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Being the Light of Christ

Guest preacher Rev. Rose Mary Sánchez-Guzmán visits Faith to share her experience ministering to the community of Cristo Rey Lutheran Church in El Paso, Texas.

“Jesus already crossed all kinds of borders for you. He came to be the light of the world. How can we not dare cross borders with him to bring his light to others? What we have is not because we deserve it. They are gifts that bring us into relationship with others – and with God, who reaches beyond the boundaries of men.”

Accompanying Scripture:
Isaiah 9:1-7
John 8:12


IMAGE: EL PASO BORDER FENCE, BY JONATHAN MCINTOSH

Say One Thing, Do Another

A week after a gunman opened fire in a church in a small Texas town, the prophet Amos is difficult to hear and yet needed. Pastor Kate explores what Amos’ words have to say to us in the wake of yet another mass shooting in connection with what God wanted from the Israelites (and now wants from us).

 

Accompanying Scripture:
Amos 1:1-2; 5:14-15, 21-24
John 7:37-38

Accompanying Music (song of the day):
Jon Foreman – “Instead Of A Show”


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Reformation Sunday

In place of a of a traditional sermon, Pastor Yvette lead the congregation in a community reflection.  As part of this reflection, everyone was asked to consider their answers to the following questions:

  1. What’s a place where the love and grace of God has been made clear to you?
  2. What person/people in your life who made God’s love and mercy clear to you?
  3.  A) What barriers do you see that might bar some people from experiencing God through the church?  B) How can we work to break down those barriers?

Accompanying Scripture:
1 Kings 5:1-5;8:1-13
John 2:19-21


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Pastor Kate plays with the notion that, if he were alive today, King David might be skilled at building a persona through social media.  Like David we also desire to present our best possible selves to the world, in spite of God’s disregard for outward appearances.

 

Accompanying Scripture:

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Listening for God’s Voice

In the Old Testament, God’s people saw tangible signs of his presence in the pillars of fire and smoke, the manna and quail, and the stone tablets of the Ten Commandments.

Today we may no longer see tangible signs of God’s presence in the world, but the eternal promise of his faithful pursuit and steadfast love remains. Like Samuel, we can also be witnesses to the presence of God.

Accompanying Scripture:
1 Samuel 3:1-21
John 20:21-23


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Complaints

If there was ever a week that felt worthy of complaint, last week was it. Pastor Kate remembers a time she was stuck in the Mojave Desert and reflects on what the Israelites must have felt wandering around in the wilderness after escaping Pharaoh. All of which connect to our own experience of wandering in the wilderness of tragedy for the past several weeks.

 


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The Good Place

People have been wrestling for years with the question of who goes to heaven and who goes to hell. On the TV show The Good Place, there is no heaven or hell. There is the Good Place and the Bad Place, and their answer to the question is that good people go to the Good Place and bad people go to the Bad Place. But the way that gets lived out on the show makes for an interesting dynamic between good and bad.

 

Sort of like the Jacob and Esau story from Genesis. Pastor Kate dives into how God seems to play with our understanding of what is good and bad and who is rewarded and punished for their behavior.

Accompanying Scripture:
Genesis 27:1-4, 15-23


Image source: Hollywood Reporter.  Screengrab from the NBC Series The Good Place.
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Loose Ends

No one likes loose ends or an unresolved movie ending. Which might be why the story of Abraham taking his son, Isaac, up a mountain to sacrifice him is so unsatisfying. The story reads like a movie plot, seemingly concluding with a happy ending. But a closer look reveals all sorts of loose ends.
Pastor Kate examines these loose ends and what they mean for us as people of God.
Accompanying scripture:

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Beginnings

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times…”
“Call me Ishmael.”
“It was a pleasure to burn.”

These are all first lines in famous literary works.  But today’s sermon is about a different “first line”: the opening to the the book of Genesis.  “In the beginning, when God created the heavens and the earth, the earth was a formless void and darkness covered the face of the deep…”

Accompanying Scripture:
Genesis 1:1 – 2:4a
John 1:1-5


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Faith Lutheran Church

3313 Arlington Blvd
Arlington, VA 22201

703.525.9283 (Church)
703.525.1375 (Preschool)

Worship Times

8:00 AM (Traditional Service with Organ)
9:30 AM (Praise Service with Band)
11:00 AM (Blended - Piano and Organ)

We invite you to join us this Sunday.