St. John's Lutheran Church, Norfolk

The Gospel for this weekend is from Matthew the 9th chapter. Jesus teaches that he came to this earth for the sinners of the world, not those that consider themselves righteous and not in need of God’s love.

“As Jesus was walking along, he saw a man called Matthew sitting at the tax booth; and he said to him, “Follow me.” And he got up and followed him. And as he sat at dinner in the house, many tax collectors and sinners came and were sitting with him and his disciples. When the Pharisees saw this, they said to his disciples, “Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?” But when he heard this, he said, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. Go and learn what this means, ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice.’ For I have come to call not the righteous but sinners.” Matthew 9:9-13.

In the second part of this week’s gospel Jesus heals a woman and brings a young girl back to life. Jesus showed us His love then and now! Too often we push God away because we feel unworthy or we just try to muddle through on our own. We all suffer from the sickness of our brokenness and Jesus is the only one who can make us whole!

— Randy Rasmussen, pastor

First Presbyterian Church, Norfolk

Job interruption

I won’t speak for everyone, but I suspect that most folks do not like being interrupted whenever they are working on a project that they need to get done. Well, unless you’re trying to avoid doing it, I suppose. But there are studies that show that work efficiency for certain types of jobs is increased when the number of interruptions is decreased. People need to be able to think their way through a job without losing their train of thought.

Our scripture passage for this Sunday is from the gospel of Matthew. One part of Jesus’ work in this passage is to recruit a new disciple – Matthew himself. And another aspect of Jesus’ earthly ministry that stands out to us throughout the gospels is his healing, which we see in our scripture.

After recruiting Matthew, Jesus finds himself in a controversy with the Pharisees, but then is interrupted by a father who requests Jesus to heal his daughter. The father claims his daughter is dead and hopes Jesus will revive her.

They head for the father’s house, but then their interruption is interrupted — a woman suffering with hemorrhages touches Jesus in order to be healed.

All of this is not the most efficient way to “do business”, but Jesus was more interested in mercy than efficiency. Come join us this Sunday in worship to hear more.

— The Rev. Brian Johnson


In other news

The Norfolk Public Schools Board of Education’s retreat on target-based grading and instruction Thursday morning covered a number of topics related to target-based grading and instruction, which has been slowly implemented since the fall of 2019, and aimed to address misconceptions about the…