June 28 Outdoor Service

Our June 28 Sunday outdoor worship service is available on video through Facebook. You may view it without being a member of Facebook. Our social spacing seating arrangement assures minimal risk.

Click on picture to view video

The July 5 worship service to be held in our sanctuary with members and friends in attendance is scheduled to be streamed live on the DeSoto Redeemer Facebook page. We will post a direct link to the recording here as soon as it is possible after the service.

We are glad to share our worship with you. Click on “Contact Us” above to find out more about our faith family and what we believe.

June 28 Sermon
Jeremiah 28:5-9 | Psalm 89:1-4, 15-18
Romans 6:12-23 | Matthew 10:40-42

Welcoming, that is what Jesus is talking about this morning, welcoming and receiving. It would seem that how we welcome someone is also linked to how we are rewarded. Now there is an interesting concept.

I was reminded of that a couple of years ago. There is this wonderful German word, “Gemutlichkeit.” If you look it up in a German-English dictionary, it is usually translated as “cozy.” It is not cozy. It refers to the overwhelming hospitality of the German peasant class. It is a tremendous act of Welcoming. Three years ago, several times in Germany, we were greeted at locales by the owner, or host, greeting the coach (on a tour, you don’t ride in a bus, it is a coach, whatever), with a tray of drinks. Sometimes it was wine or beer. Remember, in most places in Europe, you can’t drink the water there. It will make you sick. Or, sometimes it was schnapps. When we were visiting the town of Steinhagen, the home of the Linhorsts, we were greeted with schnapps a couple of times, and with enough food that I am sure that they are still eating the leftovers. It was overwhelming, and even Ruth and I, felt that we were welcomed as family (there was a Rose who married a Lindhorst (with a “d”) a hundred years ago in Ohio, so maybe). There are numerous cultures, including the Jews, who have what are called “Hospitality Laws.” Some of you have them in your backgrounds. They aren’t written down. Although some of them are alluded to in the Old Testament. They aren’t written down, because you are supposed to know them. You were raised in them.

In the Gospel, the key is who we represent. “Whoever welcomes you welcomes me, and whoever welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me.” So, we represent Christ, and in turn, through Christ, we represent God. I’ve been told by some people that I shouldn’t say that we are “ambassadors of Christ to the world,” that it is too strong a word. They are wrong.

“Ambassador” is to weak a word, for we are really more than ambassadors, we bring Christ, and God with us when we reach out in the Gospel. That is a truly powerful notion. And the words “carriers or bearers” doesn’t quite cut it. We carry some aspect of God and Christ to the world, in ourselves. Jesus says so, period. Wow!
Of course, that also means that we should be acting towards others, and the world, like Christ. Doesn’t it? It goes along with the Gospel lesson last week about teachers and disciples, masters and slaves. We cannot out do our teacher or master, but we are supposed to act like him, and for him in this world.

How? That is always the question, how? The answer is always the same too, in love. But, then we again ask, “How?” We like to have directions. Despite what we say, we like to be told what to do. We are afraid of doing something wrong. We don’t like real general instructions (well, actually, I prefer very general instructions, but I’ve learned that most people don’t).

Today, Jesus gives us a very simple example of compassion, and one which we can now doubt identify with this week, and the next several: giving someone a cup of cold water! (If you’ve seen the movie Ben Hur, the 1950’s version, I haven’t seen the new remake, you may remember when Jesus does precisely that to Judah Ben Hur, that gift gave him the strength to carry on, and how years later he remembered it as Christ went to the cross). There’s a nice simple act of compassion and hospitality! So simple, that we may indeed take it for granted, and yet one that can even be life saving in extreme circumstances (like a couple of days these last several weeks, love Missouri weather!). Water can be a real nice and needed gift on a sweltering day. A nice glass of cold water, to slake the thirst and make you feel more comfortable. And, contrary to popular belief, medical science holds that water is the most effective thirst quencher, not those things that you see advertised on TV.

An act of compassion does not have to be something outstanding, nor news worthy, it only has to be from the heart, for the sake of another. It may be as simple as holding the door for someone, or the giving of an arm lest someone stumble. True, it is the great acts which are remembered, and have stories written about, but it is also true that the simple, quiet acts of human compassion are those which bind us together as a people, and for us, as disciples of Christ. That is how we reflect Christ to the world around us, who gave us not a cup of cold water, but a baptism of water and the Holy Spirit, and the cup of his blood, shed for us, for the remission of our sins, and with that has given us the reward of eternal life. May we always reflect him, and work to transform the world to his image.
Pastor Rose

June 21 Worship Service

Our June 21 Sunday worship service is available on video through Facebook. You may view it without being a member of Facebook. This is the third Sunday with services held in the sanctuary with the congregation present since the COVID-19 restrictions started. Our social spacing seating arrangement assures minimal risk. Video is in two parts due to technical difficulties.

