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Showing posts from October, 2014

Twentieth Sunday after Pentecost, Proper 30, Year A

Doin’ the Lovin’ T’ing

Readings: Deuteronomy 34:1-12; Psalm 90:1-6, 13-17; 1 Thessalonians 2:1-8; Matthew 22:34-46

While I was studying at Trinity we had a professor of Ethics, Romney Mosley, who in his West Indian accent, reminded us constantly that ethics was about “doin’ the lovin’ t’ing!” That is certainly the theme of the Gospel for today. It is also a wonderful reminder as we deal with the events of this past week that saw the tragic death of two Canadian soldiers.

They are out to trap Jesus again. This time it is a lawyer who asks, “Teacher, which commandment in the law is the greatest?” Jesus turns the trap into a teaching opportunity by reminding him of the two great commandments, to love God and to love neighbour.

Jesus makes it clear that 'loving action' is the ultimate authority. Love is beyond the claims of the law. There is ultimately one law alone, and that is the law to love. It is a law, first and foremost, to love God, to love totally in all that enta…

Nineteenth Sunday after Pentecost, Proper 29, Year A

Walking the Walk

Readings: Exodus 33:12-23; Psalm 99; 1 Thessalonians 1:1-10; Matthew 22:15-22

We all struggle with the implications of what God intends for our lives. How do we live the Christian life? What does it mean for us to live out our faith? We know that it is never enough to simply talk the talk. We must walk the walk.

Moses knew that even when things did not go as planned, he needed to follow God's guidance. It is difficult to be in a position of leadership when people balk at your leadership style and go their own way. Life in the wilderness was not easy for the people of Israel. There were many distractions from the way of God. Their relationship to God was often on shaky ground. When things went wrong it was Moses whom they blamed.

That is the situation in today's Old Testament reading. The people have been so distracted by the difficult situation in which they find themselves that they have turned to other gods. They have made and worshipped a gol…

Proper 28, Year A


Readings: Exodus 32:1-14; Psalm 106:1-6, 19-23; Philippians 4:1-9; Matthew 22:1-14

The king announces a royal wedding. As for any wedding there are many preparations to be made. The hall is booked. Caterers are hired. The guest list is prepared. Invitations are sent out. The RSVPs start to come back. Much to the king's amazement, there are many excuses. A farmer declines the invitation. All of a sudden he has far too many chores to do. Likewise a person who runs a business says no to the invitation. It seems far more important to amass personal wealth than to attend the king's function. Their own responsibilities come first. One of the invited guests goes so far as to beat up the slaves when they come with the invitation.

For the most part, the reasons for ignoring the invitation seem valid enough. Responsibilities come between guest and acceptance of the invitation.

This is precisely what happens in human experience at such times. The possibility of en…

Harvest Thanksgiving

Don’t Forget to Say Thank You

Readings: Deuteronomy 26:1-11; Psalm 65; 2 Corinthians 9:6-15; Luke 17:11-19
As children, whenever we went to a party at a friend's house, the last thing my mother always said to us was the reminder, "Don't forget to say thank you!" I remember, as well, the painstaking care with which I wrote notes after Christmas to aunts and uncles saying thank you. I am the first to admit, that since I had very practical relatives, I did not always feel grateful for the socks or the hat and mittens, but what mother said went. I sat down the day after Christmas or my birthday, and dutifully wrote a note expressing my sheer and utter gratitude for the lovely gift.

In this electronic age, writing thank you notes is a lost art. I feel fortunate on the occasions when I receive a message on Facebook that at least the gift has been received. It would seem that gratitude has become a radical response. I say this in the sense that it seems to be unconvent…