Summer Sunday Worship Schedule
9:30 a.m. Worship and Holy Communion
Bethany Lutheran Church
3901-36th Avenue South
Minneapolis, MN 55406
Office hours: M-F 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.
This is the 4th of July weekend- flags,banners, songs….. all honoring our country and all a very good thing. We live in a place that allows us freedom– freedom of religion, freedom of speech, etc. The United States is still the most powerful country in the world, and we rightly honor those whose service in our military makes that so.
But we must never let love of country, love of American culture, love of the comfortable lives we have here in comparison to the rest of the world blind us to the realities of our situation. There are a number of issues raised in our lessons today that we need to consider.
Who wants to be an Apostle? Come on, let’s see those hands! Doesn’t everyone want to be an Apostle? Sure you do! Today we celebrate Peter and Paul, two of the Apostles from the time of Jesus, and being an Apostle should be the goal of each and every one of us.
No? Not sure about that? Well, let’s define it, then. Make it broader than the idea of just the 12 guys hanging out with Jesus. Because, there were a LOT more than 12 hanging with Jesus, and they were certainly not all men. If we use the definition of Apostle as noted in Erdman’s Dictionary, it would be, “special messenger, particularly from God” as the dominant sense of the word from all the specific ways in which it is used in the New Testament.
But I bet the immediate response of most of us to my question , Who wants to be an Apostle? is no! no- get away, I don’t want to be an Apostle!! I’m not one of those intense, culty people, you know- one of those Apostles. It sounds weird, slightly dangerous, Yep!- it is!
As most of you know, I’m new to this pastor business. I don’t have a long history of sermons going back years, working out familiar themes year after year. So, Trinity Sunday, today- holds neither any particular fear nor great anticipation .
It is an odd one in the lectionary; I don’t know of another Sunday that is about a theological doctrine: for example, we don’t have Justification by Faith Sunday. Yet, Trinity, the concept of God as 3-in-one, becomes the subject of a day of it’s own.
So when doing research for the sermon, I found all kinds of suggestions for explaining the Trinity to one’s congregation. The Trinity: the idea that there is only 1 God , yet 3 persons, (or expressions) is basic to the Christian faith, but it is almost impossible for us as humans to wrap our heads around it. I’ve heard the sermon illustrations- talking about water in 3 forms: water, ice, steam, etc…. but I can’t say that explains the Trinity, it just describes water- hardly the same thing.