Bimonthly Bulletin

Have you ever wondered what it was like after Jesus told a story or offered a teaching moment? I don’t mean the recorded things, but the things to which we aren’t privileged?
For example the story of the “Good Samaritan.” The story was part of a recent sermon, so forgive me for stretching it a little.

An “expert in the law” asked Jesus what it took to have eternal life. No other question, just that one. Jesus asks him what the law says and how he reads it. He replies with what we call the “Great Commandment.” When Jesus tells him that’s the right answer, he wants to know Jesus’ definition of “neighbor.” The answer is the story we know as “The Good Samaritan.”

We need to remember that Jesus had just been denied common hospitality in a Samaritan town, and was told he and his disciples were not welcome to stay the night, but to keep on moving. James and John were naturally incensed by this, even though the same could have been true of a Samaritan traveling through a Jewish village. They ask Jesus if they could call fire down on the town that had sent them packing. I don’t know if there was a certain curse or prayer available for such a thing, but Jesus tells them to get over it.

Then comes the opportunity to tell an “expert in the law” a story about whom a neighbor is, and Jesus, of all available people, uses a Samaritan! Keep in mind the original question, “What must I do to inherit eternal life?” We would probably say, “What must I do to be saved?”

The story is over, the lawyer got an answer to his question about what it takes to inherit eternal life. Jesus and the disciples move on, but James and John are huffed. James says, “Not only did he embarrass us over the fire from heaven thing, but he pours it on with that story about the good neighbor by using a Samaritan!”
“Tell me about it,” said John. “First we get run out of their town and the next thing he does is make one of them a hero!”
“I think there’s more to this story than meets the eye.”
“What do you mean?”
“Little brother, didn’t you hear the question? The lawyer asked what it took to have eternal life! And Jesus tells a story about a Samaritan who does a good thing for a Jew!”
“I know. I heard. Do you think I”m deaf? What’s your point?”
“No John boy, I don’t think you’re deaf, just dense! I think you were so frustrated that he would use a Samaritan that you didn’t hear the whole story. Did you hear what Jesus said when he told the lawyer he’d answered correctly about the Samaritan being the one who was a neighbor because he kept the commandment?”
“Yeah, he told the lawyer to go and do the same kind of stuff. So what?”
“So what!? The question was how to have eternal life. Jesus said when the Samaritan did what the commandment said, he’d done what gives eternal life!”
“I didn’t hear that.”
“You just said you heard Jesus say, ‘Go and do likewise.’ Jesus said the Samaritan did that, and now has what it takes to have eternal life! They don’t worship like us. They don’t see the temple as the right place to worship. They don’t accept the same books as authoritative that we do. So how can Jesus say the Samaritan could have eternal life?”
“Because he fulfilled the commandment.”
“So since the Samaritan, or any Samaritan, does that kind of thing, they can have eternal life! They don’t have to be like us!? He’s got to be kidding!”
“Maybe they could mess up some other way, you know, eat bacon.”
“That’s not the point! You wanted to turn them to toast as much as I did! That’s the way it’s always been! They’re right next to Gentiles on the no way list! Now Jesus is saying if they keep the Great Commandment they can have eternal life! Do you think the other guys are upset about what Jesus said?”
“Who knows? Half the time they are arguing over who will be the most powerful when Jesus sets up the kingdom. They have no idea how wrong they are. We are not called the ‘Sons of Thunder’ for nothing. Jesus may not have liked our idea about burning down the city, but he knows we are the only ones with the guts to suggest it. He knows we are the best ones to advise him when he sits on his throne. All we have to do is wait for the right time to remind him.”
“Good point. Maybe Jesus is just trying to let us know that the Samaritans will have some use when the whole original nation of Israel is under his control. You know, somebody has to do the dirty work. But that thing about getting eternal life by just doing stuff like the Samaritan did still bothers me. With all the rest of the commandments, how could Jesus say that one of them was also all of them?”
“You may think that I’m dense, but maybe it isn’t the act of love itself, but where that act comes from.”
“What do you mean?”
“Well, the Samaritan, if there is such a Samaritan, and I have my doubts, was a loving person without the commandment. If he could be real, he was not a commandment follower, but a kind and loving person in his heart. And maybe that’s what Jesus was talking about. Not that he so much kept the commandment, but that he was the commandment. So it’s not about keeping one commandment, it’s about what kind of person you are in your heart. Didn’t Jesus say something about how a good tree can only bear good fruit? Maybe that’s why the Samaritan had eternal life”
“Little brother, you may be right. But that’s going to be a hard sell and I’m not sure any of us Jews are ready for it. We both know Jesus is something of a dreamer. When the kingdom comes we’d better be sure we are in a position to set some conditions. The idea of a kingdom without walls is impossible”

