What is God’s?

Twentieth Sunday after Pentecost; 18 October 2020; Proper 24A (RCL); Exodus 33:12-23; Psalm 99; 1 Thessalonians 1:1-10; Matthew 22:15-22.

Modern scholarship has a hard time identifying the Herodians in this passage from Matthew. If they were, as the name implies, a sect that aligned itself with the rule of the Herods, it is unlikely that the Pharisees would make common cause with them. That aside, this challenge story comes after a string of parables clearly directed against the Jerusalem authorities. Whoever they are, Jesus’ interlocutors are trying to paint him seditious.

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What do we owe?

22 October 2017
Twentieth Sunday after Pentecost
Proper 24A (RCL)

Exodus 33:13-23
Psalm 99
1 Thessalonians 1:1-10
Matthew 22:15-22

So Israel, who had been no people when slaves in Egypt, and had become God’s people in the wilderness, messed up badly with the golden calf. At the opening of Chapter 33 of Exodus, God says that God will send an angel before the people as the ‘go up’ to land promised to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, but the divine self will not go up with them, because they are a stiff necked people. This presents the ultimate crisis for Israel’s existence — without God’s presence, they are no people. Continue reading “What do we owe?”