Pastor's Message from the Wednesday Bulletin

The Difficulty and Danger of Judging Others
This evening, our focus is on the last few verses of James 3 and most of James 4. There’s a lot in this passage that we could talk about: wisdom from God (which Vicar touched on last week), the things for which we should (or should not) pray, and the role of sorrow in the life of the Christian just to name a few. And then there is what we are going to talk about: the difficulty and danger of judging others. Or, maybe more accurately, the fine (yet well defined) line between discerning and condemning.

I have no idea how “they” figure this stuff out, but I’ve heard it said that the most quoted verse in the Scriptures is “judge not, lest ye be judged.” I’m not sure I buy it. But I’m pretty sure you’ve heard that verse before, which speaks to its popularity at some level. Of course this quote is often misused to coerce Christians into endorsing sin. It makes sense in a libertine, relativistic culture, Jesus’ words to refrain from judging would be popular.

There are bad reasons not to judge (turning a blind eye to sin being at the top of the list); but what are the good reasons? Several, it turns out. This evening we are going to take a look at why Christians should be careful to judge others, the role of discerning good from evil, and how to carefully confront and brother or sister in Christ when they have erred.

God bless your time in worship this evening!
Pastor Duncan

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Did you know that Zion is currently supporting two missionaries?

Did you know that Zion is currently supporting two missionaries? We are supporting Rev. Dr. Edward Naumann who will be starting a Lutheran Seminary serving south India and Sri Lanka. We are also supporting the ongoing work of the Lohmeyer family in the Dominican Republic, creating sustainable ministries and churches. And we are also supporting Pastor Cullen Duke and his wife Jackie on their mission to Peru. Thanks to your generosity and the Kingdom Fund, we were able to support both of these missions in addition to meeting our ongoing financial responsibilities. Contact Pastor Duncan or the Church Office if you would like to know more about these missions

To read more about these families, visit:

Sermon: Sunday August 21, 2016 - Ester

Gospel Reading: John 17
When Jesus had spoken these words, he lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, “Father, the hour has come; glorify your Son that the Son may glorify you, since you have given him authority over all flesh, to give eternal life to all whom you have given him. And this is eternal life, that they know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent. I glorified you on earth, having accomplished the work that you gave me to do. And now, Father, glorify me in your own presence with the glory that I had with you before the world existed.

“I have manifested your name to the people whom you gave me out of the world. Yours they were, and you gave them to me, and they have kept your word. Now they know that everything that you have given me is from you. For I have given them the words that you gave me, and they have received them and have come to know in truth that I came from you; and they have believed that you sent me. I am praying for them. I am not praying for the world but for those whom you have given me, for they are yours. All mine are yours, and yours are mine, and I am glorified in them. And I am no longer in the world, but they are in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, keep them in your name, which you have given me, that they may be one, even as we are one. While I was with them, I kept them in your name, which you have given me. I have guarded them, and not one of them has been lost except the son of destruction, that the Scripture might be fulfilled. But now I am coming to you, and these things I speak in the world, that they may have my joy fulfilled in themselves. I have given them your word, and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. I do not ask that you take them out of the world, but that you keep them from the evil one. They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth. As you sent me into the world, so I have sent them into the world. And for their sake I consecrate myself, that they also may be sanctified in truth.

“I do not ask for these only, but also for those who will believe in me through their word, that they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me. The glory that you have given me I have given to them, that they may be one even as we are one, I in them and you in me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that you sent me and loved them even as you loved me. Father, I desire that they also, whom you have given me, may be with me where I am, to see my glory that you have given me because you loved me before the foundation of the world. O righteous Father, even though the world does not know you, I know you, and these know that you have sent me. I made known to them your name, and I will continue to make it known, that the love with which you have loved me may be in them, and I in them.”

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Vicar's Message from the Sunday Bulletin

As we continue reading through the Bible in a year, we have the opportunity to see the varying genres of Scripture. God communicates who he is and what he promises to us not only through persuasive language such as one of Paul's letters but also through poetry and narrative. Today we encounter what has to be the strangest genre that God utilizes in Scripture; historical narrative written in a secular style. In the sermon today we will talk about this style and how God uses it to make known to us his grace shown in Jesus.

Last week in the sermon we saw one literary masterpiece inspired by Goethe linear, cyclical, and chiastic structures in the book of Revelation. This week we see our God making use of even a secular narrative to show His power and glory, His grace and Mercy.

May God bless you as you receive his gifts and respond in praise.
Vicar Joshua

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