Jeremiah 15:15-21
Psalm 26: 1-8
Romans 12:9-21
Matthew 16:21-28
What happens when you get the answer wrong?
Peter had done so well in the first part of Matthew 16. He boldly proclaimed that Jesus was
the Messiah, the Son of the Living God. Jesus commends him saying: My Father in heaven
revealed this to you. I will build my church on this rock. A wonderful memorable moment.
In the Little League World Series, a team from El Segundo, California won the world
championship when Louis Lappe hit a homer in the final inning to end a tie with Curacao
and win 6-5. The commentator enthused that Louis would remember that moment for the
rest of his life. I thought – that is a wonderful memory. Still, I hope that a twelve-year-old
will have other positive memories as well. He has a lot of years ahead of him.
A batting average of over .300 is a great average. What it means is that batters card twice as
many more outs as hits. An inner determination is needed to stay confident.
Peter hit a home run with his confession of Jesus as the revelation of the Creator, but it was
followed, almost in the next breath by Peter being called out by Jesus.
Jesus starts filling in the details of what it means to be God’s Messiah. He will “suffer many
things from the elders and chief priests and scribes and be killed and on the third day be
Peter takes Jesus to the side and “rebukes” him. “This should never happen to you.” The
Messiah should be above all that, no suffering only victories. Why would the religious
leaders be so opposed to him?
Part of Peter’s concern, I am sure, is that if this can happen to Jesus, what will his followers
experience? Had Peter signed up for this? The miracles and the crowds were great. This talk
of suffering not so much.
Jesus’ response is tough. Peter, you stuck out, you went from hero to zero. Jesus goes so far
as to say he is playing on Satan’s team. He is a hindrance. Jesus urges him to get his head
around the game strategy Jesus is promoting. A game focused being a light to others, even if
it costs you, stay focused on the things of God. Winning through self-denial is the plan and
leads to the deepest of joys.
In the end Peter joins the winning team. As he lives through the dark days that Jesus
predicts, he still plays the self- preservation game, at first and denies Jesus. But then the
Risen Lord came to him, to show him how to truly win. You give yourself to God’s mission of
Peter took to the new game. Through courageous self-denial he becomes the MVP of the
early church, challenging the limited world view of the religious leaders, who were
themselves focused on self-preservation. Peter bats 1000 by freely proclaiming the mercies
of God. He knows them because they were shown to him.
Want a sure way to move from zero to hero? Be a part of God’s mission of mercy.
The MVP of the Gentile church, Paul, makes clear in Romans 12 that the “things of God” do
not involve hitting home runs all the time if you are a batter or pitching no hitters if you are
a pitcher. These are joyful occasions, but if you want to up your game, try “outdoing one
another in showing honor.” Try “rejoicing in hope, being patient in suffering and
persevering in prayer, contributing to the saints, and extending hospitality to strangers.”
Sound like a winning strategy in life?
Claire Sekafetz from CCLM was with us on Sunday. She updated us on their plans to more
than triple their ministry to the homeless. What a great dream and vision! It came in part
through the efforts of members of Faith gave of themselves to be part of the mission to
help the homeless. Faith has recently contributed $2,500, 15 quilts and a basket of
toiletries. Through it all, these men begin to see themselves not as zeroes but by God mercy
they are called to move forward as Peter and Paul did to become heroes.
Grace and Peace, Pastor John
Prayer Lord, we want to join your team and live in genuine love. Bless the efforts of CCLM
and Faith to overcome brokenness and homelessness. May we provide take on your
strategy and help ourselves and others to become heroes for you. Amen
Choir – We are hoping to start a choir which would sing every other week. Practice would
be at 9:00 am ahead of worship. Interested? Let Irm know at
Adult Class – We are hoping to offer a weekly adult class this fall. . Interested? Let Pastor
John know at
Central City Lutheran Mission – It was great to welcome Claire Sekafetz from CCLM. Thanks
to those who assisted with the quilts and toiletries that were given. We also raised nearly
$2,500 with a matching grant. This week, you can still mark your special gift to this ministry
on your envelope. You might also think about joining Connie and I and others from Faith to
attend the LSS Gala at the Mission Inn in Riverside, Oct 7 starting @ 5 pm. Interested? Let
Pastor John know at We are hoping to get a table full. Cost: $175.
