Sunday, November 23, 2008

End of Church Year

Today's Link
The Jesus Filter

Saying for the Day
When a man does not know what harbor he is making for, no wind is the right wind. ~Seneca

Picture of the Day
Peter's Confirmation-From the old Archives

Today is the last Sunday of the Church year. If you don’t want to be upset this is not a good Sunday to listen to the lessons that are read in liturgical churches like Lutheran.
This used to be called judgment Sunday.
You know when we hear the good news that the bad people are going to get it in the neck and us good people are going to heaven
The problem is that God’s definition of a good person and ours are not the same.
In the parable which Jesus tells about the judgment day which is the Gospel for today God asks all the wrong questions.
He doesn’t ask did you go to Church?
I like that question because I went a lot.
He doesn’t ask did you pray a lot.
I like that question because I did.
He doesn’t ask did you hold onto the truth against all those other religions and those atheists.
I like that question because I did.
No, He asks what I did for other people.
Did I feed the hungry?
Did I visit the sick?
Did I visit the jail?
Did I provide help to the poor?
Did I care for strangers (aliens)?
“Lord “, I want to answer “ those are unfair questions. I have been really busy praying and doing religious stuff. Besides all of that is the governments job.”
But today is judgment Sunday and that’s the parable.
We can either struggle with it or at our own peril ignore it.
Read the text . It’s in Matthew 25:31-46
Then decide are you among the sheep or the goats?
This is a disturbing Sunday.
Of course I could always go back to bed.

News from Pigeon Falls
The little town in my basement where the trains still run, dragons fly, and life is back to normal.
It is Sunday Morning in Pigeon Falls and Pastor Joan is putting the finishing touches on her sermon for the last Sunday in the church Year. Here is part of that sermon:
In a movie I saw some time ago a poor befuddled fellow asks of his sweetheart “ Why would I want to do the dishes?” The answer she wants, of course , is because he loves her.
Why would I want to give to World Hunger, visit the people at the nursing home, be nice to illegal Mexicans, be concerned about conditions at the jail, or give my better clothes to St. Vincent De Paul?
The answer , of course, is because you love God.
Indeed if we love God these things will begin to happen in our life without our thinking about them.
In today’s Gospel the sheep have to ask “ When did we do these things”. They didn’t do them for rewards. They didn’t do them to get patted on the back by God. They did them because God’s love flowed through them into the world. You might say they were grace driven.”

Wrap Up
It was a very interesting morning. We got to Church early so we could practice for the puppet sermon. It seemed that when Pastor Steve went deer hunting nobody told the substitute she needed to take care of the Confirmation Class so I ended up teaching Confirmation. It was rather fun. The students were very well behaved and some even listened and asked good questions. The choir did a good job at the service. Then Pennie, a boy whose name I never get right, and myself did a puppet sermon. It was not all bad. The kids stayed with us and I think learned something. The substitute gave a good sermon. Not as good as Pastor Steve but good. The fellowship after was great. Then we went to Wal Mart and got groceries. In the afternoon I brought the Church web page up to date. This took a long time because I am still trying to get the choir movie on the main page but I failed again. Betty took a long nap in the afternoon. Now I need a breathing treatment.


Blogger Dragonstar said...

Heavy stuff today Dr John. I somehow don't think you'll be going back to bed, though!

3:22 AM  
Blogger Melli said...

Thanks for the heads up today! I'll not be going back to bed! And I know you won't either. I even read this one to Dennis! Of course, he's not going back to bed either ... but he's not staying to hear the sermon either. Pastor Joan's sermon made me realize that Dennis is riding MY wave of love for God. I make the suggestions and he's MUCH more agreeable these days! And because of those changes, I can answer the Lord's HARD questions in a much more agreeable manner today! I don't want pats on the back - but my gift for giving has SOARED this year! I am a happy girl!

5:31 AM  
Blogger Gattina said...

Fridays are the sundays in muslim countries. On Friday without understanding a word I listened to the sermon of the musim and finally thought it sounds exactly like a Christian sermon in a language I don't understand. It's strange but the tonality was the same.

8:09 AM  
Blogger The Old Fart said...

A very profound post today, I wonder if giving the needy free rides on my bus when they don't have fare is what Jesus meant. I think is is giving of yourself and asking for nothing in return.

Thank you for sharing a Blessed day is wished for you and Betty.

10:05 AM  
Blogger Akelamalu said...

Serious Sunday stuff.

10:15 AM  
Blogger My Life is Forever Changed said...

I think the lesson is telling us the way to see eternity now ... by doing those good things. We should be doing those good things from the perspective of a loving heart, not out of a sense of fear and condemnation.
Yes, He is going to judge us in the end but what is the likelihood of His mercy toward those He loves versus His use of just judgement? And, perhaps mercy and justice will be the same. Hard to imagine with our feeble minds!

1:42 PM  
Blogger Lori's Minute said...

Soon Breanna will be confirmed...

2:22 PM  
Blogger Carver said...

Good post and I like the photograph from your archives. I don't go to church much any more but your post made me think of the beatitudes. I do remember my father delivered some good sermons on the beatitudes and I always liked them. I don't remember what time of year they came up but some of what you said made me think of them.

4:39 PM  
Blogger Jo said...

"The problem is that God’s definition of a good person and ours are not the same."

Amen to that!

And yes, we all need to do more for other people. I agree with that completely.

8:20 PM  
Anonymous quilly said...

Today at church our conformation class -- 10 teenagers -- graduated. We had Baptisms and balloons and hugging and crying and food and joy. Not necessarily in that order.

9:36 PM  
Anonymous noble pig said...

And those are good questions, I thinks lots would fail.

11:46 PM  

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