Exodus 17:1-7, Philippians 2:1-13 and Matthew 21:23-32
The scriptures this Sunday are about who has the authority and how people listen to authority. If you watch many detective or cop stories on TV, there are the innumerable scenes where the officer shows his badge to assert the authority to ask questions and to act if necessary. Authority is bestowed by state AND divine authorities which have either earned that right by vote or by virtue of truthful persuasion!
In this Matthew passage Jesus cites the authority of an executed prophet John and then tells a story of those who do what they are asked to do…..or don’t do!
What we will hear on Sunday is that God has authority but uses persuasion, example, and specific people’s lives rather than force to “get the divine will accomplished.” We will hear of those who listen and respond…..and those who don’t. It’s as relevant today as it was 2000 years ago!
Listen up all who will listen!
This Sunday September 20th is Homecoming at Kedron. Unlike high school homecomings everyone who shows up is a king and queen! To be more correct we are of a “royal family,” heirs apparent, but only one Lord who is Supreme. No other gods before us and we are not God. But we are again in that “Royal” family of the one God. We are one united group of brothers and sisters in all our diversity….even at Kedron UMC!
Our scriptures reflect both the wide range of life experiences in church and in society as well as the very personable, warm greetings by name of people that Paul had ministered with over the years.
So, at Homecoming we will have a wealth of memories of people, places and things connected with Kedron (and other churches) alongside our “living in the now,” with hopes for the future. Favorite hymns and testimonies and mutual histories will have us immersed in life together. This will be good and worthy of living forward into another year with each other as God gives us time and opportunity.
As you read this, think of someone to pass the word along to about Homecoming and check on them as you can. This pandemic year 2020 has taken its toll on our being together in community and in fellowship, so the aspiration is to recommit to staying in contact and “building up the body of Christ“ which is the Church.
See you Sunday in person, on line, and in our hearts!
Numbers 21:4b-9, I Corinthians 1:18-24 and John 3:13-17
This Sunday we will emphasize Holy Cross Day which actually falls on Monday the 14th. The scriptures that highlight the Cross of Christ for this day involve the imagery of snakes! Most people quickly react negatively and, if they don’t just run, they are ready to change the subject! I don’t blame them! A good rule of thumb for snake seeing is “don’t touch but run!”
But throughout the Bible there are strange stories that require some effort to grasp in our 21st century experience. And even Paul knew that speaking of a crucified Messiah was “a stumbling block” to many (e.g. the Jews) and “foolishness to the Greeks (Gentiles).” And bringing images of serpents lifted up on poles is not helpful either!
But there they are. And somehow, finally makes for salvation for many. Wholeness and completion and security. In a time of international insecurity over a virus with accompanying unrest politically and socially, we need to hear of salvation, that which saves us wholly and “holy.”
So, we will hear of strange images and once very unexpected means of relief and rescue for Gods people. The end result is, as always for church and world, Good News!
Join with us in person and/or on-line this Sunday! Blessings!
Amos 5:18-24, I Thessalonians 4:13-18 and Matthew 25:1-13
The main text for this Sunday will be The Parable of the Five Wise and the Five Foolish Bridesmaids. Amos and I Thessalonians will support Matthew’s focus on being ready for God’s finale. This is the first of a series of sermons our congregants have requested to specifically address certain topics.
The Bible says there will be a conclusion to all creation as we know it. God does not plan for “all that is and ever has been” to just continue indefinitely with a never ending mix of good and bad.
And it goes without saying (much!) that we each will have our own ending. Be prepared says Jesus, Amos, and Paul. And be glad in spite of the dark drama that surrounds most endings.
The parable tells us there are some who may well be foolish in their preparation for either a personal ending or the eventual apocalyptic ending of the world.
All “bad and rough” years e.g. 1914, 1929, 1939, 2020 are rehearsals for both endings and new beginnings. As a Scout knows, as an EMT knows, as families know, as a chef knows, preparation is essential.
We will “practice” preparing hearts and minds this Sunday. Let us “keep our lamps trimmed and burning!”