Slow down and open your hearts to God

There’s a stretch of US 27 between here and Avon Park, to the east is Crooked Lake and on the right is open pasture land, dotted by Sabal Palms and cattle. It reminds me of Patrick Smith’s A Land Remembered.  That novel follows a pioneer family through the settling and development of Florida, tracing their hardships, sacrifices and successes from just before the Civil War through the late 1960’s.

How impossibly difficult it must have been to scratch out a living and traverse this land 150 years ago.


Normally when we hear today’s Gospel lesson “The Widow’s Mite” we can count on a stewardship sermon. It probably no coincidence that It seems to come around in the fall, “Stewardship Season.” This is the time of year when most churches like us here at Good Shepherd are gearing up or well underway on their stewardship campaigns. This Gospel is perfect entre into a proportional giving sermon. I have good news for you today! This is not what I want to talk about. Instead, I want to talk about what I think is the real point of our lessons today, which is what is going on in your heart!

Be Careful What You Ask For

I don’t know about you, but when I read the lessons for today my first thought was ‘here we are back to Good Friday’. This is about Jesus as the Suffering Servant. Then in the Epistle, we hear that Jesus is the source of our salvation designated by God as a high priest according to the order of Melchizedek. Our final reading from Mark, James, and John want to sit at Jesus’ right and left hand in his glory. So how do all these themes fit together to make sense of the readings for today?