Friday, October 13, 2017


I came upon the following thought about discernment somewhere (I can't remember where, so I can't provide proper attribution). Maybe the church is implicated in this example of misuse. What do you think?
Several times we have actually used the word "discernment" to describe what we were doing. Though I suspect that we thought of it more in terms of planning and preparing. Discovering and doing the will of God is different from measuring and implementing our own. 
Figuring out what God wants you to do (and become) can be frustrating. Rarely is the process quickly accomplished. Sometimes I think of it as a period of gestation that seems to never come to fruition. Despite many idiosyncrasies, we are faithful when we strive forward. 

In 1 Corinthians 12:10, St. Paul shares the following: to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another the ability to distinguish between spirits, to another various kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. Here, the ability to distinguish (discernment) is considered a gift of the Spirit. Sometimes we may think of the need to choose between two options, one good the other bad, one left the other right. Such dualistic thinking is convenient if not clear and simple. Yet, most of the time it is simply not that clear and simple. If it were, there would be little need for distinguishing and discernment.

At various points throughout life, the implications of our decisions change. Consider some of the first major decisions you made in your life. Were there other options at the time? What were they? Did you choose wisely? Do you regret any decisions you have made? If you do, can you remember what led to the decisions you made? Did you take time for discernment or was your decision more impulsive?

Considering the need to engage in ongoing reformation and renewal, having the willingness to accept God's will for your life is before us. This Sunday we will explore some of the questions raised above and some, perhaps, that we haven't yet considered. Your experience and participation is crucial for the vitality of our time together. Consider sharing a moment in your life that you have engaged in discernment.

19th Sunday after Pentecost
October 15, 2017

Prayer of the Day
Lord of the feast, 
you have prepared a table before all peoples 
and poured out your life with abundance. 
Call us again to your banquet. 
Strengthen us by what is honorable, just, and pure, 
and transform us into a people of righteousness and peace, 
through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord.

Readings and Psalm

Isaiah 25:1-9 
The feast of victory

Psalm 23 
You prepare a table before me, and my cup is running over. (Ps. 23:5)

Philippians 4:1-9
Rejoice in the Lord always

Matthew 22:1-14 
The parable of the unwelcome guest at the wedding feast

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