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This Week in Worship
Going Deeper this Week...

October 15, 2017 - Nineteenth Sunday After Pentecost

Exodus 32:1-14; Psalm 106:1-6, 19-23; Matthew 22:1-14; Philippians 4:1-9

Welcome to Milledge Avenue Baptist Church. During October, the pastor’s sermon series is called “The Enemies of Gratitude.” This series offers an opportunity to understand gratitude by calling out the things that keep us from being truly grateful. In each sermon, we see how a misplaced focus—like entitlement and privilege—prevents us from seeing all the blessings that are right in front of us.

During these last weeks of the Church Year, we come to the section of Matthew’s Gospel marked by intense confrontations between Jesus and the religious establishment; these confrontations were to lead to his crucifixion. In today’s Gospel, Jesus is again teaching about the Kingdom. Here it is described in a way that antagonized the establishment. If those who are religious do not respond to God’s call, they will be replaced by others who do respond.

In the second reading, the people of Israel lost patience when Moses did not return from the mountaintop. They built an idol and worshiped it as their god. God saw this and intended to destroy them but Moses interceded and God turned aside from destroying the people who he loved.  —From The Rite Light:  Reflections on the Sunday Readings, Michael W. Merriman

From a Child’s Point of View

Children understand Luke’s (14:16-24) version of this parable and Luke’s point more easily than Matthew’s. The mental work required to integrate the vengeful king, the destruction of the Jerusalem Temple, and the exclusion of those who refuse an invitation to the eschatological banquet is beyond the abilities of children. Furthermore, children familiar with parables know that the king in Jesus’ parables is meant to be like God, and therefore are confused with this king is so demanding and vengeful.

They cannot deduce Matthew’s point but must hear it stated:  God invites everyone to be one of God’s people and wants everyone to come. —From Forbid Them Not:  Involving Children in Worship, Year A, Carolyn C. Brown

Questions for Reflection

Whenever we allow ourselves to believe that we deserve what we have, or that we are somehow more worthy than another, we will find ourselves incapable of gratitude. What’s keeping you from being thankful today?

Household Prayer: Morning Household Prayer: Evening

Holy God, you are light, and in you there is no darkness at all. Shift my focus today from whatever is false to that which is true; from whatever is vulgar to that which is honorable; from whatever is corrupt to that which is just; from whatever is inauthentic to that which is pure; from whatever is detestable to that which is pleasing; from whatever is insignificant to that which is commendable; that I may live in the light.

Through Christ Jesus I pray. Amen.

God, your love is steadfast and enduring.

May your peace, which surpasses all understanding, hem me in, behind and before, as I lie down to rest. Amen.

 

"The Enemies of Gratitude: Entitlement"

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