Sunday, November 08, 2009

Today's Saying

Almost all of us long for peace and freedom; but very few of us have much enthusiasm for the thoughts, feelings, and actions that make for peace and freedom. ~Aldous Huxley

Today in many Liturgical Churches is celebrated as the twenty third Sunday after Pentecost. It is almost the end of the Church year. Soon we will begin Advent.
The Gospel for today is Mark 12:38-44.
The people who put together the lectionary wanted us to take one last look at a problem that plagues both the Old and New People of God. This is the problem of words versus actions or hypocrisy.
Jesus says to his disciples “ Beware the Scribes.”
Now the Scribes were important people in this time. They were the interpreters of the law. The law which started out as ten commandments had grown to thousands of rules touching every aspect of life.It was the task of the Scribe to help people live by these rules. They felt important and dressed the part. They wore special long robes, they expected the best seat at banquets and in the Synagogue . They made long formal prayers.
But Jesus says of them “ they devour widows’ houses”.
They used the law to take from the poor what little they had and gave it to the rich. They ignored the prophets call to care for the poor. In fact they ignored all of the Old Testament call to care for widow, orphans, and the poor in general.
The other day I saw a banker on television he was decrying the fact that he had to foreclose on a poor widow. He said “ Why doesn’t the government do something?”
The announcer asked, “ Why don’t you do something?. You have three houses why not sell one of them and make her payments?
He replied “ That’s not my responsibility”.
The Scribes are still with us.
I try hard not to be one of them.

Today Pastor Joan will preach from the pulpit that towers over the congregation. She has decided not to preach on the Gospel for the day. Here is part of her sermon:
In First tomothy Chapter Two we read these words”
I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone— for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness.”- 1 Timothy 2:1-Since we arrived in our present time we have made requests, prayers and intercessions to God. I suspect that every one of you has asked God to get us out of her. And it was right to make those prayers.
What we haven’t done is give thanks. So this morning I thought I would help us to see the things we can be thankful for.
Lets starts with the Driblet. Because of the Driblet we have hope and hope is important. The Driblet came from a Monk many centuries ago. I have to believe that Gpd influenced the visions of that Monk so it would be there when we needed it.
Thank you God for Driblets.
We have the opportunity to experience how our ancestors lived.We are learning that life was not as wonderful as we thought it was. We miss indoor plumbing.
Thank you God for this experience.
Not a single person has died so far which is a miracle in itself.
Thank you God for protecting us.
I could go on. But instead I want you to think of things you are thankful for.


Blogger Alastair said...

In the UK today we remember the cease of hostilities at the end of the First Great War 1914-18 (armistice signed at 11am on the 11th of the 11th Month) and use the Sunday nearest to mark it as our 'Remembrance Sunday' - as far as I can tell, it's the equivalent of your Veterans' Day... Which long preamble leads me to say that your chosen quote for today seems very appropriate! As always, thank you Dr John

1:29 AM  
Blogger anthonynorth said...

Yep, they've been around for a long, long time. Sadly.

2:20 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well said quote.
Thanks for sharing.

2:47 AM  
Blogger Nessa said...

There is so much to be thankful for.

Sunny Sunday #5 - Paper Sol

4:13 AM  
Blogger Bill ~ {The Old Fart} said...

Thank you for sharing this Dr John, you always have such a thought provoking post on Sundays. I like your little Oasis in this Quagmire called the Internet.

4:16 AM  
Blogger Melli said...

I try to. I try hard. I know I'm not successful all the time. I'm sO thankful for forgiveness.

Pastor Joan convicts ME and I don't even LIVE in Pigeon Falls! Sheeesh... I've only been there once. Right now I'm thankful I'm NOT there! :)

5:28 AM  
Blogger Diana said...

Dear Dr. John,
Last night we had learned of the difference between a contribution and an offering. The widow giving all that she had being her offering.
So true and these words came at such an appropriate time for me. It amazes me how pastors words always seem directed to my situation.
Have a blessed Sunday.
Love Di

8:05 AM  
Blogger Mama Zen said...

The scribes never go away!

10:42 AM  
Blogger Lou said...

What is amazing is that "not my responsibility" is a perfectly acceptable excuse today..

I hear it several times a week at my work.

11:22 AM  
Anonymous quilly said...

Dr. John, this is just the message I needed today. I am thankful for you!

12:40 PM  
Blogger butterflies said...

I thank God every day for His protection..

Hey Im a widow and no scribes come and support me ;) LOL

1:37 PM  
Blogger PS (PSanafter-thought) said...

The pastor I heard today gently reminded us that we are often like the scribes, especially in doing something for the complements we might receive rather than for the real reason for doing it.

4:53 PM  
Anonymous Alice Audrey said...

Pastor Joan sure knows her stuff.

5:18 PM  
Blogger Jeni said...

This was the same text as we had at our church this morning too and Pastor Carrie's sermon was about her going to Biloxi, MS after Katrina to try to help with reconstruction etc. When she arrived, she equated herself as being a bit like the scribes in this reading -thinking she knew what was what and how much help she could do etc., and yet, she learned she hadn't known that much after all but one lady, whose home had been devastated by the flood, was able to show her that. I suppose it is an affliction of being a lot like the scribes that affects all of us from time to time, doesn't it?

6:47 PM  
Anonymous Jim said...

Hey Dr. John, thank you for this. I am thankful that I am not a bad guy like this one in your example.
I tell people that had I practiced law instead of teaching I could have had at least one house each year, all from little old ladies (LOLs) given over to me in return for my legal services.

I am glad too that they have those Driblets.
My blog today showed where I prepared my Sunday school lesson. It was my turn to teach, we did Psalm 1.

8:26 PM  

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