The Collect: “Grant, O merciful God, that your Church, being gathered together in unity by your Holy Spirit, may show forth your power among all peoples, to the glory of your Name through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever. Amen.”
The Response: Psalm124 was led by David Maitland: *(verse 8) “Our help is in the Name of the Lord, the maker of heaven and earth.”
The First Lesson, Exodus 1:8---2:10, was read by Arthur Clark. This is the story of how Moses was brought into the King’s family. Because the new king of Egypt feared the number of Israelites in his land, he imposed ruthless oppressions against them. When this did not stop the population growth, he commanded that if a boy was born to an Israelite, he was to be put to death. A Hebrew woman hid her new baby boy for a while and then put him in a basket and placed it in the river. Her sister watched over it and saw that Pharaoh’s daughter found the baby and took pity on it and took it for her own. She also took the mother to nurse it and care for him. When he was old enough, Pharaoh’s daughter took him to raise and named him Moses.
The Second Lesson was Romans 12:1-8, read by Jose Ramirez. Paul teaches them that one should not think to highly of himself, but he should use whatever talent God bestowed upon him for God’s glory. Though all are individuals, one is also part of the whole body in Christ and should serve him accordingly. Ones gifts will differ according to their faith and God’s grace.
Reverend Johnston read the Gospel of Matthew 16: 13-20. Jesus asked his disciples, “Who do people say that I am?” They replied with different answers that they had heard. Then he asked, “Who do you say that I am?” Peter answered him, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.” Jesus knew then that God had finally revealed this to them. He had not yet died on the cross and then rose from the dead, but they still believed in him. Jesus told Peter he would build his church upon him and the faith he had proclaimed. This faith is the foundation today of the church.
Bonnie Reeves spoke on the topic, “Who do you say that I am?” Jesus and his disciples had traveled together for a long time and knew each other well by now. They listened to Jesus preaching and watched him perform miracles. Jesus explained his parables to them so they would understand his Word. They knew who he was. Do you? Is one willing to proclaim Jesus as their Savior to others and make him the center of their lives? Why have they taken prayer out of schools and prohibit religious signs in the public view? How should one respond when one is questioned about Jesus?
Does one truly believe that Jesus will return one day? Until he does, one is to bring a little bit of heaven to earth by living their lives for Jesus. One should help the needy and show love to their neighbors, whomever they are. Study the scripture and spread his Word to be ready to acknowledge who Jesus is. Are you ready to see Jesus as he really is? Who do you say that Jesus is?”
Next Sunday, Aug. 31, the church will celebrate 5th Sunday at St. Matthew’s with an 11 a.m. worship service. All the PIM churches in the area will visit and help celebrate the worship and a meal served afterwards. The theme for the celebration will be Noah’s Ark. The church encourages all who wish to join in this celebration to do so.