7.3.20 Friday

2020-07-03T06:50:45-05:00
Good Friday morning. I’ve been working on our Sunday parking lot service and am excited about its “American Pride” tone. Daniel Manion will be presenting the flag and we will honor him as he obtained the rank of Eagle Scout earlier this year. Janelle will be playing patriotic hymns for us.


My niece in Big Lake has rescued another duckling! The eagles are getting after the ducks and they seem to know where to go to hide. This one is named Phoebe and joins Guenther. Her love for animals is amazing and wonderful.


In the next section of 2nd Peter, he writes about being an eyewitness to Christ’s Glory. This is a good reason to heed what Peter says.


2 Peter 1:12-18 (NRSV)


12 Therefore I intend to keep on reminding you of these things, though you know them already and are established in the truth that has come to you. 13 I think it right, as long as I am in this body, to refresh your memory, 14 since I know that my death will come soon, as indeed our Lord Jesus Christ has made clear to me. 15 And I will make every effort so that after my departure you may be able at any time to recall these things.


16 For we did not follow cleverly devised myths when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we had been eyewitnesses of his majesty. 17 For he received honor and glory from God the Father when that voice was conveyed to him by the Majestic Glory, saying, “This is my Son, my Beloved, with whom I am well pleased.” 18 We ourselves heard this voice come from heaven, while we were with him on the holy mountain.


Can you imagine yourself being one who heard those beautiful words from God? “This is my Son, my Beloved, with whom I am well pleased.” That would make a believer out of you! So Peter’s mission is to ensure that people knew the truth, that it was not a made up story, and that he seen with his own eyes the wonderment which is our Lord, Jesus Christ.


Blessings on your day,

Pastor Sue

7.3.20 Friday2020-07-03T06:50:45-05:00

7.2.20

2020-07-02T06:48:47-05:00
Good Thursday morning. How’s everyone holding up in the heat? Peter reminds us that we have precious and great promises to get us through anything the world throws at us! Whew! But, wait. There are expectations of us as well! We must make an effort to support our faith! (verses 5 & 6)


The second letter attributed to Peter, or to a follower of Peter writing in the name of Peter urges the reader to escape from the destruction of the world by the knowledge of Christ and God, and of moral striving in order to participate in the divine nature and to enter the eternal kingdom. Everything has been given to us that is needed for life and godliness.


2 Peter 1:1-11

Verses 1-2 are the salutation/greeting common to this type of letter.


1 Simeon Peter, a servant and apostle of Jesus Christ,


To those who have received a faith as precious as ours through the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ:


2 May grace and peace be yours in abundance in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord.


The Christian’s Call and Election

3 His divine power has given us everything needed for life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. 4 Thus he has given us, through these things, his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may escape from the corruption that is in the world because of lust, and may become participants of the divine nature. 5 For this very reason, you must make every effort to support your faith with goodness, and goodness with knowledge, 6 and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with endurance, and endurance with godliness, 7 and godliness with mutual affection, and mutual affection with love. 8 For if these things are yours and are increasing among you, they keep you from being ineffective and unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 For anyone who lacks these things is short-sighted and blind, and is forgetful of the cleansing of past sins.


10 Therefore, brothers and sisters, be all the more eager to confirm your call and election, for if you do this, you will never stumble. 11 For in this way, entry into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ will be richly provided for you.


Consider what effort you make to support your faith and the faith of others. Peter calls us to be eager to do this. God has precious plans for us to go along with those precious promises. Entry into the eternal kingdom! What a gift of amazing love and grace.


Blessings on your day,

Pastor Sue


7.2.202020-07-02T06:48:47-05:00

7.1.20 Wednesday

2020-07-01T06:58:18-05:00
Good Wednesday morning. Happy Canada Day, July 1! It’s my brother Rob’s 69th birthday today. We always celebrated with the Canadians on this day. Their fireworks were fabulous over Rainy Lake.


Here’s an encouraging word from Peter on this beautiful day. “the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, support, strengthen, and establish you.” There’s a lot of hope and assurance in that sentence. I don’t know why we don’t quote it more often.


1 Peter 5:6-11 (NRSV)


6 Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, so that he may exalt you in due time. 7 Cast all your anxiety on him, because he cares for you. 8 Discipline yourselves, keep alert. Like a roaring lion your adversary the devil prowls around, looking for someone to devour. 9 Resist him, steadfast in your faith, for you know that your brothers and sisters in all the world are undergoing the same kinds of suffering. 10 And after you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, support, strengthen, and establish you. 11 To him be the power forever and ever. Amen.


