Prayer: Divine Healer, You know what is in our hearts. You know what is in our minds and souls before we even get a glimpse of our own thoughts. Help keep our hearts pure and centred upon You this day. This we ask in Jesus’ name. Amen.
Read St. Luke 12: 1 – 12
While the crowd grows in numbers, Jesus turns to the disciples and provides them with some teaching. Jesus teaches that some of the Pharisees are hypocrites. They are phony. Jesus tells the disciples that hypocrites live one way in public and another way in private. One day soon their phony ways will be found out.
Jesus is telling the disciples that they must be the same in public as they are in private. They must live their faith so that others can see what they believe. Their actions must be glorifying God. Their words must glorify God.
So how do we today know when someone is a hypocrite? When someone states they are a Christian but in fact, they are not Christian. Usually we don’t know until we’ve been with the person for a while and listened to their words and have witnessed their actions. Now, all of us fall at some time act in non-Christian ways but usually on the whole we maintain the love of God within our family and Church and community.
What does it mean to be a hypocrite or phony in preaching? What happens when Minister’s preach sermons and call these sermons their own but in fact are taking directly word for word from a commentary. Is that hypocritical and phony? Call me cranky but in my humble opinion it certain is hypocritical and phony. Universities call this plagiarism. Sure the occasional time a Minister has one too many funerals or weddings or visitations and run out of time for meditation and prayer over the weekly scripture and tend to lean heavily on the Scholars commentary on the Scriptures. But when a Minister takes the words directly from a commentary week after week with only a teeny tiny bit of original work – that is hypocrisy and phony preaching. It is the calling of a Minister of Word and Sacrament to struggle and wrestle with the Scripture each and every week. It is the calling of a Minister after having wrestled with the Scripture to share the Good News with the congregation – to find something new and joyous to share with the congregation about the Word of God.
Jesus tells the disciples that the Holy Spirit will teach them what they should say if others say that they are not of God. The Holy Spirit helps us discern what is of God and what is not of God.
Prayer: Holy Spirit, help us discern what is of God and what is not of God this day. May we always come before You with a righteous attitude and joyous heart. Amen.