The Rev. Cindy Stansbury
Luke 10:1-11
13 mins 38 secs
Views: 44
In our Gospel this week, Jesus sends out 70 of his followers to go before him into ministry, and they come back rejoicing. In his instructions there is wisdom for our journey as well. For like the 70, we are also sent out into a mission field that is in our front yard, in our daily lives. The hazards, opportunities, challenges and blessings we encounter, deepen and shift our understanding of God and our love for his people. Come join us in worship and fellowship this Sunday!
The Rev. Carole Anderson
Luke 10:25-37
14 mins 22 secs
Views: 43
This Sunday, we will read again the parable of the Good Samaritan. (Luke 10:25-37). Jesus encounters a lawyer on the road who stood up to Him to put Him to the test: "Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?” Jesus replies, "What is written in the Law? How do you read it?” The Lawyer answered, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.” Jesus replies, "You have answered correctly; do this and you will live." But the lawyer, feeling the need to justify himself, asks, “Who is my neighbor?” Aah, can you imagine the look on Jesus' face as he launches into the parable describing this incident on the infamously dangerous road to Jericho? When Jesus finishes telling the story about how the priest and the Levite crossed the road to avoid helping a traveler who had been robbed and beaten half to death, but a Samaritan bound his wounds and paid for his care, He asks, “Which of these three, do you think, proved to be a neighbor to the man who fell among the robbers?” He said, “The one who showed him mercy.” And Jesus said to him, “You go, and do likewise." I wonder what the lawyer was thinking as he returned home that night? Perhaps he went home unchanged, muttering “Go and do likewise. Who does He think he is? How can I possibly do that? Everyone knows that the Samaritans are half-breeds and not part of God’s chosen people. The priest and the Levite were just obeying the law. That doesn’t make them bad neighbors. There’s no way that I can do this.” But, what if the lawyer went home totally convicted about his heart attitude? Maybe he got it that God is more than the law; God is love. Perhaps he began to show up at the places where Jesus was teaching to find out more. Possibly he and his family came to know that Jesus is the Son of God and their Savior. Jesus said to him --and to all, "You go, and do likewise." Blessings, Deacon Carole
The Rev. Cindy Stansbury
Luke 10:38-42:38
18 mins 53 secs
Views: 50
In our readings this week, we hear about Abraham entertaining angels, the Psalmist question of who may abide in [God’s] tent, and Mary and Martha hosting Jesus and his entourage in their home. I can’t help but notice a theme of hospitality, and the different ways Abraham, Sarah, Mary and Martha responded to the opportunity to show hospitality to God in their homes. Besides making me question my own hospitality towards friends, family and neighbors, it also makes me wonder about how I show hospitality to the presence of God in my life. I hope you will come join us this Sunday to worship together and explore this question.
The Rev. Cindy Stansbury
Luke 11:1-13
17 mins 54 secs
Views: 69
Prayer is communication with God. It may be full of words, emotions, and pleas. It may be quietly sitting in the presence of God. It may be songs of praise, offerings of thanksgiving, or adoration of the nature and character of our loving and holy God. It may be going out to a lonely place before dawn to find enough space to pray alone, or standing in front of a busy hospital praying for a just-met stranger. Or, in the case of Abraham, it may be audacious negotiating with Almighty God for the sake of Lot, just before the destruction of Sodom. In our Gospel, the disciples ask Jesus to teach them to pray, and his answer is the Lord’s Prayer which is at the center of our weekly liturgy. Prayer is time with God; and it clarifies our perspective, heals our soul, and refreshes our spirit. Come join us this week for worship in the midst of chaos and for corporate prayer in the midst of the isolation and noise of life in Silicon Valley.
The Rev. Cindy Stansbury
Luke 12:13-21
14 mins 57 secs
Views: 57
This week, our readings are on the not so cheerful topic of the impermanence of life and the futility of our life’s work. Here in Silicon Valley, that is a hard message to hear, but of course the good news is that life here is not all there is to our life in Christ. Instead, in Colossians we read, “Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth, for you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.” Colossians 3:2-3 If we focus all of our attention on our success here on earth, we will always ultimately be disappointed, because life here and treasures here do not satisfy, even if we achieve them. Instead, they leave us wanting more or feeling empty. However where our treasure is, there our heart will be also, and it is when our hearts are in Christ that we are rich towards God and truly fulfilled.
