The Scripture Readings for this Sunday are:
- From the Letters of the Early Church: Galatians 2:15-21
- Psalm 32 (VU p.759)
- From the Gospel: Luke 7:36-8:3
The Hymns are
- 238 O Lord My God
- 684 Make Me a Channel of Your Peace
- 271 There’s A Wideness in God’s Mercy
- 424 May the God of Hope Go With Us
The Children's Story will use 1 Kings 21 to talk about issues around Whose Land?
The Sermon Title is: Indecent Risk – Amazing Forgiveness
Early Thoughts: What boldness, what courage, what out and out chutzpah. This woman takes an incredible risk here. Instead of being welcomed and praised by Jesus she could just have easily been tossed on on her ear. She is already a woman of ill-repute, this scene would have confirmed that. And yet for her risk she is to be congratulated. By daring to act in a way to defied cultural and social norms she allowed those norms to be challenged and questioned.
Taking risks is a touchy thing. After all, there is always the chance that we will fail, or be rejected, or get laughed at, or even get totally ignored. But I am convinced that unless we risk and embrace the possibility of failure we never move forward. In fact, I am pretty sure that we don't fail enough. We don't fail enough because we don't test enough. We have this strange idea that everything has to work, everything will be the "next big thing" or the cure whatever ails us. But people who work in product development and marketing will tell you that for every "next big thing" there are somewhere between 9 and 99 "failures"--that's right, a 10% percent success rate is wildly successful, the actual rate may be closer to 1%.
What would it mean to take indecent risks? What would it mean to act outside of what is expected? Are we willing to chance that we find forgiveness and new life and relationship there? Or are we still too worried about looking foolish, of being condemned as being abnormal?
At our conference annual meeting last month the theme speaker gave us this equation: MC=fp x fv x fs. This translates to Movement for Change = felt pain x future vision x first steps. Many of our churches and communities have the felt pain, we have it in spades. Some have developed a future vision, a hope for where we might get to. The place where we often fail is the first steps, the risk of stepping out onto the water to see if we sink or swim. God grant us the courage, the daring, the unrivalled chutzpah, to take the indecent risks, to embrace the possibility of failure, and find new hope and new relationship.