The Response: Psalm 27 was led by David Maitland. (verse 5) “One thing have I asked of the Lord; one thing I seek; that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life.”
The First Reading was read by Arthur Clark: Genesis 15:1-12, 17-18. God promises Abram that he will bear many children regardless of his age. His descendants will be as plentiful as the stars and his very own issue will be his heir. On that day the Lord made a covenant with Abram that his descendants will get all the land from the river of Egypt to the great river of Euphrates.
The Second Reading was read by Neil Nichols from Philippians 3:17----4:1. Paul reminds them that they should not concentrate on earthly goods, but on their citizenship in heaven. They need to stand firm in the Lord and know that he will reward them in heaven.
Reverend Robert Johnston read the Gospel according to Luke 13:31-35. The Pharisees warned Jesus to get away because Herod may have him killed. Jesus said he must cast out demons and cure the ill. Besides, they didn’t usually kill prophets outside of Jerusalem. When he goes to Jerusalem, he knows that he will be killed. He is sad for Jerusalem where the temple was built in God’s honor and to worship him. They are not following the way of the Lord and will be punished. “Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord.” They will see the kingdom of heaven.
Reverend Lloyd Johnson served as the pastor on the Second Sunday of Lent. We are blessed to have him with us and pray for his healing. Reverend Johnson spoke about the pitfalls of lust. As we mature we begin to do things our own way and focus on what we want the most. He defined lust as something out there that we want and will not be satisfied until we have it. Whether healthy or sinful, we are prone to let it control our lives.
Abram wanted a son from his wife Sarah and would not be satisfied until he had him. Even though he was impatient and had a son from a slave, he still wanted a legitimate son from Sarah. Abram had to be patient but God did finally grant his wish, for it was in his plans all along. God wants to give to us, but sometimes we are impatient or are focused on something else that we want rather than what God wants to give us. This desire can divert our attention from God so that we don’t recognize what God wants to give us.
God gives us every day and wants to fill us with himself. God wants an invitation from us so he can enter our hearts and lives. He will come in and develop a long relationship with us. When things go wrong, look to him and open yourself to what he can do for you. The option is there, but you must be willing to let him in. Jerusalem was unwilling to turn to God when he was there for them. They could have avoided the destruction and sorrow. Sometimes God may take away in order to give us more. There is nothing that God can’t do. Cast away lust and focus on God. Be open to the possibility that God will touch every one of us, and we will have our reward he has prepared for us.
Lee LaJeunesse gave a report about the Annual Council of the Episcopal Diocese of West Texas which was held in Corpus Christi last Thursday – Saturday. The delegates enjoyed the spiritual impact as well as the spiritual fellowship. The Bishop’s address is on-line on the DWTX web site. Lee and Dolores La Jeunesse, John Greve, and Shirley Oleson represented St. Matthew’s.
A birthday blessing was said for Diane Maitland and healing prayers for Reverend Lloyd Johnson and Arthur Clark. Next Sunday’s service will be at 9 a.m. with Reverend Jim Abernathy as pastor. PIM web site.