Wednesday, August 1, 2012


REMINDERS —≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈
Naomi is on vacation until August 3rd. Office
is closed until then.

Pastor Melodee will be away.


POTLUCK DINNER WILL BE SERVED AFTER.• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •
In the present light, all human empires and
governmental powers stand under the
judgment of God for taking what belonged
to others and killing the innocent. Consider
whether or how this text may lead your
reflections or prayers about Hiroshima and
Nagasaki Remembrance Day (tomorrow).
2 SAMUEL 11:26-12:13
New International Reader's Version (NIRV)
David takes Bathsheba, pregnant with his 
child, into his household as one of his wives 
when news of Uriah's death/murder arrives. 
The Lord sends Nathan to rebuke David and 
to announce a curse upon him and his family. 
David acknowledges his sin. "The sword shall 
never depart from your house" (12:10). This 
meant that his family would begin tearing itself 
apart from that point forward. The judgment 
and curse here stands as a judgment against  
human kingship - - and later, empire -- itself.
• David would eventually die a feeble, 
shivering, and broken man. Ultimately, after 
Solomon was able to consolidate power during 
his reign, Israel itself would be divided into two 
nations in the coming generation.
26 Uriah's wife heard that her husband was dead.
She sobbed over him.
27 When her time of sadness was over, David
had her brought to his house. She became his
wife. And she had a son by him. But the Lord
wasn't pleased with what David had done.2 SAMUEL 12
1 The Lord sent the prophet Nathan to David.
When Nathan came to him, he said, "Two men
lived in the same town. One was rich. The other
was poor.
2 The rich man had a very large number of
sheep and cattle.
3 But all the poor man had was one little
female lamb. He had bought it. He raised it. It
grew up with him and his children. It shared
his food. It drank from his cup. It even slept in
his arms. It was just like a daughter to him.
4 "One day a traveler came to the rich man.
The rich man wanted to prepare a meal for him.
But he didn't want to kill one of his own sheep
or cattle. Instead, he took the little female lamb
that belonged to the poor man. Then he cooked
it for the traveler who had come to him."
5 David burned with anger against the rich
man. He said to Nathan, "The man who did
that is worthy of death. And that's just as
sure as the Lord is alive.
6 The man must pay back four times as
much as that lamb was worth. How could
he do such a thing? And he wasn't even
sorry he had done it."
7 Then Nathan said to David, "You are the
man! The Lord, the God of Israel, says,
'I anointed you king over Israel. I saved
you from Saul's powerful hand.
8 I gave you everything that belonged to your
master Saul. I even put his wives into your arms.
I made you king over the people of Israel and
Judah. And if all of that had not been enough for
you, I would have given you even more.
9 " 'Why did you turn your back on what I told you
to do? You did what is evil in my sight. You made
sure that Uriah, the Hittite, would be killed in
battle. You took his wife to be your own. You let the
men of Ammon kill him with their swords.
10 " 'So time after time members of your own
royal house will be killed with swords. That's
because you turned your back on me. You took
the wife of Uriah, the Hittite, to be your own.'
11 "The Lord also says, 'I am going to bring
trouble on you. It will come from your own family.
I will take your wives away. Your own eyes will
see it. I will give your wives to a man who is close
to you. He will have sex with them in the middle
of the day.
12 You committed your sins in secret. But I will
make sure that the sin the man commits with
your wives will take place in the middle of the
day. Everyone in Israel will see it.' "
13 Then David said to Nathan, "I have sinned
against the Lord."
Nathan replied, "The Lord has taken away your
sin. You aren't going to die.
PSALM 51:1-12 (UMH 785)
New International Reader's Version (NIRV)
A psalm of David when the prophet Nathan
came to him after
David had committed
adultery. Today, as on Ash Wednesday
it helps
us pray honestly about our sin. It also helps
us pray
honestly about the mercy, salvation,
and hope we seek from
God in the face of our
own deeds of selfish rashness as
congregations, citizens, regions, or nations.

1 God, show me your favor
in keeping with your faithful love.
Because your love is so tender and kind,
wipe out my lawless acts.
2 Wash away all of the evil things I've done.
Make me pure from my sin.
3 I know the lawless acts I've committed.
I can't forget my sin.
4 You are the one I've really sinned against.
I've done what is evil in your sight.
So you are right when you sentence me.
You are fair when you judge me.5 I know I've been a sinner ever since I was born.
I've been a sinner ever since my mother
became pregnant with me.
6 I know that you want truth to be in my heart.
You teach me wisdom deep down inside me.
7 Make me pure by sprinkling me with hyssop
plant. Then I will be clean.
Wash me. Then I will be whiter than snow.
8 Let me hear you say, "Your sins are forgiven."
That will bring me joy and gladness.
Let the body you have broken be glad.
9 Take away all of my sins.
Wipe away all of the evil things I've done.
10 God, create a pure heart in me.
Give me a new spirit that is faithful to you.
11 Don't send me away from you.
Don't take your Holy Spirit away from me.
12 Give me back the joy that comes from being
saved by you.
Give me a spirit that obeys you.
That will keep me going.
New International Reader's Version (NIRV)
Much of Ephesians seems to presume a
general state
of "things going well" among
the churches centered
around Ephesus.
But the intensity of the language of unity this
week may point in
another direction as well.
Across many cultures and times,
motifs in rhetoric are often an indication that
what is
repeated is not happening as it should.
The abundant giftedness of the members of
the body
of Christ is designed by God to build
up its unity under
Jesus Christ and the power
of the Holy Spirit.

