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Bulletin Insert Sunday 18th September, 2015 Pentecost 18 Blessings and Prayer

Lismore Anglican Parish Bulletin Insert   Sunday 18th September 2016

Blessings and Prayer Luke 16: 1-13, 1Timothy 2: 1-7, Jeremiah 8:18 – 9:1

In many communities, the Church is among the wealthiest organisations (not so for our own parish!). But, unfortunately that wealth is often taken for granted and two important aspects of material wealth are easily forgotten – that whatever wealth we accrue is only through the generosity of our people, and by God’s grace. Our wealth is not a sign of God’s blessing so we might feel good about ourselves; rather a resource to share and use to extend God’s kingdom and lift up the lowly.

To accumulate for wealth’s sake and our own comfort can be a trap.

Good stewardship also demands that we think about how our savings and investments are used. Are we consciously choosing ethical investments or simply those with the best returns?

It may be the right time to take a good look at how our church uses money – and the priorities it reveals.

The theme of prayerfulness in all things is also underlined in the Timothy reading. Without prayer – how can we know God’s desires for us? Regular, passionate prayer is the key to a godly life where our will becomes more closely aligned with God’s will.

 

 

Jeremiah 8: 18 – 9:1 [NRSV]  The Prophet Mourns for the People

18 My joy is gone, grief is upon me,    my heart is sick. 19 Hark, the cry of my poor people from far and wide in the land: ‘Is the Lord not in Zion? Is her King not in her?’ (‘Why have they provoked me to anger with their images, with their foreign idols?’) 20 ‘The harvest is past, the summer is ended, and we are not saved.’ 21 For the hurt of my poor people I am hurt, I mourn, and dismay has taken hold of me. 22 Is there no balm in Gilead? Is there no physician there?

Why then has the health of my poor people not been restored?

91O that my head were a spring of water, and my eyes a fountain of tears, so that I might weep day and night for the slain of my poor people!

 

1 Timothy 2: 1-7 [NRSV] Instructions concerning Prayer

21First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings should be made for everyone, 2for kings and all who are in high positions, so that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and dignity. 3This is right and is acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour, 4who desires everyone to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. 5For there is one God; there is also one mediator between God and humankind, Christ Jesus, himself human, 6who gave himself a ransom for all —this was attested at the right time. 7For this I was appointed a herald and an apostle (I am telling the truth, I am not lying), a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and truth.

 

Luke 16: 1-13 [NRSV] The Parable of the Dishonest Manager

161Then Jesus said to the disciples, ‘There was a rich man who had a manager, and charges were brought to him that this man was squandering his property. 2So he summoned him and said to him, “What is this that I hear about you? Give me an account of your management, because you cannot be my manager any longer.” 3Then the manager said to himself, “What will I do, now that my master is taking the position away from me? I am not strong enough to dig, and I am ashamed to beg. 4I have decided what to do so that, when I am dismissed as manager, people may welcome me into their homes.” 5So, summoning his master’s debtors one by one, he asked the first, “How much do you owe my master?” 6He answered, “A hundred jugs of olive oil.” He said to him, “Take your bill, sit down quickly, and make it fifty.” 7Then he asked another, “And how much do you owe?” He replied, “A hundred containers of wheat.” He said to him, “Take your bill and make it eighty.” 8And his master commended the dishonest manager because he had acted shrewdly; for the children of this age are more shrewd in dealing with their own generation than are the children of light. 9And I tell you, make friends for yourselves by means of dishonest wealth so that when it is gone, they may welcome you into the eternal homes.

10 ‘Whoever is faithful in a very little is faithful also in much; and whoever is dishonest in a very little is dishonest also in much. 11If then you have not been faithful with the dishonest wealth, who will entrust to you the true riches? 12And if you have not been faithful with what belongs to another, who will give you what is your own? 13No slave can serve two masters; for a slave will either hate the one and love the other, or be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth.’