Sunday, August 18, 2019
20th Sunday in Ordinary Time / Proper 15 / 10th Sunday after Pentecost
First Reading: Isaiah 5:1-7
Psalm 80:1-2, 8-10
Second Reading: Hebrews 11:29-12:2
Gospel Reading: Luke 12:49-56
The liturgical color for the day is: Green
This Jesus confronts us with the harsh reality that there is something for us to do. We are to pay attention. We are to do more than look to the sky to see if it is clouding up for a rain. We are to pay attention to our lives.
To pay attention is to attend to our lives. We attend to our lives by making decisions constantly about how things will work for us. We don’t just get up in the morning and wait and see what comes along.
We are to get up. We are to set our minds on Christ. We are to determine and discern how God will have us be in the world and what God wants of us in our living. We are to challenge ourselves and we are to challenge each other to live into the call of God for us.
That will not make for an easy life. The easy way out is always to do what makes people happy. The easy way out is to do what makes for peace in the family. The easy way out is to keep the peace. But keeping the peace is not the goal—keeping faithful is the way that leads to life.
Living into that faithfulness involves making deliberate decisions. It involves our putting our whole selves into it. We cannot make deliberate decisions by just letting life happen. The Jesus of Luke’s Gospel here is a Jesus that demands we attend to really being a player in determining how we will live.
Hard decisions are always part of the Christ-like life. We will be called to make hard decisions over and over again. It won’t be that we make one today and we’re good to go for a year or two. We are called to make hard decisions over and over again.
Will we go along with the crowd? Will we speak up when see injustice? Will we just be quiet and stay in our corner thinking that no one will notice, or at least not notice this time?
Making hard decisions is done daily. Will we take the easy way out? Will we go the hard way? Will we live with integrity? Will we do it even when no one is watching?
God has expectations of us—Jesus does not let us off the hook of paying attention to those expectations.
Rev. Dr. Daris Bultena
PTF General Presbyter