Dear Members and Friends of St. Stephen,
Grace and peace to you in this Lenten season. I’d like to invite you to join us on Wednesdays during Lent. Our midweek Lenten theme is “Lord, when did we see you hungry?” We’re continuing this theme from last year and once again are having a series of Global Meals and Lenten worship. We are learning more about the work of ELCA World Hunger. Come join us this week for a soup supper at 6 pm and worship at 7:00. This week we have a guest speaker, Pastor Cheri Johnson, from the Synod Hunger Team. Cheri’s husband Wayne Widmann will be our guest musician. I hope you will come and join us.
Our Sunday Adult Class has just started a new series based on the book Soulkeeping: Caring for the Most Important Part of You, by John Ortberg. Come and join us Sundays at 9:00 a.m. in the Library. The Pub Theology Group meets on Thursday, March 21 at 7 pm. The Faith Book Group gathers Friday, March 22 at 5:30 pm for a discussion of Traveling Mercies by Anne Lamott. Contact the church office for more information on these events, 517-321-2244.
In this Sunday’s Gospel Jesus tells a parable indicating that the blessings of God’s kingdom are available to all. But the invitation is not to be taken lightly. I like this prayer from the writer John Killinger, based on Matthew 22: “Lord, I am tested by this parable. I like parties and banquets, and it appeals to me that the Kingdom is compared to a wedding feast. But I realize that I live in tattered garments—that my life is not so pure and gentle and self-denying as Matthew’s Jesus asks. Help me to repent, and to find in Christ’s righteousness a cloak for my own unseemliness.”
Blessings as you ponder the Scripture Between Sundays,
Erick Johnson, Interim Pastor
St. Stephen Lutheran Church
Sunday’s Scripture Reading: Matthew 22:1-14; Psalm 45:6-7
For This Week
Questions for Reflection:
Whom do you identify with in this story? Why? When did Jesus first call you to the banquet? How did you respond? How many other times have you been invited?
Monday, Psalm 16:5-8, Psalm
Tuesday, Matthew 16:1-12, Teachings of Jesus
Wednesday, Matthew 16:13-23, Jesus Foretells His Death
Thursday, Matthew 17:9-27, Teachings of Jesus
Friday, Matthew 18:10-14, Parables of Jesus
Saturday, Matthew 19:1-30, Teachings of Jesus