Peter sums up his letter with a great warning to be aware of the devil’s activity in the world. It sure feels like we are under attack this year in a big way. But, we don’t have to carry all of this angst alone! “7 Cast all your anxiety on him, because he cares for you.” Whew! Wonderful news to carry us through these trying times.


We’ll begin Peter’s second letter tomorrow. It is only 3 chapters long, but it is characterized by an apocalyptic vision of this world as corrupt because of lust and bound for destruction! Good times!


Blessings on your day,

Pastor Sue

7.1.20 Wednesday2020-07-01T06:58:18-05:00

6.30.20

2020-06-30T06:53:56-05:00
Good Tuesday morning. This morning I am off to Ft. Snelling Cemetery to do a graveside service. It is such an amazing place, a holy place, and such an honor to be invited in to do the holy work of burial. Peter wrote about humility in this next section. I am humbled when I walk through any cemetery just thinking of the lives of those who have died, the wealth of knowledge some took with them to their graves, the struggles some had throughout their lives or in their dying, and some who never got a chance to experience life at all. Peter asks us to be examples to the flock and to clothe ourselves in humility in our dealings with one another.


1 Peter 5:1-5 (NRSV)


Tending the Flock of God

5 Now as an elder myself and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, as well as one who shares in the glory to be revealed, I exhort the elders among you 2 to tend the flock of God that is in your charge, exercising the oversight, not under compulsion but willingly, as God would have you do it—not for sordid gain but eagerly. 3 Do not lord it over those in your charge, but be examples to the flock. 4 And when the chief shepherd appears, you will win the crown of glory that never fades away. 5 In the same way, you who are younger must accept the authority of the elders. And all of you must clothe yourselves with humility in your dealings with one another, for


“God opposes the proud,

but gives grace to the humble.”


Where have you seen God at work these days? How can you be an example to the flock?


Blessings on your day,

Pastor Sue

6.30.202020-06-30T06:53:56-05:00

6.29.20

2020-06-29T07:57:53-05:00
Good Monday morning. How can it be Monday again already and the end of June? Last night I drove into the city in the pouring rain and then listened to the thunder rumble throughout the night. It is wonderful to be with Sara and Bea for a couple of days.


Our parking lot worship services were great once again. We sure have been having nice weather for them. It is so nice to see everyone. For those of you not able to come to church, we still have our recorded services on FaceBook. It is nice to see you tuning in to those as well as it does take quite a bit of effort. Thanks to Shawna and her daughter, Kylie for all of their editing work.


Peter goes back to his theme of suffering for Christ.

1 Peter 4:12-19 (NRSV)


Suffering as a Christian

12 Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal that is taking place among you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. 13 But rejoice insofar as you are sharing Christ’s sufferings, so that you may also be glad and shout for joy when his glory is revealed. 14 If you are reviled for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the spirit of glory, which is the Spirit of God, is resting on you. 15 But let none of you suffer as a murderer, a thief, a criminal, or even as a mischief maker. 16 Yet if any of you suffers as a Christian, do not consider it a disgrace, but glorify God because you bear this name. 17 For the time has come for judgment to begin with the household of God; if it begins with us, what will be the end for those who do not obey the gospel of God? 18 And


“If it is hard for the righteous to be saved,

what will become of the ungodly and the sinners?”

19 Therefore, let those suffering in accordance with God’s will entrust themselves to a faithful Creator, while continuing to do good.


I know many of you are suffering and I can’t imagine that our loving God has designed some devious plan to test you. I rather believe that the God who counts the hairs on your head, who loves you enough to die for your sins, will accompany you through your darkest hours. And when your sighs are too deep for words, God will be there to hold you, dry your tears and assure you that as God’s child, you are safe.


That doesn’t mean your suffering will end. This world, and our time in it is finite. Eternal life will be free of suffering. We can look forward to that while we suffer together in this time and place. I am holding you in my prayers. I pray that you will draw your strength from God and not from the world.


Blessings on your day,

Pastor Sue

6.29.202020-06-29T07:57:53-05:00

6.27.20 Saturday

2020-06-27T06:15:52-05:00

Good Saturday morning. Today, I am housesitting and critter sitting. I have a dog, a cat, and a duckling! Guenther, the duck and I will go swimming later. I may teach him to waterski. I must say, I have never babysat a duck before. He follows me around like I’m the mother duck. I wish I knew what he is thinking. Last night he didn’t want to quit swimming to come inside. Typical adolescent—mind of his own!

 

I’m feeling quite restored after a beautiful day and evening on Big Lake. There was quite a breeze for most of the day, but this morning, the lake is smooth as silk. 

 

This next section of 1 Peter is quite a bit more gentle than yesterday’s reading. It contains some of the sweetest language I have read from Peter. Discipline yourselves, maintain constant love, be hospitable, serve one another, speak like God, glorify God in everything.

