We have crossed the line into the final weeks of the Season of Pentecost, which means that we are reading the lectionary gospel texts from the last week of Jesus’ life. His sense of urgency is increasing as he tries to impress upon his followers the importance of his message. This week he tells yet another shocking story, this time about a king who has invited guests to the wedding feast for his son. It challenges us to choose whether we will say yes to God’s invitation to live as citizens of God’s realm on earth. It points out the necessity to commit not just with words, but with the transformation of our life. It emphasizes the suffering that comes from shutting ourselves out of that sacred way of being.
We will explore what accepting the free grace of God’s unconditional love and acceptance requires of us in return, in order for us to find the peace, comfort and joy in the midst of life’s struggles that can come with living in that grace. We will also look at how the people who open to that transformation of their own lives become instruments of transformation in the world around them. We will hear the wisdom of a diverse group, including C.S. Lewis, the controversial French writer Léon Bloy, the Auschwitz survivor and psychiatrist Viktor Frankl, Abe Lincoln, and Moses, Isaiah, Paul and Jesus (Exodus 32:1-14; Isaiah 25; Philippians 4:1-7; Matthew 22:1-14).
Annemieke is giving a concert in Chicago this Sunday. We are extremely blessed to have another outstanding church musician step in, Carol Rousseau. The choir will be singing, meeting to rehearse at 9:00 AM Sunday morning in the sanctuary. We will sing three familiar and old favorite hymns, “Our God, Our Help in Ages Past,” “If Thou But Suffer God to Guide Thee” and “Take My Life, and Let It Be.”