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Sermon and Worship Resources
19th Sunday after Pentecost

"For many are called, but few are chosen." Mt 22:14
Sermon and Worship Resourc
[ Psalm 23 Worship Resources]
[Canadian Thanksgiving Day]

 

Texts & Discussion:
Exodus 32:1-14
Psalm 106:1-6, 19-23
or
Isaiah 25:1-9
Psalm 23
Philippians 4:1-9
Matthew 22:1-14

 


 

This Week's Themes:

God's Faithfulness Amid Human Sin
The Joy of the LORD

Giving Our Best to God in Worship!

 

Prayer of Gregory Nazianzen (God and the Stranger)

Blessed be God the Word,
Who came to His own and His own received him not,
For in this way God glorified the stranger
O God, show us your image in all who come here today,
that we may welcome them, and you.  Amen. 


Sermons:

 

Children's Messages:

 


Sermon Excerpt:

God’s Party
A sermon based on Matthew 22:1-14

by Rev. Karen A. Goltz

            I think the worst job in the world, or at least in the Bible, is to be a slave in Jesus’ parables.  Last week they were in the service of a vineyard owner who sent them to collect the harvest from his tenants.  They were beaten and killed.  This week they seem to have an easier job: invite people to a wedding.  Again, they’re beaten and killed.  I guess being a slave in one of Jesus’ parables is just plain hazardous to your health.

            But that’s OK.  I don’t think we’re supposed to relate to the slaves in either one of these parables.  So who are we supposed to relate to?

            That’s a tricky question, and not one to be answered lightly.  Because these parables weren’t written for us.  That doesn’t mean they don’t apply to us, or they don’t tell us something we need to know, but, in their original form, these parables were not written directly to us.

            Matthew’s gospel was written for the Jewish community around Jerusalem not long after the city and the Temple were destroyed.  Up to this point there were a number of Jewish sects, lots of different ways to ‘be Jewish,’ kind of like all the different Protestant denominations we have today.  Each denomination is different in some ways, but at our core, each and every one of us is Christian.  Back a little before Matthew’s time, Judaism had been sort of the same way, with Temple worship at the core, but the destruction of the Temple changed all that.  The Temple had been central to Jewish identity since the days of Solomon, about a thousand years earlier.  Now the Temple was no more, and Judaism itself was in peril.  There was a big push to get everyone to agree on what it meant to be Jewish, to create a single, unified Judaism, and the Pharisees and chief priests seemed to be dominating.  They weren’t evil, they weren’t malicious, and they weren’t trying to amass their own personal power for their own personal gain.  They understood themselves to be keepers of God’s Law, and they understood the key to Jewish identity to be in the keeping of that Law.  In order to ensure that people would keep that Law properly, they had to set themselves up as authorities on God and God’s will.  And there was no room in their understanding of God’s will for recognizing some guy named Jesus as the Messiah.

           So that’s what this parable meant two thousand years ago.  But God’s Word, even when spoken through a specific person in a specific context for a specific purpose, is not locked stagnant in time or place.  So what does it mean for us now?

            I go back to how Jesus begins this parable.  “The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who gave a wedding banquet for his son…”  I see a God who has put together something great, something wonderful, and who wants to share it with those he loves.

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