Third Sunday After Pentecost Lessons & Meditations

FIRST READING:  Jeremiah 20:7-13

Jeremiah has a vocational crisis at the mid-point of his ministry as a prophet. He feels caught in the middle, squeezed between a God who has insisted that he preach difficult words of warning and a people who refuse to believe the words he obediently and passionately shares. He blames God for this mess. He regrets the suffering and danger he has faced. He complains that God has deceived him, even overpowered him. And, at his lowest point, he wishes that he had never been born. But he also looks to God for the solution. Even though Jeremiah had decided to keep still, he could not, because the truth of God’s Word on the inside was as a burning fire shut up in his bones. He can’t keep still and he can’t stay silent. And Jeremiah somehow believes that God will be a strong protector against his enemies. He is willing to continue his prophetic truth-telling, standing on tr.

Have you ever done the right thing and then suffered because of it? How did it make you feel? What did you say to God about it?

Have you ever wished that you had never been born?

How important is it for you to see the results of your servanthood? Is it enough to trust God and to do your humble and faithful best?

Wanting to give up, Jeremiah experienced a burning fire deep in his bones that he could not hold in anymore, no matter the ridicule, rejection, persecution, and potential death that he faced to speak God’s Word. On the fiftieth day after Christ’s resurrection victory, gathered and praying followers in a room were “ignited” by the Holy Spirit – each with a flicker of fire over his or her head – and they spilled out into the street, no longer hidden or hesitant, to praise Jesus and to offer love to the crowd. When has the “fire” of God’s Spirit led you to act in a courageous or compassionate way?

John the Baptist willingly confessed that he was only baptizing with water as a sign of repentance, but One coming after him (Jesus) would baptize “with the Holy Spirit and fire”.  Are you on fire? Dimly flickering?

Burnt out?

SECOND READING:  Romans 6:1b-11

Paul believes that baptism is a journey or a process that occurs over an entire life. The movement is from the “old life” of sin to a “new life” in Christ. In baptism, we are buried with Christ, and raised with Christ. No longer does and should sin have power over us… our ways, our values, and our objectives are changed.

Paul also says that it is a false notion to think that we should eagerly keep on sinning in order to receive more and more of God’s grace. Grace is a free gift, but it’s not a debit card to live any old way we desire! That would make what Jesus did “cheap grace”.

What specifically might you do this week to count yourself dead to sin and alive in Christ? We often think to ourselves, or are told by others, “I know I’m not perfect… I know I’m going to sin… I know I’ll fall short of God’s expectation today.” But what if, instead of defeat, we began each day with victory… we awakened to grace rather than shame… we celebrated God’s love for us and Christ’s saving of us and the Spirit’s strengthening of us… we approached each day as a “new” day and lived into it as a “liberated” son or daughter?

GOSPEL READING:  Matthew 10:24-39

Jesus warns his disciples then and now that their ministry in his name will surely meet with opposition and threats. They and we are not to let fear bring despair and failure. Trust in God through it all. Stay committed and on course as disciples.

When has fear – of failure or loneliness, of not fitting in and being rejected, of physical pain or an uncertain future, or of anything else – caused you to stumble in your journey of faith and faithfulness as a Christian? Can you trust the assurance of God’s presence and promises?

How has Christ’s teachings united the members of your family? How has it divided them?

How have you experienced the mystery and the joy of Jesus’ words that “whoever loses his/her life for my sake will find it”? How can you lose yourself for Christ this week?

A MEDITATION

Walking with God, following Jesus, is not necessarily a pleasant journey. But Jesus has assured us, others have told us, and we have perhaps already experienced this – it is worth the risk. Do not fear. Trust the Lord with your life. Keep following. Become a better disciple.

Upcoming Events

Jun
19
Wed
2024
10:30 am Whole Foods Distribution
Whole Foods Distribution
Jun 19 @ 10:30 am – 12:00 pm
Whole Foods Distribution Use entrance on Briar Rd. to access the lower classroom area. Need more information? Check out this event’s ministry page.
Jun
23
Sun
2024
10:00 am Sunday Worship Service
Sunday Worship Service
Jun 23 @ 10:00 am – 11:00 am
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we will be gathering together for worship service on Zoom using the following information: MEETING ID: 5977365682 MEETING PASSWORD: 204934 You can also join us for...
Jun
30
Sun
2024
10:00 am Sunday Worship Service
Sunday Worship Service
Jun 30 @ 10:00 am – 11:00 am
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we will be gathering together for worship service on Zoom using the following information: MEETING ID: 5977365682 MEETING PASSWORD: 204934 You can also join us for...
Jul
3
Wed
2024
10:30 am Whole Foods Distribution
Whole Foods Distribution
Jul 3 @ 10:30 am – 12:00 pm
Whole Foods Distribution Use entrance on Briar Rd. to access the lower classroom area. Need more information? Check out this event’s ministry page.
Jul
5
Fri
2024
8:30 am Senior Food Box Distribution @ St. Peter's Rhoda Hall
Senior Food Box Distribution @ St. Peter's Rhoda Hall
Jul 5 @ 8:30 am – 10:00 am
Check out the Senior Food Program’s page for more information.