All Saints Messenger - October 5, 2017

posted Oct 5, 2017, 12:40 PM by Church Secretary
Click here for full version

Greetings in the name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,

In the days of Jesus the purpose of God's vineyard had been rationalized away. The righteously religious had replaced the intent of God's covenant promises with nationalistic pride, self-interest and self-justifying traditions.

How long does it take to develop such theological blinders? The historian Phyllis Tickle, in her book, "The Great Emergence", observes that it takes around 500 years for religious communities to lose their spiritual way. It's just 500 years since the time of the Reformation. Perhaps we are sitting at the juncture of another moment when the tenants of the vineyard are likely to kill those sent to collect it's valuable produce.

In today's parable Jesus does not suggest God will withdraw the covenant promise, but he does warn his hearers: "Therefore I tell you, the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people that produces the fruits of the kingdom." Does any part of that warning ring true for the congregation of which you are a part of? Does any ring true for the larger church with which you are in association? With whom in your circle of faith can you ask humbly and honestly, "What is our purpose for being here, and how does it relate to the cross and empty tomb of Jesus?"
God of the covenant promise, renew in us a clarity of identity and purpose. Grow in our lives and in our communities a rich harvest of faith, hope and love. Amen.
See ya Sunday,
Fr. Gary+