Sermon Summary for 7/31/2016
Respectfully submitted by Brenda Worley
All of the readings from this Sunday were about vanity and self-absorption. From the words of Solomon in the First Lesson from Ecclesiastes to Jesus’s Parable of the Rich Fool shared in Luke.
Even in Psalm 49 we are reminded that we cannot live forever nor can we ransom ourselves from death.
The focus of Mother Mary’s homily was the Parable of the Rich Fool. Often, this reading is used for the basis of a lesson on giving. She shared a different version of the story as written in the Message Bible by Eugene Peterson. His words are shared below.
Luke 12: 16 Then he told them this story: "The farm of a certain rich man produced a terrific crop. 17 He talked to himself: 'What can I do? My barn isn't big enough for this harvest.' 18Then he said, 'Here's what I'll do: I'll tear down my barns and build bigger ones. Then I'll gather in all my grain and goods, 19 and I'll say to myself, Self, you've done well! You've got it made and can now retire. Take it easy and have the time of your life!' 20 "Just then God showed up and said, 'Fool! Tonight you die. And your barnful of goods - who gets it?' 21 "That's what happens when you fill your barn with Self and not with God."
As you can see from this reading, we are in trouble when we fill our lives with “self.” Along with self-absorption comes isolation. Isolation follows because we refuse to share what we have and because we think that we don’t need anyone else in our lives, even God.
Mother Mary pointed out that the story of the Tower of Babel is a prime example of how important it is to be interdependent and avoid isolation. This was the story of a people who were attempting to build a tower in their city that would connect with the Heavens so they would be above all, better than all, and in need from no one. The result was that God confused their language and put an end to their arrogance. They had to call on others to understand and to live. To live they had to reach out, trust, and share—to love.
There are two lessons for us from the day. First, we should busy ourselves in this world with filling our lives with love, relationships, charity, and gratitude and not focus on self to the point that we are isolated from community. Second, we as Christians are called to reach out to those that are isolated by circumstances or by choice to bring them into community so they can rejoice with us in the fullness of a life in Christ. We are reminded of this regularly through the words of our post-communion prayer— “Send us now into the world in peace, and grant us strength and courage to love and serve you with gladness and singleness of heart; through Christ our Lord. Amen.”
Go forth and spread the Good News. Thanks be to God!