Pondering for Sunday, September 27, 2020

Part 1 of 2

Daily Office Readings for Sunday of Proper 21: Year 2

 Psalms 66, 67; and 19, 46 Hosea 2:2 to14James 3:1 to13Matthew. 13:44 to 52

“But no one can tame the tongue—a restless evil, full of deadly poison.  With it we bless the Lord and Father, and with it we curse those who are made in the likeness of God.  From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this ought not to be so.”  (James 3:8 to 10

As wild as the tongue is, it rarely says anything that was not first born in the heart or mind. The tongue, like the hands, can only follow the management of the heart and mind.  What is key here, is, what do we want? Do we want to be fair and loving or not?  We, without God, are not able to change our hearts no matter how much we want to do or say the right things.  This saying and doing will be examined further in part 2 of today’s Ponder.  For now I remember our Sunday opening Collect where we read, “Almighty God, to you all hearts are open, all desires known, and from you no secrets are hid: Cleanse the thoughts of our hearts by the inspiration of your Holy Spirit, that we may perfectly love you, and worthily magnify your holy Name; through Christ our Lord. Amen.” (BCP 355)

Part 2 of 2

Eucharistic New Testament Readings for Sunday of Proper 21: Year A

Philippians 2:1-13 and Matthew 21:23-32

“Which of the two did the will of the father? (Matthew 21:31).

As I ponder these two sons I try to be as objective as I can, even in spite of the heavy influence by the evangelist.  Matthew says the first son, changed his mind and did the work he said he would not do.  For the second son the evangelist implies that he just lied about his intentions and never intended to do the work in the first place.  So I give the benefit of doubt to both.  Perhaps the second son changed his mind also.  Maybe he truly intended to do the work but later he too, changed his mind. 

The bottom line here, no matter which way we look at it, is, “Which of the two actually did the will of the father?”  The key word here is “did” the will of the father, not just said they would or would not do it.  I have a quote from Mark Twain where he says “Action speaks louder than words but not nearly as often.”  I really do believe we speak more accurately with our actions.  But is such accuracy a good thing?  Ponder this please and ask our Lord Jesus for help.  He is waiting.

Let us hear what the Spirit is saying to, and through, the saints of God, and then ponder anew what the Almighty can do. John

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