October 27 1st reading
A reading from Joel
O children of Zion, be glad and rejoice in the Lord your God; for he has given the early rain for your vindication, he has poured down for you abundant rain, the early and the later rain, as before. The threshing-floors shall be full of grain, the vats shall overflow with wine and oil.
I will repay you for the years that the swarming locust has eaten, the hopper, the destroyer, and the cutter, my great army, which I sent against you.
You shall eat in plenty and be satisfied, and praise the name of the Lord your God,
who has dealt wondrously with you. And my people shall never again be put to shame. You shall know that I am in the midst of Israel, and that I, the Lord, am your God and there is no other. And my people shall never again be put to shame.
Then afterwards I will pour out my spirit on all flesh; your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, and your young men shall see visions. Even on the male and female slaves, in those days, I will pour out my spirit.
I will show portents in the heavens and on the earth, blood and fire and columns of smoke. The sun shall be turned to darkness, and the moon to blood, before the great and terrible day of the Lord comes. Then everyone who calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved; for in Mount Zion and in Jerusalem there shall be those who escape, as the Lord has said, and among the survivors shall be those whom the Lord calls
Hear what the Spirit is saying to the Church
Thanks be to God Joel 2: 23-32
October 27 2nd reading
A reading from Second Timothy
As for me, I am already being poured out as a libation, and the time of my departure has come. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. From now on there is reserved for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will give to me on that day, and not only to me but also to all who have longed for his appearing.
At my first defense no one came to my support, but all deserted me. May it not be counted against them! But the Lord stood by me and gave me strength, so that through me the message might be fully proclaimed and all the Gentiles might hear it. So I was rescued from the lion’s mouth. The Lord will rescue me from every evil attack and save me for his heavenly kingdom. To him be the glory for ever and ever. Amen
Hear what the Spirit is saying to the Church
Thanks be to God 2 Timothy 4: 6-8, 16-18
October 27th – Gospel
The Gospel according to Luke;
He also told this parable to some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous and regarded others with contempt: ‘Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax-collector. The Pharisee, standing by himself, was praying thus, “God, I thank you that I am not like other people: thieves, rogues, adulterers, or even like this tax-collector. I fast twice a week; I give a tenth of all my income.” But the tax-collector, standing far off, would not even look up to heaven, but was beating his breast and saying, “God, be merciful to me, a sinner!” I tell you, this man went down to his home justified rather than the other; for all who exalt themselves will be humbled, but all who humble themselves will be exalted.’
Luke 18: 9-14
October 27, 2019 – Rev’d Bev Diet
Let us pray: May the words of my lips and the meditations of all our hearts be acceptable in your sight, our Lord and Redeemer. Amen
This parable tells us about ourselves as followers of Christ. The people who lives near Jerusalem often went to the temple to pray. The temple was the centre of their worship. The Pharisee did not go to the temple to pray to God but to announce to everyone who could hear him how good he was.
This week I put my envelope on the plate. I visited eight people. I donated clothes and food. It was almost like he was saying- can you match that.
The tax collector went recognizing his sins and begging for mercy. I know I have spent too much money – money that was not mine to use but was given by other people. Who are we like the Pharisee or the tax collector or maybe both depending on the day or the event?
As the Pharisee I might look down at you on a Sunday morning and wonder why you are really here? Why did you need to be here or did you want to wear a new outfit? Are you really here to worship God or to see everyone? There is nothing wrong with any of these reasons.
It is when we are looking down at someone thinking we are better – for example the Pharisee does to church every Sunday and meetings during the week and judges that the other person does not measure up. We become judge mental in ways. The one that strikes me most is about words, about our occupation or our appearances. For example I have been told that I should not be a priest because I am too small. Fortunately, I already was a priest. I wonder if this is where much of the bullying happens. I was reminded of this by a testimony of a young girl on TV yesterday almost killed by her classmate.
This parable also tells us about God’s mercy, so if we see ourselves as the tax collector, trust is called for but not in our own abilities in fulfilling the law, but in humbling ourselves before a merciful and loving God.
The Pharisee let others know how he is but he also must come to know God’s love and mercy. It is interesting to know that the gospel is joined by 2 Timothy, Paul speaks of his confidence that he has finished the race and kept the faith and that the crown of righteousness is reserved for him.
The Pharisee stood in the comfort of God’s temple. Paul writes from prison, Paul affirms that the crown belongs not only to himself, but also to all who have longed for the Lord’s appearing. Amen.