July 6, 2023

MESSAGE – Fifth Sunday After Pentecost – A – 2 July 2023

MESSAGE – Fifth Sunday After Pentecost – A – 2 July 2023

How is righteousness defined, and how does it connect with our relationship with God and one another? This seems to be the central question of this week in the readings. God’s infinite love and care for God’s people is both an invitation and a challenge. It is an invitation for us to embrace the hospitality which God offers us, but it is a challenge for us to offer hospitality to others in God’s name. God does not require us to prove our devotion through dramatic sacrifices, but welcomes us by grace. Similarly, we are to welcome others in Christ’s name, reflecting God’s goodness and love through our hospitality.

A common theme through all the readings is God’s care, presence and protection that is always available to God’s people. In Genesis, Isaac is saved from sacrifice by God’s provision of another sacrifice. In Paul’s letter followers of Christ are called to embrace the life that is found in righteousness, and this is further clarified by Jesus’ teaching that receiving, welcoming, and providing hospitality for even the least is how ‘righteousness’ is lived and expressed. In resonance with this, the Psalm of lament – reflects a trust in God’s goodness, and the life and goodness that God brings to those who trust and follow God. Ultimately, then, the word ‘hospitality’ may be a simple summary of this week’s theme – God’s hospitality for us, and ours for one another in God’s name, which is the ‘definition’ of righteousness.

May our worship lead us into deeper connection with God, and into greater Christlikeness in our daily living.

Blessings as we seek to take, learn, live and be transformed by  God’s reign in Christ. Rev Tania