Old Church Road near Hay Creek beckoned us to make the turn more than once. Most recently, there were batches of bright yellow flowers along the way and crops ripening in the fields.
Immanuel Lutheran Church located there has a tab on their webpage making it easy to watch sermons. For Sept. 6, 2020, Pastor Lowell invitingly addressed the camera in a red shirt that reminded me of Pentecost, glasses that reminded me of my father and a substantial cross pendant that I could imagine Mom liking.
We were told right away that the impetuous remarks of the guy who was held in such high esteem in last week’s lesson would now cause him to be soundly rebuked, just a few short verses later.
But before we got to that, there was liturgy for the “remission” of sins and the announcement of grace. It was a little different wording from what I find most familiar. It made me think of receding cancer, but also going forward again with a mission.
Back to “What’s up with that?” Our rock Peter is now being told by his messiah to, “Get behind me, Satan!” His merely human concerns were being a tripping hazard. The apostle has lost track of Christ’s mission here on Earth and when reminded of it impulsively declared surely not. Wrong. He quickly went “from right confession to evil suggestion.”
We were told humans are “creatures of paradox,” a “study in contrasts.” The struggle is indeed real. But there’s generally both trouble and grace sufficient for the day. We’re reminded that each day is a new opportunity to courageously and faithfully “take up the cross appointed for us” and lose ourselves, in a good way, to a broader mindset.
The prayers that followed included some language I always like about help for “all people according to their needs.”
I appreciated the emphasis pastor put on the third and eighth words of the common benediction phrase I never get tired of hearing: may the Divine “look upon you with favor and give you peace.”