Click on picture to view video part 1
Click on picture to view video part 2

The June 28, 9 am worship service to be held outside in the lawn behind our building with members and friends in attendance. It is scheduled to be streamed live on the DeSoto Redeemer Facebook page. We will post a direct link to the recording here as soon as it is possible after the service. There will be only one service June 28 at 9 am. On July 5, we will return to our 8 and 10:30 services in the sanctuary.

We are glad to share our worship with you. Click on “Contact Us” above to find out more about our faith family and what we believe.

June 21 Sermon
Jeremiah 20:7-13 | Psalm 69:8-11 [12-17] 18-20
Romans 6:1b-11 | Matthew 10:24-39

“Even the hairs of your head are all counted.” And, that is good news. For some people, their hairs are easier to count than others, there are fewer of them. I have noticed that it doesn’t take Mona, who cuts my hair, near as long to trim the back of my head as it used to take her. Now either she has gotten better at cutting hair, or … Still, these are comforting words. They tell us just how precious we are to God. Now, have you ever wondered if there is a particular rank or choir of angel whose sole job it is to keep track of the number of hairs on people’s heads? They have to do a recount and change their totals every time you brush your hair! And what kind of job is that anyway for an angelic being?! Of course, Jesus gives these words as words of comfort and assurance (and possibly a bit of hyperbole) to tell us that we are special to God, and that God knows us better than we ourselves. Knows things about us, that we could never understand, or just take for granted.
The words are given in relation to “have no fear of them,” referring to those who are against God, and against Christ. He is talking about the house of evil of Beelzebul, the chief of demons. Jesus is telling us, and the disciples, that there are very real differences between the forces of God and evil, and that a disciple is seen in relation to their teachers. The followers of evil in the world, although they may appear frightening, noxious and deadly in the eyes of the world, really are not that great and powerful when compared to the entities of God’s heaven. They cannot be greater than their master (by the way, Beelzebul’s name, or sometimes it is spelt Beelzebub, means – the Lord of the Flies) and he is nothing. On the other hand, to the followers of Christ, our master is the Author of Creation, the Son of God, and nothing of this world is greater than He. We then, too, are to fear nothing of this world, for we belong to Christ, and nothing can take us from his hands.

We then, cannot out do our teacher, our Lord. And that is good news too. We know that we cannot be greater than Christ. It is impossible. More than that, we know that our greatest of all teachers, Christ, the Son of God loves us and keeps us. We then have nothing to fear, nothing. He claims us. He calls us. He keeps us. So we are ultimately freed from those things which assail us. Indeed, we are even freed “to be like the teacher.” There is more Gospel. Having been freed from sin, evil, even the Law of God Himself, we are now also freed to be like Christ, knowing that we are precious in God’s sight (the sparrows). Even our hairs are counted. We know that as we acknowledge Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior, Christ acknowledges and claims us before God’s throne.

I am about halfway through Karl Barth’s book, “The Epistle to the Romans.” It is just over 100 years old. Most people have never heard of it. But it was a groundbreaking book in Christianity. In the First Chapter, Barth writes, “The Gospel is therefore not an event, nor an experience, nor an emotion- however delicate! Rather, it is the clear and objective perception of what eye hath not seen nor ear heard. Moreover, what it demands of people is more than notice, or understanding, or sympathy. It demands participation, comprehension, co-operation; for it is a communication which presumes faith in the living God, and which creates that which it presumes.” As we proclaim Christ in our lives, with our words and actions, we bring with us, in a sense God in Christ. We carry with us part, no matter how small, of the kingdom of heaven. We are truly Christ’s ambassadors to the world, carrying on the work of the apostles. It is a task. Yes. But, it is one which we cannot deny. And one which we carry joyfully. We fear nothing in Christ’s name.

We can now be like Christ to others. We can live in community as Christians, presently while upholding certain social distancing, and wearing masks, but that too, we do as Christians. We can proclaim the Gospel to others, and live out that Gospel, as well as we are able, as the Spirit gives us power, like Christ himself. More than that, as we live like Christ, we carry on his teachings. That is our task as disciples, as Church, to carry on the teachings of Christ to the world, as reflections of Christ for the world, as we live in the world. Do not be afraid, just let Christ’s light in you shine out for all.
Pastor Rose