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Shadow boxing with Matthew 1 – Week of October 14, 2018

Today is the day we begin reading the book of Matthew – one chapter a week, reading the same chapter once a day, picking up pen and paper (or turning to a keyboard) and writing down your questions, your thoughts, and seeing how they change over a week’s time.

Full disclosure: Matthew is not my favorite book in the Bible. Out of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John (the 4 books called the Gospels which means Good News), my favorite is Mark and then comes Luke and then John and, if I must put it on the list, Matthew. So I’ve got to shadow box with it. I’ve got to contend with it because it does have Good News to share and I wonder if I will have ears to hear it in a new way through this practice of reading it one chapter at a time, slowly but surely.

Feel free to SOAP this reading, if it helps you get into it in new ways.  What’s SOAP?

S – Scripture.  Read it. What stands out to you? Underline it or write it down.

O – Observations. What do you think this scripture says about God? About you? Write one part in your own words.

A – Application. How does this apply to your life right now? How does it bug you or comfort you?

P – Pray. What do you need to say to God or hear from God?

Glad to be with you on this journey through Matthew. I can’t do  it alone!

Daily Bible Readings for the week of March 25, 2018

  • Sunday: John 19:16b-22, The Crucified Messiah
  • Monday: John 17:1-19, Jesus Prays for His Disciples
  • Tuesday: John 17:20-26, Jesus Prays for His Disciples
  • Wednesday: John 15:18-1-11, The Betrayal and Arrest of Jesus
  • Thursday: John 19:23-30, Jesus’ Last Words
  • Friday: John 19:31-37 Jesus the Passover Lamb
  • Saturday: John 19: 38-42, Passover Lamb

What is the Bible?

“I’ve heard people say that they read it literally. As if that’s the best way to understand the Bible. It’s not. We read it literately. We read it according to the kind of literature it is. That’s how you honor it. That’s how you respect it. That’s how you learn from it. That’s how you enjoy it.

If it’s a poem, then you read it as a poem.
If it’s a letter, then you read it as a letter…
There are lots of ways to read it. In fact, right isn’t even the best way to think about the Bible.

How about dancing? You dance with it And to dance, you have to hear its music. And then you move in response to it.”

Rob Bell in “What Is the Bible?” pages 80-81

What is the Bible?

“You never stop asking questions:
Why is that there?
What is that referring to?
Why does Luke mention that women paid Jesus’ bills?
Who were those women?
How does that book begin?
How does it end?
Why does the book of Ruth end with a brief genealogy of King David?”

Rob Bell in “What Is the Bible?” page. 78

“What is the Bible?”

“It’s an odd phrase about pigs and dogs, and it’s easy to read it and think, HUH? Which takes us back to progression.

When you’re reading the Bible and come to a huh? part, assume that part flows out of the previous part. Assume the writer is making a case for something. Trust that this is going somewhere and that the twists and turns are intentional.

(Like when the apostle Paul in Romans connects suffering with hope. He’s doing something very insightful there when he shows how uope is something that is created within you – it’s not a fleeting thought or idea, it’s a state of being – that is only shaped when you allow the suffering you’ve been through to work on you and transform you in particular ways.)”

+Rob Bell in “What is the Bible?” p.76

Lent Goal: $1000 to Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service

Click Lent 2017 – LIRS to see what River of Hope is up to during Lent. Will you help us reach the $1000 goal to support the work of Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service?

As Christians, our calling is to love God and love the neighbor. This season of Lent, join River of Hope in showing love for the most vulnerable in the world.  You can read more about Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service efforts here.

[Read more…]

Dirty Laundry? We’ve got just the thing…

https://www.facebook.com/notes/river-of-hope-lutheran-elca-hutchinson-mn/laundry-love/1313082728710613?notif_t=notify_me_page&notif_id=1475078416952154

Riverpalooza in the rear view mirror (objects are closer than they appear)

Just in case you missed all the fun on November 20, we brought stories to share about what God has being doing with River of Hope and where God is leading us. [Read more…]

God’s Work, Our Hands Sunday, September 11, 2016

dayofservice_banner.ashxRiver of Hope’s purpose statement begins with these 3 words: We. Go. Out. (The dramatic periods are not behind each of the 3 words in our purpose statement. But dramatic here, no?) It’s in our DNA to be people who are sent out to be the hands and feet of Jesus in the world in all kinds of ways.
On Sunday, September 11, we’re incorporating this “we go out” into our worship service, a church-wide celebration of our freedom in Christ to serve the neighbor. See more information here: http://www.elca.org/dayofservice?_g…
First, we’ll gather for worship per usual. We’ll sing a few songs and hymns. Then we’re going to bless people. We’ve invited first responders from the Hutchinson community to be part of worship that morning. So ER workers and EMTs and the Hutchinson PD. In light of the September 11th anniversary, we will surround them with our gratitude and pray God’s continued blessings upon their work to protect and serve the most vulnerable people at their worst.
Which, when you think about it for even a moment, is what we’re called to do as Christians. To first respond to those who are neglected or forgotten or in their greatest need. And we do this because God first responded to us.
So then, after this blessing, we’ll be fed from Christ’s table and then go and respond to the world in the form of service projects in and around the Hutchinson community.
Keep your eyes peeled for service projects to be involved with that will cap off your Sunday worship service. It’s going to be a good day to be reminded how we respond to the unconditional love given to us through Jesus Christ!