Greetings church! I was away the past two Sundays at Holden Village, a remote retreat center in the Cascades of Washington State. With my family, I soaked in the grace of community life, worshiped every day, learned from scholars and practitioners of the faith, and was struck by the majesty of creation.
At one point, looking out over the mountains, drinking a cup of tea and being totally unplugged from the internet and cell phones, I could feel my chest loosen and my breathing deepen.
Sigh. May we all have moments of such peace. I hope that the summer brought you similar moments of rest and if it didn’t, I urge you to carve out some time for rest. Even Jesus needed to retreat!
Speaking of…in our gospel for Sunday, Jesus got away from the crowds for some rest. But while he was away, his rest was interrupted by a mother with a sick child. His first reaction was not very “Jesus-y.” He called her a name and didn’t heal her child. The mother argued with him and the strength of her argument caused Jesus to change his mind.
What does this image of Jesus add to the overall picture of what it means to be divine? What if perfection doesn’t mean you get it right all the time, but that you are able to change your mind when you have been wrong? I’ll preach about what this challenging text says about Jesus’ humanity and ours.
Last week, Pastor Peter Bastien preached about claiming grace and loving boldly even when you know yourself to be sinful. If you’ve ever complained about a neighbor, his sermon is for you. Listen to it here.
Finally, we begin Sunday School and Confirmation this Sunday and we also have our “God’s Work. Our Hands.” service project following the 10:30 am service. We have a baptism at the 8:00 am service and we say farewell to Karen and Phil Ager. It’s a big day for Peace.
See you in church,