Every year we prepare meal bags for people and families which are then distributed through Gulf Coast Ministries. Please consider supporting this mission by preparing a bag or perhaps just supplying an item or 2 off the list. All donations are welcome and appreciated. We ask that all donations be in the church office by Monday, November 14th.
Meal Bag List:
2 cans of fruit
3 cans of veggies
1 can of sweet potatoes
1 bag of marshmallows
1 package of stuffing
1 package or can of gravy
1 box of instant mashed potatoes
2 boxes of jello
1 package of cookies (non- refrigerated)
1 canned meat (no refrigeration required
Both the prophet and the psalmist are transformed from questioning and indignation to faith and delight in God’s law, in the certainty that God’s justice is everlasting and the time awaited – the time of salvation – will surely come.
Paul gives thanks for the people of the church in Thessalonia, because he sees their faith growing abundantly, and their love for one another increasing, even during a time of persecution and affliction. Clearly then, we see a theme of holding a steadfast and joyful faith while the world around us is violent and unjust.
Let’s look at the transformation in the story of Zacchaeus. At first glance, we have a perfect narrative of making a new beginning in Christ. The story of the man who is short in stature and climbs a tree so that he can see Jesus is appealing to children and other vertically challenged people, and sheds a new light on the line in the psalm “I am small and of little account, yet I do not forget your commandments” (v. 141).
Perhaps Zacchaeus is not only short in stature, but also in moral status among his neighbors. He is a tax collector, and not just any tax collector, but a chief tax collector and rich. Tax collectors were hated in the community because they collected taxes from their Jewish neighbors for the Romans who occupied their country. In addition, a tax collector could and often did, overcharge their neighbors and keep the extra for themselves. Not only did they serve the Romans, but they also took advantage of their position to steal from their neighbors. The assumption is that Zacchaeus had become rich by his greed and dishonesty, stealing from his community.
So even though Zacchaeus has difficulty seeing Jesus, he makes an effort, humbles himself by doing an undignified, childish thing – climbing a tree – because of his desire to change and become worthy. He welcomes Jesus into his heart and his house, gladly offers to give half of his possessions to the poor, and make restitution if he has taken any money dishonestly. Zacchaeus makes the proper response to his encounter with Jesus.
October 30, 2022
Habakkuk’s prophecy begins with pointed questions addressed to God. Habakkuk sees injustice all around. He cries to God, but feels that God does not listen, or does not save. To hear Habakkuk tell it, God even makes Habakkuk witness wrongdoing and evil, and nothing is done about it. In short, Habakkuk is a prophet for our times, who seethes at injustice and isn’t afraid to demand where God is. The whole first chapter is a description of just such a trying situation. Far from giving up in frustration or surrendering to injustice, however, Habakkuk resolves to remain faithful. In return, God promises justice, and that the proud will be humbled, and the righteous will live.
In this section of Psalm 119, the Psalmist is vexed that God’s word is not being followed properly. God and God’s decrees are described as good, upright, and just. For the Psalmist, following God’s word is both an obligation and a delight. Despite being “small” and “of little account,” the author of this song to God follows God’s word, and prays that all creation will do likewise. Moreover, the Psalmist seeks understanding of God’s word, and that understanding is equated with life. God sits in righteous judgment of all, but many simply do not realize, or do not understand. Yet even in distress, the author revels in God’s commandments.
From the Episcopal Church website: https://www.episcopalchurch.org/bible_study/bible-study-pentecost-21-c-october-30-2022/
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“O God, our heavenly Father, whose glory fills the whole creation, and whose presence we find wherever we go:
preserve those who travel; surround them with your loving care; protect them from every danger;
and bring them in safety to their journey’s end; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.