Evening Prayer thoughts from Sept 11, 2016

We offered a service of Evening Prayer Sunday 6pm in 2016 for those who served and those who gave their lives 15 years ago on 9/11.

This is a short but important service.

Rev. Gary Jones of St. Stephens in Richmond wrote about 9/11 wrote about the positives from the even

“At times like this, it’s as if we become like the prodigal son. We come to ourselves, we remember our true life, and we know we need to go back home. And that is certainly what happened 15 years ago. A nation deeply divided by a bitterly contested presidential election came together in an extraordinary show of unity. It was as if we woke up and came to ourselves. We returned to prayer, and we recovered a sense of unity, kindness, and compassion. We realized then what we from time to time remember now, that it shouldn’t take a tragedy to awaken this spirit in us.” ”

There is certainly a solemnity about this anniversary, but there is also a bright and hopeful reminder of our potential – there is a light within us all that is simply waiting to be uncovered. Many of us have poignant memories of 9/11. One of mine is a gathering of 300 beaming little girls – singing, praying, hugging, and finally giggling with delight as they waved goodbye after chapel. Nine-eleven reminds me, “The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it.”

Ordinary Time, Sept 4- Luke 14:25-33 – The Cost and Benefits of Discipleship

Climb that Hill

Here is the passage

This is at least the third time Jesus has said something provocative. Jesus makes a statement in 12:51 about not bringing peace. Also consider his actions on the sabbath in 13:11. Now another teaching moment on the cost of discipleship.

Picture yourself in the crowd following Jesus. You can only see his back. Occasionally, he turns around to deliver a difficult saying, almost as if daring people to continue following him. Yes, he is probably trying to reduce the crowd by making the way harder than it is now. Jesus is beginning to sense the "all" that lies ahead for him personally (betrayal and denial by his closest companions, followed by false arrest, torture, and brutal execution). He is trying to find the genuine seeker.

This text begins and ends with an "all or nothing" injunction about following Jesus, with two practical illustrations in between.

a.  introductory statement (25)

b. "hating" family members (26) // Mt 10:37; Th 55:1; 101:1-3

c.  bearing one’s cross (27) // Mt 10:38; Mk 8:34; Mt 16:24; Lk 9:23; Th 55:2

d.  tower builder (28-30) –illustration 1 no parallels

e.  warrior king (31-32) –illustration 2 no parallels

f.   renouncing all possessions (33) no parallels

Jesus has three demands three demands or renunciations:
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Commentary, Pentecost 4C, July 3, 2022

The lectionary readings are here  or individually: 

I. Theme – God’s Call and Response to us, being sent out on mission

First Reading – Isaiah 66:10-14
Psalm – Psalm 66:1-8
Epistle – Galatians 6:(1-6)7-16
Gospel – Luke 10:1-11, 16-20 

Today’s readings focus on the Christian experience of being sent by Jesus to continue his mission. This Sunday’s lectionary readings reflect on God’s call and our response, and how this affects the shape of grace and healing in our lives.

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