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Small world

Pastoral Messages | July 6, 2017

I have the small world song from the Disney World ride stuck in my head. Many other things need to be taking up residence in my brain in this season of life, but that catchy little tune has prime real estate.

The idea of floating in a dimly lit tunnel, on a gentle boat ride, looking at cartoon global scenes sounds pretty nice. However, reality has different plans. I think this tune is stuck in my head because in a way, it is a small world. I have spent the last six months preparing to complete my time at St. Paul – preparing to serve the wider church in a different parish. This preparation led me to look on the other side of the country, then led me to looking here in the Quad Cities, then specifically on the Iowa side. The world seemed to get smaller. As these last few months progressed, I found myself being called to two distinct, yet linked congregations here in the Quad Cities. I’m staying for a variety of reasons, the main ones being God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit.

So while the world seems small, I have learned yet again the lesson that God certainly isn’t small, that God’s work certainly isn’t small. It takes on forms unimagined, with people unknown, in places unanticipated. I made promises to serve God’s people, wherever they may be, and it turns out, they are just a few miles away. So as I complete my time here, among God’s people of St. Paul, I want to thank all of you. You have shown me God’s love and care in numerous ways. I have seen the work of the Holy Spirit in this congregation, I have seen death and resurrection in this congregation, and I have seen Christ in this congregation. So keep showing up, keep worshiping, keep praying, keep living as God’s children and Christ’s ambassadors.

We will probably run into each other as we do God’s work. It turns out it is a pretty small world after all.

Amy Diller, associate pastor

Editor’s note: Amy Diller’s farewell weekend will be July 15-16. A reception will be held after all worship services on Saturday and Sunday. If you’d like to donate to a gift for Amy, please write a check to St. Paul clearly marked for “Resident Gift.” You’re also invited to send individual cards or notes to the church, or drop a written expression in the basket on farewell weekend. Amy will become the pastor of Together in Christ Parish, the newly combined parishes of St. James and All Saints churches.

6 Comments on “Small world”

  • Audrey Keeney

    July 8, 2017 at 2:05 pm

    Thank you for your words above. We are happy you will be here in the area serving Christ. We have been blessed by your serving here these last 2 years. Like others, we came here for jobs in ’62 with the idea of going to western Minnesota to be closer to “home” as soon as we could get jobs there. I am still here and this is “home”.

  • Pat Megown

    July 7, 2017 at 11:10 pm

    Amy I am thrilled you are staying in the QC! I know both churches and there are good people in both. You will be a blessing to them and they to you. Thank you for the past two years. It has been a joy to get to know you!

  • Cathy Crampton

    July 7, 2017 at 6:55 pm

    May God Bless you and keep in his care, as you start your new journey!!!!!

  • David DeWit

    July 6, 2017 at 8:09 pm

    We’ll miss you at St. Paul. You have done a super job.

  • Bonnie Fox

    July 6, 2017 at 2:16 pm

    I am thrilled that you are staying in the area! We, too, we’re members at one of the churches. I will come to visit you sometime, as I have friends at St. James who will let me know when you are preaching. Wishing you all the best!

  • Clayton Lloyd

    July 6, 2017 at 1:43 pm

    Amy, I am very pleased to learn that you will remain in our greater Quad City community. One of those congregations was home to us (and to many others in the St. Paul congregation) for several years, and I wish you and those congregations the best as you begin your service there. (It also reminds me of the experience of Jan and me. When we came here with a job offer in 1973, we thought we would be in the Quad Cities “for a couple years”. Opportunities continued to arise for us and we remain–44 years later. This is a pretty good place to be.)

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Daniel 12:1-3

The Time of the End

1“Now at that time Michael, the great prince who stands guard over the sons of your people, will arise. And there will be a time of distress such as never occurred since there was a nation until that time; and at that time your people, everyone who is found written in the book, will be rescued.2“Many of those who sleep in the dust of the ground will awake, these to everlasting life, but the others to disgrace and everlasting contempt.3“Those who have insight will shine brightly like the brightness of the expanse of heaven, and those who lead the many to righteousness, like the stars forever and ever.

Psalm 16

1Preserve me, O God, for I take refuge in You.

2I said to the LORD, “You are my Lord;

I have no good besides You.”

3As for the saints who are in the earth,

They are the majestic ones in whom is all my delight.

4The sorrows of those who have bartered for another god will be multiplied;

I shall not pour out their drink offerings of blood,

Nor will I take their names upon my lips.

5The LORD is the portion of my inheritance and my cup;

You support my lot.

6The lines have fallen to me in pleasant places;

Indeed, my heritage is beautiful to me.

7I will bless the LORD who has counseled me;

Indeed, my mind instructs me in the night.

