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Reflections for Sunday, June 28th

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Reflections for Sunday, June 28th
Call to Worship (Matthew 11:28-30)
Jesus said, “Come to me, all you that are weary, and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light." So we come, to worship, to learn, to rest... in Jesus God, And may we find rest and renewal In Christ Jesus our Lord.


Prayer Loving and Sustaining God, You call us to obedience, to follow you in all things; to give up the things we cling to, and to give ourselves wholeheartedly to your purposes.
We confess that we don’t always find this easy to do. We confess that it is often very difficult to let go of the things we love. But we also know that you never ask more of us than what is possible, and that you stand ready, at all times, to sustain us, and to provide everything we need.
Give us courage to faithfully follow your leading, even when we cannot see the outcome, eve…

Jesus' Last words

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Jesus' Last Words
Continuing the theme of Last Words...  We have looked at two of the major authors of the New Testament: Peter and Paul.  Each gives last words that are meant to point their beloved followers back to security... even if not safety.  Both spoke of desperate times, perilous times... and the strong, urgent need to remain firmly planted in the truth of Scripture.
But there is One even more important to listen to...  One who eclipses any Biblical character:  Jesus!
There is a bit of a challenge in this, though...  pinpointing Jesus' final words is awkward, if not impossible.  I mean, are we talking about Jesus' last words as he gathers with his disciples around a table preparing for his death?  ("I have earnestly yearned/desired to share this meal with you...")
Or maybe we look a little further to the words he speaks upon the cross:  ("It is finished!"  and "Into your hands I commit my spirit.")  These are definitely final words!  
Exce…

Paul's Last Words

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Let us continue with the theme of Last Words…We have already considered the words of Saint Peter who was crucified, upside down, sometime between AD 64 and AD 68 in his 60’s.Now we turn to that other great Apostle, Paul, who was likely decapitated at the hands of Emperor Nero sometime around AD 67.Formerly known as Saul of Tarsus, Paul was extremely well educated and used his great intellect to address the numerous challenges and heresies which arose within the Christian faith.13 Epistles (letters) are attributed to Paul (though 6 are contested as not being authored by Paul himself.)Likely, the last letter we have of Paul’s is the second letter to Timothy.As background to 2 Timothy, we must begin with Paul’s visit with the Ephesian elders before his first Roman imprisonment. In Acts 20:28-31, Paul warns the elders that savage wolves would arise, even from among their number, to destroy the flock. It seems that after Paul was released from Rome and then visited Ephesus, this prophecy h…

Facts, Knowledge and Wisdom

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We live in the information age…Information is so prevalent around us that we are literally drowning in it!In fact, information (data) has become a form of currency and is being ‘mined’ from you on a moment-by-moment basis.Your internet search habits, your shopping preferences, your choice of TV and Radio…even how you take your coffee!All of this is data that is being sold to the highest bidder.Information, it seems, is golden.Enter the Internet.Since the dawn of the World Wide Web, information (and access to it) has multiplied at an insane rate.Buckminster Fuller created the “Knowledge Doubling Curve”; This theory goes that until year 1900, human knowledge approximately doubled every century. However, by 1950 human knowledge doubled every 25 years. In 2000, human knowledge would double every year. Now, our knowledge is almost doubling every day. (And this was reported nearly three years ago!)This has lead to information overload…There is so much out there, we don’t know how to sift th…

Famous Last Words

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Last words…some people always have to have the last word in a conversation. Some never seem to get to the last word… they just keep talking!Then again, when someone is on his or her deathbed, it’s not that hard to get the last word.I read in a blog a writer say that he’ll be happy so long as his last words are not “Hey guys, watch this!” or “Get them off me! Get them off me!”“Famous last words” can be inspiring…the things that people say right before they go to their eternal reward – or non-reward, as the case may be.For example, as he breathed his last on July 4, 1926, President John Adams exclaimed, “Thomas Jefferson still survives.” Except that he didn’t – Jefferson had died about five hours earlier, also on the Fourth of July. OK, so no one said famous last words have to be accurate. Another example of this was General John Sedgwick, a Union officer during the Civil War.During the battle of the Wilderness he insisted on peeking above the works to see the situation. As his men warn…