We pray. We study the Bible. We make friends. We tell our stories. We give ourselves away in generosity and service.
A PERSONAL PRAYER
Some weeks are harder than others. We had five funerals for lovely people at St. Luke’s over the last week, all members of our congregation. And there is the Orlando tragedy. And a baby is killed by an alligator. And it is really hot and miserable outside. And the parking lot is a long way off to walk in the heat. You know, all that sadness and annoyance kind of piles up on folks…
Maybe it is time for an attitude adjustment, God. You tell me to give thanks in all circumstances, so I think I will obey. I am full of gratitude for the lives of these five people, all of whom were a part of our community and our congregation. And I am thankful for the wonderful families we have been able to meet. And I am thankful for my colleague pastors who led some of those services. And I am thankful for a marvelous welcome and caring ministry team to show our love and offer hospitality to all of these families, and for the privilege of worshipping you and sharing about resurrection. And I am so amazed by the love poured out toward the families of those killed in Orlando. You are at work even in the darkest night. And our staff members and church members have agreed to drive golf carts to pick people up in the parking lots. And I walked past the man mowing the grass in the heat today, into my air conditioned office. So what am I complaining about?
Change my heart, O God, and give me always a heart of gratitude.
Thank you, God. Thank you for everything.
In the name of Christ, I pray. Amen.
KEY VERSE FOR THE WEEK
All those gathered here will know that it is not by sword or spear that the Lord saves; for the battle is the Lord’s, and he will give all of you into our hands. 1 Samuel 17:47 Read the whole passage for this week’s sermon here: 1 Samuel 17:38-51
QUESTIONS FOR CONVERSATION
What giant am I facing? What does it take to defeat my giant?
SOME THOUGHTS TO SHARE
This Sunday, June 19, we continue our series called “Saga,” looking at the life of King David, and we will deal with the story of David and Goliath. It is a wonderful story, full of imagery and encouragement. Maybe you need some encouragement to face your giant.
We were blessed last Sunday to have St. John’s lot to our east still open, but this week it is definitely closed, as construction begins on our parking garage, in partnership with St. John’s school. It is going to be so wonderful when it is done, but it will be a challenge for the next six or seven months as the garage is under construction. Sunday parking will be available in the south lot. Shuttles will run continuously from the Briar Club garage (2603 Timmons) to the Edloe side of the building, and from St. John’s lot on Buffalo Speedway to the Chapel ramp. In addition, renovations have begun on the East Portico. For at least one more week, the front drive will be closed in front of the Sanctuary, but will be available for Fellowship Hall drop-off. See map here.
Sunday, June 19 | Father’s Day
God, who is our Father, we thank you today for fathers, whose love, though imperfect, is nonetheless to be a reflection of your love for us. Make us steadfast and compassionate and accessible. As the prophet Malachi said, we pray you would “turn the hearts of fathers to their children,” so that we might be a concrete demonstration of your grace and mercy. May we always love you as our Father, so that we might show our children how to put their whole trust in you. Amen. -Prayer by Dr. Tom Pace
Monday, June 20
Dear Lord, thank you for the community of St. Luke’s. I love being part of this community that loves and cares for one another and comes together for those in need inside and outside of our church buildings. Help us to always go to you first for answers to these needs. Amen. -Prayer by Peggy Henderson
Tuesday, June 21
Lord, in this ever changing world with all the expectations and stresses of balancing home, work, and service, please help us stop long enough to feel your presence and grace. Be with us in our daily tasks and help us to give thanks to you in all circumstances. Amen.
Wednesday, June 22
Lord, you are enough. I am not enough. My family is not enough. My bank account is not enough. My best efforts are not enough. Help me to trust that you, and only you are enough. Amen.
Thursday, June 23
Dear God, we thank you that you are a God of healing. Broken relationships, strained marriages, bodies suffering with illness. You hear our cries for help and mercy, and you heal us in ways greater than we could imagine. Thank you for this, today and always. Amen.
Friday, June 24
Gracious and loving God, we pray your blessings on those who come to be married at St. Luke’s. Let the love they share with each other reflect the love- the unconditional love- that you share with each of us. In the precious name of Jesus, Amen. -Prayer by Gayle Eury, Wedding Coordinator
Saturday, June 25
Loving and eternal God, saying “thank you” seems so trite but here I am again this morning with those two words on my lips and in my heart. Thank you for being who you are for me every day. Amen.