Janeen Smith, Pastor ~ 26418 Mountain Highway E, Spanaway, WA ~ 253-847-8801

Bethany Lutheran Church

Pastor's Daily Message

July 3, 2020

Friends apart but united in heart,

I am feeling very thankful this week and want to give a shout out to Dewaine Selzler, the sexton for the Bethany Cemetery, for all the work he’s done there this past week. It is a joy to walk through and spend time out there. Thanks, Dewaine!

After that loooooooong list of prayers yesterday, I find I have no updates today. Lets continue to keep the prayer line open and active – one name at a time, or all at once – God is always listening.

Here is our gospel reading for the 5th Sunday after Pentecost, July 5:

Matthew 11:16-19,25-30

[Jesus spoke to the crowd saying:] 16“To what will I compare this generation? It is like children sitting in the marketplaces and calling to one another,
17‘We played the flute for you, and you did not dance;
we wailed, and you did not mourn.’
18For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, ‘He has a demon’; 19the Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, ‘Look, a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!’ Yet wisdom is vindicated by her deeds.”
 25At that time Jesus said, “I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and the intelligent and have revealed them to infants; 26yes, Father, for such was your gracious will. 27All things have been handed over to me by my Father; and no one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.
 28“Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. 29Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”

Reflection: Generally, our instinct is to resist yokes and laws, or at least not immediately connect them with the idea of freedom. Jesus reframes the idea of a yoke by telling us that a yoke will help us grow as disciples. The gospel links humility to freedom. Is this image a helpful one for you when you are weary beyond words? Is knowing that you don’t have to go it alone a freeing feeling or one you resist?

Our sing-a-long hymn for today is Lift Every Voice and Sing (presented by First Methodist Church in Houston, TX just a few weeks before the COVID-19 pandemic made choir performances only virtual)    https://youtu.be/yXFu53xefLs

Still learning from Jesus,
Pastor Janeen