Your Bone and Flesh

Happy 6th Sunday after Pentecost! 

This Sunday, on the secular calendar, is Independence Day, when we celebrate the forming of our nation and the signing of the Declaration of Independence.  This letter to King George III of England and the resulting struggle for independence took us from 13 colonies to one country.  Valuing our regional differences, we remain “one Bone and Flesh” with each other, regardless of our skin color, national ancestry, or any other category.  It puts us in a unique category of peoples who are united, not by ancestry, religion, or race, but by the values we hold dear. 

Discipleship begins with relationship. With whom are we willing to be in relationship? Who is included in our understanding of bone and flesh? Who is “us” in a world of “us” and “them”?  When we are around “our people,” we might call that home.  When the tribes of Israel come to David and pledge their allegiance to his Kingdom, they acknowledge that David is of their bone and flesh, and that his kingdom is indeed their home.    

The Gospel text presents a reinterpretation of the concept of “home” as we consider shared mission and ideals. Here, too, there is room for confession of how we have not always seen the other, particularly those who might not look like us outwardly, as our bone and flesh. We have dismissed those who are not like us as somehow less than we are.  Discipleship, however, begins with relationship, and not a common likeness.  The Kin-dom of God reminds us that, through Jesus, God has shown what it means for us humans to be bound together by something more powerful than our national identities, ancestries, race, or anything else.  What makes us Christians one bone and flesh with each other is that we are on mission together to be the people of Jesus.  We are supposed to laugh together, celebrate together, mourn together, struggle for justice together, and be one with each other across all that can divide us. 

Worship on this day should be about drawing the circle as wide as possible – to acknowledge our common kinship through the Spirit. Let there be less of a nation of boasting and more of a nation striving to be the light on the hill, the shining example of the kin-dom of heaven on earth.  Worship with us in-person or on Facebook live during these Spirit-filled Sundays of Summer.  See you soon! 

Sunday’s Livestream Service—We recommend logging into your Facebook account a few minutes before 10:30 so you can troubleshoot any issues you might have. You can find a direct link to our Facebook page at stpaulsworship.org You will be able to chat once the Livestream service has started. If you don’t have a Facebook account you can also access the Livestream at stpaulsworship.org without the chat feature. There will be a pop-up asking you to log in and in small letters at the bottom you can click “Not Now” and still be able to watch the service. We will also post the Livestream service to YouTube after the service is over. 

Sunday’s In-Person Service –Our in-person indoor worship is currently in the Sanctuary, starting at 10:30am.   Our current COVID Protocols have changed, so please go to our website to get the latest COVID-19 Update.  We will no longer be doing registration or temperature checks at the door, but we will still be entering from the south Narthex doors (facing the Fellowship Hall).  There will be space for those who still wish to social distance, and masks are still welcome, but not required, for worship. 

 

Our regular Children’s ministries include the nursery, SPKidz, and iClub.  They are currently meeting at 10:15am in the Fellowship Hall.  

SPYouth are off this Sunday because of the 4th of July holiday. They will meet at 4pm next Sunday. The next Praise New Generation practice is July 11th! Our regular Youth schedule is: Praise New Generation meeting from 3:00pm-4:00pm every Sunday and SPYouth meeting from 4:00pm-5:00pm every Sunday.  

We so appreciate you keeping connected with us as we navigate these trying times for everyone. Please contact the church office by email at info@spocala.org or by phone at 352-694-2161 if you have any questions or need any help.  While in-person office hours are limited, someone will receive your message and get back to you as soon as possible.