Midweek Message

May 9, 2011

Jim Hopkins

May 9, 2011

This Sunday, May 15, we continue to read from the first letter of Peter, a letter written to the second generation of the followers of Jesus in northern Asia Minor and the northern Mediterranean. The central Scripture in our worship will be 1 Peter 2: 19-25. This is a very difficult passage for in the verses preceding it Peter instructs slaves to be submissive to their masters. We can hope that Peter is trying to speak a pastoral word to the slaves who are such a significant part of the Christian communities to whom he writes. Indeed, it is good news that they are welcomed and included in the faith community. It is, however, hard to hear them being encouraged to humbly accept the suffering they are forced to endure. It is one of those situations in which readers of the Bible must distinguish time bound counsel from timeless truth.
The advice to the slaves to “submit completely to authority” is most certainly time bound counsel. It does not transcend time or place. Happily, the last verse of the passage is most certainly timeless truth. As Joel Green states in regard to verse 25, “When Peter writes ‘For you were going astray like sheep, but now you have returned to the shepherd and guardian of your souls,’ he underscores the contrast between the past and current lives of believers-life without a proper sense of direction versus life with Christ as shepherd and guardian.”
With appropriate empathy for the plight of our spiritual ancestors, the enslaved and vulnerable ones of the late first century, we to are urged to be shaped more by our Shepherd than by our society.

Prayers of the congregation

  • Thankgiving that Katrina Lau was with us in worship
  • Richard Ice – recovering from foot surgery
  • Joan Patten for Sierra, Paula, John and herself
  • Edna Dorenzo
  • Virginia Damretzky
  • Virginia Cheatham for her grandson Jason
  • Tess Benin for her aunt Rose and all those she cares for
  • Jack and Carol Travis
  • Carol and Steve Leichter – Carol is visiting her Mom in Minnesota this week
  • Bonnie Sato – recovering from surgery
  • All our shut ins
  • Cordia Lee for her workplace and her family
  • Ann Fields for her family
  • LeAnn Snow for her cousin
  • Sheila Sims for her brother and her parents
  • Kay Baxter for her family and herself
  • The people of the world who are putting their lives at risk to advance the cause of freedom
  • Mary Karne for Mildred
  • Doris Evans for the Evans,Edwards and Leche families
  • Bjoe Morris – employment
  • Al Johnson and Roy Browner- health and peace
  • All who are traveling
  • All who mourn
  • All who labor for the common good
  • Robert Wilkins, Laveda Wilson (his mom) and family as Laveda prepares to transition from this life
  • Thanksgiving with Pastor Tanner and Ryan Parker as the graduate from the GTU doctoral program
  • Thanksgiving with Pastor Naw San Dee KD and the Kachin Church on his graduation from Brite Divinity School with a PHd
  • Thanksgiving for the ministry of Brent Walker and the Baptist Joint Committee for Religious Liberty


Soup and Study Resumes Tuesday Evening, May 10, at 6:00
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