Sermon 3-12-17

The scripture for today:

1st reading Genesis 12:1-4a

2nd reading Romans 4:1-5,13-17

Gospel John 3:1-17

My handout for the day:

1.Lent is the opportunity to change what we ought to change but have not…Lent is about becoming, doing and changing whatever it is that is blocking the fullness of life in us right now… Lent is a summons to live anew…Lent is the time to let life in again, to rebuild the worlds we’ve allowed to go sterile, to “fast and weep and mourn” for the goods we’ve foregone. If our own lives are not to die from lack of nourishment, we must sacrifice the pride or the sloth or the listlessness that blocks us from beginning again. Then, as Joel (2:12-18) promises, God will have pity on us and pour into our hearts the life we know down deep that we are lacking.~ Sister Joan Chittister

2.Translating Romans 4:1 is a bit tricky. The NRSV reads, “What then are we to say was gained by Abraham, our ancestor according to the flesh?” The Greek, however, does not say “gained.” The word is “found.” We might think of Romans 4 answering the question, “What did Abraham find?” However, there is another option.

Both Richard B. Hays and N. T. Wright have argued that a better translation would be, “What then shall we say? Is Abraham found our ancestor according to the flesh?” To this the implied answer would be, “No.” He is not forefather according to the flesh (physical descent marked by the physical sign of circumcision). Instead, he is forefather because of his trust in God’s promise. This way of looking at Abraham’s paternity opens up the possibility that Gentiles(us) who entrust themselves to Israel’s God might look to Abraham as their ancestor just as much as Jews who are physically descended from him. From “The Working Preacher” for this week

 

 

3.At conference in 1998  the Roman Catholic Pope John Paul the Second wondered what needed to be done to reverse the prominent mis-understanding that heaven and hell are geographical places. Pope John Paul II insisted that both are states of consciousness – not places to be found somewhere in this great big cosmos. As told by Richard Rohr in the Hell No! MP3

 

4.“For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways,” declares the Lord. “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways And My thoughts than your thoughts. Isaiah 55:8-9

 

5.God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference. The Serenity Prayer is the common name for a prayer authored by the American theologian Reinhold Niebuhr[1][2] (1892–1971), also adopted by AA

 

 

6.Who in their right mind would walk into a restaurant, take a look at the menu and order the dish they least desire?

Likewise, who would go shopping at Nordstrom’s and opt to carry the rack’s ugliest outfit up to the sales counter?

Yet, that’s what most of us do in our thinking, in our conversations. We focus on things we don’t want to happen. We focus on the fear, on the negative, on the lack.

And those decisions have a much bigger impact on your life than one ugly dress or a dish you can’t stand. You literally draw out from the universe(GOD) whatever you focus upon. Pam Grout Blog 3-2-17

 

 

 

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