Preaching & Presiding: The Rev. Dr. George C. Heider, Chair of the Department of Theology
God hears every prayer—the prayer of the outsider as well as the prayer of the insider. The attentive nature of our God is evident as God comes to us again and again in the word and in the supper. “Ascribe to the Lord the honor due the holy name; bring offerings and enter the courts of the Lord.” Do it today.
Merciful Lord God, we do not presume to come before you trusting in our own righteousness, but in your great and abundant mercies. Revive our faith, we pray; heal our bodies, and mend our communities, that we may evermore dwell in your Son, Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord.
King Solomon prays at the dedication of the temple in Jerusalem, built under his direction. Solomon prays that the temple will be a sign of God’s presence and power, not only to the Israelites, but to all peoples.
22Then Solomon stood before the altar of the Lord in the presence of all the assembly
of Israel, and spread out his hands to heaven. 23He said, “O Lord, God of Israel, there is no God
like you in heaven above or on earth beneath, keeping covenant and steadfast
love for your servants who walk before you with all their heart.
41“Likewise when a foreigner, who is not of your people Israel, comes from a distant land because of your name 42—for they shall hear of your great name, your mighty hand, and your outstretched arm—when a foreigner comes and prays toward this house, 43then hear in heaven your dwelling place, and do according to all that the foreigner calls to you, so that all the peoples of the earth may know your name and fear you, as do your people Israel, and so that they may know that your name has been invoked on this house that I have built.”
Paul, who started this church in Galatia, is angry and troubled that the congregation is confused by other teachers. As he begins this letter, Paul is direct with them about his desire for Christ’s pure gospel to be the center of their lives.
1Paul an apostle—sent neither by human commission nor from
human authorities, but through Jesus Christ and God the Father, who raised him
from the dead—2and all the members of God’s family who are with me,
To the churches of Galatia:
3Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ, 4who gave himself for our sins to set us free from the present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father, 5to whom be the glory forever and ever. Amen.
6I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel—7not that there is another gospel, but there are some who are confusing you and want to pervert the gospel of Christ. 8But even if we or an angel from heaven should proclaim to you a gospel contrary to what we proclaimed to you, let that one be accursed! 9As we have said before, so now I repeat, if anyone proclaims to you a gospel contrary to what you received, let that one be accursed!
10Am I now seeking human approval, or God’s approval? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still pleasing people, I would not be a servant of Christ.
11For I want you to know, brothers and sisters, that the gospel that was proclaimed by me is not of human origin; 12for I did not receive it from a human source, nor was I taught it, but I received it through a revelation of Jesus Christ.
A Roman centurion stands to lose a highly valued slave. Jewish leaders in Capernaum consider the centurion worthy, but the Gentile declares himself unworthy. In the midst of this tangle of attitudes, the centurion shows his understanding of authority and his testimony that Jesus has it, even authority over illness and death.
1After Jesus had finished all his sayings in the hearing of the people, he entered Capernaum. 2A centurion there had a slave whom he valued highly, and who was ill and close to death. 3When he heard about Jesus, he sent some Jewish elders to him, asking him to come and heal his slave. 4When they came to Jesus, they appealed to him earnestly, saying, “He is worthy of having you do this for him, 5for he loves our people, and it is he who built our synagogue for us.” 6And Jesus went with them, but when he was not far from the house, the centurion sent friends to say to him, “Lord, do not trouble yourself, for I am not worthy to have you come under my roof; 7therefore I did not presume to come to you. But only speak the word, and let my servant be healed. 8For I also am a man set under authority, with soldiers under me; and I say to one, ‘Go,’ and he goes, and to another, ‘Come,’ and he comes, and to my slave, ‘Do this,’ and the slave does it.” 9When Jesus heard this he was amazed at him, and turning to the crowd that followed him, he said, “I tell you, not even in Israel have I found such faith.” 10When those who had been sent returned to the house, they found the slave in good health.
Our summer Sunday schedule begins May 22nd. Worship moves to the VU Center for the Arts, with worship in air conditioned room 1519 (Bauer Hall). All are welcome!
Agnus Day is a weekly cartoon drawn by Pr. James Wetzstein, usually based on Sunday's gospel reading. It is updated on this site on Wednesdays.