True Bread

A theme for worship and preaching, July 29 through August 26, 2018 with Pastor Bernt

Open the newspaper and you’re forced to think big: there are changes going on in our world – everything from rising ocean levels to conflict between nations armed with nuclear weapons – and we’re called to respond as we can.  Add to that our personal crises and it’s easy to get overwhelmed.

Which is why we shouldn’t just think big, we should think small.  What opportunities, what gifts has God set before me, right here and now? What do I need to sustain me, come what may?  What wisdom, values, pathways do I need to hold on to?  What are the signs of hope?

When Israel found itself in the wilderness on the way to some unknown land, God rained down a flakey bread-like substance from heaven – “manna” which means “what is it?”  What is our true bread today?

By “bread” we don’t just mean the high carb loaf from the bakery or the paycheck we bring home from work.  Think of bread as a symbol for all the everyday ways our Creator provides for us and shows us grace.  The presence of true bread in our kitchens and lives       may seem perfectly obvious, but it’s not.  We need God to open our eyes to what’s right there in front of us.

Some themes we might explore – let Pastor Bernt know any of particular interest to you:

  • Lectionary passages from Old and New Testaments, especially the “Bread of Life” discourse in John 6 but also Exodus, Proverbs and the Psalms.
  • Revisit the Stoics, who came up in last Summer’s theme sermons – set alongside biblical wisdom traditions.
  • Bread is a product of technology (oven, mill, etc..).  Is technology a gift from God?
  • Bread is gift of creation.  How does the created world sustain us?
  • Simple gifts such as bread in a wealthy place such as Palo Alto.
  • Not “my” but “our” daily bread – what place does sharing have in our lives as a way of sustaining us?

Luther on daily bread, from the Small Catechism:

Give us today our daily bread.

What is this?

In fact, God gives daily bread without our prayer, even to all evil people, but we ask in this prayer that God cause us to recognize what our daily bread is and to receive it with thanksgiving.

What then does “daily bread” mean?

Everything included in the necessities and nourishment for our bodies, such as food, drink, clothing, shoes, house, farm, fields, livestock, money, property, an upright spouse, upright children, upright members of the household, upright and faithful rulers, good government, good weather, peace, health, decency, honor, good friends, faithful neighbors, and the like.

Summer Fellowship 2018

All are welcome!  Invite your friends and neighbors.

Monday, May 28 Memorial Day Talent Show and Potluck– Come share your talents with us from the kitchen to the stage! All are welcome to participate from the silly to the serious–end-of-the-school year recital programs, jokes you love to tell, anything goes! Potluck will begin at 4:00 PM. Signups are in the fellowship hall. Contact Margaret and Soren for details.

June 22nd Picnic in the Park– Join us at Hoover Park around 6:00 pm for a laid back end to the work week and to give our teens a Bon Voyage as they leave for the 2018 ELCA Youth Gathering. Pizza will be ordered. Bring something to drink. RSVP for a rough estimate.

July 14 Summer Redwood Hike in Wunderlich- information here …

August 18 National Lemonade Day Sale– Join us for a fun afternoon at FLC with our youth who will be selling lemonade to the local neighborhood. Sales start at 3:00 pm but lemon squeezers and sign-makers should arrive at 2:00. The kids will pick an organization to support. Adults please bring lemons, treats to sell and a hankering  for lemonade!

Now Hiring: Office Administrator

Men’s breakfast is May 5

Earth and All Stars Concert – April 15 at 4pm

Join us Sunday, April 15th at 4pm

for a Musical Tribute to the great American poet and hymnist

Herbert Brokering

Sunday, April 15th at 4 p.m
Grace Lutheran Church
3149 Waverley St. Palo Alto, CA

Featuring the choirs of Grace Lutheran Church, First Lutheran Church, University Lutheran Church, and special guests.

Concert will be followed by a Palestine buffet reception.

Donations will be collected to benefit Bright Stars of Bethlehem, funding the new library at Dar al-Kalima University in Bethlehem, Palestine. 

About Herb Brokering

Herb Brokering(1926-2009) was recognized by Wheat Ridge Ministries as “Poet Laureate of the Lutheran Church” and is most famous for writing the words to the hymn “Earth and All Stars.” He was a promoter of healing, justice, and peace and led more than 100 pilgrimages to Europe, the Middle East, China, and India. For Pastor Brokering, the Christian life is one of uncovering God’s daily surprises at work in our world and in our lives, and we are the richer for his helping us to discover them.

“Thine the kingdom thine the prize thine the wonderful surprise…”
(Thine the Amen, ELW 826, verse 4)
“Walking the way, Christ in the center telling the story to open our eyes;
breaking our bread, giving us glory: Jesus, our blessing, our constant surprise.”
(Alleluia! Jesus Is Risen!, ELW 377, verse 2)

If you’re in the Palo Alto area, we hope you’ll join us  on April 15th for this wonderful celebration of poetry and music, furthering Herb Brokering’s legacy of bringing the world closer together in mutual understanding.

Adult Forums after Easter