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8th Sunday after Pentecost
St. Thomas Day - St. Thomas, the Doubter

  "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places" Ephesians 1:3

Texts & Discussions:

2 Samuel 6:1-5, 12b-19 and
Psalm 24 or
Amos 7:7-15 and
Psalm 85:8-13
Ephesians 1:3-14
Mark 6:14-29


Blessing Christ (Ephesians 1:3-14)

Let us bless the living Christ:
He was born of the Virgin Mary
Revealed in his glory
Worshipped by angels
Proclaimed among the nations
Believed in throughout the world
Exalted to the highest heavens.
Blessed be God, our strength and our salvation
Now and for ever. Amen.



Children's Message

Sermon Excerpts

When Power Meets Power, Mark 6:14-29
by Rev. Rick Thompson

  The word “gospel,” as you probably know, means “good news”.

     Typically, we preachers conclude our reading with the glad announcement, a bold affirmation, “The Gospel of our Lord!”

    But sometimes, when I read the Gospel reading, I have an odd reaction—and this is one of those times—it feels more appropriate to conclude the reading with a question: “The gospel of our Lord?”

     Where is the Gospel, where is the “good news” in this story?

     Where’s the good news in a story about a drunken king, worked up to a lather by the exotic dancing of his step-daughter, egged on by his wife’s desire for revenge,  and bound to keep a promise he regrets making, orders John the Baptist beheaded.

     Where’s the good news in this story of a king who cannot bear to hear the words of a prophet of God any longer?

     Where’s the good news in the story of a truth-teller, a prophet of God, who gets his head cut off as a reward? The Gospel of our Lord?

     It sounds, rather, like more of the same.  More of the same in the world of power politics.  Someone offends the king—or, in this case, the king’s wife—and he’s removed from the scene, occasionally by violence.  Doesn’t that happen all the time?  Maybe not by murder or beheading, but certainly by being discredited, or removed from a position of power.



And David Danced With All His Might
2 Samuel 6:12-19
by Rev. Thomas Hall

Dancing is a biblical form of worship. In the Hebrew Scriptures, folks pushed the tables back and got the accordion out for special occasions-weddings, funerals, bar and bat mitzvahs, birthdays, for having clobbered their enemies, or when experiencing a heightened sense of God’s presence, when the baby took his or her first step, when the kid finally graduated from high school, when grandma came to visit, when the in-laws finally left, and even for a successful return from Thursday night knitting. Anything could be grounds for offering God a dance.

I remember once being a guest at several kibbutzim along the West Bank in Israel. We would first eat a community supper, usually in a plane hangar, then everyone would push the tables and chairs aside and someone would get the accordion out and the dancing would begin. We would join hands and form a huge circle and slowly begin to dance. But with each strain of music, we would spin faster and faster around that huge room, kicking our feet and clapping our hand and singing joyously. Just outside, women and men would have their carbines ready and their eagle eyes scanning the horizon for any movement around the camp. Life on Israeli kibbutzim was always lived in the valley of the shadow of death.

Well, I’m not Jewish and you’ll never see that I’d Rather be Dancing bumper sticker plastered on my Toyota. It’s just not dignified for ministers to go around doing the Charleston every time they’re asked to pray. Besides, I grew up believing that dancing is not a good thing to do. That it was actually "worldly" and since I was a Christian I could no longer do worldly things-no matter how much fun they were. So I’ve gone on my way never dancing. No matter. I couldn’t dance this new stuff anyway. Have you seen these new dance steps? You just stand up and jiggle a little here and there and shuffle your feet a little. No, I’m no Fred Astaire, but dancing is a symbol of joy that makes me envious of my Jewish and non-Jewish dancing friends.

Our text brings us to the dance floor this morning. Did you pick up on that part of the first lesson? A lot of dancing going on. David dancing before the Lord, .... Subscribers: click here for the full manuscript


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