Next Pantry – September 9 and 23. Good News a Thrivent Action Team project has been
approved to jump start a fundraiser for a new refrigerator for the Pantry. An old powereater freezer needs to be replaced. In its place, a new energy efficient refrigerator will be
purchased. $300 has come in so far. Make any donations to this fundraiser payable to Faith
Lutheran and marked “Pantry Refrigerator”.
WELCA – Women’s Bible Study, this Saturday at 9:30 a.m. Join us in the Fireside Roon for
session one of “Holy Places – Home” and a light brunch.
LAUREN SCHAFER our Office Assistant’s hours this week. 12:30-3:00 M – Th.
Pastor will be in the office Monday and Tuesday August 28 and 29 and next week Thursday
and Priday September 7 and 8 then Monday and Tuesday of the following week.
QUILTING – Each Tuesday beginning at 9 am. THANKS for the 15 quilts presented to CCLM’s
homeless men on Sunday.
Confirmation clases began on August 27. Nice to be back. We will skip Labor Day weekend.
Then meet September 10 and 17 and skip a couple of weeks for Pastor’s vacation then
resume October 8, 15, 22 and 29. Confirmation service for Elisha and Russell will November
12 so we can have Bishop Nagler with us.
• Kim’s brother Jim has had his spinal tap and is able to move forward with stem cell
treatment for his cancer once another round of treatments is over.
• David Strack was in church on Sunday, much recovered. Becky Malinowski was with us on
Sunday. She continues going through chemo treatments, hanging tough.
• Becky Malinowski was with us on Sunday. She continues going through chemo treatments,
hanging tough.
• erwin has been with us in church and appreciates our continued prayer for Lynda. He is free
at last from mud in the driveway.
• Ken Sweitzer who moved to Missouri died on August 8. The funeral will be there Sept. 9.
• Kyle and Dana would appreciate prayers for their son, Kevin’s, Mother-in-Law, Lisa,
suffering from cancer.
• The Koenig Family – Jeanne who is undergoing diagnosis and treatments for her eyesight,
she also has quite a bit of pain with the swelling in her head. Joe is awaiting kidney surgery,
which will be on October 16. Daughter, Jessica’s leukemia is being managed, but leaves her
tired. Lucas is in need of special care.
• Cesar and Kim would also appreciate prayers for their sons, Tim and Kyle. Cesar’s Sister
Maria also had a lump removed from her neck and the biopsy came back non-Hodgkin’s
lymphoma. She starts radiation soon.
• Remember Ned Morgan whose son, Lee, passed away in an auto accident on June 19. They
have decided not to have a funeral.
• The Sheas would appreciate prayers for Rebecca and Chris Herandez in need of housing for
themselves and the twins.
• The Cady’s would appreciate prayers for their daughter’s friend, Brooke, who suffered a
stroke and is still unresponsive.
• Continued Godly journey for Brendan Simms, son of Bonnie Strack.
REDLANDS; 31433 Alta Vista Drive, Redlands, CA. Noon to 3 pm.
Complete with BBQ, swimming, singing, games, FUN!
Please confirm attendance or sign up in Narthex.
Please call or text Connie, 951-514-1214, if have questions or want to sign up.
The dedication of the Camp Director’s Home in Oak Glen will follow at 4:30 p.m.
Thanks for participating with us and for enjoying our THEMED SUMMER FUN! Faith is a
great place! During the Fall, September-December, our theme is FALL FUN: FOCUS ON
FAITH. Here’s the schedule: More details next week.
st Sun. – WELCA (Oct. will be 2nd Sun)
nd Sun. – GAMES (Oct. will be 1st Sun)
September 10 will be games and fun at the Luau at Kim’s and Cesar’s home.
th Sun. – POTLUCK