Greetings everyone and Happy Memorial Day! We had the perfect morning for services throughout the area at cemeteries, remembering those who have served our country. Here's some prayers for you to say this Memorial Day The armed forces of the nation:Almighty and everlasting God, whose providence guides your people in diligent service, bless the officers and enlisted women and men of the Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force and Coast Guard as they perform the duties of their calling. Give them not only true love of country but also love of you and an understanding of your love for all people; so that, relying upon your guidance, they may courageously defend our nation from every foe, promote justice, honor, and unity among our people, and be a means of fostering mutual respect and understanding among all peoples of the world, through Jesus Christ, your Son and our Lord. Amen Those who have given their livesEternal God, we give thanks for all those who have shown the greatest love by laying down their lives for others. We especially thank you for those in our military throughout history who have sacrificed their lives for their fellow citizens and for us who came after. As we remember their service, keep us mindful of all those for whom this day is a burden, and send your spirit of comfort to them. Be present with all the women and men who are serving in the military today. Let them live for the peace known only from you. Help us to be worthy of their legacy, and keep us mindful of their service, that in all things we may live our lives in praise and thanksgiving to you, through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord. Amen (from ELW Prayer Book for the Armed Services. pg. 65) Blessing for travelers:O God, whose glory fills the whole creation, and whose presence we find wherever we go. Preserve us/those who travel, surround us/them with your loving care; protect us/them from every danger; and bring us/them in safety to our/their journey's end. Through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen (Adapted from the Prayers and Thanksgiving-Book of Common Prayer, 1979)
There will be a VBS workbee at Trinity on Sunday, June 3rd from noon until 3:00 p.m. Your help is greatly appreciated. "Shipwrecked" is the theme for this year's vacation bible school. We are super excited to have the church transformed into a deserted island. Registration forms are available on Facebook under Trinity's page or attached to these musings. Please complete the registration and email it back to me. All children ages 4 and up are welcome to join us for a fun-filled, scripture based week. This activity is FREE for all. What better way to start out the summer!
Ladies' Aid will meet on Tuesday, June 5th at 2:00 p.m. at Ginny Dahlin's home. All women of the community are cordially invited for this special time of fellowship and fun. I am certain that Ginny is preparing a wonderful plant presentation. I am really wanting to resume our bible study at Trinity. Please let me know what day and time of the week works best for your schedule. I hope you all have a wonderful time together with your family and friends on this Memorial Day weekend.Hope to see you in church!
Here's this week's "Daily Discipleship"
Holy Trinity Sunday (B) – Romans 8:12-17
The Choices of Discipleship: Heirs or Runaways?
Focus Question: How does my life reflect being an heir of God?
word of life
“It is that very Spirit bearing witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children then heirs, heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ -- if, in fact, we suffer with him so that we may also be glorified with him.” Romans 8:16-17 (NRSV)
Read Romans 8:12-17
Paul writes his letter to the Romans later in his life as a self-introduction to the people of Rome before his pending visit. In this letter, he summarizes much of his theology, including his understanding of life in the Spirit (Romans 8). In order to grasp the flow of Paul’s thinking, take time to read Romans 8:1-17.
Paul makes a distinction between life in the Spirit and life in the flesh. (Romans 8:1-8) Paul urges followers of Christ to choose a life in the Spirit. To set one’s mind on things of the flesh is to choose a path to death.
1. What does it mean to live according to the Spirit?
2. What does it mean to choose to set your mind on things of the flesh?
There is no room for any gray or in-between living in Paul’s theology. Clearly for Paul, there are two choices: life in the flesh or life in the Spirit. Being connected to God is to be connected to the Spirit, and to be connected to the Spirit is to be connected to Christ. It is all one process.
3. What are the benefits of being connected to Christ?
The Spirit, having raised Jesus from the dead, leads us on a path of life, giving new life to those with whom the Spirit dwells. Paul invites people to stay connected to the Spirit and Christ in order to obtain life.
4. Why would someone choose not to stay connected to Christ?
Paul further makes his point by using the very personal language of familial relationships. Those who are led by the Spirit of God are considered to be part of the family of God, adopted as God’s children and brought into God’s own family. Adopted children of God can even cry out with a deeply intimate call, “Abba!” meaning “papa” or “daddy.” God is not a distant parental figure, but is intimately connected to God’s children.
Paul deepens the connection of the family from being adopted to becoming an heir. “It is that very Spirit bearing witness with our spirit that we are children of God and if children heirs, heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ.” (Romans 8:16 NRSV) To be an heir has a special ring to it, and consider the company! We are heirs beside Christ. Thanks be to God!
5. What does it mean to be an heir of God?
6. What does it mean to be a joint heir with Christ?
word among us
Joseph was 7 years old and mad at the world. He stomped into his bedroom, proceeded to load up his prize possessions and placed them roughly in his backpack. He was going to run away from home, but before he left, he stopped by the kitchen. Joseph wanted to tell his mother where he was going. He found his mother making his favorite homemade cookies, which called for a change in plans. He decided to stay awhile and eat a few cookies. Eventually, he forgot his plan to run away.
1. Do you ever feel like running away?
2. What keeps you from doing so?
3. Is it possible to run away from God and God’s ways? How so?
In his letter to the Romans, Paul urges followers of Christ to keep God’s Spirit dwelling in them and to live in the Spirit. It is really a matter of life and death. (Romans 8:9-11) Paul is clear about the distinction between a life in the Spirit and a life of the flesh. Anyone who has Christ has a life in the Spirit.
4. Explain Paul’s message in your own words.
5. Give an example from this past week of a choice you made to live according to the Spirit.
Beginning in Romans 8:15, Paul develops the concept of followers of Christ being adopted by God and becoming heirs of God. This language of God’s family is often used in the church and may be quite familiar. Some life-long Christians have always considered themselves to be connected to God’s family, part of the royal linage, heirs to God’s many blessings.
6. What does it mean for you to consider yourself adopted by God?
7. What does it mean to be part of God’s family?
8. At what age did this begin to make sense to you?
Part of being a mature disciple of Christ is to recognize the daily choices to follow Christ. The imagery of the choice between being an heir or a runaway is a rich one. More often, the reference is to being a saint or a sinner. Yet in reality, we are both at the same time – runaway and heir; saint and sinner. It is a daily struggle. The Holy Spirit is working on our side, creating heirs and saints.
Martin Luther writes, “We must not doubt that the Holy Spirit dwells in us. We must be sure and acknowledge that we are a ‘temple of the Holy Spirit.’ (1 Corinthians 6:19) For if someone experiences love toward the Word, and if he enjoys hearing, speaking, thinking and writing about Christ, he should know that this is not a work of human will or reason but a gift of the Holy Spirit.” (Lectures on Galatians, Luther’s Works, volume 26)
9. How have you experienced living in the Spirit?
10. Knowing you are an heir of God, what might you do this week?
Loving God, teach us to live as your heir. Amen
As you pass by people this week,
offer a silent prayer of encouragement for each
to grow as an heir of God. blessings on your week.