Know who Jesus is!
Jesus knew his followers were confused about his identity. Miraculous healings and feedings weren’t enough. So to make things plain, Jesus took his followers to the place that symbolized all that clouded their vision.
In today’s Gospel story, Jesus takes them to “the district of Cesarea Philippi” to reveal his true identity. In ancient times, the town had been a site for worshiping water deities. Under Greek influence, the town was named Paneus, after the Greek god Pan. It had been rebuilt by Jewish collaborator-king, Herod the Great. Just a few years before this story, Herod’s son Phillip, regional “tetrarch,” spruced up the town and named it after his Roman patron.
It held all the pressures of the world. All the glittering choices of human-invented things to worship: wealth, power, influence and phony deities that humans can control. (If nothing else, the Bible shows us that people are pretty much the same after 2,000 years!)
Jesus said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God!” – Matthew 16:15-16
Surrounded by the world’s seductive and insistent choices, Jesus reveals himself. Not through a declaration of his own, but through the words of a fisherman. A man whose heart has been opened by the working of the Holy Spirit. “You are God’s Chosen, the Anointed One, the Son of the living God.” Jesus asks us the same question today: What will you choose to see?
At PEACE Lutheran Church, our prayer for you and your loved ones is that the Holy Spirit work in your heart to show you who Jesus is! We invite you to be with us as we call on and await God’s Spirit during worship – 8:30 and 11 a.m. Sundays, near downtown Grass Valley.
In church today
Today’s Bible readings: Isaiah 51:1-6; Psalm 138; Romans 12:1-8; Matthew 16:13-20. Read them here.
The Rev. Eileen Smith Le Van preaches today.
Adult Bible Study
Journey with us through our Lutheran Book of Worship. We’ve done this before, and it’s a lot of fun – really! It’s a great way to prepare for our celebration at the end of October of the 500th year of the Reformation.
The Adult Forum meets in the Old Fellowship Hall at 10 a.m. Sundays, led by Pastor Eileen. Stop in the Fellowship Center around the corner to pick up coffee & baked goods!
Your spiritual growth
Summer is the growing season. In the Church, we see it also as a season of spiritual growth. So in these weeks after celebrating Pentecost – when God sent his Holy Spirit to Jesus’ followers – we reflect on stories that encourage us to follow the Spirit as it leads us closer to God. Learn more about this Time After Pentecost.
Happening at PEACE
- God’s Work Our Hands Day — On Sunday, Sept. 10, we will assemble personal care kits, to be used by Lutheran Disaster Response, as one of our service projects. We’ll also sing at Golden Empire Nursing Center in Grass Valley. Sign up in the Atrium.
- Walk for Rwanda — 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 16; meet in our parking lot for a brief rally before heading out to one of three local trails. Our first-ever “Trail-a-thon” supports Pastor John Rutsindintwarane and his work with the Lutheran Church in Rwanda. See the bulletin board in the Old Fellowship Hall for details.
- New Office Hours – 9am-12pm & 12:30-3:30pm Monday through Friday. Meet our new office manager, Cathy Chmel!
- Monday Bible Study – Meet from 1:15-2:30 p.m. Mondays in the Meeting Room with Pastor Eileen. Readings from our lectionary – the Bible passages Lutherans all over the world are reading on this day.
- Contemplative Prayer – We gather at 12:30-1 p.m. Wednesdays in the Conference Room by the Office. Experience deep peace and connection to the Divine in this 30-minute period of silence. Hear the “still, small voice” – really! Conducted by Pastor Eileen.
- Coming Up – Check out PEACE’s online events calendar.
Ice Cream Party! 9:45 a.m. Sunday, Sept. 10. Sunday School resumes in the fall as we celebrate the 500th anniversary of the Reformation. We will have fun stories about Martin Luther, told through the eyes of his children.
Youth @ PEACE is our all-ages Bible study, where young disciples learn the core stories of our faith and what it means to walk the Jesus Path. We welcome all who yearn to learn more about our loving, gracious Creator.
This week’s summertime Bible memory verse: “You are the Messiah, Son of the living God.” – Matthew 16:16. Practice at home, then collect a fistful of Bible Bucks when we return in the fall.
Bible memory verses: Kids can earn Bible Bucks for verses they memorize and redeem them for cool prizes! Our goal is for young people to bring God’s word deep into their hearts, supporting a lifetime of faith.
On Sunday, Sept. 10, we will resume our special program for the tiniest disciples. God invites ALL children, so bring your squirmy tots and even your babies for this fun program! We will start with the rest of the children in the Youth Room downstairs.
Sept. 10 is a special day because we’ll have our annual ice cream party — because God’s love is sweet! On future Sundays, we’ll start our morning with music and song, all together. Then toddlers and infants will go to the Nursery for age-appropriate activities.