The Reverend Elizabeth Bowyer

Introduction to the readings for the 19th after Pentecost, October 19, 2014

This morning our reading from Hebrew Scriptures shows how Moses’ relationship with God has evolved over time.   It also emphasizes the revelation of God’s character over and against Moses’ longing for intimacy with God as he begs God to show him God’s glory.

Exodus 33: 12-23 “God speaks to Moses as a friend”

Our responsive psalm this morning offers a way for us to reflect on how God’s nature differs from our human nature.  We will begin with the refrain and share in the responsive reading at Psalm 99, VU#819.  God is a ruler who delights in justice.

Our gospel passage for today comes to us from the book of Matthew once again. We pick up from where we left off a couple of weeks ago as Jesus continues his teachings in the Temple in response to the religious leaders’ question: 

“By whose authority are you doing all these things?” 

Here, this morning we are introduced to the first of three conflict stories as Jesus instructs his listeners to manage the “both-and” nature of their choices to live faithfully at the same time as adhering to the demands of the oppressive reality of the Greco Roman Empire.  Hear these words from Chapter 22: 15-22 “Give to God the things that are God’s”

Response:

For the word of God in scripture,

for the word of God among us,

for the word of God within us,

thanks be to God!