One of the great things about living in the Tri–Valley area is the many wonderful activities that we can do in the wonderful weather that we have. Indeed, it can be tempting to forget all about worship and just go our individual ways. And in fact, many of us find that being out in creation is a very worshipful time for us. But I want to hold up the biblical emphasis on worshiping together -- on being the people of God gathered in praise and prayer. With services at 8:30 am and 10 a.m. there is still much of the day to enjoy and so I look forward to seeing you in worship on Sunday!

Grace & Peace,
Steve H

This week's worship information:

Sunday's Message: When Reconciliation Becomes Reality

Scripture [the first scripture is the one the sermon will focus on]:

Philemon 4-22
Micah 6: 6-8

Questions for Reflection:

  • From your experience, what do you see as the challenges of finding reconciliation with another?

  • In the Philemon text, the underlying issue revolves around the question of slavery. What structures and systems in our current society do you feel need to be challenged or that you are working on to change?

  • As you read the NT passage, notice the many ways that the Apostle seeks to graciously (cleverly) persuade Philemon to do the right thing!

Philemon 4-22

When I remember you in my prayers, I always thank my God because I hear of your love for all the saints and your faith towards the Lord Jesus. I pray that the sharing of your faith may become effective when you perceive all the good that we may do for Christ. I have indeed received much joy and encouragement from your love, because the hearts of the saints have been refreshed through you, my brother.

For this reason, though I am bold enough in Christ to command you to do your duty, yet I would rather appeal to you on the basis of love—and I, Paul, do this as an old man, and now also as a prisoner of Christ Jesus. I am appealing to you for my child, Onesimus, whose father I have become during my imprisonment. Formerly he was useless to you, but now he is indeed useful both to you and to me. I am sending him, that is, my own heart, back to you. I wanted to keep him with me, so that he might be of service to me in your place during my imprisonment for the gospel; but I preferred to do nothing without your consent, in order that your good deed might be voluntary and not something forced. Perhaps this is the reason he was separated from you for a while, so that you might have him back for ever, no longer as a slave but as more than a slave, a beloved brother—especially to me but how much more to you, both in the flesh and in the Lord.

So if you consider me your partner, welcome him as you would welcome me. If he has wronged you in any way, or owes you anything, charge that to my account. I, Paul, am writing this with my own hand: I will repay it. I say nothing about your owing me even your own self. Yes, brother, let me have this benefit from you in the Lord! Refresh my heart in Christ. Confident of your obedience, I am writing to you, knowing that you will do even more than I say.

One thing more—prepare a guest room for me, for I am hoping through your prayers to be restored to you.

Micah 6: 6-8

‘With what shall I come before the LORD,
and bow myself before God on high?
Shall I come before him with burnt-offerings,
with calves a year old?
Will the LORD be pleased with thousands of rams,
with tens of thousands of rivers of oil?
Shall I give my firstborn for my transgression,
the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul?’
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?