Moment of Clarity With Rev. Lorrie Daly-Price
The Power of Persistence

The Power of Persistence

October 28, 2019

October 27, 2019 | The passage from Luke for this Sunday features a story that Jesus told about a Pharisee and a Tax Collector who went to the Temple to pray. Two characters that are polar opposites.

The Pharisee was religiously righteous, the tax man extorted revenue for the Roman oppressors. The religious expert was smug and confident, the outsider was anxious and insecure. The Pharisee paraded around telling God how good he was and how valuable he was to God. The Tax Collector hung his head standing at a distance and begged God for forgiveness. He could not even look up when he considered what a sinner he was. 

The parable punch line announces a reversal in the end. The respectable, reputable Pharisee, so competent and accomplished, the one who had done everything right was rejected, whereas the disreputable, inadequate Tax Collector went away "justified" because of his humility.

Never Give Up

Never Give Up

October 22, 2019

October 20, 2019 | Have you ever felt like giving up? Throwing in the towel? Leaving the ministry or quitting the faith? In telling the parable of the persistent widow from Luke’s gospel Jesus acknowledges that quitting the journey is a real possibility.

 This week Jesus encourages us "always to pray and not give up." He tells a story about a persistent widow who importuned a corrupt judge. The judge’s status, his power, the pomp and ceremony of his lofty position – all have made him into a man who is unworthy of his calling. Yet the widow, who feels wronged and aggrieved, persists in her appeal to this judge. Eventually he relents.

She never gave up despite the many injustices she experienced at the hands of the judge who "neither feared God nor cared about men".

There's no mysterious meaning here. The parable is straightforward. Despite our feelings of fighting a losing battle, of supporting a losing cause, don't give up. Keep praying.

Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving

October 20, 2019

October 19th, 2019 | In this week's gospel it's the day after Jesus multiplied the loaves and fishes. The crowd thinks they’ve caught the gravy train and they don't want this party to end. After some probing they put in their order: give us a sign to believe in you. How about a regular diet of manna raining from heaven? Jesus seizes on their opening to explain who he is and why he's here, “I am the bread of life, whoever comes to me will never be hungry”.

In this week’s reading to the disappointment of the idlers, Jesus is not promising an endless buffet of material goodies. He is offering himself as the spiritual food that will fill our deepest needs.

Big Things Come in Small Packages

Big Things Come in Small Packages

October 8, 2019

October 6, 2019 | Often in the news we will read about or hear a person being interviewed after a heroic act. An individual who dives into a freezing river to save a child that has fallen through the ice. A person who jumps onto the tracks to save someone pushed off the subway platform. Both individuals who insist “I’m not a hero, I didn’t even think about it, I just did what I needed to do in that moment.”

In our reading this morning from Luke’s gospel Jesus speaks to the disciples about some slaves who have only done what they ought to have done. But we can’t underestimate the enormity, the intensity, the far reaching influence of simple, prepared-in-little-things faithfulness.

So to increase their faith the disciples ask Jesus. Jesus’ reply “you already have all the faith you need. Simply do what you have to do in the moment. The miracle lies inherent in ordinariness.”

Begin With One

Begin With One

October 1, 2019

Sept. 29, 2019 | In Jesus’ day he would use stories to challenge the power and status of the religious elite. With just a few short lines of dialogue or common images of the time he would narrate what it means to live in the kingdom of God. Our reading this week from Luke’s gospel is Jesus’ response to being ridiculed by a particular group of Pharisees who are referred to as lovers of money.

Jesus has much to say about money throughout the gospel of Luke. This week tells the story of an anonymous rich man and Lazarus, one of the only named characters in all of Jesus’ parables. Throughout the rich man’s life time he does not see Lazarus, a man who lies outside the gate of his home in desperate need. Lazarus was an individual with his own hopes and dreams but was overlooked. If the rich man had seen him, really seen him, then perhaps this story would have ended differently.

When have you not seen another? How was that oversight brought to your attention? When did you see another? And what did that seeing lead to?

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