Sunnyvale Presbyterian Church
Worship Focus for August 25
Rev. Hardy H. Kim, preaching

I think many of us are back to the regular rhythms of the work and school year. This might feel like crashing back to hard reality for some, and for others it might be a comforting return to routine. If I’m honest it’s a bit of both for me.

I suspect that even as we get back to work or school or our volunteer roles, there’s something else that looms over our days, pushing at the backs of our minds. It’s that pressure to always be performing well, to be achieving much, to be producing something meaningful. Do you feel it too? It’s something that I think affects people of all ages in our area. For some, it’s a crippling weight.

This Sunday in worship we’re going to be discussing a story about a woman bent over by illness, and about Jesus who works to restore her to health. This seems like it should be a completely good thing, but it upsets the expectations that his local community had about work and faith. His actions and his words might hold some challenge for our own understanding between our work and our faith as well.

I hope you’ll come and enjoy worship together with us. And please plan to stay after any of the services to celebrate Ginna Traina’s ministry with us, and to wish her all the best as she moves into retirement!


P.S. Over Labor Day Weekend many of our congregation will be away at All-Church Camp. There will be no 5 p.m. worship service on Sunday, September 1, but for those of you who will be in town that day, please plan to attend either the 7:50 or 10 a.m. worship service.
Theme for Sunday

“In the narrative imagination of Israel, the gods of Egypt are stand-ins for all the gods of the several empires. What they all have in common is that they are confiscatory gods who demand endless produce and who authorize endless systems of production that are, in principle, insatiable. Thus, the mention of ‘Egypt’ brings the God of Israel into the orbit of socioeconomic systems and practices, and inevitably sets this God on a collision course with the gods of insatiable productivity.”
—Walter Brueggemann, Sabbath as Resistance
Questions for Reflection
  • What do you believe our faith has to say about our work?
  • Do you ever feel like expectations placed on you (by the world, your community, your family) about your work are unrealistic or unhealthy? When you feel that way, what resources do you look to for help?
Luke 13:10-17

Now he was teaching in one of the synagogues on the sabbath. And just then there appeared a woman with a spirit that had crippled her for eighteen years. She was bent over and was quite unable to stand up straight. When Jesus saw her, he called her over and said, “Woman, you are set free from your ailment.” When he laid his hands on her, immediately she stood up straight and began praising God. But the leader of the synagogue, indignant because Jesus had cured on the sabbath, kept saying to the crowd, “There are six days on which work ought to be done; come on those days and be cured, and not on the sabbath day.” But the Lord answered him and said, “You hypocrites! Does not each of you on the sabbath untie his ox or his donkey from the manger, and lead it away to give it water? And ought not this woman, a daughter of Abraham whom Satan bound for eighteen long years, be set free from this bondage on the sabbath day?” When he said this, all his opponents were put to shame; and the entire crowd was rejoicing at all the wonderful things that he was doing.
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