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Bulletin Insert 4th September, 2016

Lismore Anglican Parish Bulletin Insert         Sunday 4th September 2016

‘Do the Right Thing: Keep the World Beautiful’

This week’s readings are again difficult and challenging to anyone who would follow Jesus’ example of tough love. The essential message boils down to ethical action – doing the right thing.

We are constantly faced with choices: to do the right thing – or not. Sometimes it’s not easy discerning exactly what the right thing is – but here’s part of the challenge.

Doing the right thing (which, for the Christian, means asking, ‘What would Jesus do in this situation?’) is often costly. We live in a world where expediency, ‘cutting corners’, short-term thinking and putting ‘me’ first make this idea of fairness and justice unpopular. ‘It’s too much trouble’. ‘What’s in it for me?’

But deep down we know that whilst quick fixes and pandering to our appetites and desires may help us feel good and to get by in the short term, true satisfaction (let’s call it ‘life’) is only found in action that is costly – where there is sacrifice – something Jesus modelled over and over again in the Gospels – before he made the ultimate sacrifice for us.

May our worship lead us to consider what it really means to count the cost, and may our choices always reflect the love and commitment to justice proclaimed by Jesus.

“Blessed are the peacemakers for they will be called children of God” [Matthew 5:9]

 Sources:

Van de Laar, J. http://sacredise.com/lectionary/2016/08/proper-18c/

Wm. Barclay, ‘The New Daily Study Bible – Gospel of Luke, WJK: Louisville, 2001

 

Jeremiah 18: 1-11 NRSV

The word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord: 2“Come, go down to the potter’s house, and there I will let you hear my words.” 3So I went down to the potter’s house, and there he was working at his wheel. 4The vessel he was making of clay was spoiled in the potter’s hand, and he reworked it into another vessel, as seemed good to him. 5Then the word of the Lord came to me: 6Can I not do with you, O house of Israel, just as this potter has done? says the Lord. Just like the clay in the potter’s hand, so are you in my hand, O house of Israel. 7At one moment I may declare concerning a nation or a kingdom, that I will pluck up and break down and destroy it, 8but if that nation, concerning which I have spoken, turns from its evil, I will change my mind about the disaster that I intended to bring on it. 9And at another moment I may declare concerning a nation or a kingdom that I will build and plant it, 10but if it does evil in my sight, not listening to my voice, then I will change my mind about the good that I had intended to do to it.

11Now, therefore, say to the people of Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem: Thus says the Lord: Look, I am a potter shaping evil against you and devising a plan against you. Turn now, all of you from your evil way, and amend your ways and your doings.

Luke 14: 25-35 NRSV

25 Now large crowds were travelling with him; and he turned and said to them, 26 ‘Whoever comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes, and even life itself, cannot be my disciple. 27 Whoever does not carry the cross and follow me cannot be my disciple. 28 For which of you, intending to build a tower, does not first sit down and estimate the cost, to see whether he has enough to complete it? 29 Otherwise, when he has laid a foundation and is not able to finish, all who see it will begin to ridicule him, 30 saying, “This fellow began to build and was not able to finish.” 31 Or what king, going out to wage war against another king, will not sit down first and consider whether he is able with ten thousand to oppose the one who comes against him with twenty thousand? 32 If he cannot, then, while the other is still far away, he sends a delegation and asks for the terms of peace. 33 So therefore, none of you can become my disciple if you do not give up all your possessions.

34 ‘Salt is good; but if salt has lost its taste, how can its saltiness be restored?[a] 35 It is fit neither for the soil nor for the manure heap; they throw it away. Let anyone with ears to hear listen!’