the 7th sunday after epiphany
the PRAYER. . .
O Lord Jesus, make us instruments of your peace, that where there is hatred, we may sow love, where there is injury, pardon, and where there is despair, hope. Grant, O divine master, that we may seek to console, to understand, and to love in your name, for you live and reign with the Father and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.
the READING. . .
[Jesus said:] “Do to others as you would have them do to you.”
the DEVOTION. . .
There’s an image that’s been making its way around Facebook a lot, lately. Probably, because of this week’s gospel! It’s a painting by Norman Rockwell of women and men, girls and boys from different races and religions, cultures and nationalities! And printed on top of it, in capital letters, are the words . . .
DO UNTO OTHERS
AS YOU WOULD HAVE THEM
DO UNTO YOU
Fittingly enough, the painting’s called “Golden Rule”. The words, however, contrary to popular opinion, rise more from a shared humanity than a common god. The Golden Rule is a moral, an ethic, a principle, not a point of faith. When you think about it, god doesn’t have much to do with it. Truth is, here in the church, the golden rule, as well-known and well-loved as it is, isn’t what the church is built on. Faith springs not from how we’d like to be treated, but on how god’s treated us! How god treats us! The new commandment is our reason-for-being! Anchored not in our wants and wishes, but in Jesus’ words and deeds! In his grace and mercy! In his cross and resurrection! The heart and soul of the church isn’t doing unto others as we would have them do. It’s loving . . . just like Jesus!
Bob Barndt, pastor