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201 S Killingsworth Ave, Bolivar, MO 65613
Mailing Address: P.O. Box 844, Bolivar, MO 65613

News from St. Alban's Episcopal Church,

Bolivar, Missouri

shrove
                                                                                       

The 4th Sunday after Epiphany

 

February 1, 2015

"...he taught as one having authority..."

 Thought for the Week       (January 30)

He has told you, O mortal, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God? Micah 6:8

Does the Lord really expect us to do justice and to love mercy and to walk with Him? Doesn't God care what we believe?

What if, in the Bible, "belief" equals behavior? 

 "My people, what have I done to you?...I brought you up out of Egypt, and redeemed you from the land of slavery." (Micah 6:3)

God's astonishing treatment of a bunch of rag-tag slaves, poor nobodies without any power, land, wealth or even piety to attract God's eye, was supposed to teach the Lord's people to do what God did, to love as he loved, to free others as they had been set free. Their leaders were supposed to remind them to care for the poor and the weak, the helpless and the foreigner. But instead, Israel came to see the Exodus as a guarantee of God's special favor to Israel alone. The very act that was supposed to make them more like their God, had become a stumbling block. And Israelites began to treat each other as the Egyptians had treated them, where the powerful, the rich and the aggressive crushed the weak, the poor, the helpless, and the foreigner.

God doesn't accuse Israel of failing to believe, or to keep the Law, of refusing faithful worship, tithing, studying the scriptures, or offering the appointed sacrifices. Nevertheless, Micah says that God has "a case against his people." (Micah 6:2) He means, of course, the leaders of the people. "Both hands are skilled in doing evil. The ruler demands gifts, the judge accepts bribes, the powerful dictate what they desire - they all conspire together." (Micah 7:3) .

Could God make the same case against us? Have we made the Cross our own guarantee of God's favoritism? Do we think our baptism, and our worship and our faith in the truths of the Creed are what God wants from us?

Can we really afford to ignore the Bible's overwhelming interest in social justice as evidence of our allegiance to God, and not as political posturing? What if faith IS what we do, what we love?

We live in a country where, paradoxically, even Christians are sometimes at the forefront of movements to deny or reduce disability benefits, food stamps, health care, just wages, fair business practices, assistance for higher education, prison reform, immigration reform, even services to our own returning veterans. We can have different opinions about how to resolve these concerns. What we cannot do, biblically, is to do nothing.

Can we who know Him get our hearts around God's heart and hear the prophetic words? "He has told you, O mortal, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?"

 

 

Please pray for Mark Morgan, Michelle's brother (and Romain's son. He has been on a waiting list for a liver transplant for some time, and had a very frightening medical event earlier this week that has moved him up higher on the list for available organs. He is home now, but still at risk for bleeding or other complications.

 

 

  Upcoming events at St Alban's

 

2nd Tuesday of every month - Days 4 Girls -  sewing (and assembly) of reusable menstrual pads to give teen girls back their "days" when they can attend school without embarrassment or humiliation.

NEXT day: Tuesday, February 10

 

****For everyone. Even if you can't sew - Please purchase a package of girls' underwear and put it in the basket in the church. We need these for the bags of pads and shields we will be sending.

(Please, ONLY girls' size 8-10, 12-14, or 16. NO women's sizes and no bikini type)****

 

days girls

 

Last Sunday before Lent - The Transfiguration

Sunday, February 15

 

transfiguration

 

Mardi Gras Party - Tuesday evening Feb 17

We'll celebrate with both pancakes

 AND New Orleans gumbo.

We'll enjoy decorations, makes and whatever costumes you can come up with, and exchange those silly, cheap, Christmas "gifts" we  never did get around to foisting off on each other!   And there may be some other surprises as well...

 

Mardi Gras mask

 

 Ash Wednesday services,

Wednesday, Feb 18

at noon and 7 pm. 

Ash Wed cross  

 

 

 
 
readers 
      
     Sunday,  Feb 1
 10:30 AM
4 Epiphany
 
Deuteronomy 18:15-20
Psalm 111
Barbara Chapman
 
1 Corinthians 8:1-13
Heather Pacheco 
 
Mark 1:21-28
The Rev. Brenda Sickler

 

 

Prayers of the People Lee Schmidt

 

Altar Guild
Louise Ritter

 

 

Jesus went around teaching in the synagogues - "as one who had authority, not as the scribes"
What do we think it means to teach or preach "with authority?"
How did the ordinary people recognize the difference?
Do we think that the Scribes and the Pharisees also recognized Jesus' "authority?"
If so, how did they respond to it?
Do the words of Jesus still have "authority?"
If so, what does that mean to us who are so far removed from his time and culture and religion?