Do you have the faith of a pest?
Would you like to? God’s OK with it! Several Bible stories feature a pest – someone who keeps after God, asking again and again for something that’s important to them. What makes these folks special to God is their pestering comes from a deep faith that God will answer them.
Another common thread in pest stories: They often feature an outsider, an outcast, someone of low status or who is particularly vulnerable. Again and again, the Bible shows us a surprising God who has a special ear for faith reaching out from unexpected quarters.
Then Jesus answered her, “Woman, great is your faith! Let it be done for you as you wish.” – Matthew 15:28
In today’s Gospel story, the pest is a Canaanite woman. First, she’s a woman – no rights to anything, depending on men for everything, a second-class citizen. Second, she isn’t an Israelite or even Jewish. Her people worship idols – yet here she is, shouting in the street for this rabbi’s attention and calling him “Master.” When she pesters Jesus to heal her mentally ill daughter, Jesus compares her to a dog. Yow.
But this lady’s feisty. She retorts, “Even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their masters’ table!” Wow. Jesus reconsiders her plea; or, perhaps, he simply was waiting for her declaration? Jesus heals her daughter and commends her: “Woman, great is your faith!”
So our prayer, from PEACE Lutheran Church to you and your family, is that God would grant you the faith of a pest. We invite you to check out this community of faithful pesterers at one of today’s worship services – 8:30 and 11 a.m. at 828 W. Main St., near downtown Grass Valley.
In church today
Today’s Bible readings: Isaiah 56:1,6-8; Psalm 67; Romans 11:1-2a, 29-32; Matthew 15:10-28. Read them here.
The Rev. Eileen Smith Le Van preaches today.
Adult Bible Study
“Justice for the Poor” is a video series created by Sojourners, a ministry in Washington, D.C., that links Jesus’ life and teachings to the question, “What is our responsibility to care for the poor and to advocate for justice on their behalf?” Today, we will watch a 20-minute installment from this series titled, “From Serial Charity to a Just Society.” Then, we’ll discuss the issues it raises.
The Adult Forum meets in the Old Fellowship Hall at 10 a.m., 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 Rutsindinwarane 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 the book of Acts.
- 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: “Maintain justice, and do what is right, for soon my salvation will come.” – Isaiah 56:1. 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 — 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.