Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Amazing Tuesday

Tuesday.    Museum Tuesday.   Today we have school students from Keeseekoowenin School, Elphinstone MB coming for a tour of the Museum, Armoury,  and Soldier Etiquette.    Soldier Etiquette is always walking around the Parade Square.  Never short cut across the Parade Square.  How to salute -- which is like shaking hands and is a compliment.    And never ever touch the guns. Touching guns is like spitting on your friend's shirt... and you never want to spit on your friend's shirt.  Then a short talk on not touching the artefacts.  Poor students already have a list of "don't do this but do do this!"    We have little green, brown, and grey model soldiers hidden in the Museum with the name of an artefact attached to them.   The students get to seek out five little soldiers and write down the name of the artefact that the soldier is guarding.     I sure hope this works.    I think it is fun but will an 8 and 9 year old think it is fun?

It is amazing to take on the responsibility of creating a Museum Tour for 8 and 9 year olds.  And fun too.    Yet the word "responsibility" and the word "Fun" never seem to go together.    Responsibility seems to have reached negative status in our Churches.    Frequently our Minister's  do not take responsibility for their Sermons nor following the regulations of the Denomination.  And why is that?  Because for these Minister's  taking reponsibility is difficult and not fun at all.   How sad when in actual fact,  taking on responsibility for caring and sharing the Good News in Christ is very liberating. 

Today,  look around at the things you are doing and accomplishing and ask yourself, "What responsibility goes with this task?"   Then rejoice in God that you are able to share this task and responsibility in God's presence.   

Tuesday Retreat.....
Prayer:  Lord and Creator of all,  uphold us by Your Holy Spirit so that we can share the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of  knowledge and faith,  the spirit of joy in Your presence.  This we ask in Jesus’ name.  Amen.

Read St. Matthew 21: 33 – 46

This is the Parable of  the Tenants (or also called the Parable of the Greedy Farmhands).  
Just in case the Chief Priests and Elders (and us)  didn’t understand what Jesus was saying about belief in God,  Jesus tells them this parable.

A landowner  plants a vineyard and rents the vineyard to some farmers.  When harvest time approaches,  the landowner sends his servants to collect the fruit.  The farmers kill the servants.   The landowner then sends more servants.  And the farmers kill these servants too.  Then the landowner sends his son thinking the farmers would not kill the landowner’s son.   Yet,  the farmers do indeed kill the landowner’s son. 

Jesus then asks the Chief Priests and Elders what will the landowner do  to the farmers?  The Chief Priests and Elders reply, “The landowner will bring those wretches to a wretched end… and he will rent the vineyard to other tenants who will provide him with his share of the crop at harvest time.”    Do you think at this point the Chief Priests and Elders are saying, “oh oh” with the realization of where this parable is headed?

Jesus quotes Psalm 118: 22 – 23 to the Chief Priests and Elders.   This Psalm was used during the Feast of Tabernacles and was sung at the Temple Gates.  The Chief Priests and Elders would sing about the stone that appeared to be worthless but became a stone in the place of honour.   The original understanding of the stone and cornerstone was the Psalmist (King) was near death and was at the point of collapse.  Now he is delivered by God and recognized as righteous.         From hearing this Psalm being sung,  the community realizes that the deliverance of the King was entirely the work of God.. and that any human contribution was  nothing in comparison with the work of God. 

The Chief Priests and Elders must have been stunned that Jesus is quoting Psalm 118 to them and became even more stunned when Jesus says, “There I tell you that the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people who will produce it’s fruit.  He who falls on this stone will be broken to pieces, but he on whom it falls will be crushed…”  (NIV Translation  Matthew 21: 43 – 44)

We never like to have our responsibilities pointed out to us.  It hurts.   We then have a choice.  We can either ignore our responsibilities and state that everything is fine or we can do an inward spiritual cleansing and really look at how our lives are living to advance the Kingdom of God.     

Prayer:   Lord and Creator of all,  uphold us by Your Holy Spirit so that we can share the the spirit of  knowledge and faith  and know that we live in  joy in Your presence.  This we ask in Jesus’ name.  Amen.

Many blessings!

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