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Weekly Reflection, 6-6-19

Dear church family -
 
This Sunday we will be celebrating Pentecost. According to the book of Acts (Acts 2: 1-21), it was the day in which the Holy Spirit came upon Jesus' disciples, and is therefore regarded as the birthday of the Church. All of this took place at a Jewish festival set 50 days after Passover. The term Pentecost comes from the Greek Πεντηκοστή (Pentēkostē) meaning "fiftieth" (50th). Many folks like to wear red on Pentecost in celebration of this day.
 
I'll be continuing my sermon series looking at the Lord's Prayer. I'm calling it Lord, Teach Us: The Lord's Prayer & the Christian Life. We are taking a few weeks to walk through that important prayer that Jesus gave his disciples, unpacking what it all means, how it helps us think about what it means to be Christian, and how it might expand our prayer life.
 
The argument could be made that while most of us "know" the Lord's Prayer - which we pray every week - that we don't fully understand or comprehend what we are praying. There is much more to this prayer than first meets the eye. So, we are looking at what these words really mean.
 
Last week we talked about how Jesus invited the disciples - and us - to approach God in a very personal, intimate way, and to make God's name holy (hallowed) in the way we live out our lives. If you missed that sermon and want to catch up, you can find it here.
 
This week we are going to look at the second part of the prayer: "Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven."
 
Daniel Harrington is a Jesuit scholar who suggests, "this one phrase is the central concern of the entire Lord's prayer."
 
I might take that a step further and say that it was the central concern of Jesus' life and ministry. It is what motivates Jesus. It was what he was trying to do and teach. This one line, you could say, summarizes his entire ministry.
 
I hope you'll join us in the Sanctuary at 9:00am or 11:00am. I think you'll be glad you did. But if you can't be there in person, I invite you to join in via the livestream on our website or on Facebook live for both services. Or join us for the Simple Worship service at 9:30am in the chapel led by Rev. Shannon Moore. This is a short, simple, come-as-you-are service that includes communion.
 
There are couple other things that I want to make sure you are aware of.
 
First, did you know that we have created a new, weekly podcast of our sermons? In case you miss a Sunday, or want to hear it again, or perhaps share it with someone. We are calling it Living Out Faith and you can subscribe today through iTunes or Google Music, or go to www.universitychristian.org/podcast.  
 
Secondly, next week is our annual Vacation Bible School. We are calling it To Mars and Beyond and there are still a few slots available for certain age groups. We've already got 151 kids signed up! If you'd like more information, visit our website or contact Robin Doyle. And we can always use more volunteers as well!
 
Finally, I hope you are planning to be join us on Sunday, June 23. It will be Rev. Cyndy Twedell's final Sunday with us before she retires. There will be a reception in Walker Hall following both worship services as we express our gratitude for Rev. Twedell's years of service and ministry and to wish her well in her retirement. Please plan to be here on that special Sunday.
 
On Sunday I encouraged us all to say the Lord's Prayer every day this week. So, I hope you'll pause whatever you are doing in this moment, take a deep breath, and say with me...
 
Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed by thy name.
Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on Earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread,
and forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom, and power, and glory forever.
Amen.
 
As always, it is my sincere joy to serve as your pastor. I look forward to seeing you on Sunday!
 
Rev. Dr. Russ Peterman
Senior Minister
University Christian Church
 

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