Saturday, October 4, 2008

Twentieth Sunday after Pentecost

First Lesson. Exodus 17: But the (Israelites) thirsted (in the wilderness) for water; and the people complained to Moses and said, "Why did you bring us out of Egypt to kill us and our children and livestock with thirst?"

Psalm 78: (The Lord) split hard rocks in the wilderness and gave them drink as from the great deep.

Second Lesson. Philippians 2: Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not regard equality with God as something to be exploited, but emptied himself, taking the form of a slave, being born in human likeness.

Gospel. Matthew 21. Truly I (Jesus) tell you (chief priests and elders), the tax collectors and the prostitutes are dong into the kingdom of God ahead of you.

From the sermon: The way of the cross is narrow. The traffic on that road will never be heavy. Humility can look suspiciously like a codependent doormat. Servanthood can look suspiciously like a disingenuous political move. Christian unity may look good in idealistic theory. But in reality, Christian unity is not very neat or tidy. So how can we possibly work out what Paul calls “salvation with fear and trembling” when it looks impossible? We can’t really—at least not all by ourselves. We must depend upon divine help, praying that God will guide us, step by step, day by day, along that narrow road to the cross.

Favorite words from the Great Thanksgiving: At your command all things came to be: the vast expanse of interstellar space, galaxies, suns, the planets in their courses, and this fragile earth, our island home.

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