Monday, September 2, 2019

Sermon Proper 17C St. John’s, Austin September 1, 2019 Luke 14:1-14

"Jesus ate with sinners
And they killed him for it”
That is what
my friend liked to say.

We might add:
Jesus thought everybody
Would be better off
Sitting at table together
Eating together
Breaking bread together

No hay duda
Jesús ama a todas las personas
él comió con todo tipo de personas
Y nos invita a hacer lo mismo
We might say
“the more the merrier”
Jesus would have said
“the more diverse the better

las personas más diversas
que pueden reunirse - la mejor vida será

Steven Tyler from
Aerosmith Sings:
Give me some love!
We're all somebody from somewhere
Some mama, some daddy,
Some big, some little, some left, some in the middle
Some white, yellow, black or red

Todos somos personas de Dios
Moldeado y creado por Dios.
Aliento dado por dios
Todos somos tipos de la imagen de Dios
Y somos amados
For me
One of the times
When Christianity
is at its best
is when people do just
what Jesus invites us to do
different people

and knowing one another
deeply enough
to know each other’s stories
with the capacity
to pray for each other

Dios imagina una gran fiesta
con todas las personas
Para toda la gente
Donde estamos familia
Con una mesa donde encontramos
Jesús y la realidad de nuestras vidas

these ideas were so very powerful
so deeply imbedded
in Christianity
that we see them reflected
in the Hebrews lesson
appointed this morning

el libro de hebreos
fue impactado
por la visión de Dios
y las palabras de Jesús

(Written some 50 or so years
After Jesus’ resurrection)
The author reminds the Christians:
No descuides la hospitalidad
con los extraños.

Do not neglect hospitality to strangers
No descuides compartir lo que tienes
Do not neglect to share what you have

No descuides hacer
buenas obras
Do not neglect to do good works

But this is not new
This is not a new theology
Or new ideas
                                    esta no es una idea nueva de dios

This is God’s ancient truth
            una verdad muy antigua
God’s ancient desire

For instance
This is part of what Jeremiah is
Trying to explain to the people
In God’s prophesies

Jeremiah is telling the people
They have been greedy
They had forgotten what it meant
to be a stranger in a strange land

They had forgotten that they were to take care of the
Widow and the orphan
The poor among them
The stranger in their midst
They forgot the hospitality
Required of the people of God
They forgot the hospitality which
We find in Jesus actions
And in Jesus words

de hecho
todos los profetas
le ha recordado al pueblo de Dios
que se meten en problemas
cuando se olvidan
cuidar a las personas
a las viudas y huérfanos y los pobres

The powers that Jesus is addressing
Are political and religious powers
A dangerous combination
And these powers believe
That to be right
To be righteous
You have to leave people out
You have to be separate from others
los poderes en este mundo
nos dicen
para ser justo
que tenemos que dejar a gente particular
afuera de nuestras vidas

para ser justo
tenemos que tratar a unas personas
en una manera diferente

no es la manera de Cristo

The false gods of this world tell us
To be worthy
We must shut others out
And eat only with the right people
Among the other righteous
Eat only among the godly
the faithful
the pure and the clean

This is not Jesus’ way
Not God’s way

Jesus says
“Be humble”
Theologian Frederick Buechner writes
humility doesn't consist of thinking ill of yourself
but of not thinking of yourself much differently
 from the way you'd be apt to think of anybody else.”[i]

antes de que podamos
sentarnos a la mesa
con personas diferentes a nosotros
debemos ser humildes
debemos practicar la humildad

Jesus continues by suggesting
We need to eat with each other
Across class boundaries
Health boundaries
Racial boundaries
Political boundaries
We need eat together
At the same table

We need
invite the poor
invite those
who can never repay what we give

para ser como dios
Jesús dice
Da generosamente
vive generosamente
y cenar
con los que no pueden
volver a pagarte

God in Christ Jesus
Is not a transactional God
God is not making deals
For the faithful
For the righteous

God is inviting everyone
Into God’s grace
And to sit at God’s table

La verdad es que
no llegamos a la mesa
haciendo feliz a Dios
Dios es feliz porque llegamos a la mesa
porque ponemos mesas
afuera en el mundo
dentro de nuestros
donde todas personas
se unan a otros

pero estamos
en una temporada en este país
donde tenemos una gran división

We live in a time of bitter division
A time of distrust in the foreigner
A time of distrust for other citizens
A time of scarcity
A time when we believe
Some are better Americans than others
Some are better Christians than others

vivimos en una época
en la que
juzgamos a los demás
a través de los ojos políticos
o ojos nacionales
            y no con los ojos
                        de Jesus

A time when we all too easily
Try and fit in
Rather than be part of
The unrighteous
The despised
And the unwanted

es lo que es ser humano
deseamos ser aceptados
no queremos ser rechazados
y muchas veces
intercambiar la visión de Dios por el bien de pertenecer

God invites us to be virtuous
Dios nos invita a ser virtuosos
Ejemplos de compasión - compassion
Who respect others – mostramos respeto
Who are loyal to God’s vision of one community
And model grace.
que somos leales a dios como comunidad de gracia

God has invited us
Into God’s great narrative
Dios nos ha invitado
a la gran narrativa de Dios
God’s great banquet feast
And to that feast
God has invited all people
El gran banquete de Dios
Y a esa fiesta
Usted y yo estamos invitados
a ser un nuevo tipo de comunidad

We have an opportunity
tenemos ante nosotros
un momento de gran desafío

In the year that is before us
We have an opportunity
To live into the great
Invitation of God
To be different
To be a community
Of humble brothers and sisters
Sitting around God’s table
And in God’s house
In this way what we discover
As Jesus says,
Righteousness is not something
Attainable in this world
But in the world to come

el camino hacia la justicia
es solo pasando
por este mundo
alrededor de una mesa común

And the only way to get from here to there
Is to participate in God’s story
And join in what God is doing
here and now

So it may be Steven Tyler’s song
But it is God’s message:
Give me some love!
We're all somebody from somewhere
Some mama, some daddy,
Some big, some little, some left, some in the middle
Some white, yellow, black or red
Give me some love!

[i] "Humility," sermon discussion from Frederick Buechner, Frederick Buechner Blog.

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  • "Christianity is not a theory or speculation, but a life; not a philosophy of life, but a life and a living process." Samuel Taylor Coleridge
  • "Most people are willing to take the Sermon on the Mount as a flag to sail under, but few will use it as a rudder by which to steer." Oliver Wendell Holmes
  • "Perfection, in a Christian sense, means becoming mature enough to give ourselves to others." Kathleen Norris
  • "Do all the good you can, by all the means you can, in all the ways you can, in all the places you can, at all the times you can, to all the people you can, as long as ever you can." John Wesley
  • "The Christian ideal has not been tried and found wanting; it has been found difficult and left untried." G. K. Chesterton
  • "One of our great allies at present is the Church itself. Do not misunderstand me. I do not mean the Church as we see her spread out through all time and space and rooted in eternity, terrible as an army with banners. That, I confess, is a spectacle which makes our boldest tempters uneasy. But fortunately it is quite invisible to these humans." C. S. Lewis
  • "When we say, 'I love Jesus, but I hate the Church,' we end up losing not only the Church but Jesus too. The challenge is to forgive the Church. This challenge is especially great because the church seldom asks us for forgiveness." Henri Nouwen, Bread for the Journey
  • "Christians are hard to tolerate; I don't know how Jesus does it." Bono
  • "It's too easy to get caught in our little church subcultures, and the result is that the only younger people we might know are Christians who are already inside the church." Dan Kimball