Gratitude, Sacrifice and Blessings
(Posted November 9, 2018)
This weekend is one destined to be full of contrasts. Outside the window it’s the end of the dazzling colors of fall and the emergence of the bare bones gray of the winter woods. It’s the end on Sunday of the lead-up to our Stewardship Campaign, and the beginning of the pre-Thanksgiving holiday season with its sense of coming abundance. And in the Gospel of Mark that we’ve been following, it’s the end of Jesus’ public ministry. What lesson does he choose to teach as his last one? He takes the disciples to the Temple Treasury. Jesus lets them watch as the elite scribes donate large amounts of money, making sure that everyone sees them do it. And then he points out how a widow quietly comes forth and contributes two coins. They are everything she has. The scribes are powerful. She is one of “the least of these” that Jesus talked about last week, and who we, as children of God are obligated to help.
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But the underlying message is this. To follow Jesus we are not merely obligated to be generous when we feel like it, and when people are watching. We are meant to offer our whole selves in service to God. The theme of sacrifice is all the more fitting this Jazz Sunday that falls on Veterans Day, when we all have an opportunity to thank those men and women who willingly placed their entire beings in service to the higher cause of protecting and defending freedom. So please join us this Sunday of endings and beginnings, so that we may with a full, willing heart thank God for all that has blessed us. -- Pastor Pat Kriss