Resources for Pentecost +20
St. Thomas Day - St. Thomas, the Doubter
Call to Worship (based on Psalm 65)
L: Praise is due to you, O God, in Zion; and to you shall vows be
P: When deeds of iniquity overwhelm us, you forgive our
L: By awesome deeds you answer us with deliverance, O God of our
P: you are the hope of all the ends of the earth and of the
L: By your strength you established the mountains; you are girded with
P: You crown the year with your bounty; the hills gird
themselves with joy.
L: Come, let us worship Almighty God.
for all Pentecost+23 resources
How Then Should We Pray?
I suppose every one of us knows someone who is "stuck up," someone
who makes us feel less important than they, less human than they. Some
of these people might be ones we admire. They seem to have it all
together — manicured lawn, neat-as-a-pin house, designer clothes,
beautiful children, fancy cars. They have all the right toys, the cool
T-shirts, the name brand jeans and shoes and jackets. Yet, when you try
to make friends with these people, you get the distinct impression that,
well, they can't be bothered. They don't have the time for you. They
would be doing you a favor by being your friend. And, that makes you
feel second-class. Today's scripture lesson is about two people, both of
whom believed in God, both of whom worshiped God.
One was a first-class citizen, an elite member of society. This was a
person who, by all measures, we should admire. He participated in the
worship services of his church: Sunday morning, Sunday night, Wednesday
night prayer meetings. If there was a special service, he was there. He
often served as worship leader, or ushered. He attended Sunday School,
even taught now and then. He was on the Church Council, and served on
one of the Annual Conference committees. If something needed to be done
around the church, he did it. He gave generously to the church, 10
percent — of everything. Most people in American churches give less than
1% of their income to their church. His minister had suggested giving 5%
only of your net earnings. But this man gave the entire 10% tithe of
everything he earned — from his stock options, savings interest,
Certificates of Deposit, rentals he owned — everything.
Fred Craddock has pointed out
that "the Pharisee was a faithful man, the kind that puts his tithe in
the offering plate to support the pastor's salary so that the pastor can
preach a sermon on the Pharisee and the tax collector!" ...Subscribers:
click here for the full sermon and more
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