October 9, 2022

Jeremiah 29:1, 4-7
Luke 17:11-19

“The Welfare of the City”

There are special Scripture readings in the lectionary for Thanksgiving Sunday, but I don’t always use them. Sometimes, like this year, I just stick with the readings for this 18th Sunday after Pentecost. I love the fact that today’s Gospel story about the ten people who are healed and the one who returns to praise God and thank Jesus just happens to fall on Thanksgiving Sunday. Christians around the world, most of whom are not celebrating Thanksgiving this weekend like Canadians, are nonetheless reflecting on this story about giving thanks.

But of course, there’s more to the Gospel story today than a reminder to be polite and say thank you when someone helps you out. There’s a message about Jesus crossing boundaries and helping people that would normally be ignored and avoided by others. There’s the wonder of God’s healing power that not only cures illness, but restores us to community. And perhaps most important, there’s the fact that the one who returned to give thanks was a Samaritan. He was considered an outsider first for his ethnicity and then for his skin condition, but here he becomes an example of faith and wholeness … Read more »

November 8, 2015

Jeremiah 29:4-14
Matthew 6:19-21
Luke 19:1-10

“Free to Be Rich”

This month we are talking about stewardship and reflecting on what we do with the money and other gifts that we have received. The weekly themes come from a resource prepared by the Ecumenical Stewardship Centre, with today’s theme focus titled, “Free to be Rich.”

I must say that I was a bit surprised by that title at first. It seemed almost in contrast to the Gospel story that Patti shared this morning with the children. Zacchaeus wasn’t so much “Free to be Rich” as he was becoming “Free to be Poor” when he met Jesus and got inspired to give his money away.

When I read the title, “Free to be Rich,” I immediately began to worry that this resource might be promoting what is often called the “prosperity gospel.” I remembered being down in the United States a few years ago, turning on the TV, and finding that about half the channels were showing TV evangelists. After searching for something I was more interested in watching without success, I turned back to one of the evangelists to see what she was teaching.

I remember the Scripture verse she focussed on very well, because she repeated … Read more »