CONCERNS: Bud McWhorter will have knee replacement surgery on the 27th. Remember Betty Billings, Keith’s sister who is in rehab for some issues and a broken leg. She lives in Alabama. Del Bolin’s eye is almost completely healed. Stephanie Dixon, as she prepares for her upcoming surgery. Nathan Beach, Eleanor Bresee, Erma Williams’ aunt (cancer), Leena Bolin’s mother, Helen, and Leena’s aunt, Lee Nicklas. Sue Huels, Betty Foy’s sister. Sandra Anderson and Gil Richardson. Kim (Hall’s) friend, Mary. Wayne and Susan Phlegar. Rich Crites, Jim Hunter Deana McRoy, Stephanie Rigney, Marge Greenwood and Del Bolin’s friend, Sharon.
Continue to remember Jenni Cullum, Tim Elder, Mary Smith, Mrs Matara, Marie Barnett and her mother. Wayne Flora’s postmaster, Todd Baumgardner had surgery and is on a waiting list for a lung transplant.

Monday: Ephesians 1:3-14
Tuesday: Philippians 1:3-18
Wednesday: II Corinthians 9:6-15
Thursday: Luke 5:17-26
Friday: I Timothy 6:1-10
Saturday: Psalm 111:1-10
Monday: John 1:1-18
Tuesday: Luke 18:1-14
Wednesday: I Corinthians 5:1-8
Thursday: II Corinthians 1:23-2:11
Friday: Job 1:1-13-2:11
Saturday: Psalm 97:1-12

Bonnie and Scott Blessing are grandparents again. Daughter Rebecca and husband had a baby boy on October 9th. His name is Landon, and he weighed in at 7lbs. 13oz. Mom Baby and everyone are doing fine.

After a rainy week we have a sunny weekend. Today is both Super Sunday and the Peaks of Otter hike and picnic. Please enjoy the fellowship meal following the service.

Today is going to be sunny and relatively warm, and crisp, about 66 degrees. A good day to take in the colors at the Peaks of Otter. As always, if you plan to ride the bus to near the top, get there as early as you can. If it is crowded, the tickets sell out quickly.

It’s good to have Erma able to be with us again this year. She put all the food together and will be there trying to secure a spot for the picnic. If you’re not climbing Sharp Top, look for her and give her a hand with the fire, etc. Come and enjoy the day together.

The weather canceled the work day. There are several things which can be done inside as well as outside. Some pews need to be cut down where we had to widen the back for wheelchairs after the new rest room was completed. Another pew needs to be replaced or repaired because of a separation in the wood. The downstairs wall in the communion preparation room needs some attention, and then the Drylock to be applied to the wall. There is a similar problem under the bench in the women’s rest room. We can schedule small groups to come and work on these things. On the outside there needs to be some trimming of the shrubs in front of the building on the Carlton Street side.

Sunday evening, the 26th of this month, the young people will be preparing the evening meal at the Ronald McDonald House. There will be several of these meals to be prepared in the coming months. See Martha Albert if you will help.

OK, here it is, “When was Apollos (saved) safe? I could have asked when he became a Christian? He appears in Acts 18 and the disciples were first called “Christians” in Acts 11, but when that label was accepted as the official title of the followers of Jesus, we don’t know.

If you go to the commentaries or the internet, you will find several different takes on Apollos being taught by Priscilla and Aquila. And, if you are one of those rare people who like to dig into such things, you will sometimes recognize the doctrinal background of the writer as you read. There are words and phrases which seem to constantly flow through certain ways of thinking.

Before we decide on Apollos’ fate, we should examine the facts as stated. In Acts 18:24ff it says he was from Alexandra and came to Ephesus. “He was a learned man, with a thorough knowledge of the Scriptures. He had been instructed in the way of the Lord, and he taught about Jesus accurately, though he knew only the baptism of John.” And, as you probably know, a woman and her husband, Priscilla and Aquila invited him somewhere and “explained to him the way of God more adequately.” NIV

You will notice he had a “thorough knowledge of Scripture” and “taught about Jesus accurately.” Three of the earliest documents say “Jesus.” Others say “the Lord.” “Lord” could mean God, and that seems to be the way some commentators look at it. However, Luke notably interchanges “Jesus” and “Lord.” If the NIV is correct, then we have a problem with how Apollos could be said to have “taught about Jesus accurately” and also be said to only know the baptism of John. It’s that word “accurately” that is the sticky wicket. Ideas differ on the translation of “accurate.” Is there some wiggle room there or not?

