We continue in our Pentecost series – “Follow” – with focus on Jesus’ invitation to Peter, and to all of us, to show our love in service, especially to the least and lost among us.
╬ “Do you love me …”
In a poignant moment in John’s Gospel, the Risen Christ engages Peter. Three times he asks, “Do you love me?” And Peter responds each time with, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.” Each time, the invitation from God in Christ is the same: “Then feed my sheep, tend my lambs; come, and follow me.” It is one of those stories of the “Gospel in microcosm” … the story of deliverance believers experience in Christ and the invitation to discipleship that flows naturally, in gratitude for grace.
Here is a bulletin cover image. Sermon and Reflection slides are attached. Below are the Prayer of the Day and Readings.
On July 2, our ROCK High School Youth will just have returned from a mission trip to Laredo. We will invite them in our sermon time to reflect on their experiences and this Gospel in the gathered community.
I ask that two songs be included in worship that day:
Gathering Song: Let Us Go Now to the Banquet (ELW#523)
Song of the Day: You Have Come Down to the Lakeshore (ELW#817)
Blessings and peace to you all,
- Pr. Brad Highum
PRAYER OF THE DAY -------------------------------------------
Lord, you meet us in the midst of life and invite us to place our faith and our trust in you. You invite us to name our love for you and then you invite us to express it in the world you love. Lead us, Lord, and we will follow. Amen.
First Reading: Exodus 13:17-22
17 When Pharaoh let the people go, God did not lead them by way of the land of the Philistines, although that was nearer; for God thought, "If the people face war, they may change their minds and return to Egypt." 18 So God led the people by the roundabout way of the wilderness toward the Red Sea. The Israelites went up out of the land of Egypt prepared for battle. 19 And Moses took with him the bones of Joseph who had required a solemn oath of the Israelites, saying, "God will surely take notice of you, and then you must carry my bones with you from here." 20 They set
out from Succoth, and camped at Etham, on the edge of the wilderness. 21 The Lord went in front of them in a pillar of cloud by day, to lead them along the way, and in a pillar of fire by night, to give them light, so that they might travel by day and by night. 22 Neither the pillar of cloud by day nor the pillar of fire by night left its place in front of the people.
1 The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.
2 He makes me lie down in green pastures; he leads me beside still waters; he restores my soul.
3 He leads me in right paths for his name's sake.
4 Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I fear no evil; for you are with me; your rod and your staff — they comfort me.
5 You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.
6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord my whole life long.
Second Reading: Acts 12:6-11
6 The very night before Herod was going to bring him out, Peter, bound with two chains, was sleeping between two soldiers, while guards in front of the door were keeping watch over the prison. 7 Suddenly an angel of the Lord appeared and a light shone in the cell. He tapped Peter on the side and woke him, saying, "Get up quickly." And the chains fell off his wrists. 8 The angel said to him, "Fasten your belt and put on your sandals." He did so. Then he said to him, "Wrap your cloak around you and follow me." 9 Peter went out and followed him; he did not realize that what was happening with the angel's help was real; he thought he was seeing a vision. 10 After they had passed the first and the second guard, they came before the iron gate leading into the city. It opened for them of its own accord, and they went outside and walked along a lane, when suddenly the angel left him. 11 Then Peter came to himself and said, "Now I am sure that the Lord has sent his angel and rescued me from the hands of Herod and from all that the Jewish people were expecting."
Gospel: John 21:15-17,19
15 When they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, "Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?" He said to him, "Yes, Lord; you know that I love you." Jesus said to him, "Feed my lambs." 16 A second time he said to him, "Simon son of John, do you love me?" He said to him, "Yes, Lord; you know that I love you." Jesus said to him, "Tend my sheep." 17 He said to him the third time, "Simon son of John, do you love me?" Peter felt hurt because he said to him the third time, "Do you love me?" And he said to him, "Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you." Jesus said to him, "Feed my sheep. 19 After this he said to him, "Follow me."