Monday, October 1, 2012

Looking Forward to October 7, 2012 -- Thanksgiving Sunday

This week we will celebrate the sacrament of Communion.

The Scripture Readings this week are:
Joel 2:21-27
Psalm 126 (VU p.850)
Matthew 6:25-33

The Sermon title is Do Not Fear, Do Not Worry...

Early Thoughts:  Sometimes I think Jesus must be joking.  Most of the people Jesus is talking to struggle just to get enough food to make it through the year.  It would not be an overstatement to say that they have next to nothing.  And he is telling them not to worry?????  That is sort of like walking into the homeless shelter and just saying "everything will be okay, God will give you what you need".  How would we expect people to respond in that case?

Most of us have trouble believing that God will just provide what we need. We don't just sit back and rake it all in after all. But I am not sure that is the point of the passage. Or at least that may not be where the story intersects with our lives.

One of the dangers we have in our society is that we too often fall into the trap of believing that what we have we have as a reward for hard work or as an entitlement. These passages remind us that what we have is a gift that is graciously and freely given. One of the dangers of modern society is that we are taught to worry, we are taught that what we need is scarce and we have to ensure we "get our share". These passages remind us that what we have is he result of abundant gifts. These passages call us to reflect on the difference between worrying over the world's scarcity and rejoicing on God's abundance.

As I read and think ahead I am reminded of a song, a song about counting our blessings.  While we are counting our blessings it is harder to lament our lack.  When we count our blessings we see the world differently.  AS we approach a First Sunday, with the 2nd Offering that entails, let us count our blessings.  And as an act of thankfulness let us be ready to share those blessings with the people in the pew, the street, the community next to us.

And what better message is there on Thanksgiving weekend? If we stop worrying so much we may see the world differently. When we see abundance instead of scarcity it enables us to see what we have to share with the world. It enables us to practice better stewardship. In the end worry is a subset of fear, and fear is the opposite of love. Let us put aside worry so that we can live in love.

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