Sunday, November 27, 2011

Sun. Nov. 20, 2011 (John Klassen)

John Klassen (ex-Trinity Professor of Church History) drew inspiration from the lectionary texts Ezekiel 34, Matthew 25 and Ephesians 1 to characterize our lives as goats and sheep. John noted that these texts primarily dealt with our treatment of the poor, and drew strongly the link to Adam and Eve’s original fall from the garden in search of knowledge. John noted the poor often receive ill-treatment as “You pushed with flank and shoulder and butted the weak animals with your horns.” (Ez 34:21), but God Herself succors the poor by “welcoming the stranger” in that well-known passage from Matthew 25:31-46. John then broke from scripture and drew an important distinction between speaking scripture and speaking about scripture, and noted these are intimately tied up with works. Though grace is sufficient, the texts also call us to works, as do the poor everywhere around us, and John made special note of the Occupy movement as being worthy of help. John asked “how then are we to live?” He noted the moral system God created to help the poor is one rite of salvation, and drew on his experience in Pax in the 1960s as a guide to his emerging faith. Though societies have used force to enforce a just society, God entreats us with mercy to follow his path, and offers his empathy with our suffering by reminding us of the sacrifice of his Son to encourage us to return to the Garden. In the Ephesians passage, Paul notes we were given “the inward eye” to see the love God has for us. Let us look, not with the knowledge that comes of learning, but with the inward eye. [AP]

Listen to the sermon audio MP3 recording from Sunday, November 20th, 2011 using your browser's preferred media player.



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