October 23, 2016
Bring a baked potato topping to share this Sunday and enjoy a baked potato with our conversation... a spud with a bud, a tuber with a St. Andrewber!
About 10 minutes after worship ends, we’ll gather together for Aftertalk. We hope you’ll join us! Bring your questions, stories, insights, doubts, musings, imaginings and whatever else you need. Join us for some fellowship, laughter and ample space for reflection and real questions to help us reflect on the implications of our faith and make the transition from worship to world.
Readings for this Sunday:
Joel 2:23-29 • Psalm 65 • 2 Timothy 4:6-8, 16-18 • Luke 18:9-14
Love is Little
A Pharisee and a tax collector walked into a temple...
If you don't know the rest of the joke, take a look at the Luke reading for Sunday... although it isn't really a joke, but Jesus does seem to have his fun with his listeners. In the telling he creates something of a catch-22. The Pharisee seems to be judged harshly in the story, but once we begin to judge the Pharisee we commit the sin of the Pharisee and become like him! As much as we want to find our place and get comfortable in the story, we are in trouble. Clever. And profoundly important to note!
It is also good to remember that few if any of Jesus' listeners would have been drawn to the tax collector—an opportunist at best, a fraud at worst. It seems we have two unsavory candidates that Jesus parades before us to teach us about prayer. Richard Rohr talks about the resistance of our faith to conventional thinking: Jesus "finds God among the impure instead of among the pure! He entertains the lost sheep instead of comforting those who think they are not lost."
Get In Line
Danny Westneat, in a Seattle Times column this week, writes about the work of sociologist Arlie Hochschild, who spent five years with Louisianan Tea-Party members who eventually became Trump supporters to try to understand what motivates them. "He speaks to them on a primal level," she tells Westneat:
That deep story is this: We’re all standing in a line, the progress line, and at the end is the American dream. But the line hasn’t been moving. Sometimes it even lurches backward. Then, up ahead, egged on by liberals and President Obama, other people, such as immigrants, are allowed to cut in.
“So they feel pushed back in the line, marginalized, unseen,” Hochschild says. “They’ve developed a visceral dislike for what they see as the ally of the line-cutters — the government.
How does our faith invite us to listen deeply, with humility, to the experience of others? How does our worship give us the strength and courage to do so? What implications do we find in today's scriptures for our way forward? Who are those unexpected teachers who teach us about God's work and way in the world?
Martin Luther, 16th century
"True humility does not know that it is humble. If it did, it would be proud from the contemplation of so fine a virtue."
Madeleine L'Engle, 20th century
"Humility is throwing oneself away in complete concentration on something or someone else."
Henri J.M. Nouwen, 20th century
"As long as we continue to live as if we are what we do, what we have, and what other people think about us, we will remain filled with judgments, opinions, evaluations, and condemnations. We will remain addicted to putting people and things in their 'right' place."
Richard Rohr, 20th century
"It's not addition that makes one holy but subtraction: stripping the illusions, letting go of pretense, exposing the false self, breaking open the heart and the understanding, not taking my private self too seriously."
Mother Teresa, 20th century
"If you judge people, you have no time to love them."