will be our final classes for this academic year, as we take a summer hiatus, and then resume classes in September. We've covered a lot of ground this past year as we've immersed ourselves in the story of the Protestant Reformation. We'll conclude with focusing on what Martin Luther called "God's Alien Work and God's Proper Work." Come and find out what it's all about! Sunday, May 21, at 10:20, and Wednesday, May 24, at 11:00. Note: we won't meet at 7 pm on May 24 due to our congregational meeting to vote on proceeding with plans for our new building.