Last Sunday after Pentecost; Christ the King; 22 November 2020; Proper 29A (RCL); Ezekiel 34:11-16, 20-24; Psalm 100; Ephesians 1:15-23; Matthew 25:31-46.

Matthew has this thing about judgment as separation: separating wheat from weeds, good fish from bad fish, sheep from goats. And always someone is thrown into the outer darkness where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. I would love to know what was going on in his community that required such a final separation

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Much or little

Twenty-fourth Sunday after Pentecost; 15 November 2020; Proper 28A (RCL); Judges 4:1-7; Psalm 123; 1 Thessalonians 5:1-11; Matthew 25:14-30.

Here’s another parable, the ending of which we don’t like very much. Take the one talent away from this slave and give it to the one who has ten. To those who have more will be given, and they will have an abundance, but from those who have nothing even what they have will be taken away. This sounds too much like the way the world already works to be the punch line of a parable of Jesus.

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Shine a light

Twenty-third Sunday after Pentecost; 8 November 2020; Proper 27A (RCL); Joshua 24:1-3a, 14-25; Psalm 78:1-7; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18; Matthew 25:1-13.

In got curious and looked up lampas in my Greek concordance of the NT (everyone has one, right?). Matthew uses this word or a cognate in three passages in his Gospel. First, in the Sermon on the Mount, he tells us that we are the light of the world, and no one lights a light and hides it under a basket but sets it on the stand so that it will shine on (lampein) everyone in the house.

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