What Priscilla and Aquila taught Apollos is of little interest to Luke. The fact that he mentions Apollos only knew the baptism of John is certainly a clue. So the general conclusion is they straightened him out about baptism into Jesus. All this happened at Ephesus.

Then comes another curious question. We are told that Apollos went on to “Achaia” of which Corinth was the capital province. Paul comes back through Ephesus, a place to which he’d promised to return. (Acts 18:21) He finds some “disciples” and asked if they had received the Holy Spirit when they “believed.” They said they knew nothing of the Holy Spirit. When asked about their baptism, they replied it was “John’s” They were then baptized into the name of Jesus and received the Holy Spirit.

What is interesting here is that they were called “disciples” but not yet baptized into the name of Jesus. Now we know that “disciple” means “learner.” How many “disciples” were in Ephesus? Were these twelve men converts of Apollos, or those, apparently in some number, still clinging to John? Was Ephesus so large there could be disciples that had no knowledge of other disciples? Perhaps. It was said to be about 250 thousand strong.

One article said Apollos had to go back and find all those he’d falsely taught. The text seems to indicate he made a hasty exit to Achaia. And “correcting” the baptism of John thing is of no interest to Luke. It does introduce us to a sometimes discussed issue when the passage is examined. At what point is a person a follower of Jesus? Was Apollos one before he was instructed more “accurately”? Was Apollos a “disciple” before he met Priscilla and Aquila, and a “Christian” afterwards? Is there some important distinction between the two? Are Christians also learners?

When Paul meets the twelve “learners” who were baptized into John’s baptism, his main interest was about the Holy Spirit.

Having taken you down this weary road, if you’re even reading this, my question is this: Did Priscilla and Aquila accept Apollos as a brother in Christ before he had his “accuracy straightened out, or not until after? How we answer that will determine how we view all the “learners” out there, doesn’t it?

CONCERNS: T. J. Hall will have surgery on his arm soon to correct a nerve issue. Others to keep in our prayers are Betty Billings, Keith’s sister, Del Bolin, Anna Ferrell’s dad, Nathan Beach, Eleanor Bresee, Erma Williams’ cousin, Leena Bolin’s aunt, Lee Nicklas, and her mother, Helen, Sue Huels, Sandra Anderson, Mary, (Kim hall’s friend) Gil Richardson, Wayne Phlegar, Rich Crites, Jim Hunter, Deana McRoy, Stephanie Rigney, Marge Greenwood, Sharon (Del’s friend) Jenni Cullum, Tim Elder, Mary Smith, Mrs Matara, Marie Barnett and her family, and Todd Baumgardner. Also: Jessica (Sturm) Stewart asks our prayers for her. She will have a partial mastectomy on 10/7 in Columbus on her right breast. And a possible lumpectomy on the left side. She has taken cemo pills and did well with them. WE also heard that Lewis’s dad passed away a few weeks ago in Florida.
Monday: Psalm 48:1-4
Tuesday: Romans 11:33- 12:8
Wednesday: Matthew 15:29-39
Thursday: Luke 15:1-10
Friday: Galatians 6:1-10
Saturday: Psalm 19:1-14
Monday: Psalm 119:25-48
Tuesday: Mark 4:1-20
Wednesday: I Corinthians 1:10-31
Thursday: Galatians 5:1-25
Friday: Daniel 3:13-30
Saturday: Colossians 1:3-20

We were saddened to learn of the death of Nick Nicklas, Leena Bolin’s brother. After a long and courageous fight against cancer, Nick died on Wednesday, September, 24th in Montana. He was cremated and part of his remains were placed by a good friend at their favorite fishing site, and the rest will be interred by his father in Pa. ALSO: Jo Wagner’s cousin, Donna Sue Brutto died last week after a long struggle with cancer. She too was cremated. A memorial service was held in Fort Mill SC on Friday.

