Today's SayingAlmost 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.