Joseph Forgives

Introduction
This month, we are exploring forgiveness. And today we turn to the story of Joseph forgiving his brothers. Listen now for God’s word for you. ​

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Is Forgiveness Conditional?

Intro:
This month we are taking a look at what the Bible says about forgiveness. Last week we studied the great flood and Noah’s ark – God’s disappointment in the wickedness of humanity, the destruction of creation, and the forgiveness offered from to God Noah in the covenant.

Today we move into the New Testament, specifically to 1st John. It’s a message written to the Johannine early Christian community. The church at this time is struggling with the humanity and divinity of Christ. People are leaving the church because they’re not sure Jesus is necessary for their salvation. So, with that context in mind I invite you to listen now for the word of God for you.

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Noah’s Ark

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Photo Source: http://noahsearch.com
Preacher: Rev. Dawn Hyde

Scripture: Noahs’ Ark

Our scripture reading today comes from various chapters in the book of Genesis. You’ll find the reading in your bulletin or on the screen. Listen now for God’s word for you. ​

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Servant

Introduction

Today we conclude our sermon series on the Prodigal Son. So far, we have explored this parable through the perspective of the father, the elder son, and the younger son. Today, I invite you to hear this story through the perspective of the servant. The servant is only given one line, but is present throughout the story.

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Pakistan Educator Veda Gill 

We welcomed Veda Javaid Gill on Sunday, July 26th. She proclaimed the gospel to us from her unique perspective as Christian in Pakistan. 

Veda is the executive director of the Presbyterian Education Board. She likens her position there as a superintendent here. She is responsible to the board and oversees several schools – elementary through high school. Veda taught us some of our history. Our great great (probably a few more greats…) grandparents in the Presbyterian Church USA sent missionaries to Pakistan to start schools in the 1800s. These schools were taken over by the Government of Pakistan and then returned to the PCUSA in the early 1990s. 

She preached an encouraging word for us about having courage to live into Christ’s call. She preached from God’s call to Abram and Jesus’ call to the disciples, she shared with us several inspiring stories about how she and her community in Pakistan have lived out their faith with courage. 

It takes courage for Pakistani Christians to go to church, unsure if they will return home safely. 
It takes courage for the young girls in her school to speak up in society.
It takes courage for all of us to respond to Christ’s call for us. 


Our brothers and sisters in Pakistan are doing great ministry. Veda brought an inspiring word that connected us to her, to her community and schools in Pakistan and to our united mission in Christ. 

Younger Son

Scripture 

Luke 15:11-32

The Parable of the Prodigal

11 Then Jesus said, “There was a man who had two sons. 12 The younger of them said to his father, ‘Father, give me the share of the property that will belong to me.’ So he divided his property between them. 13 A few days later the younger son gathered all he had and traveled to a distant country, and there he squandered his property in dissolute living.

14 When he had spent everything, a severe famine took place throughout that country, and he began to be in need.
15 So he went and hired himself out to one of the citizens of that country, who sent him to his fields to feed the pigs. 16 He would gladly have filled himself with the pods that the pigs were eating; and no one gave him anything.

17 But when he came to himself he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired hands have bread enough and to spare, but here I am dying of hunger! 18 I will get up and go to my father, and I will say to him, “Father, I have sinned ll against heaven and before you; 19 I am no longer worthy to be called your son; treat me like one of your hired hands.”’

20 So he set off and went to his father. But while he was still far off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion;  he ran and put his arms around him and kissed him.

21 Then the son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned //against heaven and before you; I am no longer worthy ll to be called your son.’

22 But the father said to his slaves, ‘Quickly, bring out a robe—the best one—and put it on him; put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. 23 And get the fatted calf and kill it, and let us eat and celebrate; 24 for this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found!’ And they began to celebrate.

25 “Now his elder son was in the field; and when he came and approached the house, he heard music and dancing.  26 He called one of the slaves and asked what was going on. 27 He replied, ‘Your brother has come, and your father has killed the fatted calf, because he has got him back safe and sound.’  28 Then he became angry and refused to go in. His father came out and began to plead with him. 29 But he answered his father, ‘Listen! For all these years I have been working like a slave for you, and I have never disobeyed your command; yet you have never given me even a young goat so that I might celebrate with my friends. 30 But when this son of yours came back, who has devoured your property with prostitutes, you killed the fatted calf for him!’’

31 Then the father said to him, ‘Son ll, you are always with me, ll and all that is mine is yours. 32 But we had to celebrate and rejoice, because this brother of yours was dead and has come to life; he was lost and has been found.’”

The word of the Lord.
Thanks be to God. 

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Elder Son

Preached by Elder Ryan Tang.

Scripture 

Luke 15:11-32

The Parable of the Prodigal

11 Then Jesus said, “There was a man who had two sons. 12 The younger of them said to his father, ‘Father, give me the share of the property that will belong to me.’ So he divided his property between them. 13 A few days later the younger son gathered all he had and traveled to a distant country, and there he squandered his property in dissolute living.

14 When he had spent everything, a severe famine took place throughout that country, and he began to be in need.
15 So he went and hired himself out to one of the citizens of that country, who sent him to his fields to feed the pigs. 16 He would gladly have filled himself with the pods that the pigs were eating; and no one gave him anything.

17 But when he came to himself he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired hands have bread enough and to spare, but here I am dying of hunger! 18 I will get up and go to my father, and I will say to him, “Father, I have sinned ll against heaven and before you; 19 I am no longer worthy to be called your son; treat me like one of your hired hands.”’

20 So he set off and went to his father. But while he was still far off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion;  he ran and put his arms around him and kissed him.

21 Then the son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned //against heaven and before you; I am no longer worthy ll to be called your son.’

