When the disciples left everything
to follow you, Lord, they didn’t know
what they were getting into.
So it is with people even today.
On Sunday our minister
challenged those who were listening
to let God lead them into new adventures.
She challenged not only the youth,
but those of middle age, and older folks.
You know, Lord, that I recently
started visiting people in our
health care center. Can I do more?
I am looking into the possibilities.
Then Jesus said to Simon, “Do not be afraid; from now on you will be catching people.” When they had brought their boats to shore, they left everything and followed him.
Hymn: Lord, You Have Come to the Lakeshore
Lord Jesus, you recognized
that your disciples sometimes
needed rest. We all need
time in your presence to unwind
and release burdens to your care.
We let go, let down, and rely
on your Spirit to relieve and refresh us.
Our rough places are smoothed.
Lord, you give life, health, and wisdom
as we rest in your care.
Come, Lord Jesus. Amen.
The apostles gathered around Jesus, and told him all that they had done and taught. He said to them, “Come away to a deserted place all by yourselves and rest awhile.” For many were coming and going, and they had no leisure even to eat.
Hymn: Near to the Heart of God
Lord Jesus, last Tuesday
we voted in our primary election.
In your time on earth,
you didn’t have elections,
but you lived under a king and
under religious authorities.
We are fortunate that we live at a time
and in a country where we choose
government officials. We will
vote again in November
for the final winner.
We are grateful, Lord Jesus, for a system
that allows us to choose leaders
that are responsible to the people.
1 Samuel 8:4-5:
Then the elders of Israel gathered together and came to Samuel at Ramah, and said to him,
“You are old and your sons do not follow in your ways; appoint for us, then a king to govern us like other nations.”
Then they prayed and said, “Lord, you know everyone’s heart. Show us which of these two you have chosen to take the place in this ministry and apostleship from which Judas turned aside to go to his own place.” And they cast lots for them, and the lot fell on Matthias; and he was added to the eleven apostles.
Hymn: Lift Every Voice and Sing
Dear Lord, yesterday was our
59th wedding anniversary,
and we planned to go out to dinner,
but our car was in the shop
and wasn’t ready. So we will
celebrate tonight instead.
It’s important to note special days
and take the time to reminisce.
We are fortunate to have each other
when so many men and women
in this retirement community are widowed.
Thank you, Lord, for our many years
Then the man said, “This at last is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; this one shall be called Woman, for out of Man this one was taken.” Therefore a man leaves his father and his mother and clings to his wife, and they become one flesh.
Hymn: O Perfect Love
O Father God, you created trees.
On our campus we have many different kinds.
In spring flowering trees are everywhere.
In summer we enjoy sitting in their shade.
In fall the red, yellow, and orange leaves inspire,
and we enjoy fruit from the farmer’s markets.
In winter we see the patterns of branches.
Trees inspire us with their beauty.
Thank you, Father, for the inspiration
of your wonderful creation: trees.
Then God said, “Let the earth put forth vegetation: plants yielding seed, and fruit trees of every kind on earth that bear fruit with the seed in it.” And it was so. The earth brought forth vegetation: plants yielding seed of every kind, and trees of every kind bearing fruit with the seed in it. And God saw that it was good.
Hymn: How Great Thou Art
Gracious Father God, it seems
that every country has sparrows.
We have seen them in squares
in Italy, Russia, and England.
We saw them pecking food
from tables in a park in Sweden.
Jesus noticed them in his country.
He used sparrows as an example
of your care, and of how much
more you care for people.
Thank you, Father, for your care
and for your presence with us.
“Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father. And even the hairs of your head are all counted. So do not be afraid; you are of more value than many sparrows.”
Hymn: His Eye Is on the Sparrow
Lord, when you were troubled
you went to the garden of Gethsemane
to talk with your Father.
You often met your disciples in gardens.
Mary Magdalene saw you risen
and thought you were the gardener.
Adam and Eve were in a garden.
Gardens remind us of the continuing
creative power of God.
We plant a seed, water it, and
a plant grows. Thank you, Lord,
for the inspiration of gardens.
Then Jesus went with them to a place call Gethsemane; and he said to his disciples, “Sit here while I go over there and pray.”
After Jesus had spoken these words, he went out with his disciples across the Kidron valley to a place where there was a garden, which he and his disciples entered.
Hymn: In the Garden (I Come to the Garden Alone)