Jeremiah 8:18-9:. Jeremiah grieves the destruction of his people, who insisted on worshiping idols, but for whom there is now no salvation.
Psalm 79:1-9. A lament for the land of Israel which has been destroyed by foreign nations, and for the temple which has been desecrated, and a plea for God’s forgiveness, compassion and resto-ration.
1 Timothy 2:1-10. Paul calls for believers to pray for all people, including leaders, reminding them of Christ’s pleading for us with God – for which Paul has been called as an apostle to the Gentiles.
Luke 16:1-13. Jesus parable of the shrewd manager who wins social capital and his master’s commendation through the act of radical, inappropriate, forgiveness.
Rev Tania writes:
This is a week for lots of prayer and reflection – the Gospel reading is one of the toughest parables to preach, by all accounts! But, there are two clear themes that emerge when all the readings are placed together.
The first is the obvious one – the subtle power of money to lead us into corrupt and exploitative practices. Jeremiah bemoans the people’s devotion to idols (of which money is a significant one according to Jesus in Luke).
The second theme this week is that of forgiveness and undeserved honour. Jeremiah pleads with God for grace for God’s people, as does Psalm 79; Paul reflects on God’s grace in Christ, extended to all people, and embodied in the prayers of God’s people; And Jesus tells a story of a master who, about to be dishonoured because of his dishonest (incompetent?) manager, decides to fire him, but has to reconsider when, through radical, inappropriate, forgiveness, the manager wins honour both for the master and himself, and a connected and secure future for himself.
Put these two themes together and what emerges is the power of gracious, generous forgiveness to lift us to places of honour and connectedness.
May this week’s worship teach us to be people of scandalous grace and generosity.
Blessings as we seek to live a Gospel-centered life! Rev. Tania