The Fourteenth Sunday after Pentecost, At-Home Service for August 29th
This sermon focuses on the place of tradition for Christians in a world overwhelmed by change. The passage read today from the Gospel according to Mark contained a debate about which traditions are beneficial to observe. Such concerns are not new nor are they limited only to Christians.
In his book, Good to Great, Jim Collins told a story touching on the dynamics of tradition, change, and life. Collins described two different grocery store chains: A&P and Kroger. Both companies had long histories in business. “In the early 1950s, [A&P]…stood as the largest retail organization in the world…ranking behind only General Motors in annual sales.” Each company had its own established culture, and traditions and each was trying to stay alive amid a fast-changing marketplace. Today, one must be over a certain age to have ever even heard of an A&P store. By 1999 Kroger was a leader in the grocery industry. The difference between the two companies came down to a few simple things. Both companies had the same critical information and a critical time of change. A&P maintained its cherished culture and traditions at any expense, even closing new concept stores that were wildly successful and popular with customers. Kroger focused on connecting with customers and their needs, even if those customers were saying things the company didn’t want to hear.
Click here to view the at-home version of the service.
Pastor Rike’s Sermon
The passage read today from Deuteronomy recalled a time when ancient Israel was facing monumental change.2 There had been a time, in the days of Abraham, when Israel was a nomadic people, following their wandering herds wherever they fed. Drought and famine brought Israel into Egypt where they became slaves. God sent Moses to lead them out of Egypt, but as a result of their rebellion against the LORD, those people spent another 40 years wandering in the wilderness, like their ancestors. At the end of his life, Moses could see the land of promise that a new generation of Israelites was about to enter. That moment at the end of Moses’ life is the setting of the Book of Deuteronomy. In that land of promise that the new generation of Israelites was about to enter, they would become more settled, ceasing to be nomads; they would put down roots in farming rather than wandering with their herds. At the fulcrum of change, the point between those very different ways of living, Moses told the people to remember and never forget the experience of their parents. Moses encouraged them to learn from the past. Real-life, abundant life, as opposed to the illusory dreams people might mistake for life, depended upon the all-important connection with God, the LORD. Moses asked, “For what other nation has a God so near to it as the LORD our God is whenever we call to him?” That connection was embodied in obedience to the LORD’s statutes, ordinances, and commands.
Click here to read Pastor Rike’s sermon.
Follow along with the service on video led by Pastor Rike, with music performed by Randy Broker.
The Fourteenth Sunday After Pentecost Service for August 29th includes: Intro Hymn- Dearest Jesus, At Your Word performed by the Randy Broker First Reading- Deuteronomy 4:1-2, 6-9 Holy Gospel- Mark 7:1-8, 14-15, 21-23 Sermon by Pastor David Rike Hymn- This Is My Father's Word performed by Randy Broker Prayers Blessing