June, 2017

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Reflections on Father’s Day 6/18/17

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Psalm 100 (RSV)

All Lands Summoned to Praise God

A Psalm for the thank offering.

100 Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the lands!
    Serve the Lord with gladness!
    Come into his presence with singing!

Know that the Lord is God!
    It is he that made us, and we are his;
    we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.

Enter his gates with thanksgiving,
    and his courts with praise!
    Give thanks to him, bless his name!

For the Lord is good;
    his steadfast love endures for ever,
    and his faithfulness to all generations.

 

Luke 11:5-13Revised Standard Version (RSV)

Perseverance in Prayer

And he said to them, “Which of you who has a friend will go to him at midnight and say to him, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves; for a friend of mine has arrived on a journey, and I have nothing to set before him’; and he will answer from within, ‘Do not bother me; the door is now shut, and my children are with me in bed; I cannot get up and give you anything’? I tell you, though he will not get up and give him anything because he is his friend, yet because of his importunity he will rise and give him whatever he needs. And I tell you, Ask, and it will be given you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. 10 For every one who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. 11 What father among you, if his son asks for[a]a fish, will instead of a fish give him a serpent; 12 or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? 13 If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!”

Revised Standard Version (RSV)

Revised Standard Version of the Bible, copyright © 1946, 1952, and 1971 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

“Making Ourselves Available” 6-11-17 Matthew 28:16-20

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Psalm 8:1-4, 9 (RSV)

Divine Majesty and Human Dignity

To the choirmaster: according to The Gittith. A Psalm of David.

O Lord, our Lord,
how majestic is thy name in all the earth!

Thou whose glory above the heavens is chanted
    by the mouth of babes and infants,
thou hast founded a bulwark because of thy foes,
    to still the enemy and the avenger.

When I look at thy heavens, the work of thy fingers,
    the moon and the stars which thou hast established;
what is man that thou art mindful of him,
    and the son of man that thou dost care for him?

O Lord, our Lord,
    how majestic is thy name in all the earth!

 

Matthew 28:16-20Revised Standard Version (RSV)

The Commissioning of the Disciples

16 Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them. 17 And when they saw him they worshiped him; but some doubted. 18 And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, to the close of the age.”

Revised Standard Version (RSV)

Revised Standard Version of the Bible, copyright © 1946, 1952, and 1971 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Newsletter, June, 2017

Blessed be God—Creator, Christ, and Holy Spirit.

And blessed be God’s kingdom, now and forever. Amen.

And, here we are. June 1 marks our first anniversary of ministry together here at First Christian

Church in Plainview, America. I feel as though we have made some headway, are continuing to

make more every day, and will do even greater things in the coming year to glorify God and do

the work of the Church, to be the Church, here in this great community we call home.

The month of June begins with the two holy days that follow the Easter season. June 4 is the Day

of Pentecost, the seventh Sunday after Easter Day, which commemorates the falling of the Holy

Spirit and its gifts upon the Apostles, a day we commonly celebrate as marking the birth of the

Church. Pentecost Sunday is a great day to wear red. The next Sunday, Trinity Sunday, the first

Sunday after Pentecost, celebrates the Trinitarian aspect of our faith—the triune God—God, the

Creator; God, the Son; and God, the Holy Spirit. On these two Sundays, we will be gathering the

annual Pentecost offering, which is used to help start new churches. The monies gathered by our

region will go to this purpose in the Southwest region.

June 18 is Father’s Day. On this day, we will celebrate fathers everywhere—those with us still,

and those who have passed to the life eternal. It’s always that time of year when I try to

remember the awesome responsibility that God has given me as a father, and how much I have to

be thankful for the example set for me by my own father.

On June 25, our kids will be gone to summer camp for a week. And that afternoon, I will be

leaving for Mission West JYF summer camp at Lake Brownwood Christian Retreat Center,

serving as the camp’s keynote speaker. I will be away for most of that week. Please pray for our

kids, and pray for me as I am turned loose on a bunch of 4th and 5th graders—or maybe, as 4th

and 5th graders are turned loose on me.

As school is dismissed for the summer, many of us are looking forward to some time off for rest

and relaxation and renewal. Kids and grandkids will be coming to visit, and many will be visiting

kids and grandkids. Remember, church does not take a summer vacation. We all appreciate in

advance your commitments to your church, and I look forward to meeting and reacquainting

myself with members of your families.

And on a final note—Sarah and I are very appreciative for all that the church has done for us,

and is doing for us in helping us get into a house in Plainview. We are grateful for all of the

things that you, as a church and as individuals and families, are doing for us. We are blessed

beyond belief by God, and by you as our church family. Let’s continue to move forward together

in the service of our Risen Lord.

Blessings and peace,

Richard+

Come! Acts 2:1-21 June 4, 2017

 

Psalm 104:1-5 (RSV)

God the Creator and Provider

104 Bless the Lord, O my soul!
O Lord my God, thou art very great!
Thou art clothed with honor and majesty,
    who coverest thyself with light as with a garment,
who hast stretched out the heavens like a tent,
    who hast laid the beams of thy chambers on the waters,
who makest the clouds thy chariot,
    who ridest on the wings of the wind,
who makest the winds thy messengers,
    fire and flame thy ministers.

Thou didst set the earth on its foundations,
    so that it should never be shaken.

Acts 2:1-21 (RSV)

The Coming of the Holy Spirit

When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place. And suddenly a sound came from heaven like the rush of a mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared to them tongues as of fire, distributed and resting on each one of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.

Now there were dwelling in Jerusalem Jews, devout men from every nation under heaven. And at this sound the multitude came together, and they were bewildered, because each one heard them speaking in his own language. And they were amazed and wondered, saying, “Are not all these who are speaking Galileans? And how is it that we hear, each of us in his own native language? Par′thians and Medes and E′lamites and residents of Mesopota′mia, Judea and Cappado′cia, Pontus and Asia, 10 Phryg′ia and Pamphyl′ia, Egypt and the parts of Libya belonging to Cyre′ne, and visitors from Rome, both Jews and proselytes, 11 Cretans and Arabians, we hear them telling in our own tongues the mighty works of God.” 12 And all were amazed and perplexed, saying to one another, “What does this mean?” 13 But others mocking said, “They are filled with new wine.”

Peter Addresses the Crowd

14 But Peter, standing with the eleven, lifted up his voice and addressed them, “Men of Judea and all who dwell in Jerusalem, let this be known to you, and give ear to my words. 15 For these men are not drunk, as you suppose, since it is only the third hour of the day; 16 but this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel:

17 ‘And in the last days it shall be, God declares,
that I will pour out my Spirit upon all flesh,
and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy,
and your young men shall see visions,
and your old men shall dream dreams;
18 yea, and on my menservants and my maidservants in those days
I will pour out my Spirit; and they shall prophesy.
19 And I will show wonders in the heaven above
and signs on the earth beneath,
blood, and fire, and vapor of smoke;
20 the sun shall be turned into darkness
and the moon into blood,
before the day of the Lord comes,
the great and manifest day.
21 And it shall be that whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.’

Revised Standard Version (RSV)

Revised Standard Version of the Bible, copyright © 1946, 1952, and 1971 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.