Offertory Prayer

Invitation to the Offering
The offering you made last week empowered ministry within our congregation and in response to the needs of our community. It also helped support the work of ministries beyond the local church that reach people who are in desperate need to feel the touch of love and reconciliation. Through the World Service Fund, your church supports a great tradition of United Methodist support for Higher Education. Providing scholarships and loans, a network of college chaplains, and an ongoing relationship with 113 colleges, universities and seminaries that are part of our connection – together we open doors to education for many deserving students. This ministry happens thanks to the generous support of United Methodists like you. I invite you once again to give generously as we worship God through the sharing of our gifts, tithes and offerings.

Learn more about the work of our General Board of Higher Education & Ministry at www.gbhem.org

September 14, 2014 -- Fourteenth Sunday after Pentecost/in Kingdomtide
Merciful God, you have filled our lives with a deluge of love and grace. Yet we are too often stingy with forgiveness for others. While Christ’s sacrifice on the cross removed the weight of our sin, we continue to blend in with a world that is intent on keeping score and settling debts. May the gifts we give this morning, small in comparison with all we’ve received, help strengthen the church’s ministry of love and compassion. In our giving, may we make a witness as those who have been forgiven much and who seek to have Christlike grace shine through our lives. We pray this in his name. Amen. (Matthew 18:21-35)
"Prayers by Ken Sloan. Copyright General Board of Discipleship. www.GBOD.org Used by permission."

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Complain while Waiting, a Reflection on Habakkuk 1:1-4; 2:1-14; Psalm 119:137-144

Repeat:

"O Lord, how long shall I cry for help, and you will not listen?"

The prophet laments that he sees destruction and violence all around him. The law is not protecting the righteous from the wicked. And he wants to know why the Lord isn't fixing things right now.

We continue to see injustice. We turn to God both because we think that God would not approve of anyone causing injustice and because we think that God has the power and the willingness to change the situation.

So, we have this reading from Habakkuk that gives us permission to complain, to cry out, and to question God, that gives us words that were said long ago for a specific situation but fit our own specific troubles in our lives.

Habakkuk was willing to wait for an answer and did receive one. The Lord told him to tell others that they, too, would have a vision, but that they too should be prepared to wait.

Good news or hard message? The proud do not see the need for God's help. The righteous, however, live their lives faithfully.

The lectionary this week chooses a portion of Psalm 119 as a respond to the reading from Habukkuk. It assumes that we religious people are going to have a reason to complain, "Trouble and anguish have come upon me." But, the main thrust is our trust that the Lord is in charge and will make things right for us. And, because we believe this, we will act the way the Lord intended for us to act, "Your righteousness is an everlasting righteousness, and your law is the truth."

1 comment:

Ken Symes said...

Thanks for blogging on Habakkuk's message. I was working on a posting about Habakkuk when I happened upon your blog. What a great message we get from this very neglected prophet.

How can we be faithful in a world like this? (Habakkuk) is the title of my blog post in case you wanna check it out. I'd love to get some feedback.

Just a preview, Peter Craigie wrote, "Faithfulness requires a continuation in the relationship with God, even when experience outstrips faith and the purpose in continuing to believe is called into question." Good stuff!

Thanks again for your post,
Ken