backstory headingSunday, September 1, 2019

Lectionary Readings

Jeremiah 2:4-13 • Psalm 81:1-16 and 112 • Proverbs 25:6-7 • Hebrews 13:1-16 • Luke 14:1-14 


Psalm 112 describes the life of the righteous. We learn that the righteous person’s happiness comes from fearing God and delighting in the commands of God rather than from self-fulfillment, success, and power. The righteous are known for distributing freely from the wealth God has given them. Because God is in control the righteous need not fear anything such as scarcity, evil tidings, or their foes. Security and delight come from matching their lives to God’s expectations rather than being molded into the world’s shape of success.

Luke 14:1, 7-14 Jesus does not conform to the world’s ideal of guests or hosts! He attends a dinner party one Sabbath day where he takes the opportunity to teach more about the Kingdom and its priorities. Jesus points out that the guests need to let others be honored by giving up the chance to take the best seats. Jesus then tells the host that it is inhospitable to only invite those who can repay him in some way. It is more important in God’s eyes to invite the forgotten, the lost, the hurting into our community where they can receive fellowship, food, and comfort. Whether you are a guest or a host, the breaking of bread and drinking of wine is too sacred to be polluted with greed or self-service of any kind. The goal of gathering together should be to further the goals of the Kingdom and not to elevate ourselves.

Hebrews 13:1-8, 15-16 The book of Hebrews takes a turn in this chapter from its beautiful sermon into more of a letter with instructions in godly living. It opens with a gentle reminder that our community is one bound by mutual love – not to keep people out. Mutual love brings us together and opens our hearts to invite others in. We are given the assurance that in doing so we may in fact be entertaining angels! Verse 3 exhorts us to remember those in prison. This is to be more than a simple thought it would have been extremely dangerous. Mutual love means we are to expose ourselves to be present with those suffering in every way offering encouragement and relief. Verses 5 and 6 warn us against misplaced trust. Quoting from Deuteronomy 31:6 and Psalm 118:6, the author reminds us that when our faith is in God, we have all the resources we need. Mutual love is risky, exposing us to strangers, to possible persecution, or scarcity – but our trust is in God who brings contentment, assurance, God’s constant presence and an abundance of all we need.

(written by Kristin McAtee, Sunday, September 1 guest speaker)

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