It’s hard to believe that it is almost time for this annual event! A sign-up list is on the table in the foyer. The list is for those attending the picnic after the hike on October 19th.
It seems that the fall colors are getting later and later each year, but we have been going on Super Sunday’s since we started. If there is some thought to changing it to the last Sunday for next year, we’ll talk about it after this time. You may remember when it colors were at their peak and we had a problem finding a place for the picnic.

Also, if you plan to ride the bus to the are near the top, if the day is nice, you will need to get your bus tickets as early as possible.

As indicated above, Super Sunday is October 19th. Combined with the Peaks event, this has always been a special family day for us. Make plans to attend the fellowship meal following the service.
Saturday, October 11 will be the day we will do some fall clean-up around the building. It will be cooler and we should be able to do some final trimming and perhaps some cleaning of underbrush up on Carlton near the telephone junction box. This means we will need a chain saw or two, as well as other tools and equipment to get the job done. If you know of any other areas which need attention, let it be known. We will start about 9:30 or so. That way if it is cool it should be a little more comfortable

Ahaz Jr. Bar Ahaz was miffed. “I hate working Sabbath patrol!”
“You’re a police officer, Junior,” said his friend, James. “It’s your job to work on the Sabbath.”
“Do you have to call me ‘Junior’? I wish my mother hadn’t insisted that I be named after my father. No other Jew I know is a junior. Why couldn’t I have a name like yours? Your name is Jacob, but you can go by James, the Greek meaning. Do you know what the Greek for Ahaz is? Stenos. Who wants to be called that?”
“Quit complaining Stenos. Get your stuff ready and go out on Sabbath patrol.”
C’mon James, tell the truth. Don’t you think Sabbath patrol is a little Mickey Mouse?”
“Who’s Mickey Mouse?”
“I don’t know. It just popped into my head. I feel like a hypocrite doing Sabbath patrol.”
“Don’t let the captain hear you talk like that! The Sabbath is the foundation of all law. If the Sabbath isn’t kept, then the rest of the law falls apart. You might sneak a one- legged dove in for a sacrifice, but if you break the Sabbath, you’re dead meat. If you don’t want to patrol on the Sabbath, why did you become a cop?”
“We bar Ahaz’s come from a long line of cops. My great-grandfather was a cop. My grandfather and my father were cops. As the oldest son what else could I do but carry on the tradition. We Jews are big on tradition, you know.”
“So go do your job.”
“My job? Last Sabbath I saw Omar the carpenter carrying a piece of wood his neighbor had thrown away. And since he is a carpenter, carrying wood violated the Sabbath.”
“What did you do?”
“I gave him a warning.”
“There are no warnings! I should turn you in for a trick like that! . Now go on patrol. Where did they assign you?”
“That’s another thing. I’m out on the east road. How am I supposed to know if the ones I catch have walked farther than the Sabbath law allows? And, by the way, how fast can you run on the Sabbath? Is there a speed limit? Don’t you think there should be a speed limit?”
“Don’t be funny! You know out on the east road there is a marker that shows the limits of a Sabbath Day’s trip from the city. All you have to do is station yourself in hiding on that line and arrest anyone who crosses it. What’s so hard about that?”
“Okey. That marker is measured from the center of town. What if the guy lives on the east side? He should get maybe several hundred extra feet or more. Right?”
“Now you’re getting legalistic. Regardless where the person lives, east side, west side, all around the town, arrest them if they pass that point!”
“So we are at the center of town. If I go past the marker to catch someone, haven’t I violated the Sabbath?”
“Are you kidding me? We’re the police! We have to break the law to catch the ones who break the law!”
“Why don’t the scribes and Pharisees, and at least a Sadducee or two do Sabbath patrol? They’re the ones who get all bent out of shape over it.”
“Junior, how long have you been on the force? They don’t dare violate the Sabbath. Do you ever see any of them on the Sabbath, except walking to and from the synagogue? If they violate the Sabbath, all their power to be sure the rule of law is kept, collapses.”
“Yeah, right! Who would have the guts to turn one of them in? When was the last time one of them was on trial? And whatever happened to that ‘stoning’ thing?”
“The Romans took away our one- hundred and thirty-fifth amendment rights. I’ve heard stories about the good old days when Sabbath justice was swift. But all that has changed now.”
“Was it legal to stone on the Sabbath? I mean, wouldn’t that be work?”
“I don’t know. But you keep up that attitude and you can kiss your job goodbye. I can only protect you for so long.”
“Fine! Say, about how many people do you catch when you do Sabbath patrol?”
“Usually about ten or twelve.”
“If they’re not stoned, what happens to them?”
“I have no idea. My job is to uphold the law. But I have seen some of them later, and they look pretty bad. I do know they are kicked out of the synagogue.”
“Why is being kicked out punishment?”
“To tell the truth, I have seen some of them who really don’t seem to care. It’s like a burden has been lifted off their backs. The sun’s up. You need to head out.”
Just before sundown, Ahaz returns to the barracks. James, who was assigned Temple guard looks up and asks, “How did it go?”
“Lousy! I thought I had Omar the tailor. He came along and right at the line he went off the road and sat down by a rock. It looked like he prayed and then started on eastward. I jumped out and told him he had violated the Sabbath. He said he hadn’t. He took me to the rock he sat on, and beneath it he had buried a patch of cloth. He then quoted something about where your possessions are, that is where your home is. So, after praying, he said he legally had another Sabbath Day’s distance ahead of him! I had to let him go! Did you know about that Law?”
“Yeah, dummy. Anything else happen?”
“Yeah! And this is why I hate being on Sabbath patrol! There was this one guy; I was sure he was Jewish. But he said he was a gentile.”
“What did you do?”
“I made him show me his identification.”
“Yeah, you know, that circumcision or uncircumcision thing. I hate Sabbath patrol!”
“Go home, Stenos,”

