October 3, 2021 - Proper 22 (19th Sunday after Pentecost)
Every once in a while, I enjoy preaching a sermon that isn’t me talking through how I view the readings, but rather about asking questions that I found myself asking after the readings. These sermons are intentionally structured to ask a question and then to provide some time to give you an opportunity to ponder and answer for yourself. You aren’t required to answer these questions out loud or to share, but the silence can become uncomfortable – we aren’t used to sitting here at church in complete silence. Still, I think experiences such as these are valuable. So here we go:
Women – Genesis and Mark speak of the contrast between God’s view and how some women are still treated today. As followers of Jesus, how should we respond?
Marriage – Genesis and Mark speak of the contrast between God’s view and how marriage is viewed and valued (or we might say undervalued) today. As followers of Jesus, how do we view marriage?
Children – Mark 10 speaks of how the disciples and how Jesus saw and treated the children. Do we see and treat children and young people (including poorer children and young people) like the disciples, or like Jesus in today’s reading?
Psalm 8 and our reading from Hebrews today speak of the value and dignity God gives all human beings in contrast to how some – particularly poorer people – are treated today. If that’s how God treats people, so should we. What do our values suggest is more important – money or people? In reflecting on what we say and do, what seems to be of more importance to us/our church/our community – money or people?
How do we view people who are poorer/richer than us? How do we treat people who are poorer/richer than us? How does God view and treat people? How does this compare with our values?
Heavenly creator, we pray that you would open people’s eyes and hearts to see that people matter, no matter how poor they are; help us to treat them with dignity and respect, valuing and appreciating them, and playing our part to help people out of poverty and build a fair and just society.