Foxes in Our Hen Houses

This Sunday Jesus calls Herod a "fox."

It's one of my favorite little quips. "You tell that fox..." he says, and I can hear the indignation in his voice.

If you want to read it (and you should) you can find it here: Luke 13:31-35.

Are we really to believe that the religious leaders are worried about Jesus? They tell him to leave, and the reason they give is that Herod is trying to kill him. It's plausible, of course. Just a few chapters prior to this lesson Herod kills John the Baptizer. Does Jesus want his head to end up on a plate, too?

My hunch, though, is that the religious leaders want Jesus to leave because he's causing them trouble, and this is their scare-tactic to get him out of the room.
It reminds me of a colleague of mine who was allowing some neighborhood kids to use the gym of the church in the evening, which didn't sit well with some church members.

One church member approached him about the subject, asking that he stop that practice because the kids were using up bathroom supplies (probably because they were using the bathroom), and one night had tracked mud into the building.

"But Jesus," my colleague said, starting his defense.

"Stop right there," the parishioner said. "Don't bring Jesus into it."

The presence of the Divine tends to disrupt things, sometimes in ways that make us feel uncomfortable. The religious authorities were feeling uncomfortable...

But, back to this name-calling bit. Jesus uses "fox" on purpose, I think. He will later refer to himself as a mother hen, protecting her chicks. It's an image I love; one of the feminine images of God in the scriptures.  Read more.

This Sunday's Readings
Genesis 15:1-12, 17-18
Psalm 27
Philippians 3:17-4:1
Luke 13:31-35

Way of the Shepherd All-Church Conversation - Sundays during Lent, 9:30-10:30 am, Fellowship Hall - Each week, we will focus on a different topic, walking this Lenten faith journey together. All adults are encouraged to join the conversation.

Hurricane Relief Mission Trip Informational Meeting  - Sunday, 12:00 pm,  Fellowship Hall  -  It's been over 5 months since Hurricane Florence devastated parts of Eastern NC, and there are many who are still waiting for assistance so they can return to their homes. On May 15-19 and June 23-26, Good Shepherd will be sending teams out to help! If you are interested in joining the team or supporting the team, come to learn more about how you can help. Open to everyone 14+.

Food Drive sponsored by Older Wiser Lutherans (OWLs) - Bring your filled bags back to church anytime this Sunday to support North Raleigh Ministries' Backpack Buddies program. If you didn't get a bag and want to contribute, a list of items needed for Backpack Buddies is here

Mail for Mnene Collection - Sundays through March 24 - Drop off your letters of love, prayers and support for our orphans in Mnene at the display table in the Narthex. Be sure to check out the new photos, maps and orphan updates while you are there!

Lenten Soup Suppers & Vespers Worship - Wednesdays through April 10 No need to cook dinner before you head to church on Wednesdays during Lent. Let's share a simple meal together starting at 5:30 pm (drop in any time), and then worship at 7:00 pm. Check out the complete Lent 2019 schedule.

Save the Date - 4th Annual Congregational Kicknic - Sunday, May 19, Williams Park (next to Lynn Road Elementary School) - Get ready to play (or cheer on) a game of kickball! Prior to the kickball games, we will worship together at the park at 10:00 am. A potluck meal will follow worship, with the kickball tournament beginning around 12:00 pm.

More information about upcoming events is available in this week's bulletin announcements.

The Spring 2019 edition of The Shepherd's Voice is now available online.
A Special Note from Pastor Tim

As we wake up to hear of 49 dead in New Zealand, I find myself weary of waking up this way. Again. With this news. Again.
Work for understanding in this world. Reach out to your Muslim friends and neighbors. I'll be writing a letter to our local Imam today, offering my condolences and support.
This is the Lord's Prayer from the New Zealand Prayer Book. It's a good one for today. Especially the petition, "from the grip of all that is evil, free us."
Here it is:
Eternal Spirit,
Earth-maker, Pain-bearer, Life-giver,
Source of all that is and that shall be,
Father and Mother of us all,
Loving God, in whom is heaven:
The hallowing of your name echo through the universe!
The way of your justice be followed by the peoples of the world!
Your heavenly will be done by all created beings!
Your commonwealth of peace and freedom
sustain our hope and come on earth.
With the bread we need for today, feed us.
In the hurts we absorb from one another, forgive us.
In times of temptation and testing, strengthen us.
From trials too great to endure, spare us.
From the grip of all that is evil, free us.
For you reign in the glory of the power that is love,
now and for ever. Amen.
The ELCA is putting together a Ramadan accompaniment group with Muslims in the Triangle area. Contact Pastor Tim if you are interested in learning more.

Health and Healing for Kathy Klaum; Sara Arters; Jan Brown, daughter of Cliff Wilcoxen; Caroll Allen, friend of the Postons; and Terry Malitz, family of the Resovskys.

For the Orphans of Mnene Parish , including Cristabel Zhou and Reward Gumbo.

Cristabel is 23.  She successfully completed a course in "Tilling " (working a cash register) and a course in a hotel in Zvishavane, learning to cook and bake.  She lives with a relative in Bulawayo, continuing to look for work in a very depressed Zimbabwe economy.  Her Mail For Mnene partners are the Dickson family and Holly Livingston.

Reward will be 29 in June.  He earned an undergraduate degree from Midlands State University in Agriculture Sciences.  He is now enrolled in a graduate program at University in Bulawayo, taking courses in Agricultural Economics. He will take classes 5 days a month.  If all goes as planned he will graduate in one year.  His Mail For Mnene partners are the Hoyle and Kuchenreuther families.

Visit the Wittenberg Information Center in the Narthex for photos of this week's orphans and  more information on the Mnene Ministry.
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