Sunday, November 19, 2023 – worship service at 11 AM in-person at the Chapel (2700 W 14th street) on the campus of San Sofia Apartments. It is the 25th Sunday after Pentecost (the church year is rapidly drawing to a close) – and in the U.S. we celebrate Thanksgiving Sunday (giving thanks to God for God’s many blessings). A Thanksgiving Sunday lunch follows worship. All are welcome to join us for food and fellowship!
To access the Chapel, buzz Zion Church (Bob Bucklew) from the Directory at the front of the 2700 Building. You can also contact Bob Bucklew at 216-375-5323 when you arrive and he’ll buzz you in the gated parking. Use the ramp from the rear parking lot to access the Chapel.
The Sunday bulletin is attached in Word and PDF formats. Use it to follow along with us in the worship service or as a devotional during the week.
The Focus Scripture is Matthew 25:14-30. Jesus teaches a parable commonly known as the Parable of the Talents. In this parable, a landowner went on a journey and summoned workers , entrusting them each with money worth several year’s wages. The one who was entrusted with five talents invested them and made five talents more. The one who was entrusted with two talents invested them and made two talents more, but the one who was given one talent dug a hole and hid it. The story tells us that each was entrusted according to their ability. But when the landowner returned, the worker who had hidden the one talent told the landowner: “Knowing your ruthlessness – you who reap where you did not sow and gather where you did not scatter – and fearing your wrath, I went off and buried the one talent in the ground. Here is your money back.” That worker had the one talent taken from them to be given to the one who made ten talents, and the worker was thrown into the outer darkness. On the surface level of the parable, it may appear to be about faithfulness during a temporary absence. How do we use what God has given us in our lifetime? Are we worried about saving our own lives, or are we participating in the reign of God here and now? One could also say the parable teaches us that if we are not willing to risk, we are bound to lose. But the parable never equates the landowner with God. The parable doesn’t even begin with “the kindom of heaven is like…” So perhaps we should not assume this is about the kindom of heaven, but rather it could be about what happens when you resist worldly power and authorities. It costs to resist. Can you live with integrity when you resist evil? Can you face the judgment of others when you refuse to play by the rules of the world? Others will try to play the game and make more money and move up the ladder of worldly success, but at what cost, when we fail to live into God’s ways?
The Sermon-Reflection is “Taking the Risk to be Worthless” by the Rev. Scott Rosenstein inspired by the gospel reading of Matthew 25:14:30.
This Sunday (Nov. 19th) is Thanksgiving Sunday – with a Thanksgiving Sunday lunch (turkey, salad, sweet potatoes, green bean casserole, and pie) provided free to all following worship. Our thanks to Robert Bucklew for proposing and coordinating this holiday lunch – and many thanks to those who provided dishes to share! Give thanks to God for God’s many blessings in your life this year. Please join us!
Wishing you and your family a healthy and happy Thanksgiving holiday!
Next Sunday (November 26th) is celebrated as Reign of Christ (Christ the King) Sunday. Reign of Christ Sunday brings our season after Pentecost and the church year to a close. Christ is victorious at the cross, defeating death, and calls us into a deeper way of life. With gratitude, we remember all that God has given us, and through Christ we have inherited the dominion of heaven. We prepare to turn to Advent, beginning the liturgical cycle again, as we watch and wait for signs of Christ’s return in our world and in our lives in a new way. Reign of Christ Sunday is a reminder that we are always at the moment of living into Christ’s reign now, as we wait for it to manifest. The new church year begins with the First Sunday of Advent (December 3rd, 2023).
Please join us for worship followed by a holiday lunch this Sunday, November 19th!
Blessings in Christ,
Pastor Scott Rosenstein
Bulletin Cover Image:
The Parable of the Talents
by T. Bertram Poole – Bertram Poole Art
ChristianArtNow Blog (posted September 9, 2016)