This the Second Sunday after Pentecost. Neil Nichols served as Lay Minister and Lector. The Readings for this Sunday were Genesis 22:1-14; Psalm 13; Romans 6:12-23; and the Gospel of Matthew 10:40-42.
The First Reading was the story of Abraham believing that God wanted him to sacrifice his only son, Isaac. When God saw that Abraham was actually willing to obey him, an angel of the Lord stopped him and provided a ram instead. Abraham’s faith that God would provide for him pleased God. In the book of Romans, Paul tells the people that though they are free from the religious laws of the past, they should still obey God by loving one another. “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” In the Gospel of Matthew we are told to accept one another with loving kindness, and in doing so we are serving God.
Reverend Patterson explained that in the day of Abraham it was natural to sacrifice animals and sometimes humans to a god. Abraham learned that God does not want human blood. He was not like the many different gods of some of Abraham’s neighbors. He wanted Abraham and Isaac to understand that, so Isaac was redeemed before he could be sacrificed. This is the unique and wonderful way about God. Jesus loves his people and honors them. It is with kindness, love, and acceptance that Jesus receives man and forgives him of his sins. This is how his followers are rewarded with eternal life.