Sunnyvale Presbyterian Church
Worship Focus for July 21
Rev. Dr. Stephanie Lutz Allen, preaching

In our Lectionary passage for this Sunday, Paul thanks God for the Colossians, and specifically for their faith, love and the way it is bearing fruit in the world. He often starts his letters this way, giving thanks and affirming. Perhaps Paul anticipated the organizational change management strategy popular today called “Appreciative Inquiry,” where a group begins with what is going great before talking what needs to change. We’re going to look at the individual level of following Paul’s starting point in cultivating joy, peace and thankfulness in our lives, amid a world where we sometimes feel surrounded with anger, anxiety and critique.

This Sunday we also welcome our new Director of Youth Ministry, Addie Domske! Be sure to join us in Trinity Court after worship to say hello. I look forward to worshiping with you this Sunday at 7:50 a.m., 10 a.m. or 5 p.m.


Theme for Sunday

Must we be whiplashed incessantly between joy and sorrow, expectation and disappointment? Is it not possible to live from a place of greater equilibrium, to find a deeper and steadier current? The good news is that this deeper current does exist and you actually can find it. The journey to the wellsprings of hope is really a journey toward the center, toward the innermost ground of our being where we meet and are met by God.

—Cynthia Bourgeualt, Mystical Hope: Trusting in the Mercy of God
Questions for Reflection
  • As you go about your normal routine, what moments do you have to turn you mind toward towards things for which you are grateful?
  • As you drive, walk or ride your bike this week, what beauty can you observe in nature, human behavior or buildings/art?
  • What practices, habits, or activities in your life help you cultivate the joy and peace God longs for us all to have? Are their practices you’ve been longing to try?
Colossians 1:1-14

Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, and Timothy our brother, To the saints and faithful brothers and sisters in Christ in Colossae: Grace to you and peace from God our Father.

In our prayers for you we always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, for we have heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love that you have for all the saints, because of the hope laid up for you in heaven. You have heard of this hope before in the word of the truth, the gospel that has come to you. Just as it is bearing fruit and growing in the whole world, so it has been bearing fruit among yourselves from the day you heard it and truly comprehended the grace of God. This you learned from Epaphras, our beloved fellow servant. He is a faithful minister of Christ on your behalf, and he has made known to us your love in the Spirit.

For this reason, since the day we heard it, we have not ceased praying for you and asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of God’s will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so that you may lead lives worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him, as you bear fruit in every good work and as you grow in the knowledge of God. May you be made strong with all the strength that comes from his glorious power, and may you be prepared to endure everything with patience, while joyfully giving thanks to the Father, who has enabled you to share in the inheritance of the saints in the light. He has rescued us from the power of darkness and transferred us into the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.
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