October 21, 2016
for Sunday, Oct. 23
Jeremiah 14:7-10, 19-22
2 Timothy 4:6-8, 16-18
This is a short, straightforward parable, isn't it? After all, it's pretty obvious that the Pharisee is the bad guy and the tax collector the good guy. However, there is more to this passage than what we see at first glance. In the introduction, v. 9, the purpose and thrust of the parable is given. Then we have the parable itself in vv. 10-13, followed by comments on the parable (v. 14).
The Pharisee is not a villain and the tax collector a hero. By interpreting the passage in this way, each gets what he deserves. Isn't there something that just doesn't wring true with that interpretation? Heaven help us if any of us gets what we deserve. The Pharisee is not a villain, but rather he represents complete dedication to observing the law of Moses. In fact, he even exceeds the law's demands. His prayer is a common rabbinic expression of thanksgiving prefaced by the claim of the psalmist with reference to personal behavior in Psalm 17:3-5.
Nor is the tax collector the hero. He prays according to Psalm 51, but his life is offensive. By virtue of his profession, his life is offensive. He takes more than he should in taxes for his own comfort. He also works for the Romans, the oppressors of the Jewish people and the occupiers of their homeland. This parable is radical! If we take these two as the good and the bad guys, we rob the parable of its radicality. Both men are sinners just as each of us is. The point of the parable is that God justifies the ungodly. The Pharisee trusted in himself; the tax collector trusted in God: that is the difference.
9[Jesus] also told this parable to some who trusted in themselves that
they were righteous and regarded others with contempt:10“Two men
went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. 11The Pharisee, standing by himself, was praying thus, ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other people: thieves, rogues, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. 12I fast twice a week; I give a tenth of all my income.’ 13But the tax collector, standing far off, would not even look up to heaven, but was beating his breast and saying, ‘God, be merciful to me, a sinner!’ 14I tell you, this man went down to his home justified rather than the other; for all who exalt themselves will be humbled, but all who humble themselves will be exalted.”
Names will remain of the Prayer List for a month - at which
time it will be taken off unless, or course, there is still a continued need
for our prayers and we’re asked to keep the name on.
***A Special Congregational Meeting will be held Sunday, October 30th immediately following the service for the sole purpose of discussing the update of the church fire safety system.
*** Love INC (Love in the Name of Christ) in Jamestown, needs to stock their Partner Pantry. Donations may be brought to St. Timothy’s and placed in their collection tote located in the narthex. Items needed are: Laundry detergent, Dish soap, Shampoo, Conditioner, Toilet paper, Deodorant and Diapers sizes newborn, 5 and 6. Thank you!
*** Healthy Bones Exercise Class continues at St. Timothy. Classes for this session are held at 9:00 am on Monday & Wednesday through December 14th.
***SW Conference Fall Assembly – Sunday, October 23, 3 PM at Holy Trinity, Jamestown. Each congregation can have two voting delegates and anyone is welcome to attend. Sharon Hamilton will be sharing her experience as a delegate to the Churchwide Assembly this summer.
*** All Saints Sunday is November 6th. Please provide the church office with names of those who have passed away since last November that you would like remembered during the service.
· For our community of faith as we seek to do God’s work in the world.
· For those in our congregation and community who suffer silently with illness, financial burdens, and family obligation.
· For victims of violence and their families in all places
· For Tom Xander & family on passing of his wife Cndy, all victims of breast cancer, Elenor Burgeson Orman, Bob Samuelson, Arden Johnson, Dr. Gerald & Kris Magneson, Don Frank, Jill Scott, Bill Reel, Helen Cogliano, John Bylund, Joanne Aron, Pastor John Klatt, JoLynn Stearns, Scott Stearns, Zachary Frazier, Todd Reel, Maj-Britt Traynor, Gerald Ayers, Matt Isaacson, Sandra Kelderhouse, Thom Shagla, Ralph Prieur, Mary Anne, Ryan Samuelson,
· For people serving in the military and their families, those caught up in war who have no safe home in which to live.
· For all children, that the love of Christ may reach them through all of us who have resources to love, protect, pray and provide for them.