Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Twenty-third Sunday after Pentecost

First Lesson. Exodus 33: (Moses said to the Lord), (. . . " yet You have said, 'I know you by name, and you have also found favor in my sight.' Now if I have found favor in your sight, show me your ways, so that I may know you and find favor in your sight. Consider also that this nation is your people."

Psalm 99: The Lord is King; let the people tremble; he is enthroned upon the cherubim; let the earth shake. The Lord is great in Zion; he is high above all peoples.

Second Lesson. 1 Thessalonians 1: For the people of those regions (Macedonia and Achaia, among others) report about us what kind of welcome we (Paul, Sylcanus, and TImothy) had among you, and how you turned to God from idols, to serve a living and true God, and to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead--Jesus, who rescues us from the wrath that is coming.

Gospel. Matthew 22: Then (Jesus) said to (the Pharisees), "Give therefore to the emperor the things that are the emporer's, and to God the things that are God's."

From the Prayers of the People: We pray for the welfare of the world. Help us to remember our brothers and sisters who live on less than one dollar a day; the thousands of children who die every month from malaria, HIV/AIDS and other diseases, those who die needlessly for lack of good medical facilities. We remember before you those who are homeless or hungry in our community. Help us to treat them the way your Son Jesus would treat them, without enabling them, but with dignity.

From the sermon: When you and I . . . claim that place of being God’s beloved, we say that we belong to God. Not 5% of me. Not 10% of me. Not even 50% of me. 100% of me belongs to God. All of me. All of you. When we know who we are and Whose we are, we will live out of a deep place of love, grace and abundance. So today, I invite you to remember that you are an icon of the God who created you, who loves you, who sustains you all the days of your life. Today, begin to claim your identity as God’s beloved. And then act like it.

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