Which commandment is the greatest? What a great question. It comes to us from our Gospel lesson for this week, found in Matthew, chapter 22. Some Pharisees (the religious party that controlled the synagogues and the countryside), buoyed by Jesus’ besting of their old opponents, the Sadducees (the religious party that controlled the Temple and was based in Jerusalem) came to him with this question.
And Jesus’s answer was to quote the two commandments that themselves summarize the big 10. Love the Lord your God is, in brief, commandments 1-4: worship only God, worship God in the way that expresses God’s identity, honour God’s name and God’s day. Love your neighbor as yourself, then? Well that is a precis of the next six: honor your parents, don’t kill, don’t commit adultery, don’t steal, don’t slander your neighbor, and don’t covet what’s his or hers.
Jesus refused to be baited. He refused to set one commandment above the rest. He named them all as the greatest.
That’s important to remember especially since one of the images of Jesus we’ve inherited is “Jesus the rebel.” Perhaps you know him. He’s the party-animal who hung out with marginal people. The guy who was “relevant” over against the religious stuffiness of his enemies. Were he alive today, he would wear black, thick-rimmed glasses, plaid shirts, and, even in mid-summer, toques. Rebel Jesus is “hipster Jesus.”
While there is certainly something true to the Gospel about this portrait, it is at best partial. Jesus did identify with marginal people, and did so in a way that attracted them and angered his enemies. But, when given the opportunity, Jesus did not raise one commandment over the rest, or diminish those commandments that were harder to obey as somehow now out of date. Rather, he took his friends and enemies both to the heart—the heart that bleeds for the salvation of the world—of God’s Law.
And called us to follow.
Sadly, Jesus did not leave us, his followers, a blue print for what obedience to the law looks like such that we need only mindlessly obey. We have to, following the example of Jesus, and the examples of the saints, constantly ask, “What does obedience look like here?” We need to use our own prudence as we read the scriptures, pray, and seek the guidance of the Spirit. There are moral questions we face today that Jesus never did. That doesn’t mean that those questions are endlessly open, but that in his grace, and by his Spirit, Jesus invites us into reflection about what it means to follow him. We don’t get to pick our favorite commandments and neglect the rest either.
Where God has placed us, we obey them all.
The Fall Parish Pot Luck Lunch takes place this Sunday following the 10:30 service. Prepare your favourite dish and join us for a time of fellowship.
Fall Cleanup! On Saturday, Nov. 1, at 1:30 pm, we are going to rake our leaves and tidy our yard for the winter. Much of the tricky work–putting the flowers to bed and winterizing the fountain–will be done already. Don’t worry about that. We just need to rake and tide. So, bring a rake. Bring some paper or clear plastic bags. Fr Tim will provide the pizza. If you are interested, please let Fr Tim or Peter Varpio know.
ATTENTION! All youth of the deanery are invited to Scrabble Latte! This youth event will be held at the Church of the Ascension 1476 Sparks St. from 1-3 pm on Saturday November the 1st. Bring your favourite board game and join us for some fun and hot beverages! If you have any questions or concerns please contact Cora Felbel at email@example.com or on her cell at 705-665-1831.
It’s not too early to start thinking about Advent:
Advent 1 (Nov. 30) The Prophets: Announcement of the King’s Coming – Fr. Tim, preaching.
Advent 2 – John the Baptist: Preparation for the King’s Coming; Holy Baptism and White Gift Sunday. Bring your gift of socks, underwear, toiletries (no mouthwash) etc. to be given to SACY.
Advent 3 – Mary: Rejoicing with the King’s Coming; Our Annual Pageant will take place at the 10:30 service. The script this year is being written by Patti Brace, and all congregation members will be welcome to participate, keep watching this space for more information.
Advent 4 – The Magi: Worshipping the Coming King; The 10:30 service this week will be the annual Advent Carol Service.
