Worship for Sunday – July 3, 2022

Isaiah 66:10-14

10Rejoice with Jerusalem, and be glad for her,
all you who love her;
rejoice with her in joy,
all you who mourn over her—
11that you may nurse and be satisfied
from her consoling breast;
that you may drink deeply with delight
from her glorious bosom.

12For thus says the Lord:
I will extend prosperity to her like a river,
and the wealth of the nations like an overflowing stream;
and you shall nurse and be carried on her arm,
and dandled on her knees.
13As a mother comforts her child,
so I will comfort you;
you shall be comforted in Jerusalem.

14You shall see, and your heart shall rejoice;
your bodies shall flourish like the grass;
and it shall be known that the hand of the Lord is with his servants,
and his indignation is against his enemies.

The Word of the Lord.

Psalm 66:1-9

1Be joyful in God, all you lands;
be joyful, all the earth.

2Sing the glory of God’s name;
sing the glory of God’s praise.

3Say to God, “How awesome are your deeds!
Because of your great strength your enemies cringe before you.

4All the earth bows down before you,
sings to you, sings out your name.” 

5Come now and see the works of God,
how awesome are God’s deeds toward all people.

6God turned the sea into dry land, so that they went through the water on foot, and there we rejoiced in God.

7Ruling forever in might, God keeps watch over the nations;
let no rebels exalt themselves.

8Bless our God, you peoples;
let the sound of praise be heard.

9Our God has kept us among the living
and has not allowed our feet to slip. 

Galatians 6:[1-6] 7-16

[1My friends, if anyone is detected in a transgression, you who have received the Spirit should restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness. Take care that you yourselves are not tempted. 2Bear one another’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ. 3For if those who are nothing think they are something, they deceive themselves. 4All must test their own work; then that work, rather than their neighbor’s work, will become a cause for pride. 5For all must carry their own loads.

6Those who are taught the word must share in all good things with their teacher.]

7Do not be deceived; God is not mocked, for you reap whatever you sow. 8If you sow to your own flesh, you will reap corruption from the flesh; but if you sow to the Spirit, you will reap eternal life from the Spirit. 9So let us not grow weary in doing what is right, for we will reap at harvest time, if we do not give up. 10So then, whenever we have an opportunity, let us work for the good of all, and especially for those of the family of faith.

11See what large letters I make when I am writing in my own hand! 12It is those who want to make a good showing in the flesh that try to compel you to be circumcised—only that they may not be persecuted for the cross of Christ. 13Even the circumcised do not themselves obey the law, but they want you to be circumcised so that they may boast about your flesh. 14May I never boast of anything except the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world. 15For neither circumcision nor uncircumcision is anything; but a new creation is everything! 16As for those who will follow this rule—peace be upon them, and mercy, and upon the Israel of God.

The Word of the Lord.

The Holy Gospel according to Saint Luke 10:1-11, 16-20

1After this the Lord appointed seventy others and sent them on ahead of him in pairs to every town and place where he himself intended to go. 2He said to them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore ask the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest. 3Go on your way. See, I am sending you out like lambs into the midst of wolves. 4Carry no purse, no bag, no sandals; and greet no one on the road. 5Whatever house you enter, first say, ‘Peace to this house!’ 6And if anyone is there who shares in peace, your peace will rest on that person; but if not, it will return to you. 7Remain in the same house, eating and drinking whatever they provide, for the laborer deserves to be paid. Do not move about from house to house. 8Whenever you enter a town and its people welcome you, eat what is set before you; 9cure the sick who are there, and say to them, ‘The kingdom of God has come near to you.’ 10But whenever you enter a town and they do not welcome you, go out into its streets and say, 11‘Even the dust of your town that clings to our feet, we wipe off in protest against you. Yet know this: the kingdom of God has come near.’”

16“Whoever listens to you listens to me, and whoever rejects you rejects me, and whoever rejects me rejects the one who sent me.”

