Over the course of the last month, we’ve heard stories in worship of healing, forgiveness, and new life: Jesus heals a centurion’s slave, raises a widow’s son, forgives a scandalous woman, and liberates a man possessed by demons. In each, personal experiences of healing and restoration are placed in a larger social and political context. These scenes, so intimate in their depiction of human need and divine mercy, have drawn us in and encouraged us to bring our own need for healing to Christ in worship.
As we move into the month of July we will be encouraged to imagine ourselves as being among the seventy whom Jesus sends out to announce peace, to share table fellowship, to cure the sick, and to proclaim the reign of God drawn near (Luke 10:8-9). The injunction to “love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbor as yourself” (Luke 10:27) is expanded upon with the parable of the Good Samaritan (July 10) and the scene of Jesus’ arrival in the home of Mary and Martha (July 17). Having been healed by Jesus, we now hear the call to share the love we have received with neighbors both familiar and unfamiliar.
Many of us have no problem talking about what God has done for us and for our salvation, but we do struggle when it’s time to talk about what God requires of us. God’s claim on our lives calls on us to engage in a radically different way of loving, seeing, and doing in the world. Each of the stories we will hear in the July series — Action Required! — involves a story of people being challenged to discover the importance of acting on what they believe in a fitting manner. Along the way we discover that acting faithfully in service to God’s commands often involves paradoxes and reversals that make it more difficult to discern how best to act in keeping with God’s will.
Come, join us in worship this July and listen for what God is requiring of you …
ACTION REQUIRED! A Summer Sermon Series
- July 10: “Love Unconditionally” — The Good Samaritan / Love others, no matter who they are. (Luke 10:25-37)
- July 17: “Stop and Listen” — Mary & Martha / Those who would serve must also sit and learn. (Luke 10:38-42)
- July 24: “Be Persistent in Prayer” — The Persistent Friend / Ask and you will receive. (Luke 11:1-13)
- July 31: “Look Beyond Yourself” — The Rich Fool / Self-interest is to lose perspective of God’s greater desire for us. (Luke 12:13-21)