SIXTEENTH SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST 25TH SEPTEMBER 2022

Lazarus at our Gate – Luke 16:19-31 – Pastor Mandi

OPENING SENTENCE
You are my refuge, O Lord.

HYMN

GREETING

Grace and peace to you from God our Father

and the Lord Jesus Christ. Amen

COLLECT FOR PURITY

Almighty God

to whom all hearts be open

all desires known

and from whom no secrets are hidden;

Cleanse the thoughts of our hearts

by the inspiration of your Holy Spirit,

that we may perfectly love you

and worthily magnify your holy name

through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

SUMMARY OF THE LAW

Our Lord Jesus Christ said: The first commandment is this: “Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God is the only Lord. You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind and with all your strength.”

The second is this: “Love your neighbour as yourself.” There is no other commandment greater than these. Amen. Lord, have mercy.

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CONFESSION

God is love and we are God’s children.

There is no room for fear in love.

We love because God loved us first.

Let us confess our sins in penitence and faith.

God our Father, we confess to you

and to our fellow members in the Body of Christ

that we have sinned in thought, word and deed,

and in what we have failed to do.

We are truly sorry.

Forgive us our sins,

and deliver us from the power of evil,

for the sake of your Son who died for us, Jesus Christ, our Lord.

ABSOLUTION

May the God of love and power

forgive you and free you from your sins,

heal and strengthen you by his Spirit

and raise you to new life in Christ our Lord. Amen.

GLORIA
sung Sue St Joseph

COLLECT

O Lord,

may your grace at all times go before us,

and follow on behind:

and so continually direct us to good works;

through Jesus Christ, our Lord

who lives and reigns with you,

in the unity of the Holy Spirit,

one God, world without end. Amen

FIRST READING
JEREMIAH 32:1-3a, 6-15 read by Robyn Brotherston

Jeremiah buys a Field During the Siege

The word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord in the tenth year of King Zedekiah of Judah, which was the eighteenth year of Nebuchadnezzar. At that time the army of the king of Babylon was besieging Jerusalem, and the prophet Jeremiah was confined in the court of the guard that was in the palace of the king of Judah, where King Zedekiah of Judah had confined him. Zedekiah had said, “Why do you prophesy and say: Thus says the Lord: I am going to give this city into the hand of the king of Babylon, and he shall take it.

I AM COMING SOON! : Nothing Is Too Hard For YOU JESUS!

Jeremiah said, “The word of the Lord came to me: Hanamel son of your uncle Shallum is going to come to you and say, ‘Buy my field that is at Anathoth, for the right of redemption by purchase is yours.’ Then my cousin Hanamel came to me in the court of the guard, in accordance with the word of the Lord, and said to me, “Buy my field that is at Anathoth in the land of Benjamin, for the right of possession and redemption is yours; buy it for yourself.” Then I knew that this was the word of the Lord.

Character Study: Jeremiah - ppt download

And I bought the field at Anathoth from my cousin Hanamel and weighed out the silver to him, seventeen shekels of silver. I signed the deed, sealed it, got witnesses, and weighed the silver on scales. Then I took the sealed deed of purchase containing the terms and conditions and the open copy, and I gave the deed of purchase to Baruch son of Neriah son of Mahseiah, in the presence of my cousin Hanamel, in the presence of the witnesses who signed the deed of purchase, and in the presence of all the Judeans who were sitting in the court of the guard. In their presence I charged Baruch, saying, “Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: Take these deeds, both this sealed deed of purchase and this open deed, and put them in an earthenware jar, in order that they may last for a long time. For thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: Houses and fields and vineyards shall again be bought in this land.”

SECOND READING
1 TIMOTHY 6: 6-19 read by Annabelle Guthrie

Of course, there is great gain in godliness combined with contentment, for we brought nothing into the world, so that we can take nothing out of it, but if we have food and clothing, we will be content with these. But those who want to be rich fall into temptation and are trapped by many senseless and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, and in their eagerness to be rich some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pains.

The Good Fight of Faith

Why is the love of money the root of all kinds of evil? | GotQuestions.org

But as for you, man of God, shun all this; pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance, gentleness. Fight the good fight of the faith; take hold of the eternal life to which you were called and for which you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses. In the presence of God, who gives life to all things, and of Christ Jesus, who in his testimony before Pontius Pilate made the good confession, I charge you to keep the commandment without spot or blame until the manifestation of our Lord Jesus Christ, which he will bring about at the right time—he who is the blessed and only Sovereign, the King of kings and Lord of lords. It is he alone who has immortality and dwells in unapproachable light, whom no one has ever seen or can see; to him be honour and eternal dominion. Amen.

1 Timothy 6:6-19 — Sermons — St Nicholas' Anglican Church Goulburn

As for those who in the present age are rich, command them not to be haughty or to set their hopes on the uncertainty of riches but rather on God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. They are to do good, to be rich in good works, generous, and ready to share, thus storing up for themselves the treasure of a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of the life that really is life.

