Good afternoon on this fine fall day from the Rector’s Study at St. John’s. This week has been filled with mixed emotions and activity. We bid farewell to Clyde yesterday along with friends and loved ones. Today, we welcomed a mother and daughter pair who are church shopping. Endings and beginnings are all around us and we come to celebrate them one, and all. While we need not get ahead of ourselves, All Saints’ Day is just around the corner followed by the beginning of a new Church year in December. But, for now, we choose to live in this moment and in the hope we find in community. Blessings to one and all.

In worship, we celebrate the revelation of God among all people. We ask for reminders of God’s mercy and pray that God can preserve the people who are church throughout the world, those who trust that God is God. In our Hebrew Scripture from Exodus, we hear the exchange between God and Moses on the mountain, just prior to the second giving on the 10 Commandments. God comes near Moses and shields him before making his presence know, the presence that will lead Israel. The Psalmist sang a refrain which reinforces God’s tangible presence among God’s people. God is there for those who look for God. In Paul’s 1st letter to the Thessalonians, we are reminded that Paul lives his life knowing and believing that God will be with him and that God will make Paul succeed in God’s plan.

Our sermon was based loosely on the gospel reading from Matthew where the Pharisees and Herodians try to get Jesus to violate Roman or Jewish law regarding the payment of the Temple Tax. Jesus reminds them that there are things that belong to God and things that belong to the powers of the world. Our job is to give the things to the right entity. We are reminded that the greatest gift we have is to live a life well lived. God gives directions and calls us to a life lived at the intersection of the spiritual and the earthly. Our mission is to render the gifts we have in ways which honor God and bring hope to the earth.

God will lead us and if we look, we will see God’s eternal presence come near and lead us to real life. How is God leading your forward?

I invite your comments,

Readings: Exodus 33:12-23; Psalm 99; 1 Thessalonians 1:1-10; Matthew 23:15-22

Listen at:

Video of worship:

Video of sermon: