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Bulletin for August 20, 2017
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Now a Levite who lived in a remote area in the hill country of Ephraim took a concubine from Bethlehem in Judah. But his concubine played the harlot against him, and she went away from him to her father’s house in Bethlehem in Judah, and was there for a period of four months. Then her husband arose and went after her to speak tenderly to her in order to bring her back, taking with him his servant and a pair of donkeys. So she brought him into her father’s house, and when the girl’s father saw him, he was glad to meet him. His father-in-law, the woman’s father, prevailed on him to stay; so he remained with him three days, eating and drinking, and sleeping there.
On the fourth day they got up early and he prepared to leave, but the woman’s father said to his son-in-law, “Refresh yourself with something to eat; then you can go.” So the two of them sat down to eat and drink together. Afterward the woman’s father said, “Please stay tonight and enjoy yourself.” On the morning of the fifth day, when he rose to go, the woman’s father said, “Refresh yourself. Wait till afternoon!” So the two of them ate together.
Then when the man, with his concubine and his servant, got up to leave, his father-in-law, the woman’s father, said, “Now look, it’s almost evening. Spend the night here; the day is nearly over. Stay and enjoy yourself. Early tomorrow morning you can get up and be on your way home.” But, unwilling to stay another night, the man left and went toward Jebus, with his two saddled donkeys and his concubine … The sun set as they neared Gibeah in Benjamin. There they stopped to spend the night. They went and sat in the city square, but no one took them in for the night.
That evening an old man from the hill country of Ephraim, who was living in Gibeah (the inhabitants of the place were Benjamites), came in from his work in the fields. When he looked and saw the traveler in the city square, the old man asked, “Where are you going? Where did you come from?”
He answered, “We are on our way from Bethlehem in Judah to a remote area in the hill country of Ephraim where I live.”
“You are welcome at my house,” the old man said. “Let me supply whatever you need. Only don’t spend the night in the square.” So he took him into his house and fed his donkeys. After they had washed their feet, they had something to eat and drink.
While they were enjoying themselves, some of the wicked men of the city surrounded the house. Pounding on the door, they shouted to the old man who owned the house, “Bring out the man who came to your house so we can have sex with him.”
The owner of the house went outside and said to them, “No, my friends, don’t be so vile. Since this man is my guest, don’t do this outrageous thing. Look, here is my virgin daughter, and his concubine. I will bring them out to you now, and you can use them and do to them whatever you wish. But as for this man, don’t do such an outrageous thing.”
But the men would not listen to him. So the man took his concubine and sent her outside to them, and they raped her and abused her throughout the night, and at dawn they let her go. At daybreak the woman went back to the house where her master was staying, fell down at the door and lay there until daylight.
When her master got up in the morning and opened the door of the house and stepped out to continue on his way, there lay his concubine, fallen in the doorway of the house, with her hands on the threshold. He said to her, “Get up; let’s go.” But there was no answer. Then the man put her on his donkey and set out for home.
When he reached home, he took a knife and cut up his concubine, limb by limb, into twelve parts and sent them into all the areas of Israel. All who saw it said, “Nothing like this has ever happened or been seen from the day when the sons of Israel came up from the land of Egypt to this day. Consider it, take counsel and speak up!”
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Leader: The Word of the Lord.
Congregation: Thanks be to God.
This week’s worship.
Back-2-School Block Party & School Supply Giveaway!
Get ready for our Annual Back-2-School Block Party & School Supply Giveaway. This year, the event is on Friday, August 25th, and as always, with bounce houses, slides, free food, music, and hundreds of bags of free school supplies, it promises to be one of the best days of the summer. The event begins at 6 pm, and school supplies will be given out soon after. At dusk, around 8:20 pm, we will conclude the night with an outdoor movie! This is free and open to all in the community. Whether you need free school supplies or just want to get out for some fun in the sun with your community, join us!!!
NOTE to Ekklesia: We need LOTS of volunteers on hand to make this night happen! If you’re in town, plan to attend!
Save the Date: August 26 — Tropical Party!
Mark your calendar for Saturday (8/26) at 5pm! Let your hair down … or put your hair up … whatever helps you feel more relaxed! Join us for a night where the only thing on the agenda is to have fun.
Our hosts (Shane and Tomra Bazer – 3809 Sparrow Pond Lane, Raleigh NC 27606) are providing the main meat dishes and all the drinks. Please bring a side dish or dessert to share. Cocktail / refreshments hour begins at 5pm. Dinner starts at 6pm.