Weekly Church Service – Pentecost 20: 27 October 2019

Truly, I say to you. whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it. Luke 18:17

O God,
who alone can probe the depths of the heart,
you hear the prayer of the humble
and justify the repentant sinner:
grant us the gift of humility,
that, seeing our own faults clearly,
we may refrain from judging our neighbour
but rely solely upon your saving grace.
We make our prayer through your Son,
our Saviour, who lives and reigns with you in
the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever
and ever. Amen.

  • Joel 2:23-32
  • Psalm 65
  • 2 Tim 4:6-8, 16-18
  • Luke 18:15-30

next week

  • Habakkuk 1:1-4, 2:1-4
  • Psalm 119:137-144
  • 2 Thess 1:1-4, 11-12
  • Luke 19:1-10

Twentieth Sunday after Pentecost
Truly I tell you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will never enter it. Luke 18:17

Jesus calls us to trust him with the faith of a child. He couldn’t really have stated it any more plainly than he does in our Gospel reading for today. Sadly though, as we are so often prone to doing, one of the adults has to go and try to make belonging to the kingdom of God harder than it needs to be.

“Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” asks a wealthy, self-made young man. Jesus could have pointed out that he has just stated it clearly in the previous verses. Instead he asks the young man to remember the commandments.

Relieved, our rich young friend is able to boast that he has been good at keeping these all his life. To his dismay, Jesus points out that he still lacks
one thing. “Sell all that you own and distribute the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; then come, follow me.”

What Jesus is asking of his rich young friend is that he should put into practice what he has already stated in verse 17, that is to trust him with the accepting and uncomplicated faith of a child.

Just like the rich young ruler, all too often, we too make the mistake of making the gift of eternal life something that we have to earn. Perhaps it’s because deep down we all really believe that there is no such thing as a free lunch. The good news is that although not much may be free, eternal life is. Jesus has paid the price that we might freely receive it. All that is required of us is that we believe, and with the faith of a child put our trust in Jesus. It really is that simple, otherwise Jesus wouldn’t have said so.

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