God Comes First. The sermon will be a post on our Facebook page. Please click on link to view sermon.
God is, the theologians say, transcendent—beyond us, always exceeding our easy grasp. Recognizing God’s awesome transcendence brings a reevaluation of other values. The God of vertigo-inspiring infinitude is also the God who know the hairs of our head. Trusting this God, fear is defanged and faith becomes a sort of courage. We live in faithful relationship to the hair-counting God as we joyfully “acknowledge” the one who acknowledges us. And as we do so, reveling in the intimacy of God’s loving regard for us, other relationships, even familial ones, take on a different cast. God comes first, we realize, not only in priority, but ontologically, “in the beginning.” Before the God who is at once gracious and transcendent, we “lose” our lives and discover the true life in following the way of Jesus the crucified Son.
Gospel: Matthew 10:24-39
Jesus warns his disciples that their ministry in his name will meet with opposition. However, he assures them that they need not fear for the truth will come to light. Life is found in Christ.
[Jesus said to the twelve:] 24“A disciple is not above the teacher, nor a slave above the master; 25it is enough for the disciple to be like the teacher, and the slave like the master. If they have called the master of the house Beelzebul, how much more will they malign those of his household!
26“So have no fear of them; for nothing is covered up that will not be uncovered, and nothing secret that will not become known. 27What I say to you in the dark, tell in the light; and what you hear whispered, proclaim from the housetops. 28Do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul; rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell. 29Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father. 30And even the hairs of your head are all counted. 31So do not be afraid; you are of more value than many sparrows.
32“Everyone therefore who acknowledges me before others, I also will acknowledge before my Father in heaven; 33but whoever denies me before others, I also will deny before my Father in heaven.
34“Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth; I have not come to bring peace, but a sword.
35For I have come to set a man against his father,
and a daughter against her mother,
and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law;
36and one’s foes will be members of one’s own household.
37Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me; 38and whoever does not take up the cross and follow me is not worthy of me. 39Those who find their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake will find it.”