Jeremiah 4:11-12, 22-28; Psalm 14; (Exodus 32:7-14; Psalm 51:1-10;) 1 Timothy 1:12-17; Luke 15:1-10
Proverbs 1:20-33; Psalm 19; (Isaiah 50:4-9a; Psalm 116:1-9 or Wisdom of Solomon 7:26 - 8:1;) James 3:1-12; Mark 8:27-38
Exodus 14:19-31; Psalm 114 or Exodus 15:1b-11, 20-21; (Genesis 50:15-21; Psalm 103:[1-7], 8-13;) Romans 14:1-12; Matthew 18:21-35
We cannot choose who God will call into Christ’s body in baptism.
My wife and I have two sons, 12 and 14, and a standard-size refrigerator. Hence, we spend a lot of time at the grocery store. As I wait to pay for one day’s installment of food, I am invited to learn the full story about the semiprivate lives of numerous celebrities. If the number of these publications is anything to go by, our desire for insider knowledge is insatiable. We want to know all of the details and we want to know them now.
Four hundred ninety times? Do we really have to do this?
The best storytellers paint pictures with words, using them to fill our minds with vivid imagery. I remember reading the first Harry Potter novel to my first-grade son. Each time we completed a chapter and I turned the page to start a new one he would shift in my lap and look away from the book. Finally I asked him what was wrong. He replied, “I don’t want to see the drawing on the first page of the chapter because I want to think about what things look like all by myself.”
With fall education programs getting under way and Sunday school teachers beginning another year of teaching, it may be disconcerting to hear this reading from James: “Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers and sisters, for you know that we who teach will be judged with greater strictness.”
Matthew's story is terrible news. It is also the truth that will make us free.