HYMN

GOSPEL READING
Luke 16:19-31 read by Rev Janice Aiton

Hear the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to St Luke chapter 16 beginning at verse 19

Glory to Christ our Saviour.

The Rich Man and Lazarus

The Rich Man and Lazarus: literal or figurative? | Bibleinfo.com

“There was a rich man who was dressed in purple and fine linen and who feasted sumptuously every day. And at his gate lay a poor man named Lazarus, covered with sores, who longed to satisfy his hunger with what fell from the rich man’s table; even the dogs would come and lick his sores. 

The poor man died and was carried away by the angels to be with Abraham. The rich man also died and was buried. In Hades, where he was being tormented, he lifted up his eyes and saw Abraham far away with Lazarus by his side. He called out, ‘Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, for I am in agony in these flames.’ But Abraham said, ‘Child, remember that during your lifetime you received your good things and Lazarus in like manner evil things, but now he is comforted here, and you are in agony. Besides all this, between you and us a great chasm has been fixed, so that those who might want to pass from here to you cannot do so, and no one can cross from there to us.’ He said, ‘Then I beg you, father, to send him to my father’s house— for I have five brothers—that he may warn them, so that they will not also come into this place of torment.’ Abraham replied, ‘They have Moses and the prophets; they should listen to them.’ He said, ‘No, father Abraham, but if someone from the dead goes to them, they will repent.’ He said to him, ‘If they do not listen to Moses and the prophets, neither will they be convinced even if someone rises from the dead.’

SERMON

Homeless Man Pictures | Download Free Images on Unsplash

We have all seen them, maybe at gates but more at shop door entrances. They could be lying on a sleeping bag or piles of newspapers at a doorway covered with a rough blanket. There might be a dog present as a companion or as a safety measure. They are for whatever reason begging, and in need of help and assistance. They might rattle a cup or tin can with a few coins, asking for more.

This sight at the doorway evokes various reactions. “It’s their own fault.” “There are agencies that can help.” “He should go and look for work.” “If we give them money, they’ll only go and spend it on drugs or drink.” “Stay away- they could be violent.”

These poor needy people were around in Jesus’ time and you would have expected us in 21st century to have solved the problem by now but sadly we haven’t. What are we supposed to do? We simply cannot ignore and do nothing! Our parable today pricks at our conscience and provokes us to action, as it focusses on precisely this topic.

Parable Quotes - BrainyQuote

There has been much scholarly debate questioning whether this is a parable or not? It has aroused discussion because it is atypical of other parables, especially as it is the only parable to mention characters by name, Lazarus and Abraham, and it deals with the after-life in detail. Parables, even though they are stories with a point, are often built upon observations grounded in normal activities of life. A parable’s “everyday life” feel gives it its vividness. So, the everyday feel of the story need not automatically lead to the conclusion that a parable is not present. In fact, most importantly, one could argue that the account’s internal dynamics reveal its parabolic character, since the dialogue between the rich man in Hades and Abraham in blessing seems inherently unlikely as a more literal event, given the mention of the great and unpassable chasm. How in the world could such a conversation take place, or the rich man see Lazarus, if they are so separated in distance?  The general consensus is that it is a parable, typical in some ways of other parables with its beginning” there was a certain man” and its style is mainly parabolic.

Rich Man and Lazarus: Luke 16.19-31 - bryanregier

So, having established that it is a parable what is Jesus teaching through it? First of all, the parable begins with sharp contrasts. The extravagant luxury of the rich man is played off against the utter destitution of Lazarus, whose name means “God is my help.” The rich man is often referred to as Dives which is the Latin for rich. Notice that the rich man was clothed in purple and fine linen. Such fabric would have been worn by High Priests, and these robes could cost about £30-£40, which when you consider the working wage to be 4p a day, was an enormous sum of money to pay for clothes. Not only was he clad in expensive clothing but he feasted in luxury every day. The word used for feasting is the word used for a gourmet feeding on exotic and costly dishes. Notice that he ate like that every day. One commentator stated that in feasting every day he was breaking the fourth commandment for it forbids work on the Sabbath and requires us to labour the other six. Neither rest nor work in the correct manner shaped this rich man’s life. This rich man is depicted as a figure of indolent self- indulgence. Remember most common people were fortunate to eat meat once in a week, after toiling for six days.

Pope's Lenten message focuses on rich man, Lazarus | Catholic Archdiocese  of Kota Kinabalu

Lazarus on the other hand, is longing for the crumbs from the rich man’s table. In that time there were no knives, forks or napkins. Food was eaten with the hands, and in very wealthy houses the hands were cleansed by wiping them on hunks of breads, which were then flung away. The crumbs that Lazarus longed for were these hunks of bread. Not only was Lazarus in need of food but his health was poor. We are told that he was covered with ulcerated sores, and was not strong enough to ward off the dogs who came to lick his sores. In short, Lazarus was in a dire situation of poverty and deprivation- alone, isolated and abandoned.

