Weekly Church Service – Pentecost 3: 30 June 2019

Those who find their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for Jesus’ sake will find it.   Matthew 10:39

Collect of the Day

O God, the light of the minds that know you,
the life of the souls that love you,
the strength of the thoughts that seek you:
help us so to know you that we may truly love
you, and so to love you that we may fully serve
you, whose service is perfect freedom;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen

  • 2 Kings 2:1-2, 6-14
  • Ps 77:1-2, 11-20
  • Gal 5:1, 13-25
  • Luke 9:51-62

next week

  • 2 Kings 5:1-14
  • Psalm 30
  • Galatians 6:7-18
  • Luke 10:1-12, 17-24

Third Sunday after Pentecost – Luke 9:51-62

“No one who sets a hand to the plough and looks to what was left behind is fit for the kingdom of God.”

The journey to Jerusalem is the focus of today’s Gospel.  Jesus proceeds to Jerusalem to take up the cross that awaits him there.

The most direct route to Jerusalem took Jesus and his company through a Samaritan town.  The Samaritans and Jews despised one another.  Their hatred dated back to the eighth century B.C., when Assyria conquered northern Israel (Samaria).  Those northerners who survived the disaster intermarried with foreigners resettled by the Assyrians.  The Jews of Jerusalem considered such accommodation with their hated enemy treason and, worse, a betrayal of the holy faith.  Jerusalem banned the Samaritans from the temple and synagogues, refused their religious contributions and denied their legal status in court proceedings.  The spurned Samaritans would do everything they could to hinder and even attack pilgrims to Jerusalem.  Although it was the most direct route from Galilee, most Jews avoided the territories of the Samaritans.  Jesus, however, proceeds through Samaria, regardless of their inhospitality and responds to their bitterness with tolerance and reconciliation.

Along the way, three would-be disciples ask to join Jesus.  To the first, Jesus asks if he clearly understands the cost of discipleship; Jesus urges the second not to find excuses or rationalisations for avoiding the call of God; Jesus reminds the third that discipleship demands a total dedication and commitment to seeking God in all things.

To claim the title of disciple demands that we abandon our own safety and security for the sake of the reign of God.  The call to discipleship demands a total, conscious acceptance of the hard demands of the Gospel.  

Jesus calls those who would be his disciples not to look back with regret or fear to what we leave undone but to look forward to the possibilities we have to establish and build the reign of God in our own time and place.

The Gospel of forgiveness, reconciliation, justice and peace is not a collection of pious words we commit to memory; it is a spirit-centred attitude and perspective to which we commit our lives.

We cannot be disciples by being mere spectators of God’s presence; authentic discipleship calls us to become involved in the hard work of making the reign of God a reality.      

© Connections/MediaWorks     

You can download a PDF of this weeks pew sheet here https://greenwoodanglican.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/07/Pew-Sheet-Pentecost-3C-1.pdf

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