8I have set the LORD continually before me;

Because He is at my right hand, I will not be shaken.

9Therefore my heart is glad and my glory rejoices;

My flesh also will dwell securely.

10For You will not abandon my soul to Sheol;

Nor will You allow Your Holy One to undergo decay.

11You will make known to me the path of life;

In Your presence is fullness of joy;

In Your right hand there are pleasures forever.

Hebrews 10:11-25

11Every priest stands daily ministering and offering time after time the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins;12but He, having offered one sacrifice for sins for all time, SAT DOWN AT THE RIGHT HAND OF GOD,13waiting from that time onward UNTIL HISENEMIES BE MADE A FOOTSTOOL FOR HIS FEET.14For by one offering He has perfected for all time those who are sanctified.15And the Holy Spirit also testifies to us; for after saying,

16“THIS IS THE COVENANT THAT I WILL MAKE WITH THEM

AFTER THOSE DAYS, SAYS THE LORD:

I WILL PUT MY LAWS UPON THEIR HEART,

AND ON THEIR MIND I WILL WRITE THEM,”

He then says,

17“AND THEIR SINS AND THEIR LAWLESS DEEDS

I WILL REMEMBER NO MORE.”

18Now where there is forgiveness of these things, there is no longer any offering for sin.

A New and Living Way

19Therefore, brethren, since we have confidence to enter the holy place by the blood of Jesus,20by a new and living way which He inaugurated for us through the veil, that is, His flesh,21and since we have a great priest over the house of God,22let us draw near with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.23Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful;24and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds,25not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near.

Christ or Judgment

Mark 13:1-8

Things to Come

1As He was going out of the temple, one of His disciples *said to Him, “Teacher, behold what wonderful stones and what wonderful buildings!”2And Jesus said to him, “Do you see these great buildings? Not one stone will be left upon another which will not be torn down.”

3As He was sitting on the Mount of Olives opposite the temple, Peter and James and John and Andrew were questioning Him privately,4“Tell us, when will these things be, and what will be the sign when all these things are going to be fulfilled?”5And Jesus began to say to them, “See to it that no one misleads you.6“Many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am He!’ and will mislead many.7“When you hear of wars and rumors of wars, do not be frightened; those things must take place; but that is not yet the end.8“For nation will rise up against nation, and kingdom against kingdom; there will be earthquakes in various places; there will also be famines. These things are merely the beginning of birth pangs.

Daniel 7:9-14

9“I kept looking

Until thrones were set up,

And the Ancient of Days took His seat;

His vesture was like white snow

And the hair of His head like pure wool.

His throne was ablaze with flames,

Its wheels were a burning fire.

10“A river of fire was flowing

And coming out from before Him;

Thousands upon thousands were attending Him,

And myriads upon myriads were standing before Him;

The court sat,

And the books were opened.

11“Then I kept looking because of the sound of the boastful words which the horn was speaking; I kept looking until the beast was slain, and its body was destroyed and given to the burning fire.12“As for the rest of the beasts, their dominion was taken away, but an extension of life was granted to them for an appointed period of time.

The Son of Man Presented

13“I kept looking in the night visions,

And behold, with the clouds of heaven

One like a Son of Man was coming,

And He came up to the Ancient of Days

And was presented before Him.

14“And to Him was given dominion,

Glory and a kingdom,

That all the peoples, nations and men of every language

Might serve Him.

His dominion is an everlasting dominion

Which will not pass away;

And His kingdom is one

Which will not be destroyed.

The Vision Interpreted

Psalm 93

1The LORD reigns, He is clothed with majesty;

The LORD has clothed and girded Himself with strength;

Indeed, the world is firmly established, it will not be moved.

2Your throne is established from of old;

You are from everlasting.

3The floods have lifted up, O LORD,

The floods have lifted up their voice,

The floods lift up their pounding waves.

4More than the sounds of many waters,

Than the mighty breakers of the sea,

The LORD on high is mighty.

5Your testimonies are fully confirmed;

Holiness befits Your house,

O LORD, forevermore.

Revelation 1:-4-8

John 18:33-37

33Therefore Pilate entered again into the Praetorium, and summoned Jesus and said to Him, “Are You the King of the Jews?”34Jesus answered, “Are you saying this on your own initiative, or did others tell you about Me?”35Pilate answered, “I am not a Jew, am I? Your own nation and the chief priests delivered You to me; what have You done?”36Jesus answered, “My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, then My servants would be fighting so that I would not be handed over to the Jews; but as it is, My kingdom is not of this realm.”37Therefore Pilate said to Him, “So You are a king?” Jesus answered, “You say correctly that I am a king. For this I have been born, and for this I have come into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice.”