Unlike many, the rich man did not call the police to have him removed, nor was he particularly cruel to him, by kicking or abusing him. What was the crime committed, if any, by the rich man? The charge brought against him was that he did nothing to help. He was lacking in compassion, completely numb to this man’s needs, indifferent to his plight. His crime was the crime of omission. You will know well the quote by Edmund Burke “the only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.” It is the sin of omission. We are all guilty at different times and in different ways of committing this sin of omission, that is why it is said every Sunday in our prayer of confession “we confess to you that we have sinned in thought, word and deed, and in what we have failed to do.” The sin of the rich man was that he could look on the world’s suffering and feel no grief or pity, and so he showed no compassion nor offered any help.

How To Develop Courageous And Compassionate Leadership

So, this parable is reminding us to be compassionate to all people, especially those who cannot return our kindness. But this parable is saying more than that for we read that the poor man went to Abraham’s bosom and the rich man to hell. This is a surprising turn and shock in the parable for the listeners, the Pharisees, who loved wealth and ignored the poor and needy. It is a complete reversal of what would be expected. The Pharisees believed if you were prosperous then God was blessing you and if you were poor, God was cursing you. This shows that it is not the case! A prosperity theology is mistaken.

There is no denying that the gap between rich and poor has widened and with the cost- of- living crisis coming, more will fall into the poor category. Throughout all the parables in this chapter we are strongly encouraged to steward well and share our resources. The Pharisees are urged to change their ways before it is too late for riches can make a person self- occupied, they blind a person to the needs of others and harden the heart. As Mother Teresa said “The greatest evil in the world today is lack of love- the terrible indifference towards one’s neighbour which is so widespread.” This underlines the importance of the second commandment “Love your neighbour as yourself.”

Love Your Neighbour - Diocese of St Albans

Ironically the real poverty in this parable is that of the rich man- he suffers from poverty of heart. For what this parable brings home is that the decisions made in this life affect the after- life. In the after- life there is no second chance or opportunity for change, what we do now determines what happens in the future- on earth as it is in heaven. The age to come must be anticipated in the present.

This parable also throws up the big question about hell- is there such a place? Certainly, Jesus spoke a lot about hell, but did he mean an actual place? Scholars are divided on this theme Some say that hell is where God is not present but I query that for if God is omnipresent how can he not be there too? Equally I struggle enormously with the idea of a God who will keep people in agony and anguish for eternity. Whilst God is holy and pure and cannot stand sin, this concept of hell seems to me to run counter to God’s love, compassion and forgiveness. I also do not hold to universalism where all will enter heaven, for that denies the right of human freedom and free will, which God has gifted to us. I am not at all sure if hell is a literal place. I imagine as we are so keen to prolong life and be remembered that hell for most people would be annihilation. John Stott, a renowned theologian said that hell is a realm of destruction rather than endless retribution. I sympathise with John Stott’s view.

Inspirational Quotes: Mother Teresa - AtoZMom's BSF Blog

But whatever our view on hell is, the primarily point of this parable is that what we do in this life matters and has lasting consequences now and in the future. Our call is to compassion and to reach out to our neighbour in need in small and practical ways. We are not called to save the world but to help the individual that is placed at our gate. It was Mother Teresa that said: “I always say that love starts at home: family first, then your town or city. It’s easy to love people who are far away, but not so easy to love those who live with us or who are next door to us. I don’t agree with the big way of doing things- love starts with an individual. To love a person, you must make contact with that person, become close. You have to let people come in contact with the poor. When you do that, you cross this enormous divide. It’s no longer these millions of people, but somebody you have actually touched.”

Best 100+ Mother Teresa Quotes And Sayings On Love & Life – Quotes Sayings  | Thousands Of Quotes Sayings

She goes on to tell the following story: “Once in Bombay there was a big conference on poverty. When I reached the conference, right in front of the door where hundreds of people were talking about food and hunger, I found a dying man. I took him to our home for the dying. He died there. He died of hunger.” “I never took the masses as my responsibility. I look at the individual. I can only love one person at a time. I picked up one person. Maybe if I hadn’t picked up that one person, I wouldn’t have picked up 42,000. The whole work is only a drop in the ocean. But if I didn’t put that drop in, the ocean would be one drop less. Same thing for you.”

The rich man could not have been expected to save the world, but he could have helped his neighbour – Lazarus, the beggar at his gate. Who is at our gate and who can we help? Amen

Christ The Savior Lutheran Church

NICENE CREED

We believe in one God, the Father, the Almighty maker of heaven and earth,

of all that is, seen and unseen.