 

1 Peter 4:7-11  (NRSV)

The end of all things is near; therefore be serious and discipline yourselves for the sake of your prayers. Above all, maintain constant love for one another, for love covers a multitude of sins. Be hospitable to one another without complaining. 10 Like good stewards of the manifold grace of God, serve one another with whatever gift each of you has received. 11 Whoever speaks must do so as one speaking the very words of God; whoever serves must do so with the strength that God supplies, so that God may be glorified in all things through Jesus Christ. To him belong the glory and the power forever and ever. Amen.

I especially like verse 8. “Above all, maintain constant love for one another, for love covers a multitude of sins.” We know that Christ covered our sins, but it doesn’t hurt to show love to one another. And verse 10—being good stewards of God’s grace! Have you ever thought about how to steward the wonderful gift of grace? Ponder that one today, dear friends.

Blessings on your day; I’ll be by the water!

Pastor Sue

 

6.27.20 Saturday2020-06-27T06:15:52-05:00

6.25.20 Thursday

2020-06-25T06:16:04-05:00
Good Thursday morning. I am looking forward to a lovely day today and a WELCA meeting outside.


Peter rambles through a few subjects in this next passage such as doing good, following Christ’s example, Noah, hope, proclamation to spirits in prison, baptism, and the divine realm of Christ. That’s a lot to pack into 9 verses. Go Peter!


1 Peter 3:13-22 (NRSV)


13 Now who will harm you if you are eager to do what is good? 14 But even if you do suffer for doing what is right, you are blessed. Do not fear what they fear, and do not be intimidated, 15 but in your hearts sanctify Christ as Lord. Always be ready to make your defense to anyone who demands from you an accounting for the hope that is in you; 16 yet do it with gentleness and reverence. Keep your conscience clear, so that, when you are maligned, those who abuse you for your good conduct in Christ may be put to shame. 17 For it is better to suffer for doing good, if suffering should be God’s will, than to suffer for doing evil. 18 For Christ also suffered for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, in order to bring you to God. He was put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the spirit, 19 in which also he went and made a proclamation to the spirits in prison, 20 who in former times did not obey, when God waited patiently in the days of Noah, during the building of the ark, in which a few, that is, eight persons, were saved through water. 21 And baptism, which this prefigured, now saves you—not as a removal of dirt from the body, but as an appeal to God for a good conscience, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, 22 who has gone into heaven and is at the right hand of God, with angels, authorities, and powers made subject to him.


I think the best take away from this selection is the hope we have as Christians that through Christ’s death and resurrection, we have been brought back to God. Suffering will be part of this life, but our conscience will be clear if we suffer for doing good. Be ready to defend your faith and defend salvation through Christ.


Blessings on your day,

Pastor Sue

6.25.20 Thursday2020-06-25T06:16:04-05:00

6.24.20 Wednesday

2020-06-24T06:21:25-05:00
Good Wednesday morning. We just got a 3 minute rain shower. I checked the radar and we were the only green spot for miles around. Just lucky, I guess.


I am not a fan of the next grouping of verses that our dear St. Peter wrote about, but again, remember the context and the times. Society has changed in so many ways, some for the better, some not so much.


1 Peter 3:1-12 (NRSV)


Wives and Husbands

3 Wives, in the same way, accept the authority of your husbands, so that, even if some of them do not obey the word, they may be won over without a word by their wives’ conduct, 2 when they see the purity and reverence of your lives. 3 Do not adorn yourselves outwardly by braiding your hair, and by wearing gold ornaments or fine clothing; 4 rather, let your adornment be the inner self with the lasting beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in God’s sight. 5 It was in this way long ago that the holy women who hoped in God used to adorn themselves by accepting the authority of their husbands. 6 Thus Sarah obeyed Abraham and called him lord. You have become her daughters as long as you do what is good and never let fears alarm you.


7 Husbands, in the same way, show consideration for your wives in your life together, paying honor to the woman as the weaker sex, since they too are also heirs of the gracious gift of life—so that nothing may hinder your prayers.


Suffering for Doing Right

8 Finally, all of you, have unity of spirit, sympathy, love for one another, a tender heart, and a humble mind. 9 Do not repay evil for evil or abuse for abuse; but, on the contrary, repay with a blessing. It is for this that you were called—that you might inherit a blessing. 10 For


“Those who desire life

and desire to see good days,

let them keep their tongues from evil

and their lips from speaking deceit;

11 let them turn away from evil and do good;

let them seek peace and pursue it.

12 For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous,

and his ears are open to their prayer.

But the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.”


