This Week in Worship
Lessons, Not Life Sentences
Genesis 28: 10-17
Rev. Dr. Russ Peterman, preaching
Sunday, September 24, 10:00 a.m. in the Sanctuary
The last couple of weeks have been difficult. Hurricanes, floods, and now earthquakes. And that doesn’t even take into account all of the stuff that each of us face each day – managing complex relationships, balancing family and work, dealing with aging parents and health issues. It all seems like so much. Where do we go, what do we do, when it feels like life is crashing in around us?
I’d like to suggest that we go someplace where we can surround ourselves with people who know us, and love us anyway; a place where we can be honest about the struggles we face. I’d like to suggest that we immerse ourselves in community, which reminds us that we aren’t in this alone.
This Sunday in worship we’ll continue to look at some of the epic stories in the Hebrew scriptures that, seen through a different lens, point us to a God that is loving and gracious. This week we’ll look at the story of Jacob’s dream.
It’s important to keep in mind that Jacob is on the run. He’s fleeing for his life. He’s just double-crossed his brother and stolen his birth rite. Ultimately, he’s responsible for his own suffering – he brought all this on himself.
But, ultimately, God comes to him in the midst of his suffering and sustains him through it. It is a profound moment in the story of Israel, where God says to Jacob – and ultimately to all of us – that the patterns and behaviors of your past don’t have to determine your future. Tomorrow does not have to be like yesterday.
The Good News in this story is that we don’t need to be held prisoner to our past; those things we’ve done, the mistakes we’ve made, are lessons, not life sentences.
That’s what we’ll be talking about this Sunday. I hope you’ll join us and immerse yourself in the love of community.
Rev. Dr. Russ Peterman
The way we worship is the way we live.
Worship is the work of the people, bringing together our fullest selves in a communal act of love and gratitude. Each voice is important; each person is valued as the Spirit draws out our authentic gifts and talents, shared in the ever-widening circle of God’s people. We hope you’ll join us this week as we gather to worship the God of extravagant welcome.
Current Sermon Series
Fierce: Women of the Bible and Their Stories of Mercy, Bravery, Wisdom, and Salvation
Women in the bible aren’t always shy or quiet; they are more than just players in a man’s story or morality tales about how to be better wives and mothers. They’re fierce and funny and demanding. They are foremothers of the faith. Their stories are messy, challenging and beautiful, and relevant to 21st century people. When we pay attention to their stories, we can see not only their particular, fearsome lives but also our own.
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