September 27th, 2020
Well, these first two weeks back at work have been a joy to my heart. I think I have managed to talk with all of you either by phone or text. Connecting in with each of you brings a smile to my face and a skip to my step. Not only that, the weather has been fabulous this week. It has been warm with the sun shinning most days. I am certainly enjoying these lingering days of warm fall weather.
I expect that all of you have received the letter from our Pastoral Charge Reopening Committee this week. Decisions were made prayerfully and thoughtfully. We have never had to deal with a pandemic before, therefore we continually pray for God’s wisdom and insight to make decisions based on the greatest good for all. As a Pastoral Charge, I know we will continue to journey through this time of COVID-19 one step at a time, as we are held gently in the palm of God’s hand.
My sermon this week is based on Matthew 21:23-32. It is entitled ‘Let’s Talk About Authority’. More often than not, we are confused about authority. We misunderstand it to be based on credentials and expertise, a thick resume, years of education, successes and accomplishments, status and reputation, or the position held in relationship to another. We assume that authority comes from outside a person, and that it is given to them, and to us, by the circumstances around us.
True authority, however, always comes from within. It is an interior God-given quality, not an exterior circumstance. That is what the chief priests and elders failed to understand in this morning’s scripture passage. They had exchanged their God-given authority for human power. Sometimes we do that too. Look at the gridlock in our political systems. Look at the wars throughout the world. Look at the conflicts in your own relationships. These are about power, not authority. In the exercise of power, we look to our own interest, but in the exercise of authority we look to the interests of others. Looking to the interests of others sounds an awful lot like Jesus, doesn’t it. Those who exercise authority are very different from those who exercise power. It is important to remember that all authority originates in God.
God gives each of us gifts, and authority, unique to our lives. God is generous – extravagant – with the gifts God gives to us, and the authority God shares with us. We all have God-given gifts and authority.
It is my hope and prayer that each of you have a wonderful week filled with God’s goodness, joy, and peace. I look forwards to connecting in with each of you again though out the week as we share stories, prayers, laughter, and tears. Remember that as we pray for one another every morning at 10:30, God grants us wisdom, love and peace to hold each other in God’s infinite love and care.
Keep well and safe.