WORSHIP TOGETHER | Sunday 9-17-2023

Sep 11, 2023 | General Presbyter & Stated Clerk, Resources, Worship Together, Worship Together Front Page

Sunday, September 17, 2023

Twenty-Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time

The Revised Common Lectionary passages for the Lord’s Day are:
– First Reading: Exodus 14:19-31
– Psalm 114:1-8 (or Alternate: Exodus 15:1b-11, 20-21)
– Second Reading: Romans 14:1-12
– Gospel Reading: Matthew 18:21-35

The liturgical color for the day is: Green

The servant demands that the one under him pay the money.  When he cannot pay the money, he decides to punish him and force him into hard labor for not being able to pay.  He does not show him mercy.  He does not forgive him.  He does not do the very thing that was done to him.  He misses the connection that he has a role to play.

He has been forgiven, so his role is to be forgiving.  He had been shown mercy, so his job was to show mercy.  When that opportunity was there, he missed it. Then to make matters worse he totally does not get it that his own receiving of mercy and forgiveness were part and parcel of his being able to do the same.  In a very real way one can see in Matthew’s Gospel that you, in essence, get the God you practice. 

God is forgiving.  God is merciful.  God’s deliverance is at hand.  [Just a note about God’s deliverance—it is well more about God delivering us from our selfish, prone to idolatry, prone to sin selves than it is anything else.]

God is forgiving.  God is merciful.  God’s deliverance is at hand.  And we are called to practice that.  We are called to lift our arms in the air.  We are called to help part the waters.  Yes, picture yourself as a Moses here – God is the God of deliverance, but we called to play our part in the action.

We are called to do the work that manifests the deliverance of God.  God is counting on us to lift our arms and play our part.  Part the waters.  Be the instruments of God’s deliverance by being forgiving and being merciful.

Rev. Dr. Daris Bultena
General Presbyter and Stated Clerk

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