22 But the father said to his slaves, ‘Quickly, bring out a robe—the best one—and put it on him; put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. 23 And get the fatted calf and kill it, and let us eat and celebrate; 24 for this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found!’ And they began to celebrate.

25 “Now his elder son was in the field; and when he came and approached the house, he heard music and dancing.  26 He called one of the slaves and asked what was going on. 27 He replied, ‘Your brother has come, and your father has killed the fatted calf, because he has got him back safe and sound.’  28 Then he became angry and refused to go in. His father came out and began to plead with him. 29 But he answered his father, ‘Listen! For all these years I have been working like a slave for you, and I have never disobeyed your command; yet you have never given me even a young goat so that I might celebrate with my friends. 30 But when this son of yours came back, who has devoured your property with prostitutes, you killed the fatted calf for him!’’

31 Then the father said to him, ‘Son ll, you are always with me, ll and all that is mine is yours. 32 But we had to celebrate and rejoice, because this brother of yours was dead and has come to life; he was lost and has been found.’”

The word of the Lord.
Thanks be to God. 

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A Father’s Love

Luke 15:11-32

The Parable of the Prodigal

11 Then Jesus said, “There was a man who had two sons. 12 The younger of them said to his father, ‘Father, give me the share of the property that will belong to me.’ So he divided his property between them. 13 A few days later the younger son gathered all he had and traveled to a distant country, and there he squandered his property in dissolute living.
14 When he had spent everything, a severe famine took place throughout that country, and he began to be in need.
15 So he went and hired himself out to one of the citizens of that country, who sent him to his fields to feed the pigs. 16 He would gladly have filled himself with the pods that the pigs were eating; and no one gave him anything.

17 But when he came to himself he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired hands have bread enough and to spare, but here I am dying of hunger! 18 I will get up and go to my father, and I will say to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you; 19 I am no longer worthy to be called your son; treat me like one of your hired hands.”’

20 So he set off and went to his father.
But while he was still far off,
his father saw him
and was filled with compassion;
he ran and put his arms around him and kissed him.

21 Then the son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you; I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’

22 But the father said to his slaves, ‘Quickly, bring out a robe—the best one—and put it on him; put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. 23 And get the fatted calf and kill it, and let us eat and celebrate; 24 for this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found!’ And they began to celebrate.

25 “Now his elder son was in the field; and when he came and approached the house, he heard music and dancing.
26 He called one of the slaves and asked what was going on. 27 He replied, ‘Your brother has come, and your father has killed the fatted calf, because he has got him back safe and sound.’  28 Then he became angry and refused to go in. His father came out and began to plead with him. 29 But he answered his father, ‘Listen! For all these years I have been working like a slave for you, and I have never disobeyed your command; yet you have never given me even a young goat so that I might celebrate with my friends. 30 But when this son of yours came back, who has devoured your property with prostitutes, you killed the fatted calf for him!’

31 Then the father said to him, ‘Son, you are always with me, and all that is mine is yours. 32 But we had to celebrate and rejoice, because this brother of yours was dead and has come to life; he was lost and has been found.’”

The word of the Lord.
Thanks be to God.

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Look to God

Scripture:
Philippians 2:1-13 – Imitating Christ’s Humility

1 Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, 2 then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. 3 Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, 4 not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.

5 In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus:

6 Who, being in very nature God,
did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage;
7 rather, he made himself nothing
by taking the very nature of a servant,
being made in human likeness.
8 And being found in appearance as a man,
he humbled himself
by becoming obedient to death–
even death on a cross!

9 Therefore God exalted him to the highest place
and gave him the name that is above every name,
10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
11 and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.

12 Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed—not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence—continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, 13 for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.

The word of the Lord.
Thanks be to God.

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MBCC Goes Camping!

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We were getting excited in anticipation of the weekend retreat at Big Basin National Park.  It had been a very long time since our last camping trip, and our first with a three year old, so many questions arose: Was the tent going to work?  How far are the bathrooms?  Will we disturb our neighbors with toddler crying in the middle of the night?

Despite our doubts, we packed up our car.  Within an hour and a half, the scenery changed from city to suburban highway, then to windy roads among giant redwood trees.  The setting of the great outdoors was refreshing and set the scene for a weekend of communing with our church family.  On Friday afternoon, people began to set up campsites, and it was exciting to see everyone in a totally different context—under the redwood trees, instead of in a formal church setting.  We got ready to roast hot dogs and marshmallows, and while we had to make sure all of our food was secured in bear lockers so we didn’t attract any animals, we did attract a lot of hungry mosquitoes.

We began our Saturday morning with a devotional moment where we reflected on the upcoming day and how “play” fit in with worship.  Each person received a chunk of homemade play dough and we were encouraged to allow our hands to freely shape the dough as we reflected on the words of a devotional prayer and bible passages.

The theme of play continued after the morning meditation and took a more physical form.  About 25 people gathered in a circle and engaged each other in about seven or eight well-planned games.  We learned fun facts about each other, got to run through the clearing to avoid “seaweed,” danced, and sang.  In the afternoon, as some of us took naps, the more intrepid members of the church went on a six mile hike!  We heard that a couple of our campers “accidentally” fell into a stream.  The kids explored and played, climbing trees and rocks.

On Saturday night, we continued getting to know one another while preparing hobo pockets, and eating S’mores!  Our family was not able to camp a second night, so unfortunately we missed the morning church service in the woods.

For our first camping adventure with a small child, we were very glad that we were able to experience it with our church family. Tyler loved running around with the other kids, and it was a hospitable experience for those of us who are not expert campers. The weekend was an opportunity to spend time with our church family in a beautiful setting. The trip enabled us to strengthen connections with those we were familiar with and develop new relationships with people we those who we did not know. Spending time together renews our relationship with the church. We look forward to future MBCC retreats!

-Cathy & Christina


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