The Parable on stage – Sept 22, 2013

Title:The Parable on stage – Sept 22, 2013

  Sunday, September 22, 2013  (full size gallery)

This week we had the first youth group with 4 youth along with Catherine and Becky. Becky took the pictures above. Lots to do at Genevieve’s – finding bugs, running, playing horseshoes, going to the river and yes posing for pictures. Times are changing for youth group – 4th Wed. in the month starting in Oct.

This Sunday was a gorgeous day. Brilliant sunshine but without a "bite" in the air. We had 40 this Sunday. This Sunday Catherine was in motion – explaining a new piece in place of the traditional doxology, singing a prelude with Paige, singing with Helmut and Paige the Psalm, explaining the bread retreat during announcements.  

Then was the sermon – a play she had written on Luke 16:1-13, one of the most challenging scriptures in the New Testment. What if the "Today" interviewed the three characters in the sermon – rich man, manager and renter ?  She used Kenneth Bailey as a souce who has written extensively with on placing Jesus in his context as "Jesus Through Middle Eastern Eyes." 

We celebrated Marion Mahoney’s birthday. Finally, we began the advertising for the "Thirteen Concert" on Oct 22, 7pm.  We have an online donation site, posters and cards to order as well as central page on the concert

Marilyn presented her Christmas  catalog for the Fancy’s Friends Therapy Dogs group to support :

1. Taking therapy dogs to visit at:

  •  Heritage Hall Nursing Home every Wednesday (plus bird food for birds and humming birds outside residents’ windows),
  •  Sealston and King George Elementary Schools for the "PAWS to Read" Program (children with reading problems read to the dogs – We also give each PAWS student a book to read over the summer),
  • Mary Washington Hospital; and

2. Supporting the Pet Pantry for Social Services. 


The readings this week are about reversals. They cause us to think differently and to turn reality upside down There is the need as spelled out in Amos to reverse the idea of collective guilt. God hears the plea of the tenant farmers in the Psalm suffering the Babylonian exile and the childless couple. In the Epistle, Christian offer prayers for everyone but is clear that at the pinnacle is God who desires all to be saved. The request in 1 Timothy 2:2 to pray “for kings” instead of “to the kings” , thus bringing down in prestige the Imperial forces at Rome. God hears the plea of the tenant farmers in the Psalm suffering the Babylonian exile and the childless couple.   God is an active force reversing the tide of history. 

The sermon was an interview with the three characters in the Gospel story – the richman, the manager and the renter.  The manager was fired for "squandering the property" of the rich man. He was fired but before the news got out, he turned to the renters and reduced their bills to the richman. Ironically the richman commended the action of the manager "because he had acted shrewdly."

Once he was building his own wealth, unethically he now works to enrich others, reducing their bills to his master and building a relationship of mutual benefit.  We need to use wealth effectively to serve the needs of other which will bring about more trusting and equal relations 

Luke is all about the proper use of wealth. As David Lose writes "Except that it’s not just the use of wealth; it’s more like Luke is concerned with our relationship to wealth and how that affects our relationships with others." God reverses the role of the rich and poor looking at the riches in heaven as oppose to this life where the poor have little 

In the Gospel we need to use wealth effectively to serve the needs of other which will bring about more trusting and equal relations. This is the key with the dishonest manager reducing debt of this customers to his manager. 

As the sermon concluded, "If the rich man is like God, we can see from this story that God is a God both of judgment and of mercy. At the end of time, we will be judged.  As the moderator said to Clarence the manager. "God’s kingdom has come, you’ve been judged, and you have failed miserably. You have no option but to trust in God’s mercy, trusting that Helmut will pay the price for you to be saved from certain disaster and ruin."

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