It is English language service at the Latvian church in Indianapolis. As a Fathers Day surprise we had no air conditioning but it was OK, we all made it through.
Our hymns were Joyful, Joyful We Adore Thee; Rock of Ages, Cleft For Me; What Feast of Love; and I Love to Tell the Story. It’s always nice to sing familiar songs.
All of us confessed our sins followed by the assuredness we have already been forgiven by Jesus long ago on the Cross.
We uttered The Apostles Creed, The Lord’s Prayer, prayers before and after Holy Communion, and we chanted on the way to the altar for Communion …
O thou Lamb of God, Who bears the sins of the world, have mercy, have mercy on us,
O thou Lamb of God, Who bears the sins of the world, have mercy, have mercy on us
O thou Lamb of God, Who bears the sins of the world, grant us Your peace, Amen!
Susan read the reading, Romans 5:1-8
Peace and Hope
Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we boast in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.
You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
Macitajs Lazdinš read and preached from the Gospel, Matthew 9:35-10:23. It is worth your while to read this. He asked to look in ourselves and consider what lays at the cores of our selves. When the rubber meets the road and all is stripped away, what word will describe you? Are you generous? Compassionate? Do you show mercy toward others? Are you helpful? Loving? Prayerful? Are you mean spirited? Selfish? Do you turn away from others for your own benefit? Fearful? How do you ultimately treat people? What is at your core? This is the question macitajs asked us. In the reading, Jesus sent out his 12 disciples to heal, feed, speak The Word, and bring peace to homes and communities. Or not. There would be some homes or towns that would disregard them. They were told by Jesus to shake the dust of the town from their sandals and leave them as they were, lost and undone. They were to do this by trusting only God. By this they were not to bring extra tunics, sandals, money, weapons or even walking sticks with them. Just go and trust. Suppose you were subject to a disaster and you were left standing without a home, extra cash or clothes, with just what you had on hand, how would you behave? Jesus saw the world as a disaster with people living in sin and hopeless. He sent His people to help. Were they successful? With the Spirit of God with them how could they fail? Does the same pertain to you? If you, with the Spirit of God, were to go out and make disciples of all men, would you or could you fail?
Judas Iscariot, the one who betrayed Jesus, was one of them to go out and heal and feed and bring peace. Did he succeed? The Bible doesn’t tell us. What do you think? Did he go out and increase the Kingdom of God here on Earth? Or did he go sit under a tree and bide his time until it was time to go back to Jesus. What was at the core of his heart when he followed Jesus?