Midweek Message

August 21, 2012

Jim Hopkins

August 21, 2012

The sermon I am preparing for this Sunday is titled “Considering Our Options,” taken from John 6:56-59. In this text Jesus says something that both his contemporaries, and 21st Century readers of the gospel. find astounding, challenging and confusing. His words, “Those who eat my flesh and drink my blood abide in me, and I in them. Just as the living Father sent me, and I live because of the Father, so whoever eats me will live because of me. This is the bread that came down from heaven, not like that which your ancestors ate, and they died. But the one who eats this bread will live forever.”
Without pretending to comprehend the full meaning of this teaching it seems to me that Jesus is clearly asking us to interpret his words  figuratively rather than literally. I like the way Pastor Amy Howe says it, “Jesus is inviting his disciples to be at home in him, just as he is at home in God.”
Jesus observes that many of his would be followers struggle with this teaching and that this struggle would cause them to walk way. He seems to understand their choice. He asks the twelve, “Do you wish to go away?” Their answer is something like, “No, you are our best option.” It would seem that their best option remains our best option as well.

Prayers of the Congregation

  • The Mussati, Wilkerson, Rasmussen and Bradley families, as well as the Lakeshore family, as we mourn the death, and give thanks for the life, of Arnold Anderson. Arnold died last Thursday evening.  He lived to be ninety-nine years and six months, making a positive contribution to each community he was part of.
  • Helen Harrison for Karen, Chris, Ty and Laverne
  • Dwight Dickerson for his family
  • Kay Baxter for her family
  • Ann Fields for Tamera, Leslie, Scott, Bryan, Jim
  • Mary Karne for her cousins Sharon, Jim and Millie
  • Bette Pancoe
  • Jeanette Paige for her dad
  • Theresako Harris for her aunt
  • Edna Dorenzo
  • My sister Beth in advance of her surgery on August 28
  • Camille and Warren Parker for Warren’s sister
  • Sharon Gordon for Lewis Greer
  • Katrina Lau as she prepares for surgery
  • Jeanne Robinson
  • Barry Breaux for his mom
  • Israel Jurich for the ministry of Grace Lutheran Church of Richmond
  • Gloria, Phil and Mary Sue Meads for Sarah, Steven, Edward
  • Barbara Campbell for her family
  • Doris and Ted Evans for their family
  • All our teachers, students, school employees and their families
  • Those fighting wildfires across the West and all who are affected by the fires
  • The voters of the United States, California and Oakland in this election year
  • Marie Johnson for Donnie as he begins U.S. Army Ranger training
  • Al Johnson and Roy Browner


Looking Ahead – Homecoming Sunday, our traditional celebration of the end of summer and the beginning of fall, will be on September 9. Please make every effort to be in worship and at the Pot-luck Luncheon to follow. If I haven’t had a chance to say hello to you since my return from sabbatical I trust that Homecoming will provide us with that opportunity.