Sunday 8:15 a.m. Holy Eucharist Rite I
in-person & online: Zoom
Sunday 10:45 a.m. Holy Eucharist Rite II
in-person & online: Facebook/website
Thursday 8:00 p.m. Compline
Grace focuses on the spiritual development and formation of adults, youth and children and offers several educational opportunities. Sunday morning classes are held between worship services at 9:30 a.m.
The Grace Church nave is located at the corner of Washington Street and Boulevard in Gainesville, Georgia.
The parish office, open Monday through Thursday from 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM, is located at 422 Brenau Avenue. Come to the red door that faces Brenau Avenue and ring the bell for access.
Mailing Address: 422 Brenau Avenue, Gainesville, GA 30501
Yesterday during our retreat of the episcopal seminarians of Candler, while I was walking, I saw a vine of cherry tomatoes that surprisingly was half dead and half alive. Some tomatoes looked healthy and fully developed, and theand broken and rotten ones in the same vine. SOme were dead because some areas of this vine was in rough shape. I saw our society in this vine. The vine in some areas was healthy but in some was not. What a visual and perfect image for this Gospel.
Where is the line of the trivial vs. the essential? Where will we be more open to the laud calling of God to us that is telling us to take good care of each other?
We are hearing a Gospel that is telling us today to see what is necessary and just. Not things that the Lord calls hypocrisy today.
Hypocrite comes from the Greek hypocrites, an actor on a stage pretending to wear some type of customer.
Jesus uses this word to address an issue that we are living on right now. How many have problems with mask-wearing because it is a right, but when it comes to another area of life, the argument is used differently? Jesus is encouraging us today to drop our hypocrisy or acting so that the real-life in Jesus takes place. The problem with the hypocrisy is that it impairs sight impairs our participation in the virtual community of believers.
You abandon the commandment of God and hold the human tradition, says the Lord in this reading. When the human way, these words are harsh but necessary, when politics when denominations when religions are more important than God-self? When doing overcome being?
Being a child of the Most High is more critical than any Episcopal, Catholic, or Baptist convention… and we could continue the list.
In the second century, Tertullian wrote an Apology explaining to the pagans in a meditation of 1 Peter 1:22, “Look how they love each other that they are even willing to die for the other.” The pagans of the time were in awe of how this group that we called Christians today was acting funny. Tertullian meditated that the other was very important because my brethren, fellow believers, and humans were there. (paraphrasing)
When do we change this willingness to do things for other and their well-being?
It is a difficult conversation and reflection but a necessary one due to the circumstances.
How do we turn from this current that is pushing us today?
In the book Love is the Way (Michael Curry), chapter seven discusses this exact topic. The chapter is called Leave NO One Behind
Bishop Curry suggests that we stop, look, listen, and learn, but do it, meaning to stop when we stop. So stop, look, listen, learn…. And I will add, repeat.
God is love; we adore a God of Love, we worship a God of Love, do we love as God loves us that was willing to give us all? Allow God to work in us that we renew our love to the point of inspiring others to love as we love!
Stop, look, listen, learn
Let us pray!
Bless us with Love, O Merciful God;
That we may Love as you Love!
That we may show patience, tolerance,
Kindness, caring and love to all!
Give me knowledge; O giver of Knowledge,
That I may be one with my Universe and Mother Earth!
O Compassionate One, grant compassion unto us;
That we may help all fellow souls in need!
Bless us with your Love O God. Bless us with your Love.
The Rev. D. Edgar Otero
14th Sunday after Pentecost Year B
August 29, 2021