Giving as a Subversive Act
2009-11-03 by Stephen Schuette

The contrast is stark.  On the one hand there is the formalized practice of religion that is socially established and grounded in custom.  In this Jerusalem has become almost Greek-like, its temple on the hill and all of its business and political life ordered around it.  And ‘round and ‘round the wheels turn.  And the lubrication that keeps the wheels turning is part of the exchange.  I’ll compliment you on your nice long robe if you frequent my stand.  “Beautiful day, huh Charlie?”  “Sure is, Gert.  I’ll have two pigeons.  I hear there’s a race tonight out past Golgotha.”  “Yep.  I’ve got my tickets.  See you there.”  The conversations are so numerous they accumulate into a buzz.  Just another day at the temple.

And under the radar of others but noticed by Jesus is the woman who can’t participate in the business and political circles.  And she’s outside the social circles as well.  She’ll get no compliment because she has nothing to exchange for it.  She comes alone and she’ll leave alone, quietly, no word spoken.

But there she is.  And along with her she carries a faith…a faith that has been tested and tried, a faith that knows some things that others don’t.  And out of that faith she searches out the two small coins and pours them forth.

If the intent of Jesus’ ministry is the Kingdom of God here is radical faith envisioned and acted.  She is not a participant in “things as usual.”  She hopes for something much more because her hopes are not grounded in the usual circles of expectation.

I marvel at her thinking which is not bounded by the customary.  In this she is very much like the widow of Zarephath who, in her shortage, divides what she has in order to discover more!  What an odd math that exists outside zero-sum thinking.

Giving itself is odd.  Done bliblically, without thought of the repayment circle, it demonstrates that my posessions don't own me, that I am free enough to give, and that the real hopes of my life are not limited by economic circumstances but are themselves a gift of God. 





Pastor Talk To Me About...
2009-11-03 by David Howell

Our wonderful lay people are having some good things to say.

Pastor Talk To Me About





Resources for Sunday!
2009-11-02 by David Howell

We have resources for Proper 27.

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Post-Sermon Reflection; Verb Tense-Good News
2009-11-02 by David von Schlichten

I proclaimed that part of living like the saints we are through baptism is believing that God is "making all things new." Many of us believe that God will make all things new, but Revelation 21:5 teaches that God is making all things new now, in the present. I tried to motivate people to see God at work in our lives today to make things new, including by empowering us to help with the renewing process. You can read the sermon at the Sermon Feedback Cafe.

I did not receive comments on the sermon from parishioners.

Yours in Christ,

David von Schlichten, Lectionary Blog Moderator





"Lectionary Homiletics" Highlight
2009-10-29 by David von Schlichten

Luke Bouman in "Theological Themes" underlines that All Saints Day is, among other things, an Easter celebration, a sacramental celebration, and an eschatological celebration. Thank you, Luke, for highlighting these themes. The day is multivalent and liminal, indeed.

Scroll down to read a blog posting about hearing Christ's call to us to shuffle out of the tomb.

Yours in Christ,

David von Schlichten, Lectionary Blog Moderator





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