Worship on July 12 – Sixth Sunday after Pentecost

Jul 11, 2020

Compassion helps us to see and welcome. To see and welcome is how we accept one another. When we gather together at the table, we accept each other in the same way God accepts us. Through the parable of the father and the two brothers in Luke 15:11-32, we witness how compassion empowers us to release any anger and judgment we may hold toward others, ourselves, and the world for not being what we wanted or needed. Compassion inspires seeing, forgiveness, and welcoming.

Lessons for this Sunday, July 12: Luke 15: 11-32

Lessons for next Sunday, July 19:  Mark 2:1-12

Sermon Series:  Cultivating Compassion  Starting Sunday, July 12 we will spend five weeks in worship Cultivating Compassion: at the table, to the neighbor, for myself, along the way, and with the world. Through worship and activities more intentionally planned to engage a wider range of ages, we will have the opportunity to explore how we cultivate God’s character of compassion in ourselves and our community.

Reflection from Pastor Amy:

Years ago, I learned about the idea of God’s character. A friend I knew grounded his work in the notion that God’s character was visible in the pages of scripture – God is love, God is generous, God is gracious, God is giving, God is merciful. My friend would read scripture and then ask: What does this story reveal to you about God’s character?

Since God’s character was visible, my friend also taught the people he was working with to ask themselves: what character of God do you know best? The idea at the heart of my friend’s work was that when Genesis says that we are created in the image of God, it is God’s character that each person carries in some unique way.

Psalm 145 says “The Lord is gracious and full of compassion, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love. (vs. 8, ELW translation). In this Psalm and throughout scripture, we see many ways that God’s compassion is visible as well as ways that our ancestors of faith have embodied God’s compassion through their actions. These stories are powerful reminders that God’s character of compassion is something that we can all cultivate to be stronger and more vigorous.

Starting Sunday, July 12 we will spend five weeks in worship Cultivating Compassion. Through worship and activities more intentionally planned to engage a wider range of ages, we will have the opportunity to explore how we cultivate God’s character of compassion in ourselves and our community.

Each week we will explore the theme in a different way. This week we focus on Cultivating Compassion: At the Table. Adults who want to study the Sunday text more in depth each week are invited to join the Deep Dive with Pastor, which will take place at 9:45 on Zoom on Sunday mornings. Families with elementary-aged children and younger who want to do activities at home, or others who like to engage their faith in more tactile and experiential ways are encouraged to sign up so they can receive access to a Google classroom, where each week we’ll upload several videos for you to access at your own pace and on your own schedule.

In this time of great uncertainty and significant change, cultivating compassion for others, for ourselves, and for the world around us is one tangible way that we can more fully reflect God’s character of compassion that has already been planted in us!

Here’s to our growth!