October 27, 2009

Looking Ahead to November 1, 2009 -- All Saints Day, 22nd Sunday After Pentecost

The Scripture Readings this week are:
  • From the Hebrew Scriptures: Ruth 1:1-18
  • Psalm 146 (VU p.868)
  • From the Gospel: Mark 12:28-34

The Hymns this week are:
  • #316 Praise Our Maker
  • #707 For the Faithful Who Have Answered
  • #602 Blest Be the Tie That Binds
  • #675 Will Your Anchor Hold

The Sermon title is Family: Ancestors and Descendants

Early Thoughts: What responsibility we have to our ancestors? To our descendants? What do we inherit and what do we pass on?

Do not press me to leave you or to turn back from following you! Where you go, I will go; Where you lodge, I will lodge; your people shall be my people, and your God my God. Where you die, I will die— there will I be buried.
What a wonderful statement of fidelity, of loyalty, of committment. Ruth has no reason to stay with Naomi, there appears to be no future there. But she lays her cards on the table and goes to a new place.

It is often suspected that the Book of Ruth is included in the Canon of Scripture in part because her story is part of David's story. It is the story of the family. And really, the story of the family is what we are all about. Each of us is a small part of a larger story. Where do we fit? What do we do with the legacy we have received? WHat do we choose to pass on?

November 1st is All Saints/All Souls Day. It is a day to celebrate the community (or communion) of all who have gone before us. It is a day to give thanks for the legacy that has been passed on to us. We are a people with a history, a history we don't want to forget or to reject.

OCtober 31st marks the anniversary of the day Martin Luther pasted his 95 Theses to the church door in Wittenburg, the event that is said to have launched the Reformation. WE are part of a church that is reformed and always reforming. In that light, how do we change or alter the tradition that has been passed on to us?

As we see ourselves going forward what is our vision? Are we ready to make the same pledge that Ruth makes? OR are we afraid to step into a new land? How do we balance teh past and the future? How do we honour the ancestors of our faith family and what do we pass on to our descendants?

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