August 2019

4th August                         Trinity7                            Luke 12v.16-21

Then He told them a parable: “The ground of a certain rich man produced an abundance. So he thought to himself, ‘What shall I do, since I have nowhere to store my crops?’ Then he said, ‘This is what I will do: I will tear down my barns and will build bigger ones, and there I will store up all my grain and my goods. Then I will say to myself, “You have plenty of good things laid up for many years. Take it easy. Eat, drink, and be merry!”’  But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your life will be required of you. Then who will own what you have accumulated?’ This is how it will be for anyone who stores up treasure for himself but is not rich toward God.”

This story speaks as clearly to this generation as it did to the First century Jews.  It is, of course sensible to make provision for the future and to save in order to be able to help others.  However, Jesus was talking about hoarding for its own sake which is a wrong use of God's gifts.  So much in our day speaks about working for what we want rather than for what we need.  Look at the TV adverts!!

    Do I save for the sake of saving?

    How can I change what I do, even in a small way, in order to bring about a fairer world?

 

11th August                   Trinity 8             Luke 12 v32-37

Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father is pleased to give you the kingdom.  Sell your possessions and give to the poor. Provide yourselves with purses that will not wear out, an inexhaustible treasure in heaven, where no thief approaches and no moth destroys.  For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. Be dressed for service and keep your lamps burning.  Then you will be like servants waiting for their master to return from the wedding banquet, so that when he comes and knocks, they can open the door for him at once.  Blessed are those servants whom the master finds on watch when he returns. Truly I tell you, he will dress himself to serve and will have them recline at the table, and he himself will come and wait on them.

These verses are about living with a greater trust in God.  We must try to be awake to the needs of other people as soon as they arise, knowing that God will care for us.  The last two sentences remind us of the time when Jesus washed His disciples feet.  He was the host on that occasion, yet He humbled Himself to serve their needs.  The more we learn to trust God, the more it will free us to serve one another.

     Can I trust God enough today, to forget my needs in order to serve the needs of others?

 

18th August                             Trinity 9                                         Luke12v 49-56

I have come to ignite a fire on the earth, and how I wish it were already kindled!  But I have a baptism to undergo, and how distressed I am until it is accomplished!  Do you think that I have come to bring peace to the earth? No, I tell you, but division.  From now on, five in one household will be divided, three against two and two against three. They will be divided, father against son and son against father, mother against daughter and daughter against mother, mother-in-law against daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law against mother-in-law. Then Jesus said to the crowds, “As soon as you see a cloud rising in the west, you say, ‘A shower is coming,’ and that is what happens.  And when the south wind blows, you say, ‘It will be hot,’ and it is.  You hypocrites! You know how to interpret the appearance of the earth and sky. Why don’t you know how to interpret the present time?

This is definitely one of the “hard sayings of Jesus”   While He was on earth, He experienced life as we know it and sometimes He was probably tired and frustrated as we are.  The “Baptism” He speaks of is His suffering and death.  Maybe Jesus was looking at the signs of the times.  There was discontent and revolt in the air and within 35 years the magnificent Temple would be destroyed for ever.

     What are the signs of our age?  How should we respond?

     How can we be reconciled to God and our neighbour before it is too late?

 

25th August                       Trinity 10                                                    Luke 13 v. 10-17

One Sabbath Jesus was teaching in one of the synagogues, and a woman there had been disabled by a spirit for eighteen years. She was hunched over and could not stand up straight. When Jesus saw her, He called her over and said, “Woman, you are set free from your infirmity.” Then He laid His hands on her, and    immediately she straightened up and began to glorify God.  But the synagogue leader was indignant that Jesus had healed on the Sabbath. “There are six days for work,” he told the crowd. “So come and be healed on those days and not on the Sabbath.” “You hypocrites!” the Lord replied, “Does not each of you on the Sabbath untie his ox or donkey from the stall and lead it to water? Then should not this daughter of       Abraham, whom Satan has bound for eighteen long years, be released from her bondage on the Sabbath day?” When Jesus said this, all His adversaries were humiliated. And the whole crowd rejoiced at all the glorious things He was doing.

The Sabbath was meant to be a celebration of God's creativity.  Over the centuries the Jewish leaders had set up so many restrictions with numerous rules that even helping others was described as “work “ and so forbidden!  Jesus tried to show that the love for God's people was not forbidden but necessary  -  even on the Sabbath.  We are still commanded to keep the Sabbath, but Christians keep it on a Sunday to celebrate God's saving act of raising Jesus from the dead.  We need to consider what is an appropriate way for us to that of the Sabbath.

What is an appropriate way for you to keep God's Sabbath?  ( It may be different from what is    right for someone else ?! )

    How can we celebrate God's creativity?




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