NOTE FROM PASTOR J R FOR SUNDAY, OCTOBER 9, 2022
This Sunday is the Seventh Sunday of Kingdomtide. The assigned gospels text for Kingdomtide this year, all seem to only reenforce God’s extravagant love and grace for all people. In the assigned text for this week, Jesus encounters 10 lepers and heals them. Among them was a foreigner, a Samaritan, a person considered to be a mortal enemy to the Jews at that time.
It seems that once again, Jesus chose the despised, the marginalized, the outcast, to demonstrate God’s extravagant love and grace for is for all. In pondering this passage along with my mediation on Wednesday morning from the Center of Action and Contemplation, I thought a unique insight into and perspective on what Jesus called the two greatest commandments; (1) love God with your whole heart, and (2) love your neighbor as yourself. What if there is only one great commandment and what we think as the 2nd great commandment is instruction into how we live out our response to the first great commandment of “loving God with our whole heart.”
Father Richard Rohr wrote: “What does it mean when we’re told we should love God with our whole heart, with our whole soul, with our whole mind, and with our whole strength? The first commandment is that we should love God more than anything else. The only way I know how to love God is to love what God loves; only then do we love with divine love and allow it to flow through us.” In other words, it is only in loving our neighbor as ourselves that we indeed are loving God with our whole heart!
Once again, Jesus demonstrates this in His encounter with 10 lepers by healing all 10 of them, of which one, was a foreigner: an outcast. In doing so, Jesus once again extended “Extravagant Grace For ‘ALL!’”
Join us worship this week at Covenant, in-person, by Zoom or Facebook Livestream. My sermon will be “Extravagant Grace for ‘ALL!’” It is based on Luke 17:11-19.