Welcome to your online worship from St. Mark’s for Sunday October 1, 2023.
This week in reflection on the reading, we explore how Jesus’ parable challenges our pride and reveals the importance of righteous action. In a world where words often overshadow deeds, discover the wisdom in Jesus’ timeless teaching which calls us to examine our intentions and embrace the path of God’s love.
Today’s Opening Sentence
“My sheep hear my voice, says the Lord; I know them and they follow me.”- John 10.27
Today’s Reading – Matthew 21:23-32
When he entered the temple, the chief priests and the elders of the people came to him as he was teaching, and said, “By what authority are you doing these things, and who gave you this authority?” Jesus said to them, “I will also ask you one question; if you tell me the answer, then I will also tell you by what authority I do these things. Did the baptism of John come from heaven, or was it of human origin?” And they argued with one another, “If we say, ‘From heaven,’ he will say to us, ‘Why then did you not believe him?’ But if we say, ‘Of human origin,’ we are afraid of the crowd; for all regard John as a prophet.” So they answered Jesus, “We do not know.” And he said to them, “Neither will I tell you by what authority I am doing these things.
“What do you think? A man had two sons; he went to the first and said, ‘Son, go and work in the vineyard today.’ He answered, ‘I will not’; but later he changed his mind and went. The father went to the second and said the same; and he answered, ‘I go, sir’; but he did not go. Which of the two did the will of his father?” They said, “The first.” Jesus said to them, “Truly I tell you, the tax collectors and the prostitutes are going into the kingdom of God ahead of you. For John came to you in the way of righteousness and you did not believe him, but the tax collectors and the prostitutes believed him; and even after you saw it, you did not change your minds and believe him.1
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Reflection questions for the week:
- Have there been times when your pride prevented you from admitting you were wrong or changing your stance? How can we cultivate humility in such situations?
- Reflect on instances where you have promised one thing but failed to follow through. What steps can we take to align our words with our deeds more consistently?
- It can be hard for us to be open about acknowledging and learning from our mistakes. In what ways can we more readily embrace the opportunity for personal growth and change?
- I invite you to consider the path you are currently on in life. Ask yourself, am I actively walking in God’s love, seeking righteousness, and extending forgiveness to myself and others? If not, what adjustments can you make to align with this path?
This week music is again provided by Ryan Van Dijk, our Music Director, and the choir. Thank you to them all for their ministry of music!
A continued reminder that if you are at all uncomfortable being in-person for worship, or if you are not feeling well, please join us here online.
Thank you again for joining with your parish family in our online worship today.
Find out how you can support our ministry and good work in the community here.
God Bless you and have a blessed week. Be well!
The Rev’d Canon Rob Park
- Scripture quotation is from the New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.