St. Matthew's Episcopal Church Maple Glen, Pennsylvania

Welcome to Saint Matthew’s Church! We are a people gathered to worship and pray, grow and serve in the presence of Jesus Christ.

Readings and Reflections on the Seventeenth Sunday after Pentecost

Isaiah 50:4-9a

James 3:1-12

Mark 8:27-38

Dear Friends,

Isaiah here describes a servant who hears the words of the Lord and offers them to the people who are weary.  However, the speaking of God’s message only brings rejection and hardship to the messenger. Confronted with this reality, the servant trusts God to help and uphold him.

In Mark’s Gospel, Jesus the servant of God lets his followers know that he will suffer much as the suffering servant(s) described by the prophet Isaiah.  Peter does not want to hear it, but Jesus rebukes Peter and calls his disciples to follow in this hard path of the servants of God.

James has been teaching about the practical life of faith, and here challenges Christians to get their speaking under control. Words are powerful, and can do great harm to others and to ourselves. How can we bless God and yet speak ill of one another from the same mouth?

Comment:  It is not easy to be followers of Jesus. It is very easy for a person to excuse themselves and say “I’m not a preacher or a minister” and so on, but in fact we either claim our life as followers of Jesus or we do not.  May the Lord uphold and encourage me in both speaking and living the message of Jesus.  When I see how poorly I listen and how timid I am to follow, may I be strengthened by His great mercy and grace towards me. The Lord patiently waits for me to learn and amend my ways. Knowing I will never get there by my own strength, my Lord reaches out to help me if I will welcome that help.

David S. Robinson, Rector
Saint Matthew’s Episcopal Church
Maple Glen, PA 19002