Abraham spent years of his life living in hope of a future he couldn’t see. He set out for a unknown land believing it would be his inheritance. He lived as a nomad in that land for many years and believed that it would come to pass as promised. He lived to an old age with a barren wife without an heir, but when God said to him: “Look toward heaven and count the stars, if you are able to count them." Then he said to him, "So shall your descendants be." And [Abram] believed the Lord; and the Lord reckoned it to him as righteousness.” Genesis 15:5-6 “Therefore from one person, and this one as good as dead, descendants were born, "as many as the stars of heaven and as the innumerable grains of sand by the seashore.” All of these died in faith without having received the promises, but from a distance they saw and greeted them. They confessed that they were strangers and foreigners on the earth, … But as it is, they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God; indeed, he has prepared a city for them. Hebrews 11:12, 13, 16 We also live our lives in hope of a future we cannot see. We live on this earth, but we also live in the Kingdom of God. We live and work here in this life, but we also anticipate the moment when Christ returns in power and glory: “Do not be afraid, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.” … “You also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an unexpected hour.” Luke 12:32, 40
In last week’s gospel, we were reminded to store up our treasures in heaven, because where our treasure is our heart will follow. We were told to always keep watching or be on the look out for the day of the Lord’s return. This week our lessons are all about the judgment that will take place when the Lord does return. Jeremiah compares God's Word to a fire and a hammer that smashes the rock to pieces. Jesus reminds us that he did not come to bring peace, or prosperity, but rather as the reading from Luke 12:49-56 says, " I came to cast fire on the earth, and would that it were already kindled! I have a baptism to be baptized with, and how great is my distress until it is accomplished! Do you think that I have come to give peace on earth? No, I tell you, but rather division. For from now on in one house there will be five divided, three against two and two against three. They will be divided, father against son and son against father, mother against daughter and daughter against mother, mother-in-law against her daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law against mother-in-law.” Clearly the coming of the Lord will not be a fun time for those who have chosen to reject Him. Too late they will realize the error they have made. But these readings also remind us that since we have chosen Him as Lord and Savior, our sin is covered over with His shed blood, and God sees us as His precious children. Because of Jesus we never have to fear the coming of “that Day” again. We will be judged, but only on the basis of what we have done or not done for Jesus. Jesus tells us, “Behold, I am coming soon! My reward is with me, and I will give to everyone according to what he has done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End. Blessed are those who wash their robes, that they may have the right to the tree of life and may go through the gates into the city..... I, Jesus have sent my angel to give you this testimony for the churches. I am the Root and the Offspring of David, and the bright Morning Star.” Rev.22:12-14 … “You also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an unexpected hour.” Luke 12:32, 40
The Rev. Cindy Stansbury
Luke 13:1-9
14 mins 57 secs
Views: 30
Appropriate to Lent, our readings this week are filled with invitations to come to God, but also warnings and reminders of our need to repent, to watch, to bear fruit… He asked them, "Do you think that because these Galileans suffered in this way they were worse sinners than all other Galileans? No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all perish as they did. --Luke 13:2-3 So he said to the gardener, 'See here! For three years I have come looking for fruit on this fig tree, and still I find none. Cut it down! Why should it be wasting the soil?' He replied, 'Sir, let it alone for one more year, until I dig around it and put manure on it. If it bears fruit next year, well and good; but if not, you can cut it down.'" --Luke 13:7-9 So if you think you are standing, watch out that you do not fall. 1 Corinthians 10:12 Seek the LORD while he may be found, call upon him while he is near; --Isaiah 55:1-9 We are given grace, and forgiveness, and invitations to a lavish feast. We have been entrusted with the Word of God, with the revelation of the Father in the life of the Son. But we are also called to repent, to bear fruit, to seek God above all else.
The Rev. Cindy Stansbury
Luke 13:10-17
15 mins 40 secs
Views: 54
Our readings this week all touch on sabbath and worship of God. Sabbath is a concept often lost in this place we live. Like many spiritual disciplines, it is more important than we assume, but also prone to fall into legalism if we miss the spirit and underlying purpose and message of sabbath. This week in our Gospel, Jesus is scolded by for working on the sabbath by healing a woman bent over and crippled. His response is memorable: "You hypocrites! Does not each of you on the sabbath untie his ox or his donkey from the manger, and lead it away to give it water? And ought not this woman, a daughter of Abraham whom Satan bound for eighteen long years, be set free from this bondage on the sabbath day?" "When he said this, all his opponents were put to shame; and the entire crowd was rejoicing at the wonderful things that he was doing. Luke 13: 15-17
The Rev. Carole Anderson
Luke 13:31-35:0
13 mins 34 secs
Views: 40
This week, we skip ahead several chapters to arrive at our Gospel reading in Luke 13:31-35. So much has happened since Jesus began His journey. He has returned to Galilee, met skepticism in His hometown, healed many on the way to Capernaum, called His first disciples, gathered crowds with His profound teaching, made powerful enemies of the Pharisees, comforted and encouraged his cousin John the Baptist who was about to be executed, sent out his 12 disciples on their first solo mission, fed the 5000, and was transfigured on the mountain where he spoke with Moses and Elijah. It may be that Jesus is responding to the Pharisees’ false warning. Jesus already knows what the plan is and He knows who is in charge. Nevertheless, Jesus is filled with compassion for what He knows is coming upon Jerusalem. So He replies, Go and tell that fox, ‘Behold, I cast out demons and perform cures today and tomorrow, and the third day finish my course. Nevertheless, I must go on my way today and tomorrow and the day following, for it cannot be that a prophet should perish away from Jerusalem.' O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to it! How often would I have gathered your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you were not willing! ' Behold, your house is forsaken. And I tell you, you will not see me until you say, ‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!'