Following a question by Peter as to how often he is supposed to forgive someone, Jesus goes into a parable of a king who called his servants into account. We’d call it an audit today. And, one servant was found to owe ten thousand talents, a lot of money. But he begged the king forgiveness, and the king forgave him. But the servant wanted to press severely for payment of a fellow-servant whose debt amounted to pocket change. What the king does as a result shows that we will see the level of mercy we give to others.
One of the more interesting parables is the one about the king who puts on a wedding feast for his son. We know how he set up the feat, we know about the invited guests who snubbed him, and we know about the people, good and bad, that he brought in from the highways as replacement guests. But how many of us have looked at the guest who was not wearing a wedding garment? Understand that, and you’ll know what awaits if you accept!
One of the most important points of the New Testament, and of Jesus’ ministry. “Ask and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full”. That might not be as you imagined it, or times ad you hoped, but it does promise that it will be.
There’s no discussion here about “God’s will”, “God’s time”, or “God’s higher plan”. Simply ask, and it shall be given unto you.
I have a hard time with the Epistle reading here, and not because of what it says. My issue is what some people claim that it says. At the time St Peter wrote this, the world known to him was governed by Rome, and it was relatively just. And, there were no persecutions. Is such a pronouncement of advice all-inclusive?
What of unjust situations. Should civil rights demonstrators stayed silent because segregation was the law? For that matter, should the Pilgrims who settled in Massachusetts have instead stayed in England and affirmed their loyalty to the Church of England, since it was England’s only lawful church at the time?
Just laws are just and deserve to be followed. But we don’t need to follow injustice in the name of scripture.
The Epistle reading for today is one which I consider to be one of the most abused and mis-used passages in the entire Bible! Does it mean, for instance, that Rosa Parks was supposed to give up her seat on the bus to a white man? Does it mean that minorities should have quietly obeyed the Jim Crow laws that enforced segregation? Should Jews have quietly gone to concentration camps? I don’t think so!
At the time St Paul wrote this, he was a proud citizen of Rome. Rome had treated him well. He had no way of knowing that rulers such as Nero and Caligula were in the future.
He did have to worry about some folks who thought that with the coming of Christ being so soon to come, they did not have to concern themselves with mundane authorities.
Much has been said about this inauguration, but I feel it might be wise to take a moment and offer some basic principles in which most of us will agree. And, for the sake of those calling themselves “Christian”, what Jesus and his initial followers taught. Considering the principles upon which the United States was founded, it might do us well to review them.
Jesus had much to say, but it is worth noting what he and his followers did not mention. Notice that and see its significance, and you’ll have learned a major lesson. Next, look at how Jesus taught and whom he ministered to, and you’ll see more – including a point which some people today don’t seem to get!
I cannot go through a Holy Communion without it being a spiritual experience, and this was a major one!