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For the 14th Sunday in Pentecost 2020 from Pastor Matthew:

The first reading is the story of the Passover in Exodus. A story of the awful wrath of God who will not be galled forever and who will have vengeance. This morning I could only lament the way of violence in this story. This morning I could only hear the tired, old repetitive story of the tyrannical despot who murders children, even the children of animals! This morning, in this passage, I looked for God and all I could find was Pharaoh and Herod...Kyrie eleison!

More of the same in the psalm... I am ever thankful for the teachings of Jesus "the perfect likeness of the face of God" who admonishes me that if the praises of God are on my lips how could it be possible for me to hold a sword?

The epistle from Romans gives us some good instruction on how to deal with division among the Body of Christ. I think we often read verse 17b..."if the offender refuses to listen even to the church, let such a one be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector" as licence to throw the unrepentant member out of the assembly, to ex-communicate them. Today I was reminded that Jesus spent much of His time with the Gentiles and tax collectors even making one of them, (my name's sake and the one to whom we traditionally ascribe today's gospel) Matthew, a disciple. Perhaps this gospel, rather than giving us an easy way out with a difficult member, is actually asking us to "go and do likewise".

The gospel is further good and sound reasoning for why the "reign of God" society is the only society that works. If I love you and you love me and we all love each other, authentically, deeply, committedly...how could we possibly, murder, objectify, oppress, and destroy each other? Pax