Categories: Worship

by Admin


Categories: Worship


We gather for a Worship Service on this Sunday, July 23rd, 2023, 8th Sunday after Pentecost in person at the Chapel (2700 W 14th Street) and via the Zoom platform (online and by phone) at 11:00 a.m.

To join us at the Chapel, buzz Zion Church (Bob Bucklew) from the Directory at the front of the 2700 Building on the campus of San Sofia apartments or enter from the accessible ramp from the rear parking lot. When you arrive, call Bob at 216-375-5323 to open the parking lot gate.

The Sunday Bulletin is attached in PDF format. You may use it to follow along with the service on Zoom or you may use it as a devotional during the week.

Zion’s Administrative Assistant, Beverly Wurm

Beverly will be keeping some limited Office Hours at church/home. The days and hours are:
Monday – 9am – 1pm
Wednesday – 10am – 2pm
Thursday – 9am – 1pm
Beverly can be reached at: [email protected] or by phone at: 216-273-7561 (church) or 216-310-6810 (mobile).

Our new website address is:
Check out our website and Facebook for updates

The Scripture Readings for Sunday, July 23th, 2023 are:

First Reading: Isaiah 44:6-8

In this brief passage from the second section of the prophet Isaiah, sometimes called Second Isaiah, God declares through the prophet to the people that there is no other God. God is complete, who knows our beginnings and endings, speaking from the past of what is to come. There is no other god like God, whose presence is continually with them, and who brings the people comfort instead of fear.

Psalm Response: Psalm 86:11-17

Psalm 86 is a prayer for help, and vs. 11-17 the psalmist asks God for guidance, so they may be faithful to God’s ways. They begin with gratitude for God’s steadfast love and deliverance and ask for God’s graciousness and mercy in the face of their enemies. The psalmist asks God for a sign of favor, but they know God is the one who brings them help and comfort.

Second Reading: Romans 8: 12-25

In these verses of Romans 8, the Apostle Paul writes of the life of the Spirit. “Those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God.” Paul makes it clear that neither Jew nor Greek nor anyone of any background can be kept out of God’s reign, because if the Holy Spirit is present, they are a child of God. The Jewish and Gentile Christian communities in Rome were at odds with each other after the Jewish population returned during Nero’s time, and the Gentile believers didn’t quite understand how to fit in with their Jewish neighbors. This part of the passage concludes with a message of hope, that it isn’t about what can be seen, but that God is birthing something new in creation that cannot be seen yet. The faithful wait with patience.

Gospel Reading: Matthew 13: 24-30, 36-43

The Gospel lesson continues with Jesus teaching in parables in these verses of Matthew 13. Moving from last week and the Parable of the Sower, this week we read the Parable of the Weeds among the Wheat. Like last week’s lesson, this is one of the few parables in which an explanation is included. Usually, Jesus did not explain the parables. In this parable, someone sowed seeds in their field, but someone else that night deliberately sowed weeds among the wheat, so that when the wheat grew, weeds grew up with the wheat. However, the weeds could not be pulled without uprooting the wheat, so the weed removal would have to wait until harvest time. In the explanation, Jesus teaches that just as weeds are gathered up to be burned in fire, this will be the end of the age. However, fire in the Bible is often purifying. Jesus explains that what will be collected are the causes of sin and all who act lawlessly. But just like the image of the threshing floor and the harvester separating the wheat from the chaff with a winnowing fork that John the Baptizer uses in Matthew 3:12, we might see human beings as containing both wheat and weed, not one person as wheat and another person as weed. Instead, God is the one working on us to remove sin from our lives and to uproot the systems of sin in our world.

The Sermon/Reflection: “Learning to Love the In-Between and the Mystery” by the Rev. Scott Rosenstein inspired by the Gospel reading in Matthew 13.

Please join the Zion Church community to give thanks to God this Sunday, in-person in the Chapel, or via Zoom!

Pastor Scott Rosenstein
216-273-7561 – church
216-577-1514 – mobile

Bulletin Cover Image:
Plant, Water, Harvest
by John August Swanson (1938-2021)
a spiritual and social justice artist, who lived in Los Angeles