I Thessalonians 1:1-10
I mentioned that my brother and his wife
accompanied us on our cruise. He loves to watch
news about politics, and it does not take much to
get him going. Scratch his political itch and off he
goes. Thankfully, he has his views, but unlike
many people he is open to discussion without
getting red in the face.
For many politics is such a touchy topic that they
do enter it without some fire retardant readily
available. One need only look at how House
Republicans, members of the same party, treat
each other. Will they be able to move beyond
their impasse and select a Speaker of the House?
What can we do to move to a more congenial discussion of our government?
First, recognize that politics has never been an easy topic. There have perhaps been more
gracious moments, but I remember politicians assassinated and riots in the streets back in the
60’s and of course the riot in the capital two plus years ago.
In our Gospel text for Sunday, the Pharisees and Herodians want to entrap Jesus by embroiling
him in the controversy of the day. Should Israel pay taxes to Rome or not? The answer would
get him in trouble either way. Either he is a tax evader or a supporter of Rome.
It would be as if a Palestinian were asked if he should support taxes for the Israel army poised
to enter Gaza or instead support Hamas which has brought bloodshed to Israel, retaliation,
and an end to prospects for peace.
Jesus answers by asking for a coin and asking whose image is on it. It
was the emperors. “Give therefore to the emperor the things that
are the emperors, and to God the things that are God’s.”
The answer amazes the would-be entrappers, and they leave.
Martin Luther took this and other passages in scripture to mean that there are two kingdoms
in this world.
1. There is the Kingdom of God: This represents the spiritual realm, where God reigns
supreme and governs the salvation and spiritual affairs of individuals. Jesus spoke of this
as the Kingdom of Heaven which was coming into the world but was not yet fully
realized. As he told Pontius Pilot: My kingdom was not of this world.
Our calling is to bring this Kingdom into the world as we are able, just as Jesus did. But
we should also be mindful that it will never be fully realized by people. God will bring it
into being. So, in the Middle East, in Ukraine, in Syria, in our own country, all disputes
will not be overcome. We work toward it, knowing that there is a transcendent and
eternal kingdom which will come. Our actions will be judged against that Kingdom. In
matters of faith, salvation, our own actions, and our inner conscience, we as believers
look to that Kingdom.
2. The Temporal Kingdom: refers to the earthly realm, where secular authorities have
jurisdiction over temporal affairs, such as law, governance, and maintenance of order in
society. Amid our current political strife, there are those who want to shut it down. But
we need governments to protect the most vulnerable among us. Israel had been able to
do that until recently. Now only hard choices present themselves.
It is not only nations but personal matters that need government as well. I have sat with
people who have been cheated by crooks, companies, even family and friends. They had
to turn to the courts for justice.
Personally, I have experienced both gracious and not so gracious people. I had a person
back into my car in a parking lot. He said he was sorry and gave me his insurance card
they paid for the repairs. No need for government when people act justly.
But I have also been in accidents where the other party lied about what happened and
my insurance company had to take them to court on my behalf. We need earthly
authority because the Kingdom of God is not here yet. What we do each Sunday is pray
that government efforts might bring the Kingdom of God closer to our world.
We can disagree with people on a variety of issues: immigration, race, abortion, climate
change, and international support for other countries.
One thing we as members of Faith say on Sunday is that we believe that Jesus in his actions
and his mercy is the revelation of the creator of the universe. We take our cues from him and
pray the rest of the world will do the same.
Prayer – Lord, we thank you for giving us Jesus as the revelation of your Kingdom. Help us to
reflect that Kingdom in this world. Be with our government and the leaders of Israel, Russia,
Ukraine and Syria so their people might experience that Kingdom as well.
Grace and Peace
LAUREN SCHAFER our Office Assistant’s hours this week. 12:30-3:00 M – Th. Pastor will be in
Monday and Tuesday the 16th and 17th and Tuesday and Wednesday of next week, 24 and 25.
New Members – Interested in joining Faith? We will have a new member orientation Dec 10
and new member received on Dec. 17. Let Pastor Bunge know if you are interested.
Next Pantry – October 28. We are looking for boxes of cereal, bags of rice, macaroni & cheese,
and canned fruit, as well as Thanksgiving items. There has been a huge reduction in donations to
Feeding America-Riverside, supplies for our Food Pantry are very low.
Choir – We have a nice start to our choir. Join us for practice at 9:00 a.m. ahead of worship.
Bells – We meet on Thursday nights. Let Irm know about your interest.
Adult Class – We are starting our six-week class on Forgiveness Heals the Empty Soul. This
Wednesday, October 11 at 1 – 2:30 p.m. This workshop focuses on the soul’s need for
reconciliation from one-sidedness, hurt and memories. The process of Forgiveness is
presented from both a Jungian and Christian context. Steve Cady will be leading the class.
WELCA – The Next Women’s Bible Study will be Saturday, November 4 at 9:30 a.m. in the Fireside
QUILTING – Each Tuesday beginning at 9 a.m. 15 quilts were presented to CCLM’s homeless
men. They are working on more.
Confirmation Classes Resume October 22 and 29 and November 5. Confirmation service for
Elisha and Russell will November 12. Bishop Nagler will join us. Then Confirmation again
November 19 and December 10 and 17.
Free COVID-19 Rapid Tests Reminder
As of September 25, every U.S. household can again place and order to receive your free
COVID-19 rapid tests, which are delivered directly to your home by the USPS. Go to
UPCOMING FELLOWSHIP: Our Fall Focus on Faith Family
Oct. 22 – CHILI COOK-OFF plan to enter your favorite chili –
You can vote for your top 3 choices. Prizes!
Text 951.514.1214 to let Connie know if you want to take on
Pastor Bunge’s Cha Cha Chili
Oct. 29 – Reformation the Birthday of the Lutheran Church wear red. We will also
be celebrating a Very Merry Unbirthday for July – December birthdays.
Nov. 5 – WELCA
Nov. 12 – Confirmation Celebration. Bishop Nagler will join us.
Nov. 19 – Cookies, Coffee & Conversation
If you would like to donate cookies, let Connie know.
Nov. 26 – Thanksgiving Break
Joe Koenig came through the removal of his cancerous kidney. The surgery was done at Casa
Colina in Pomona. He is in a lot of pain but hopes to be released on Thursday. It was great to
have the whole family with us on Sunday.
Kyle Hadley had a quadruple bypass on Tuesday, October 3. He is recovering well and is now
home with Dana, his caring angel.
Jacque Kottmeier had a mild stroke but is also now home.
Wheeler is recovering well. Her daughter and Nick were marvelous help.
• erwin appreciates our continued prayer for Lynda.
• Kyle and Dana would appreciate prayers for their son, Kevin’s, Mother-in-Law, Lisa, suffering
• The Koenig Family – Jeanne is undergoing treatments for complications from accumulating
spinal fluid which is affecting her eyesight, speech, and motor skills. She is also in considerable
pain from the swelling in her head. Daughter, Jessica’s leukemia is being managed, but leaves
her tired. We are also praying for Lucas.
• 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.
• 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.