This Week

Pastor Jim's Weekly Message

I would like to thank MaryAnn for providing our message this past Sunday. If you didn't get to hear it, I would suggest going to our Facebook page and listening to it. Two things that MaryAnn mentioned really struck me. The first was her quote from Romans 5...

Therefore, since we are justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 2 through whom we have obtained access to this grace in which we stand; and we boast in our hope of sharing the glory of God. 3 And not only that, but we also boast in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, 4 and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, 5 and hope does not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us.

Sometimes, we get caught up in our own suffering thinking that God is punishing us or God doesn't care for or love us. Sometimes, we get overwhelmed with anxiety about our suffering and even fall into times of depression. I found this quote from Romans very comforting. We all go through periods of suffering - although the degree of suffering ranges widely - that suffering produces endurance and even makes us stronger, that endurance produces character and that character hope during future times of suffering. It is not our successes that build our character but rather our failures and our sufferings. Hope is what we rely on when we know that we cannot deal with a situation on our own but need God's intercession. And God does not disappoint us.

The second thing from MaryAnn's message that really struck me was the term she used of "unreasonable Generosity." As MaryAnn noted, God shows us unreasonable generosity in forgiving our sins even when we don't deserve it. He reaches out to us and shows mercy on us and promises us life eternal with him - even though we continue to sin and continue to fail and continue to disappoint.

The question that I asked myself was, "How can we show unreasonable generosity in our lives, with our neighbors, with the church, with strangers, with people who are hurting and suffering? How can you show unreasonable generosity today?

For an address for a member as part of the card tree please contact the church office.

God Bless you and keep you in his loving care. Stay safe! Stay healthy! If we can do anything for you, please call the office.

Pastor Jim

This Week’s Gospel: Matthew 21:23-32

After driving the moneychangers out of the temple (21:12), Jesus begins teaching there. His authority is questioned by the religious leaders, who are supposed to be in charge of the temple.

23When [Jesus] entered the temple, the chief priests and the elders of the people came to him as he was teaching, and said, “By what authority are you doing these things, and who gave you this authority?” 24Jesus said to them, “I will also ask you one question; if you tell me the answer, then I will also tell you by what authority I do these things. 25Did the baptism of John come from heaven, or was it of human origin?” And they argued with one another, “If we say, ‘From heaven,’ he will say to us, ‘Why then did you not believe him?’ 26But if we say, ‘Of human origin,’ we are afraid of the crowd; for all regard John as a prophet.” 27So they answered Jesus, “We do not know.” And he said to them, “Neither will I tell you by what authority I am doing these things.

28“What do you think? A man had two sons; he went to the first and said, ‘Son, go and work in the vineyard today.’ 29He answered, ‘I will not’; but later he changed his mind and went. 30The father went to the second and said the same; and he answered, ‘I go, sir’; but he did not go. 31Which of the two did the will of his father?” They said, “The first.” Jesus said to them, “Truly I tell you, the tax collectors and the prostitutes are going into the kingdom of God ahead of you. 32For John came to you in the way of righteousness and you did not believe him, but the tax collectors and the prostitutes believed him; and even after you saw it, you did not change your minds and believe him.”

This Week at St. Mark's

Saturday, Sept 26 - Soup Group 10 AM

Sunday, Sept 27 - Lectionary 26 - Traditional Service 8:30 AM, Sunday School 9:30 AM, Blended Service 10:45 AM - Rittenhouse Baptism, Narcotics Anonymous 7 PM

Wednesday, Sept 30 - Bible Study 11 AM, AA & Al-Anon 7:30 PM

Saturday, Oct 3 - WBMD Creation Care Zoom Meeting 9 AM, Strings of Praise Practice 10 AM

Sunday, Oct 4 -Lectionary 27 - Pastor on Vacation, Traditional Service 8:30 AM, Sunday School 9:30 AM, Blended Service 10:45 AM, Prayer Partner Luncheon 11:45 AM, Scout Pack 5:45, Narcotics Anonymous 7 PM