WORSHIP TOGETHER | Preparing Our Hearts for Sunday 9/1

Sunday, September 1, 2019

22nd Sunday in Ordinary Time / Proper 17 / 12th Sunday after Pentecost

First Reading: Jeremiah 2:4-13
Psalm 81:1, 10-16
Second Reading: Hebrews 13:1-8, 15-16
Gospel Reading: Luke 14:1, 7-14

The liturgical color for the day is: Green

Jeremiah’s view of things is that they opted for a faith that was more like a cracked cistern than a fountain of living water.  It was not that they had made so much of an active choice.  It was not the blatant action of idolatry which stood out as sin.  It was more the subtlety of it all.

Over time they had ceased to tell the story.  Over time they had ceased to give testimony to the one who long years ago had delivered them from slavery and sustained them in the wilderness.  It was more about drift.  They had drifted away from God so not to even notice that they had drifted away. 

Rather than their faith being active and alive, it was stagnant.  Rather than their God being vibrant and real and moving, what they hung onto was lifeless and leaky like a cracked vessel.

Our motivations can become that too, and Jesus reveals that to us with encounter at the table.  It may seem innocent enough that when we host a dinner there is an expectation that we will receive an invitation to a similar affair.  Yet, Jesus invites us to shed that expectation and go out into the streets and invite those for whom there will be no follow-up invitation.

In reality, this is exactly how God has been with us.  God has invited us into the banquet, and all we can do is receive the invitation of the gracious host.  We should look to our own lives in order to see the clear narrative of grace and mercy.  That story should cause us to turn to the world and mimic the patter of invitation as grace, invitation as mercy, and invitation as love.  Do our lives demonstrate the generosity of God’s amazing grace, mercy, and love?  And…do our churches demonstrate that enormous grace, mercy, and love of God?

Rev. Dr. Daris Bultena
General Presbyter and Stated Clerk