CONCERNS: Betty Foy has been having headaches due to a yet diagnosed source. Del Bolin continues to improve from a blister behind his eye. Alisa Flora will be laid up for awhile due to a broken tibia. Anna Ferrell’s dad had some medical issues. but is doing better. Nathan Beach will require several more weeks for his recovery from a virus that attacked his heart region. Kathy Sirgy is also doing better. Erma Williams’ cousin, Eleanor Bresee (cancer) Leena Bolin’s aunt, Lee Nicklas, (leukemia) Her brother Nick is not doing well. Kim Hall’s friend, Mary, Martha Foy’s aunt Sue Huels (Betty Foy’s sister) Sandra Anderson, and Gil Richardson. Rich Crites, Jim Hunter, Deana McRoy, Stephanie Rigney, Marge Greenwood, Sharon, Jenni Cullum, Helen Nicklas, Tim Elder, and Mary Smith. Marie Barnett, her mother and the rest of the family. Mrs Matara and Todd Buamgardner. Also Stephanie Dixon as she awaits her surgery in December.

Monday: Psalm 48:1-4
Tuesday: Romans 11:33-12:8
Wednesday: Matthew 15:29-39
Thursday: Luke 15:1-10
Friday: Galatians 6:1-10
Saturday: Psalm 19:1-14
Monday: Psalm 119:25-48
Tuesday: Mark 4:1-20
Wednesday: I Corinthians 1:10-31
Thursday: Galatians 5:1-25
Friday: Daniel 3:13-30
Saturday: Colossians 1:3-20

Today is Super Sunday. If you missed the Bar B Que you will still be able to enjoy what was frozen, at today’s meal. There is chicken and pork. Plan to stay.
ALSO: There will be a gift from the congregation given to AC and Jake Fuller. This is the “wedding shower” after the wedding. If you want to help with the gift, give it to Keith, or at the fellowship meal.
Some of our folks will be gone for several weeks. Among them, Vivian Dugan. She will be with her daughter in Eastern Virginia for about a month. T. J. And Judy Hall hope to make the “circuit” and will be gone several weeks starting this week.
We are very close to having all the information cards turned in so a new directory can be developed and printed. There are less than five or six of you who haven’t turned in one yet. If you haven’t please pick up a card from the foyer table and fill it out. Be sure to do both sides. Thanks. As soon as we can get the information we will start taking the pictures.
Before we begin to plan for the Peaks of Otter hike and picnic in October, which will be on Sunday, October 19th, we will have a fall clean-up and work day here at the building in October. A final cutting of the shrubs and perhaps cleaning the long-needed area up on Carlton by the telephone junction box, as well as some cleaning on the hill behind the annex, should fix us until spring. There may also be some work inside the building that can be done in the room in which the communion is prepared.
We are getting use to the changes in our worship service, with the communion before the sermon and the contribution at the end. Here’s a suggestion, if you are presiding at the table, or serving communion, come to the front near the end of the last stanza of the song. This will help fill the “gap” as everyone comes to the front. This can also be done if you are leading the prayer. It will not only make the service go more smoothly, but look more orderly. Also, remember you may use the collection box on the right side pew as you enter.

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