Rev. Betty Kniss
A few days ago a Kentucky garbage man noticed no trash cans were being put out at an elderly woman's house on his route for two straight weeks.
He was concerned enough to share the address with his supervisor.
She found the name of the woman at the address and called her: “Ms. Smith, we noticed you haven't put out your cans for a while. Are you ok?”
Ms. Smith replied: “I’m okay. But my caretaker was so afraid of the virus that she stopped coming. I can’t get to the store. I don’t have any trash because I’ve run out of food. And I don’t have any family to help me.”
After a long pause, the caller said: “You do now. We are your family.”
The supervisor let her truck driver know of the sad news. The next day, on his day off, he knocked on her door and asked her to make up a grocery list.
“Ms. Smith— the list is too short.” She added a few more items. “Ms. Smith, this list is still too short. Would you mind if I looked into your fridge?” She relented. He opened the fridge and it was bare. Empty.
An hour later, he brought in dozens of bags of groceries for a woman he hardly knew.
Tears. An air-hug that met social distancing protocol. And the garbage man walked out of the house of this woman who was physically immobile, but levitating. A garbage man decided he’d reach out to someone and church broke out. His supervisor shared the creed with this elderly woman: “You have a family now.”
I miss our services of worship. I miss that it’s silent now. I'm sick to my stomach we had to push back are start-back date to gather.
But church? Church is happening all around us. It’s a phone-call. It’s a bag of groceries. It happens anytime someone tells another person who is Jesus in his best disguise: “You have a family now.” Real church is not defined by a service of worship, but by servants of Christ.
Keep being church. That’s all you have to do.
Offer up your own prayer. Offer praise and thanksgiving to God. Share your worries and concerns with God. Pray for other people. Pray for people who are sick, lonely, and afraid. Pray for medical professionals, medical researchers, first responders, and community leaders who are working so hard to keep us well.
Ask God to help you find creative ways to reach out to people and share God’s love via phone, card, email, or social media, etc.
Creator God, you created the whole world and everything in it.
When you created man and woman, you knew it was very good.
When you created me, you made me in your own image.
Open my heart and mind so I might come to know and love Jesus and become more fully who you intended me to be.
Help me realize it's not about performance but about relationship.
Be with me today so that everyone I come into contact with sees my attitude, actions, and character in such a way that reflects glory on you who created me.
42 He went away a second time and prayed, “My Father, if it is not possible for this cup to be taken away unless I drink it, may your will be done.”
43 When he came back, he again found them sleeping, because their eyes were heavy.
44 So he left them and went away once more and prayed the third time, saying the same thing.
45 Then he returned to the disciples and said to them, “Are you still sleeping and resting? Look, the hour has come, and the Son of Man is delivered into the hands of sinners.
46 Rise! Let us go! Here comes my betrayer!”
47 While he was still speaking, Judas, one of the Twelve, arrived. With him was a large crowd armed with swords and clubs, sent from the chief priests and the elders of the people.
48 Now the betrayer had arranged a signal with them: “The one I kiss is the man; arrest him.”
49 Going at once to Jesus, Judas said, “Greetings, Rabbi!” and kissed him.
50 Jesus replied, “Do what you came for, friend.” Then the men stepped forward, seized Jesus and arrested him.
Pastor Emily Denmark McGee
Part 11 of the Jesus H. Christ series
God takes what is human and makes something beautiful.
Oceanview Online Giving: Giving is a part of our worship to God. While we may not have in-person worship at the moment, church is not closed. Our ministries continue. Your generosity helps us minister God’s hope and healing to our community and beyond. Contribute on Oceanview's 'Give' page found on the main menu or by clicking here: Oceanview Give. Thank you for helping show Christ real and relevant to the world.
Prayer: Mighty God, our comfort and our strength: we have been navigating through this pandemic with anxiety and isolation. We have lived in fear of disease, death, and not having enough. Yet, we are here, offering our gifts to the work of your kingdom and reminding ourselves of the glory about to be revealed to us. Remind us that we are your children, that we are your heirs. Remind us that your plan is not bondage or decay but a love that will save us and free us. In Christ’s name, we pray. Amen. (Romans 8:12-25)
God takes what is lost, wrecked and dirty....and makes something beautiful out of it.
I see shattered You see whole, I see broken but You see beautiful
And You're helping me to believe, You're restoring me piece by piece
There's nothing too dirty, That You can’t make worthy
You wash me in mercy, I am clean
There's nothing too dirty, That You can't make worthy
You wash me in mercy, I am clean
What was dead now lives again. My heart's beating beating inside my chest
Oh I'm coming alive with joy and destiny 'Cause You're restoring me piece by piece
Washed in the blood of Your sacrifice, Your blood flowed red and made me white
My dirty rags are purified, I am clean
For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. Amen.
Further Readings for the Sixth Sunday after Pentecost: Sunday, July 12
from The Revised Common Lectionary, Year A
1st Reading: Genesis 25:19-34
Psalm: Psalm 119:105-112
2nd Reading: Romans 8:1-11
Gospel: Matthew 13:1-9, 18-23