Welcome to you as we turn the calendar to September and celebrate Labor Day weekend. Thankfully, we escaped most of the horrible weather associated with Hurricane Ida and were able to make progress on the outdoor things at church. We are busy making plans for the fall and how we will do some renovations to the sanctuary. It may be a large undertaking, but we have been assured the work will not impact our ability to worship in the sanctuary (most of the work is outside or in the crawlspace). But that’s a story for a different venue. Blessings to you and we pray you are able to navigate the uptick of COVID without issue.

In worship today there was a focus on the treatment of the poor and how God’s economy has a preference for the poor and underserved. We offered a prayer to remind ourselves that we should not boast about our strength but in the power of God’s mercy. Our reading from Hebrew scripture in Proverbs served as a reminder that the things that are most important are not the tangibles of this life. Rather, the important things are honor, integrity, and mercy. Our psalmist sang that those who trust in God are unmovable, even when the world is tumultuous God is constant. Our gospel reading was two relational stories from Mark – the healing of the Syrophoenician woman’s daughter and the restoration of the deaf mute in Decapolis.

The sermon today was focused on this week’s reading from James. We are reminded that we should not show partiality to the rich, especially in the human realm (because a lot of those whom we show partiality to are our greatest oppressors). The religion we need to practice is not based on right thinking but is wholly based on the right actions – loving God and loving [all] our neighbors. It’s not enough to say the right things, it is most important to do the right things.

I invite your comments and likes,

Readings: Proverbs 22:1-2, 8-9, 22-23; Psalm 125; James 2:1-17; Mark 7:24-37

Video of worship: https://youtu.be/LdJ8F6fs05g

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