We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ,

the only Son of God,

eternally begotten of the Father,

God from God, Light from Light,

true God from true God,

begotten, not made,

of one substance with the Father.

Through him all things were made.

For us and for our salvation

he came down from heaven;

by the power of the Holy Spirit

he became incarnate of the Virgin Mary,

and was made man.

For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate;

he suffered death and was buried.

On the third day he rose again

in accordance with the Scriptures;

he ascended into heaven

and is seated at the right hand of the Father.

He will come again in glory

to judge the living and the dead,

and his kingdom will have no end.

We believe in the Holy Spirit,

the Lord, the giver of life,

who proceeds from the Father.

With the Father and the Son,

he is worshipped and glorified.

He has spoken through the Prophets.

We believe in one holy catholic and apostolic Church.

We acknowledge one baptism

for the forgiveness of sins.

We look for the resurrection of the dead,

and the life of the world to come. Amen.

Praying Moms – LRPC HOME

God, our Father, your love for us is constant and steadfast.

It’s a love that is without limits and full of compassion.

We thank you for the love that you lavish upon us

and for the honour it is to be sons

and daughters in your heavenly family.

Help us to love you with all our heart

and to love our neighbour

so that by our love we may be seen to be your disciples.

Lord in your mercy

Hear our prayer.

9 Ideas to Help Children Show Love - FaithGateway

God, our Saviour Jesus Christ,

your love was so complete for us

that you gave everything on the cross for us.

You demonstrated clearly your compassion

and your heart of love for the poor

Help us to be willing to give everything we can

to alleviate poverty

and further the work of your kingdom.

Thank you for all the aid agencies

that do marvellous work and help the needy.

Lord in your mercy

Hear our prayer

God the Holy Spirit, full of wisdom and power

fill us with your insight and vision,

that we might discern your grace at work

in our churches and in our communities.

Empower us to be advocates for those

who are oppressed and have no voice.

Guide us to speak out for justice

and equal opportunities for all,

that together we might build your kingdom

founded on grace and love.

Lord in your mercy

Hear our prayer

Download your Free eBook Here – Identity in Christ | Best Documented  Healing Miracle Site

God of all hope, our security and identity are in you.

We are one with you and one with our brothers and sisters

in the Anglican Communion throughout the world.

We weep with those that weep

and are under great stress and suffering.

We pray especially of those

in Ukraine and Russia who are fleeing their country

and are frightened for their future.

Bring them to a welcoming nation

that offers peace and hope.

Help the people left behind in Ukraine and Russia

protect them, and watch over them.

Lord in your mercy

Hear our prayer

God of all compassion, your heart reaches out to all those

who are poor and are in need.

We lift to you the refugees from Syria

and from many other parts of the world.

Help them to find asylum and to establish a new life

with security, love and peace.

Help us to play our part, however large or small

in bringing that request into a reality.

Lord in your mercy

Hear our prayer

He Will Not Break A Bruised Reed by David Wilkerson | #sermon -  #davidwilkerson #ahavajerusalem - YouTube

God of all healing, you delight in helping

the broken hearted and despairing.

Be with all who have had their lives shattered

as a result of violence and war.

We think especially of the Middle East

and pray for stability, rest and peace

Lord in your mercy

Hear our prayer

God of all peace, you take away anxiety and worry,

and so, we think of all who are struggling at this time,

with fear, or stress, with mental health issues,

or physical difficulties and illness

and ask O God that you would draw near

and meet them at their point of need,

and grant them your peace, your strength,

your healing touch and newness of life.

Lord in your mercy

Hear our prayer

God of life,

we remember those

whom you brought home

to the eternal city recently,

giving thanks for all they were in you

and for all they accomplished in you.

In the quiet we lift their families to you.

Lord in your mercy

Hear our prayer

God of all joy, you delight in us

and bless us with great gifts.

Empower us by your Holy Spirit

to use and share our gifts for your glory

and may your joy be our strength today and always…

God's Gifts - Missionaries of Christ - Catholic Devotionals Daily and  Bible/Gospel Reading for Today

Merciful Father accept these prayers for the sake of your Son,

our Saviour Jesus Christ who taught us to pray together

Our Father in heaven,

hallowed be your name,

your kingdom come,

your will be done,

on earth as in heaven.

Give us today our daily bread.

Forgive us our sins

as we forgive those

who sin against us.

Do not bring us to the time of trial

but deliver us from evil.

For the kingdom, the power and the glory are yours, now and for ever. Amen.

HYMN

BLESSING

The peace of God,

which passes all understanding,

keep your hearts and minds in the knowledge and love of God,

and of his Son, Jesus Christ, our Lord:

and the blessing of God the Father,

the Son and Holy Spirit,

be among you and remain with you always. Amen

DISMISSAL

Go or stay in peace to love and serve the Lord.

In the name of Christ.