Sunday October 22, 2017
Year A, Twentieth Sunday After Pentecost
Twentieth Sunday after Pentecost :: Green ::
Call to Worship (Responsive) See also Psalter 751 Chalice Hymnal
Adapted from Psalm 99
L: The LORD reigns; let the people tremble!
P: The LORD sits enthroned upon the cheribum; let the earth quake!
L: The LORD is great in Zion;
P: The LORD is exalted over the people.
L: Let us praise the LORD’s great and awesome name.
P: Holy is the LORD!
Eternal God, whose wrath we know we deserve, yet who grants us love and understanding; we come into your presence. Let us find favor in your sight, show us your ways, that we may know you. Show us your glory, O God. We hunger and thirst to see your face. Guide us in this time of worship through your Holy Spirit and the teachings of your Son, Jesus, the Christ.
In Matthew’s Gospel, the Pharisees challenge Jesus to teach about the paying of taxes. We all know that Jesus answered this tricky question by asking for the coin and whose image is on it. If we all took out a dollar, we would see the image of George Washington or the Queen, and we would think it a symbol of Canada or The United States of America. Funny; If we were able to ask George Washington or the Queen if they believed they were made in the image of God, I think they would both answer “yes”. In Geometry class I learned that if A equals B, and B equals C; then A equals C. I guess that means if the image on the currency is in the image of God, perhaps we should render it to God. We will now receive the tithes and offerings to honor the one in whose image we all are made.
O God of all creation. Whether we are looking at nature, or a mirror, or a friend; we see your handiwork. We know we have been wonderfully made to live in your image. Help us to use these gifts we now offer before you to increase your reign. Bless these tithes and offerings, as well as all who bring them, to help others come to know your presence in them. Amen.
October is such a busy, busy time. World Communion Sunday, Children’s Sabbath, Ministerial Appreciation Month, World Food Day, Columbus Day, Thanksgiving Day in Canada, Disciples Heritage Sunday, Youth Week, and All Hallow’s Eve (also known as Halloween). Sometimes it seems impossible to get it all in. It is a little like our typical North American Family, where we can barely schedule one good family meal all around the same table. Thank God for THIS table. No, really, take a second right now and thank God. At this table we take a breath, pause, and remember who we are, and whose we are. We remember what God has done for us, what God is doing with us, and what God has promised us. Here we pause from the busy-ness. Here we thank God.
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Scripture Quotations from the New Revised Standard Version. Online Scripture links a service of the Jean and Alexander Heard Divinity Library, of Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN. Check out all of the awesome resources there at http://lectionary.library.vanderbilt.edu