There is no “weaker sex,” Peter. You were socially conditioned to believe God created man to dominate woman. We have learned to be so much better than that. Men and women can live in wonderful partnership together when they respect and love each other, when communication goes both ways, and when there is a lot of support and help. Both men and women are called to be strong spiritual guides. Husbands and wives, and partners of same sex, can have a harmonic relationship when each of them loves and trusts God and asks God to be part of their relationship.


Blessings on your day,

Pastor Sue

6.24.20 Wednesday2020-06-24T06:21:25-05:00

6.23.20 Tuesday

2020-06-23T06:27:12-05:00
Good Tuesday morning. Greet the morning with gladness. This next part of the text we are studying is unpleasant and difficult to read. Especially so early in the morning!


In finishing Chapter 2 of 1 Peter, we must take into consideration the accepted practices and social structures of the time. It’s all about context. Peter writes instructions to all on attitude to God, the state, and each other. He is writing about Jesus, the suffering servant, but many have used this passage to justify slavery and poor treatment of servants.


1 Peter 2:13-25 (NRSV)


13 For the Lord’s sake accept the authority of every human institution, whether of the emperor as supreme, 14 or of governors, as sent by him to punish those who do wrong and to praise those who do right. 15 For it is God’s will that by doing right you should silence the ignorance of the foolish. 16 As servants of God, live as free people, yet do not use your freedom as a pretext for evil. 17 Honor everyone. Love the family of believers. Fear God. Honor the emperor.


The Example of Christ’s Suffering

18 Slaves, accept the authority of your masters with all deference, not only those who are kind and gentle but also those who are harsh. 19 For it is a credit to you if, being aware of God, you endure pain while suffering unjustly. 20 If you endure when you are beaten for doing wrong, what credit is that? But if you endure when you do right and suffer for it, you have God’s approval. 21 For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you should follow in his steps.


22 “He committed no sin,

and no deceit was found in his mouth.”

23 When he was abused, he did not return abuse; when he suffered, he did not threaten; but he entrusted himself to the one who judges justly. 24 He himself bore our sins in his body on the cross, so that, free from sins, we might live for righteousness; by his wounds you have been healed. 25 For you were going astray like sheep, but now you have returned to the shepherd and guardian of your souls.


I like verses 16 & 17 the most of this passage. “As servants of God, live as free people, yet do not use your freedom as a pretext for evil. Honor everyone. Love the family of believers. Fear God. Honor the emperor.” To honor everyone would exclude the right to own slaves or treat others as less than yourself. However, with slavery being an accepted practice in that time and place, it seemed like Peter was attempting to justify their suffering by associating it with the suffering of Christ. Of course, that doesn’t make it right.

It comes from the writings of Isaiah 53 where the servant suffers in silence. Peter suggests that the most vulnerable Christians, slaves of unbelieving masters, should fit without complaint into the structures of society as a testimony to the faith, hoping that unbelievers will be converted by their behavior.


This is tough stuff, but still very important part of our scriptural history. Again, like Maya Angelou said, “When we know better, we do better.”


Blessings on your day,

Pastor Sue

6.23.20 Tuesday2020-06-23T06:27:12-05:00

6.22.20 Monday

2020-06-22T06:26:18-05:00
Good Monday morning. We had lovely outdoor worship services yesterday. We got a tiny sprinkle toward the end of the 10:00 o’clock service, but otherwise it was sunny and warm. President Matt said, I sure hope we’re inside by December! No worries, I’ll finally put on a jacket.


Let’s get back to the writings of St. Peter.

1 Peter 2:9-12 (NRSV)


9 But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s own people, in order that you may proclaim the mighty acts of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.


10 Once you were not a people,

but now you are God’s people;

once you had not received mercy,

but now you have received mercy.

Live as Servants of God

11 Beloved, I urge you as aliens and exiles to abstain from the desires of the flesh that wage war against the soul. 12 Conduct yourselves honorably among the Gentiles, so that, though they malign you as evildoers, they may see your honorable deeds and glorify God when he comes to judge.


The readers were formerly Gentiles, but are now a part of the chosen race of Israel. Peter uses language that describes God’s special relationship with Israel. We have taken that to mean God’s special relationship to God’s church and to us a Christ followers. This choosing does not mean that we are better than others; it means we are chosen by God’s grace.


These next few passages have been used to rationalize slavery, white supremacy and patriarchy. But, it is more of a spiritual race with one spiritual Father that we belong to. Luther wrote about the “priesthood of all believers.” As Christians, we are all chosen as priests to spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We are called to be different or separate from the world; we are called to be salt, light, and good soil. How have you shown your faith by being different in the world around you? Your family, your workplace, your home?


Blessings on your day,

Pastor Sue


6.22.20 Monday2020-06-22T06:26:18-05:00