17The seventy returned with joy, saying, “Lord, in your name even the demons submit to us!” 18He said to them, “I watched Satan fall from heaven like a flash of lightning. 19See, I have given you authority to tread on snakes and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy; and nothing will hurt you. 20Nevertheless, do not rejoice at this, that the spirits submit to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.”

The Gospel of our Lord.

Grace to you and peace from God our Father and from our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

Our family spent last week vacationing with our extended family in the mountains of Tennessee.

And frankly – it can get absolutely – positively bananas when you throw all 12 of us and our 4 large dogs (why yes – I did say 4 large dogs) into a cabin on the side of a mountain for 7 days of family bonding and fun.

The house is never – EVER quiet. Because there is so much barking. There is even more eating. There is so – so much laundry. There is gaming. There is teasing and texting. And scary movies MUST be watched late into the night. There is also joking and chatting and chatter and banter galore.

Plans are made and schedules coordinated.

Adventuring is essential. Because adventuring makes these family gatherings fun.

But before I give you the impression – we spend our time in the mountains singing and dancing in coordinated outfits while working together to defeat the Nazis just like the VonTrapp family in “The Sound of Music” – let me assure you – we keep it real. Really – Really – REALLY real!

Our family is so far from being a Disney movie – it is laughable.

We can and do push one another’s buttons. We have skill and flare when it comes to being colossally annoying. We are gifted at driving each other batty.

On more than one occasion – I spotted a beloved family member eyeing my knitting needles like they wanted to rip them from my hands to use against me.

But I have noticed – we are pretty decent at bearing one another’s burdens too. At helping one another. At getting each other through those tough spots and over rough patches.

When essential medicine was forgotten at home (over an hour away) – Uncle John just went to get it without complaining. Not once – but TWICE!

When the trail felt SO long – chatting and listening ears helped tired feet and bored little ones keep going.

When the path down to the river was dangerously rocky and uneven – the strong – steady arms of a son and grandson were there to lean on and rely on.

Sure – all 12 of us – (16 if you count our mangy mutts) – are often a white – hot mess – but we try to help one another along the way. We try to “bear one another’s burdens.”

To care for – support – nurture and be there for one another to lean on and rely on.

We try to be sisters and brothers in Christ to each other while we are also busy being parents – cousins – aunties – uncles – friends – sidekicks and traveling companions.

In our second reading for today Saint Paul boldly declares to us that we are ALL called to – “bear one another’s burdens, and in this way [we] will fulfill the law of Christ.” (Galatians 6:2)

Think about those words. As Christians – as God’s followers and Jesus’ disciples in this world – we are ALL called to “bear one another’s burdens.”

These words sound pretty simple – but their message to us is far from simple. Their message is truly – deeply radical. Their message is wildly counter-cultural. Paul is telling us – we are called to be different. We are called to be encouragers and people who spread love and kindness. We are called to build one another up and to help one another. To be there for others to lean on and rest in and rely on. We are called to make one another’s lives easier.

Saint Paul declares to us – we are supposed to be people who actively spread God’s love in this world. We should be looking for opportunities to help others and to be kind and loving to one another ALL of the time.

Saint Paul makes it very clear that this whole “being a Christian and a person of faith” thing – means responding to God’s radical love with some radical love of our own.

We should ALL be actively encouraging one another. We should be busy building one another up.   We should be speaking words of love and thanks and appreciation and encouragement to one another. We should be helping one another and working to make one another’s lives easier.

Our God calls us to be different. Our God calls us to be encouragers. Our God calls us to be loving and kind and helpful and gracious and supportive.

So – encourage one another. Thank each other. Share kind words. Spread love and kindness and appreciation. Share God’s love and your own. Be there for one another. Help ease those burdens. Show up for each other. Support one another. Pitch-in.   Help out. Volunteer.

Bear one another’s burdens. Be who your God has called you to be. Amen!

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