Pentecost 25 Sunday Preview

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Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put in more than all those who are contributing to the treasury. For all of them have contributed out of their abundance; but she out of her poverty has put in everything she had, all she had to live on.”  (Mark 12:43-44) 

Widows are visible everywhere in today’s readings. Jesus denounces those scribes who pray impressive prayers but devour widows’ houses. He commends the poor widow who in his view gave far more than the major donors. Jesus doesn’t see her simply as an object of compassion or charity. She, like the widow of Zarephath who shares her last bit of food with Elijah, does something of great importance.

Sunday’s Worship Music

On this congregational meeting day, the traditional hymn of the day reflects our congregation’s journey through faith. At This Altar was commissioned as a result of the congregations mission and vision process and we sing it today as a reminder of who we are and who we are becoming as God’s people.

In New Day, we sing these words from our Worship Hymn, “Offering” … “I bring an offering of worship to my King.  No one deserves the praises that I sing.  Jesus may You receive the honor that You’re due. O Lord, I bring an offering to you.”   Our lives as stewards call us to return to God worship, praise and offerings of time, talent and treasure.  We are blessed to be able to praise our Lord in these humble ways.

Preaching Theme

How Do You Live Generously?

For Further Reflection:
Worship Corner—The Meal/Thanksgiving

Jesus tells his disciples in Matthew 25:35 “I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink I was a stranger and you welcomed me.” Starting a Meal with a collection emphasizes that we offer the best of what we have to God, before we take what we need ourselves. The message of stewardship, tithing, and giving to the church before giving to ourselves is built in to our weekly order of worship!

As the collection is taken, music is also offered back to God as it was offered as a gift to us. Returning this gift of song, backed by the dedication of time and energy by the singers, becomes part of our collected and collective offering. The focus is on God and not on those who are singing.

While we appreciate our musicians, how might applauding their efforts turn the focus away from God? In what ways can you give the first fruits of your time, treasure, and talents to God? Why do we gather together resources to help the needy?

 

Rev. Craig Ross

Rev. Craig Ross

Senior Pastor

I have always appreciated the positive perspective on life and faith that is here… the broad range of life/social/political perspectives in our congregation… and the staff with whom I am blessed to work.

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