Paul is calling upon the people "to walk worthy
of the calling
by which they had been called,
being zealous to keep the unity
of the spirit in
the bond-chains of peace."
It is certainly
possible the communities that made up the

"Ephesian circuit" did have it all together,
and Paul was simply
urging them to
keep it together.

1 I am a prisoner because of the Lord. So I am
asking you to live a life worthy of what God
chose you for.2 Don't be proud at all. Be completely gentle.
Be patient. Put up with one another in love.
3 The Holy Spirit makes you one in every way.
So try your best to remain as one.
Let peace keep you together.
4 There is one body. There is one Spirit. You
were appointed to one hope when you
were chosen.
5 There is one Lord. There is one faith and
one baptism.
6 There is one God and Father of all. He is over
everything. He is through everything.
He is in everything.
7 But each one of us has received a gift of grace,
just as Christ wanted us to have it.
8 That is why Scripture says,
"When he went up to his place on high,
he led a line of prisoners.
He gave gifts to people." — (Psalm 68:18)
9 What does "he went up" mean? It can only
mean that he also came down to the lower,
earthly places.
10 The One who came down is the same as
the One who went up higher than all the heavens.
He did it in order to fill all of creation.
11 He is the One who gave some the gift to be
apostles. He gave some the gift to be prophets.
He gave some the gift of preaching the good
news. And he gave some the gift to be
pastors and teachers.
12 He did it so that they might prepare God's
people to serve. If they do, the body of Christ
will be built up.
13 That will continue until we all become one in
the faith and in the knowledge of God's Son.
Then we will be grown up in the faith. We will
receive everything that Christ has for us.
14 We will no longer be babies in the faith. We
won't be like ships tossed around by the waves.
We won't be blown here and there by every new
teaching. We won't be blown around by the
cleverness and tricks of people who try to hide
their evil plans.
15 Instead, we will speak the truth in love.
We will grow up into Christ in every way.
JOHN 6:24-35
New International Reader's Version (NIRV)
John's gospel offers the first of several
installments of the "aftermath" of the
feeding of the 5000 we read last week.
We already got a hint of some of the
aftermath from last week, as Jesus hid
himself in the mountains to avoid the crowd
declaring him their king, and then met
disciples on the Sea of Galilee as they were
rowing to reach their next destination. Jesus
announces to the crowd that crossed the
sea to catch up with him,
"I am the bread of life."
The early Christians
here heard one thing: the Eucharist, the
Christian ceremony commemorating the
Last Supper, in which bread and wine are
consecrated and consumed.

24 The crowd realized that Jesus and his
disciples were not there. So they got into boats
and went to Capernaum to look for Jesus.
25 They found him on the other side of the lake.
They asked him, "Rabbi, when did you get here?"
26 Jesus answered, "What I'm about to tell you is
true. You are not looking for me because you saw
miraculous signs. You are looking for me because
you ate the loaves until you were full.
27 Do not work for food that spoils. Work for food
that lasts forever. That is the food the Son of Man
will give you. God the Father has put his seal of
approval on him."
28 Then they asked him, "What does God want
from us? What works does he want us to do?"
29 Jesus answered, "God's work is to believe in
the One he has sent."
30 So they asked him,"What miraculous sign will
you give us? What will you do so we can see it
and believe you?31 Long ago our people ate the manna in the
desert. It is written in Scripture, 'The Lord gave
them bread from heaven to eat.' "—
(Exodus 16:4; Nehemiah 9:15; Psalm 78:24,25)
32 Jesus said to them, "What I'm about to tell
you is true. It is not Moses who has given you
the bread from heaven. It is my Father who gives
you the true bread from heaven.
33 The bread of God is the One who comes down
from heaven. He gives life to the world."
34 "Sir," they said, "give us this bread from now on."
35 Then Jesus said, "I am the bread of life. No
one who comes to me will ever go hungry. And
no one who believes in me will ever be thirsty.
Pastor Melodee's and Naomi's day off.
Office is closed today.
On the secular calendar, Hiroshima
Remembrance Day is today.
On August 6, 1945, just before 8:15 a.m.
Tokyo time, the United States dropped the
first atomic bomb, nicknamed Little Boy, on
the city of Hiroshima.
Leveling more than sixty percent of the city,
the bomb caused 70,000 residents to die
instantaneously in a searing flash of heat.
More than 140,000 had died by the end of the
day; and thousands more in the subsequent
days and weeks died from radiation poisoning
and burns.
The dilemma, of course, was what to do about
the ruler of a country who refused to abandon
his war. To continue another six months could
mean another half million soldiers and civilians
dead. To use the bomb would mean everything
stops now - today - this minute.
A terrible choice for anyone to be forced to
make. Even today we must periodically deal
with some egomaniacal, self-centered, narcissist
who believes he is the only savior of the world.
We pray that it never goes atomic again.
Just a word of comfort. Colorado is still beautiful.
There was very little snow on the mountains. Most
of the glaciers are gone. The Colorado weatherman
stated that this was the hottest July on record.
They averaged 78°. Have I got a story for them!
This has been a light news week because of
several vacations being taken at this time. If
there is something momentous, or at least
significant that should be noted, please let us
know. We should be back on track next week.
Thank you for your patience.

God Bless and Keep You,
Pastor Melodee