Sermon Recap | Love Doesn't Hesitate
The title of Bob’s sermon on Sunday was, “Love Doesn’t Hesitate.” It was inspired by the story of the Prodigal Son, whose Father wastes no time in embracing him, accepting him back into the family, and throwing the best party possible, even though the Father would have been entirely justified if he had forced the son to pay some penance, or, as Bob suggested on Sunday, just let the older brother handle prodigal’s return.
Unhesitating love is a Gospel character trait. It was on display in last week’s text too. In that text the Apostle Paul writes to the rich slave-owner Philemon. Philemon’s slave, Onesimus, has run away to Paul. Paul sends the (very passive aggressive) letter to Philemon encouraging him to treat Onesimus as a brother and not a slave. He urges Philemon to forgo his legal rights, social expectations, and economic prosperity in the name of generous hospitality.
Bob asked if the unhesitating love of the Father and the radical hospitality encouraged in Paul’s letter to Philemon are the witness that our church is bearing. Too often the church has made people grovel at the feet of the Father before welcoming them into the family of God. We wait to throw the party until we are sure that they belong. We defer to the older brother’s judgment who is sure to make the younger brother pay the price for his disobedience. We want to be a church to reflects the unhesitating love of the Father. Every week at the communion table we experience the Father's redemptive and unconditional love. How can we embody that love this week?
Prayers of the People
We pray for our children of Grace beginning Sunday School today. We thank you for every teacher, parent and volunteer who will bring this good news. Bless this year and may all our children grow up to know you in a deep and meaningful way.
We pray for all those who are in college or doing continuing education. As this can be challenging balancing life, work and learning -may they never fail to continue to devote time to worship and praise of you.
God please hear the crys of the innocents in Syria and other war torn parts of the world. Please pour out your Holy Spirit so that violence will cease to consume the lives of so many. Please make your church faithful to work within every avenue we have available to us to foster the things that make for peace.
We pray for all those in our church and our world who struggle with depression and anxiety. We pray that your loving presence would provide comfort and lift spirits. We pray that you would help all those struggling to find the support networks and treatments that can help them live well and enjoy life.
Lord in your mercy....hear our prayer
- Thanks to everyone for joining us at Annie and Jason's place on Sunday. We had a great time hanging out on the beach. You can find some photos here.
- Grace is cooking at Breakthrough this week. If you can help out at 6:45 Thursday evening send Pastor Bob (firstname.lastname@example.org) an email.
- We are hosting a Chicago area Beer and Hymns night on October 2nd. We're excited about singing together and inviting the community to join us. Check out this website for more information!
- COOKBOOK. We still need your recipes! This blog explains the project and how to get involved!
- Membership Class is happening after church next Sunday. If you're interested in learning more about Grace and what being a member means, stick around after church. We'll provide lunch!