Let Us Worship Together!
Our Saviour is incredibly pleased to have you join us for live in-person worship inside the Nave and Sanctuary on Saturday, June 11 at 5:30 pm (casual with Voices of Praise), and Sunday, June 12 at 8:00 am (simple service) and 10:30 am (traditional with choir and/or organ music). The Saturday evening and Sunday 10:30 am services will will also be online via Facebook Livestream!
Join your prayers with the community! During the live stream of the service, you are invited to type into the Facebook chat any prayer requests for those you want included in the prayers of intercession. (As always, you may also send your prayer requests by Wednesday the week ahead to firstname.lastname@example.org.) Please do this at the beginning of the service so that we can write them up and hand them to the pastors before the prayers start.
Although Virginia’s mitigation measures ended (read more here), Our Saviour will keep a “safer zone” in the back section of the nave that will remain marked for masks.
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Sunday 8:00 am — First Light Service
Sunday 8:45 am — Fellowship
Sunday 9:00 am — Sunday School for Adults
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Altar Flowers for this weekend’s services were donated by Dave and Judy Raecke in celebration of their 60th wedding anniversary. Congratulations to the loving couple!
If you would like to donate flowers in memory, honor or celebration of a loved one or special date, please sign up on the chart in the church office hallway or call the church office at (540) 347-3224 with your information.
Readings and Psalms:
Proverbs 8:1-4, 22-31
The Holy Trinity, Year C
Our Saviour Lutheran Church, Warrenton, VA.
The Reverend Terri Luper Church
Finding Your God-Why
One day this week during the Bible drama time in Vacation Bible School, Mr. Tom and the drama troupe taught the kids about prayer, including the Lord’s Prayer. That reminds me of the story I once heard about a mom and dad who had been teaching their daughter the Lord’s Prayer. Once she was ready to say it all by herself, she carefully prayed each line. They had a hard time keeping a straight face when she got to this part: “And lead us not into temptation but deliver us from e-mail.”
Then there was the Sunday School teacher who asked her class to draw pictures of their favorite Bible stories. The teacher was puzzled by Kyle’s picture, which showed four people on an airplane, so she asked him which story it was meant to represent.
“The flight to Egypt,” said Kyle.
“I see … And that must be Mary, Joseph, and Baby Jesus, but who’s the fourth person?”
“Oh, that’s Pontius-the Pilot.”
Who else would fly the plane for the flight to Egypt, right?
There were plenty of fun comments from children this week, and there were also some deep questions and insights from the children. There were crafts, snacks, fresh rolls, Bible dramas, games, and of course, singing! Our church is so grateful to Debbie Henson and her entire crew of volunteer staff for their service!
This weekend, we are celebrating our Graduates for all their amazing accomplishments, but mainly for being their own unique selves, just as God made them! Right after the sermon we will hear more about them and ask God to bless them as they go forth into their next endeavors.
All that focus on studying and wisdom brings one of the songs that we learned this week. It reminds us to study the Word of God and put God first: Love the Lord.
The song teaches one of the most important scriptures for our Jewish ancestors. Here it is from the book of Deuteronomy, chapter 6:
Hear, O Israel: The Lord is our God, the Lord alone/the Lord is One. You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your might. Keep these words that I am commanding you today in your heart. Recite them to your children and talk about them when you are at home and when you are away, when you lie down and when you rise. Bind them as a sign on your hand, fix them as an emblem on your forehead, and write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.
Love God with all your heart: activate your brain, your emotions, and your will.
Love God with all your soul: put your entire being or life force into that devotion.
Love God with all your might: use your physical body in devotion to God.
When you add them all up, we are commanded to love the One God with, well, our entire selves! God wants us ALL! The passage says to memorize it, teach it to your kids, tattoo it onto your body, graffiti it on your doors! So, graduates, and all of you, listen up for the main point: Love God with your whole being. And I guess if we just put God first, and everything else will fall into place, exactly as we want it to.
Riiiiight. Everything is perfect if we just love God? But that can’t be true. Everything in life is not perfect. Challenges come from all directions to mess up our plans. Illness and death stop our physical bodies at some point. Evil and pain and loss cause real harm to the good and bad alike. If that’s the case, why trust God at all? What is the good in putting God first? How does that affect anything at all? To follow this command, we all need our “God-why.”
For Christians, one God-why is how connected God became to us when Jesus came to earth and became a human being like us. Because Jesus was fully human as well as fully God, God now knows pain and heartbreak and betrayal feel like. Because Jesus went to the cross for us, God even knows what death feels like! That is truly an amazing gift of intimate connection to people.
God becoming human also means Jesus was able to experience the exhilaration of rising above the challenges and succeeding sometimes. Think about it: we are still telling his story all these years later! And Jesus studied and made friends, much like some of our own graduates have done. They have faced challenges, but they have risen above them.
· Like sticking with school through a global pandemic and not only passing but learning, and even hitting magna cum laude.
· Like developing friendships to last a lifetime and finding a niche in trades and gap years, seeking wisdom that classrooms cannot give.
· Like taking cheerleading from the sidelines to the competition stage and sharing a love of dance with little ones to help them grow up strong and confident.
Those are just some of the stories of our graduates this year, and all deserve to be celebrated. All are reminders of how God came to earth to be like us, like them.
Speaking of challenges and rising above the norm, I’m thinking of Martha Giles. I did not know her, but I know that she loved God and she loved church, and I know she loved children even though they had no children of their own. I also know she loved helping children learn. Her devoted husband, Melvin, made sure I knew at least that much at least! Her God-why was loving all children and helping them know God loved them. That gave her joy, and she shared it with Melvin. Together they helped found this church, and they have left a legacy of learning for children yet to come, not only by supporting our memorial endowment fund here at Our Saviour, but with a community scholarship for local high school graduates choosing to go to college.
We are delighted that two of the first recipients of the Martha Mae Giles Scholarship are from this congregation, Danielle Ducharme and Kellie Wright. We celebrate that and many other accomplishments this weekend, as well as other children who have grown up learning and graduated this year. When God says to commit wisdom and a love of learning to heart, they listened! Their God-why is learning to love God, others, and themselves. Students and graduates alike, as you go out from this space, trust that God is with you in the triumphs and the losses.
Yes, Jesus became human to connect with us. But also, as we celebrate the Feast of the Holy Trinity, we are reminded that we love a God who values community so much, even God himself is a community: One in Three and Three in One: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
· The Parent of Jesus and of the whole creation
· the Wisdom Child Jesus who walked with us
· AND the Spirit—the breath and power of God giving us life forever.
How cool is it that our God is a community all in one? And that community is the God-why we need. Loving God is just part of loving the community God builds with us and with each other.
What is your God-why? Whatever it is, or if you are still searching to find it, God loves you no matter what. God is One. God is here. You are never alone. Jesus loves us. Trust Jesus! Amen.
Liturgical material © 2017 Augsburg Fortress, used by permission of Augsburg Fortress/Sundays and Seasons #SAS009239. Copyright Acknowledgments for print & broadcast: CCLI - Copyright License #2800659 and Streaming License #20585472 (including SongSelect Advanced); and One License #710443-A.