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October 21, 2018 - The Rev. Linda Spiers


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Job 38:1-7, 34-41; Psalm 104:1-9, 25, 37b; Hebrews 5:1-10; Mark 10:35-45
The Rev. Linda Spiers
22nd Sunday after Pentecost – Year B – October 21, 2018        Trinity Episcopal Church

         In 1973 Marian Wright Edelman, lawyer, lobbyist, civil rights’ advocate, created the Children’s Defense Fund to advocate for the rights of children. This weekend (October 19-21 or October 20-22) is appointed as 27th Annual National Observance of Children’s Sabbath—a time set aside in churches and synagogues and mosques and all sorts of houses of worship to:

  • “Raise awareness of problems facing children and families in our nation (such as poverty, gun violence, and lack of health care)
  • Explore the texts and teachings in religious traditions that call us to nurture and protect children with love and justice
  • Engage people of faith in immediate and long-term action to nurture, protect, and seek justice for children”

Children’s Sabbath  “realizes Dr. Martin Luther King’s vision for every child: Lives of Hope, Not Despair” and draws together all people of faith to work toward a common purpose. The work of the Children’s Defense Fund is about building the kind of world children deserve—a just world where all are safe and cared for. The image on the front of today’s bulletin is one we have used for years on this appointed Sunday, and it profoundly calls to mind the vulnerability of children and the responsibility we have as adults to do all that we can to keep them safe. I encourage you to go to the Children’s Defense Fund website (www.childrensdefense.org) and explore the work of Marian Wright Edelman. You’ll see frightening statistics like: “Every 24 seconds a child is arrested. Every 49 seconds a child is born into poverty. Every minute a baby is born without healthcare.” Pray for children and find a way to make a difference in the life of a child.
         Jesus teaches us ways to behave and to be in the world. Today we have another story of the disciples getting the teaching messed up. The Zebedee boys—James and John—ask Jesus for a place of honor, one to sit at his right hand and one to sit at his left in his glory. Matthew’s gospel has a similar story and yet in that story John and James’ mother ask Jesus on their behalf (Matt 20:20). In Luke’s gospel the story is generally referred to as a dispute among the disciples about who is the greatest (Luke 22:24). It’s human to want the best seats in the house as greedy as that sounds. We want the best for ourselves and for our children.
         What does Jesus say? “…Whoever wishes to become great among you, must be your servant, and whoever wishes to be first among you must be slave of all. For the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve.” (Mark 10:43-44).
         Following Jesus is not easy, and yet that’s what we promise to do in our baptism (or someone promises on our behalf and then teaches us how to do that). Following Jesus means being a servant just like Jesus was.
         Marian Wright Edelman has gotten it right. She has dedicated her life and all of her gifts to serving children—to encourage others and teach them how to be responsible and to advocate for vulnerable children. Mother Teresa and her Missionaries of Charity won a Nobel Prize for serving the poor in slums all around the world. Mother Teresa once said:
         “Wherever there is need
         among the poor and destitute
         in India, Australia, the Middle East,
         or anywhere else in the world,
         I will set up a home and
         send my nuns and brothers.”
         You and I don’t have to be servants in such grand ways. We can be servants right where we are planted. There are people around us that show us the teachings of Jesus—they are children, they adults of all ages, they are surprising people we encounter. We just need to pay attention and listen with the ears that Jesus has sharpened for where we’re needed and how we’re needed.

Ibid.

Mother Teresa, quoted in Daphne Rae, Love Until it Hurts (San Francisco: Harper & Row, 1981), 8, 45, 47.

October 14, 2018 - The Rev. Linda Spiers


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October 7, 2018 - The Rev. Linda Spiers


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September 30, 2018 - The Rev. Linda Spiers


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September 16, 2018 - The Rev. Linda Spiers


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September 9, 2018 - The Rev. Linda Spiers


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April 29, 2018 - The Rev. Linda Spiers


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January 7, 2018 - The Rev. Linda Spiers


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