October 16, 2007

Looking Ahead to October 21, 2007 -- 21st Sunday After Pentecost

This week we will be visited on behalf of Presbytery. There will be a meeting with the visitors following the service. All are encouraged to share your views on how Riverview is doing.

The Scripture Readings this week are:
  • From the Jewish Scriptures: Jeremiah 31:27-34
  • Psalm 119:97-104 (VU p. 840 Part 4)
  • From the Gospel: Luke 18:1-8

The hymns for the week are:

  • 260 God Who Gives to Life Its Goodness
  • 684 Make Me a Channel of Your Peace
  • 688 O Day of God Draw Nigh
  • 506 Take My Life and Let It Be

The Sermon title is Persistent, Hearty Justice

Early thoughts: Who is asking so persistently? What response is needed? How is this a stewardship story?

Traditionally people have said that this parable is about prayer. It sees that Jesus is essentially saying "if even this lout of a judge will eventually grant justice then how much more so will God, who actually loves people and cares about justice, do the same?". But there is another way to look at it. Is it possible to see God in the role of the widow? It is a bit of a skewing of the text but what if God is the one who knocks and knocks and knocks?

If God is doing the knocking then it is God's people who must respond. And at that point it becomes a story about stewardship.

Stewardship is a word we in the church often use as code for "now it is time to talk about money". And it is. If we are to respond to God's unceasing cries for justice then money HAS to be a part of the discussion. There are of course other parts of that discussion. Stewardship is about all our choices, about how we live our lives and use our resources. The challenge is to do so in ways that further the call to justice.

We have the option to ignore the knocking at the doors and windows of our lives. We also have the option of opening the door in resignation and defeat. OR we can throw the door wide open and welcome the knocker with open-armed enthusiasm. Which choice we make will drastically affect how we respond to the questions and pleas we get. It changes how we see our role as stewards. It is all about stewardship, all about our role in God's world.

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