Fourth Sunday after Pentecost(Proper 6 B)
Ezekiel 17:22–24 / 2 Corinthians 5:1–10 (11–17) / Mark 4:26–34
The Cross of Christ Is the Tree of Life, Which Bears Abundant Fruit after Its Own Kind
The parables of our Lord convey the mysteries of the kingdom of God to those who are “able to hear it,”that is, “to his own disciples,”who are catechized to fear, love and trust in Him by faith (Mark 4:33–34). He scatters “seed on the ground,”which “sprouts and grows”unto life, even as “he sleeps and rises”(Mark 4:26–27). “On the mountain height of Israel,”He plants a young and tender twig, and it becomes “a noble cedar.” Indeed, His own cross becomes the Tree of Life, under which “every kind of bird”will dwell, and in which “birds of every sort will nest”(Ezek. 17:22–25). His cross is our resting place, even while now in mortal bodies, we “groan, being burdened”(2 Cor. 5:1–4). Yet in faith, we live for God in Christ, who for our sake “died and was raised” (2 Cor. 5:15). We know that, in His resurrected body, “we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens”(2 Cor. 5:1).
A Father’s Calling: “’You are to honor your father and mother.’ God has given this walk of life, fatherhood and motherhood, a special position of honor, higher than that of any other walk of life under it. Not only has He commanded us to love parents, but to honor them. In regards to brothers, sisters, and neighbors in general He commands nothing higher than we love them. But He distinguishes father and mother above all other persons on earth, and places them next to Himself.” (Luther’s Large Catechism, Fourth Commandment, Book of Concord, Kolb ed. pg. 400-401 par. 104-106.) Fathers, yours is a high and holy calling. May the Lord bless you and keep you as you serve those entrusted to you in Jesus’ saving name!
Nebraska District Convention: Representatives from Zion (Kraig Niemoth-voting lay delegate; Andy Glause-alternate lay delegate; Pastor Niemeier-voting pastoral delegate) attended the Nebraska District Convention in Kearney this past week. The theme from 2 Corinthians 5:18—“Reconciled in Christ, for the World”—set the theme for the time together. Members are encouraged to talk to these delegates and/or check the Nebraska District webpage for convention results. http://convention.ndlcms.org/
Male and Female He Created Them: “So God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created Him; male and female He created them.” (Genesis 1:27)What does it mean to be male? To be female? Is it possible to offer unique contributions in family, church, and work without the baggage of having to be in competition with each other? Such questions are best answered in the Word of He who created us! In Scripture, we find not a “battle of sexes” but each “playing to our unique strengths” as we love our neighbor as ourselves. Join us next Sunday, June 24, at 9:00 a.m. as our summer Bible study on the Order of Creation continues!
HLHS Benefit—Cemetery Tour: Skip Meyer will be giving a cemetery tour in the Grand Island Cemetery TODAY starting at 1:30 p.m. Those taking the tour are asked to meet on the south side of Stolley Park Rd, at the west end of the cemetery. Cost is $10 per person or $15 per couple. All proceeds will go to Heartland Lutheran High School for an upcoming capital campaign. Walking shoes and a water bottle are recommended equipment. The tour will last approximately 3 hours, depending on questions asked.
Communication: See the information cubical in narthex for an updated letter from AJ, Gretyl, and Dawson Bader!
Sanctity of Human Life: Being voices for life can get frustrating when we don’t immediately see changed hearts and saved lives. But fathers both know and show that heroes are built over time, not born in a moment. We can take courage from God Himself patiently planting His own kingdom like seeds (Mark 4:26-28) and carefully cultivating it like saplings (Ezekiel 17:22-24). Boys become men, and stems will yield. This Gospel—for us too!—renews our life-affirming enthusiasm and routines. Ancient of Days, teach us to walk and talk and work by faith and not by sight. Amen.
Others Talk, We Have Something to Say: Issues, Etc. is a radio talk show and podcast produced by Lutheran Public Radio in Collinsville, IL and hosted by LCMS Pastor Todd Wilken. This week’s topics include: The Mystical Union, Peter Preaches on Pentecost, The Council of Nicaea, The Prophet Elisha, The Apostle Barnabas and more. You can listen live or on-demand at www.issuesetc.org and on the LPR mobile app.
On Monday, July 9th from 1 pm to 7:00 pm the Heartland Lutheran National Honor Society Students will be hosting a Blood Drive for the Red Cross. This drive will take place at the Conestoga Mall (NOT HLHS). Please consider coming to make a donation and helping them reach their goal of over 25 usable units (whole blood or double red cell donation appointments are available) –reaching 25 usable units will make HLHS students eligible for a Scholarship through the Red Cross. So your donation will not only help the Community but our HLHS students as well. Please Contact the HLHS office at 308-385-3900 for a donation time.