But God, I want it my way!
God’s way of doing things isn’t at all like our way of doing things. The Bible shows us again and again, but we don’t get it. The same theme comes up with Jesus and his followers.
“Those who lose their life for my sake will find it.” — Matthew 16:25
In last week’s story, Peter gets a flash of insight – work of the Holy Spirit, not human brilliance – and recognizes Jesus as “the Messiah,” God’s Chosen One. This week continues the story. Right away, Jesus starts opening up to the big pain in his heart: God’s way leads to suffering and the cross. Jesus needs his followers to be ready.
But Peter freaks out. “No way, Jesus! Not that way!” And Peter scolds him for talking dangerous nonsense.
That’s so human, right? Be a God that I can direct! Be a God that’s safe. I’ll tell you what I need, and you be my super-powered good luck charm.
But God’s Way isn’t our way. “You are setting your mind, not on divine things, but on human things,” Jesus tells Peter. We have to give up our focus on superficial human values to see the really important things, the God-things. We must lose this “life” to find true Life.
At PEACE Lutheran Church, we pray that God grant you – and us too! – the vision to see His Way and the courage to live Life as Jesus showed us. We invite you to check out this community of diligent Way-seekers at one of today’s worship services – 8:30 and 11 a.m. – at 828 W. Main St., near downtown Grass Valley, Calif.
Today’s Bible readings: Jeremiah 15:15-21; Psalm 26:1-8; Romans 12:9-21; Matthew 16:21-28. Read them here.
The Rev. Eileen Smith Le Van preaches today.
Texas Hurricane Fundraising Concert – 4 p.m. today (Sunday, Sept. 3) in our air-conditioned Sanctuary. Free – give what you can! Professional musicians offer their time and talent with music ranging from classical to opera to jazz to banjo. All proceeds benefit direct relief efforts through Lutheran Disaster Response.
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
- 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 – Lots! Sunday School starts next week; God’s Work, Our Hands Day Sept. 10; Walk for Rwanda Sept. 16; Harvest Dinner Sept. 24; PEACE Church Picnic Oct. 1. Check out PEACE’s online events calendar.
- Office Hours – 9am-12pm & 12:30-3:30pm Monday through Friday.
Adult Bible Study
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!
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: “Those who lose their life for my sake will find it.” – Matthew 16:25. Practice at home, then collect a fistful of Bible Bucks when we return Sept. 10.
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.
In the fall, we will resume our special program for the tiniest disciples. God invites ALL children, so bring your babies and squirmy tots for this fun program!
Get Involved at PEACE!