February 25, 2021
for Sunday, February 28
Genesis 17:1-7, 15-16
The Rev. Lee Miller II, Dean of the Niagara Frontier Conference
I wonder what Peter accused Jesus of, when he took him aside and began to rebuke him.
If Satan is the great "accuser" what accusation has Peter made of Jesus just moments after confessing him to be the Christ, the Messiah?
What was it about Jesus' teaching that the Son of Man must undergo great suffering, be rejected, killed, and three days later rise again, that led Peter to accost with accusations?
Did Peter think that he, and the other 11, were going to rise and become the leaders of 12 new nations of Israel?
Was Peter assuming this rise to glory meant a rise to power and prominence in the community and culture?
Did Peter accuse Jesus of abdicating his divine power if he were to allow himself to suffer and be rejected? Maybe Peter thought Jesus was being weak. Maybe Peter accused Jesus of focusing on the wrong things.
Then Jesus teaches his disciples, and the crowd, what it means to be a follower of the way, a follower of this Messiah. It's the first of three times when Jesus will try to emphasize this cross-shaped way of life.
"If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me." While Jesus does not tell us explicitly what our own crosses are, we hear that they have something to do with how we love others.
The cross is the place where God would rather die than return the violence of the world with more violence. "Our crosses" are the places where God might call us to be; spaces of brokenness or suffering, where our own gifts might benefit another. "Our crosses" are the places where we are called to stand in the breach, alongside those who are lifting their voices. "Our crosses" are the spaces where we reject the violence of the world for the sake of liberating love. "Our crosses" are the places where we empty ourselves, give up our own words, places, and positions, so that someone else might rise up and find their own voice.
The cross is the place where love shows up for others.
This text is an invitation. An invitation into a cross-walk. That to live for the sake of others, carrying our crosses for the sake of others is the way to discover the fullness of our own lives, and the life of the church.
The apostle Paul writes in Romans, "I am not ashamed of the gospel; it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who has faith" (Rom. 1:16). This is the power that is at work in us when we carry our crosses and follow in the way of Jesus. It is the power of God for deliverance, for freedom, for liberation.
This cross walk may look different than whatever it was Peter was accusing Jesus of, but I am convinced, it is our way to life.
31Then he began to teach them that the Son of Man must undergo great suffering, and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again. 32He said all this quite openly. And Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. 33But turning and looking at his disciples, he rebuked Peter and said, 'Get behind me, Satan! For you are setting your mind not on divine things but on human things.'
34 He called the crowd with his disciples, and said to them, 'If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. 35For those who want to save their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake, and for the sake of the gospel,* will save it. 36For what will it profit them to gain the whole world and forfeit their life? 37Indeed, what can they give in return for their life? 38Those who are ashamed of me and of my words* in this adulterous and sinful generation, of them the Son of Man will also be ashamed when he comes in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.'
• For our community of faith as we seek to do God’s work in the world.
• For those in our congregation and community who suffer silently with illness, financial burdens, and family obligation.
• For people affected by coronavirus, their families, essential workers, doctors, nurses, aides, those working in nursing homes, etc.
• For victims of wildfires, flooding and earthquakes.
• For Dave Bentley, Pastor Ivy Gauvin, Karen Johnson, Roy Pihl, George and Janet Balcom, Maj-Britt Traynor, Beverly Klang, Trudy Fetzner, Mabel Tranum, Thom Shagla, Matt Isaacson, Alice Swartz, Rick Duzick, Barb Mattern, Joseph Gauvin, Emerson Allaby, Sarah Van Staalduinen, and Dick Starks
• For those serving in the military and law enforcement and their families, including Ben Wickerham, Jeffrey Clauson, David Bentley and Kris Peterson, those caught up in violence and war who have no safe home in which to live.
• For all children, that the love of Christ may reach them through all of us who have resources to love, protect, pray and provide for them.
• For the ELCZ Evangelical Lutheran Church in Zimbabwe and ELCZa Evangelical Lutheran Church in Zambia.
Names will remain of the Prayer List for a month - at which
time it will be taken off unless, or course, there is still a continued need
for our prayers and we’re asked to keep the name on.
***Adult Bible Study
Have you experienced loss and grief? Please join Sarah Goebel for a 5 week Bible Study on Loss and Grieving, after church, starting this Sunday, Jan. 31 at 10:45 am. We’ll explore ways to heal and support one another through God’s word. Call Sarah if you have any questions - 450-2986.
***Mark your calendars**
Katie Castro will be our guest preacher
on the 1st Sunday of the Month until Pastor Ivy’s return.
Communion Sundays will be
on the 2nd and 3rd Sundays of the month
Lent and Easter Season
Following the Worship and Music Meeting on January 12,
the following decisions were made for St. Timothy:
Lenten Dinners and services:
There will be NO Lenten church services or dinners.
• Zion at Frewsburg is having a prayer type service on
Wednesdays evenings during Lent at 7:00 pm.
Holy Week Services
We will not have any services during holy week.
Palm Sunday and Easter Services
ABSOLUTELY, we’ll have both of these services! We’ll continue with the 2 forms of worshipping - inside and drive in. Both 30-minute services with communion on Easter.
***We continuously collect food items for the 5 & 2 Ministry. Bring your donations and place in the black bin in church narthex. Lists detailing items needed are also available in the narthex. Monetary donations welcome!
***5 & 2 Ministry Food Bins Donated to Date: 90
***ONLINE GIVING now available at St. Timothy for Debit/Credit cards. 3 ways to give:
- Go directly to our website at
- Use our QR code with the QR reader on your smartphone
- Download the app ‘GivePlus Church’. Create an account.
For further information, see Kathy Carlson on Sundays or call her at 485-1316.
With the onset of colder weather, we will be changing how we get communion cups to you. Instead of asking the usher to stand out in the cold, rainy or snowy weather for 20 minutes, we will bring the cups out to you when everyone has arrived, gotten their bulletins and parked.
Also for colder weather, we have a portable charger available in the church JUST IN CASE….J
Stay warm, and stay healthy!!!
While Pastor Ivy is out recuperating, you can contact Pastor Heather Allport-Cohoon if there is a need for pastoral care. She can be reached at 716-708-6466.
Time: 10:00 a.m.
Place: 3748 Rt. 430
Length: 30 minutes
WEAR YOUR MASKS
COMING INSIDE? COME EARLY