Hope and pray this newsletter finds you safe and well.
This week, the lectionary text that we’ll be looking at, with the help of the Holy Spirit, is Matthew 21:23-32. In this text we find Jesus’ authority being challenged by the chief priests and elders of the temple. They didn’t like the idea that someone like Jesus was doing a better job than they were. So, Jesus returned their challenge in true rabbinic style by presenting their question with a question. Those challenging Jesus deserve credit for their answer, “We don’t know.”
After assuring them that he would not tell them where his authority came from, Jesus continued with the parable of the two sons. Their father approached each son separately, asking each to work in the vineyard. The first said no, but then later changed his mind and went. The second son said yes but didn’t go. Jesus then asked those present, “Who did the father’s will?” The answer? The first one. Jesus then shared how the people who the elite of the church looked down on were the ones who heard and believed God’s words spoken through John the Baptist. They responded by changing their hearts and lives and began helping to change the lives of others through their actions that were now centered in Christ.
As we go through this pandemic, we run the risk of becoming like those who were challenging Jesus’ authority. Not necessarily by challenging Jesus, but by becoming complacent in our responsibilities to the Holy Trinity and to each other. It is easy to let the pandemic and all the other man-made problems take center stage. But if we truly allow God full control of our lives, I firmly believe that we can make it through this pandemic and help to bring an end to systemic racism and violence.
As we read in Philippians 2: 1-4, the Apostle Paul reminds us that we must put ourselves aside and act, “If you’ve gotten anything at all out of following Christ, if his love has made any difference in your life, if being in a community of the Spirit means anything to you, if you have a heart, if you care— then do me a favor: Agree with each other, love each other, be deep-spirited friends. Don’t push your way to the front; don’t sweet-talk your way to the top. Put yourself aside, and help others get ahead. Don’t be obsessed with getting your own advantage. Forget yourselves long enough to lend a helping hand.” (MSG)
Sisters and brothers don’t let the pandemic or anything else keep you from doing God’s work. I know we are tired and are feeling burned out, but we must do what we can to persevere. Make sure your taking time to be alone with God, that will always help. Then seek ways to help. For example, join the Parish Fellowship and Outreach team. This is a great way to help your sisters and brothers of the parish to be God’s hands and feet in our communities and beyond. And if you’re doing it for God, you just may be surprised how much you are able to accomplish. As we read in Philippians 2:12-13, “Be energetic in your life of salvation, reverent and sensitive before God. That energy is God’s energy, an energy deep within you, God himself willing and working at what will give him the most pleasure.” (MSG) Sisters and brothers don’t let your faith become flat or your walk with Christ lose its cadence. Don’t end up like the son who, even with possibly the best of intentions, told his father that he would work in the vineyard only to get distracted and leave the work for others.
Please don’t lose hope, don’t lose your energy. Please stay safe and well. Together, with the wisdom and guidance of the Holy Spirit, we will make it through these times.
Blessings and peace,
September 27, 2020
What: Walk to Defeat ALS
Who: Team “All our Love for Suzy”
When: Saturday, October 3, 10:00 AM
Where: Paola High School track
ALS Continued: PLEASE READ: Since we will be using a district property for our walk, mask-wearing will be required. Staff and students are required to wear masks while on school property so we would like to be respectful of their rules and guidelines since they are allowing us to use the property. Thank you for your understanding and cooperation.
1st John Farley 3rd Bill & Lorrie Stull
7th Meadow Stull 8th Joe & Pat Fox
9th Sulita Chathavong 31st Dale & Linda Prothe
14th LuAnne Debrick
16th Bonnie Dumpert
18th Mary Ann Grimes
26th Renee Haag
26th Phyllis Stevens
30th Doris War