Christmas Eve: 7:00 Family Eucharist with Children’s Story;
10:30 Choral Eucharist with Fr Tim Preaching
Christmas Day: 11:00 am Said Eucharist
DID YOU KNOW That all meetings of parish council, and all sub-committee meetings, are open to any who would like to attend? Did you know that the minutes of every Parish Council meeting are posted in the Algoma Room after they have been adopted? Did you know that Parish Council and Vestry meeting minutes can be read by anyone upon request? These are the formal means of communication in our parish. Are there informal means of communication that we could be using better? Let us know! Please speak with Fr. Tim if you have any ideas.
Christmas Cookies: The quilters are once again selling Shortbread Cookies. The cookies will be available for sale following the 10:30 service, starting this Sunday at a cost of $10 for 3 dozen cookies. For the time being they will be sold on a first come first served basis.
Visiting Kenyan Students: Thank you: to all those who responded so generously to our appeal for some winter wear for our young Kenyan girls working here with Canada World Youth until December 14th. They still need are sturdy winter boots – two pairs of size 6 are still needed. If you have such dainty footwear in your closet collecting dust please bring them to the church office as soon as possible/ before the snow flies!
Soup’s On: Thank you to all you have volunteered to make our delicious Epiphany Fair soup for the upcoming Soup’s On event. We have enough help with this but volunteers – both men and women- are needed for working in the kitchen and serving soup on Saturday, November 15th or two hour shifts between 11am and 3pm. If you could help out with this church fundraiser please contact Barb Bolton by phone 705-674-1691 or by e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
IODE TOUR OF HOMES: November 9th is the 35th Annual Holly & Ivy Christmas House Tour. This is a holiday house tour dedicated to supporting the initiatives of the Alexander Ramsay Chapter of the IODE. www.iodesudbury.com/Holly_and_Ivy_Tour_2014_map.pdf
This year’s recipient is L’Association des jeunes de la rue which is the shelter for teens, and Community Outreach: The Red Jackets www.jeunesdelarue.ca/mission-e.html
Tickets are $20 and available at numerous locations across the city (see flyer in Algoma Room) or by calling: Ruth @ 705-566-5235 or Diana @ 705-522-1517 Louise Visneskie also has tickets.
A Message from the Outreach Team: You may have noticed that we have not held separate appeals for our parish International and National mission projects this year. Monies pledged from the Annual Book Sale sponsored by the Outreach Team (coming up in January!) and from the parish budget have been or will be sent to support the PWRDF bicycle ambulance program and the work with youth being done in Moosonee Diocese; however, in light of the demands on our dollars at this time, we felt it wise to hold back on the individual campaigns for these projects. This does not preclude individuals from donating to these causes if they so desire. Cheques for PWRDF can be given to Mary Donato or sent in – information on the website www.pwrdf.org. Cheques for Moosonee can be made out to “Diocese of Moosonee”, designated “Discretionary Fund (Youth Ministries)” and send it to The Ven. Deborah Lonergan-Freake, PO Box 735, Cochrane, P0L 1C0 or can be given to Mary Donato.
Deanery Digest: For more Deanery news and events, be sure to check it out on the Deanery Website, by clicking here. The Deanery Digest is produced by the Deanery Program Associate, Marion Collinson. If you wish to subscribe to the Deanery Digest please let Marion know.
Worship Times Next Week
Saturday, October 25 Sunday, October 26 Sunday, October 26
5:00pm 8:30am 10:30am
BAS Said Eucharist BAS Said Eucharist BAS Sung Eucharist
Chapel of the Nativity Chapel of the Nativity The Nave
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This Sunday we celebrate the patron saint of all physicians, St. Luke of Antioch who was a physician and was a disciple of Paul. Joy 2014-10-19 BCP 2014-10-19 BAS
Epiphany This Week October 17 – 23, 2014 85 Larch St. Sudbury ON P3E 1B8 705-675-2279 firstname.lastname@example.org www.epiphanysudbury.org When you read this, I will be flying back to Sudbury having celebrated my brother-in-law’s wedding. This will cap off several days of enjoyment that began with Thanksgiving. I’m sure it will have been a good [...]
Wishing you a very happy and blessed Thanksgiving Day. 2014-10-12 BCP 2014-10-12 BAS