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Faith Formation for ALL ages

June 26, 2022

3rd Sunday

after Pentecost

"My humanity is bound up in yours, for we can only be human together." 

- Desmond Tutu

Lectionary for 3rd Sunday after Pentecost

2 Kings 2:1-2, 6-14 / Psalm 77:1-2, 11-20 / Galatians 5:1, 13-25 / Luke 9:51-62



For freedom Christ has set us free. Stand firm, therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery...

For you were called to freedom, brothers and sisters, only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for self-indulgence, but through love become enslaved to one another. For the whole law is summed up in a single commandment, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” If, however, you bite and devour one another, take care that you are not consumed by one another.

The Works of the Flesh

Live by the Spirit, I say, and do not gratify the desires of the flesh. For what the flesh desires is opposed to the Spirit, and what the Spirit desires is opposed to the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to prevent you from doing what you want. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not subject to the law. Now the works of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity, debauchery, idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, anger, quarrels, dissensions, factions, envy, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these. I am warning you, as I warned you before: those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.

The Fruit of the Spirit

By contrast, the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against such things. And those who belong to Christ have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live by the Spirit, let us also be guided by the Spirit.

Galatians 5:13-25, NRSVUE

Overview: Galatians

Overview: Galatians

Elijah Ascends to Heaven

Now when the Lord was about to take Elijah up to heaven by a whirlwind, Elijah and Elisha were on their way from Gilgal. Elijah said to Elisha, “Stay here, for the Lord has sent me as far as Bethel.” But Elisha said, “As the Lord lives and as you yourself live, I will not leave you.” So they went down to Bethel...

Then Elijah said to him, “Stay here, for the Lord has sent me to the Jordan.” But he said, “As the Lord lives and as you yourself live, I will not leave you.” So the two of them went on. Fifty men of the company of prophets also went and stood at some distance from them, as they both were standing by the Jordan.Then Elijah took his mantle and rolled it up and struck the water; the water was parted to the one side and to the other, and the two of them crossed on dry ground.

When they had crossed, Elijah said to Elisha, “Tell me what I may do for you before I am taken from you.” Elisha said, “Please let me inherit a double share of your spirit.” He responded, “You have asked a hard thing, yet if you see me as I am being taken from you, it will be granted you; if not, it will not.” As they continued walking and talking, a chariot of fire and horses of fire separated the two of them, and Elijah ascended in a whirlwind into heaven.Elisha kept watching and crying out, “Father, father! The chariots of Israel and its horsemen!” But when he could no longer see him, he grasped his own clothes and tore them in two pieces.


Fruits of the Spirit

Luke distinguishes Jesus from past Jewish prophets and commissions the disciples to minister on their own. As Jesus begins the journey to Jerusalem, Luke highlights the disciples' progress; by this time, they have already been sent out alone once (Luke 9:1-11) and contemplated who among them is most powerful (Luke 9:46-48). In today's account, Jesus fully rejects another of James and John's ill-founded suggestions, this time an offer to use their spiritual gifts to punish those who reject them. Jesus' response is unequivocal. It is a vivid lesson for the disciples and for the wider community, for the situation closely resembles one faced by the prophet Elijah in 2 Kings. Jesus' refusal to destroy his enemies, as Elijah did, definitively separates him from the prophet—he is no Elijah resurrected, as some suggested at the time.

To compound the distinction, Jesus, unlike Elijah, does not permit his followers to say goodbye or even to bury their dead, for "no one who looks to what was left behind is fit for the Kingdom of God." To follow Jesus is to do so wholeheartedly—there is no middle ground. How can we possibly proclaim the good news if we ourselves have not left everything to live it?

Finally, in Galatians, Paul reminds the community that they "were called for freedom," which is most fully expressed by the ability "to serve one another through love." He insists that this law is supreme, for it alone bears the life-giving fruits of "love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self control" (Galatians 5:22-23).

James and John's suggestion to punish those who rejected them was a clear indication that they still lived by the flesh. We, too, can easily see where our loyalties lie by the fruits of our actions, especially those directed toward our enemies.

Michaela Bruzzese 

in Sojourners

"Fruit of the Spirit"

Elijah and Elisha

Elijah and Elisha

Coming this summer!

Vermilion Labyrinth and Contemplative Garden

Learn more about something happening this summer at our church!

read more here

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Saturday, June 25 - 9am until noon (or so). . . 

we will begin to lay out the template and place pavers. We need your help as this will take several people to complete. If you have questions or would like to rsvp, please contact Jeff at or 330-206-0089.

Come prepared for fun and some hard work!

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United Church of Christ, Congregational | website

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