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Dear St. Mark’s,

I’m feeling a bit loopy at the moment because our flight from Scotland
arrived at midnight last night. Unfortunately, my body woke itself up at
4 a.m. due to jet leg. Traveling can do weird things to our bodies, but the sacrifice is worth the adventures.

Among the greatest gifts traveling gives to us, in addition to opening our eyes to new cultures, foods and landscapes, is a great appreciation of our homes and our daily routines. And as much as I loved going abroad,
resting, and spending time with family, I am surprisingly eager to get back to my humdrum daily responsibilities…including, preparing for the sermon this Sunday.

The gospel lectionary passage for this Sunday comes to us from Luke 14:1, 7-14. Within that small passage contains a multitude of lessons that are still pertinent to us today. The context in which the lessons are taught are, as many of Jesus’ lessons are taught, at the meal table. He urges people to take the lowest seat of honor at meals and to invite those who wouldn’t be able to repay the favor of an invitation. It was striking for his listeners back then, who were obsessed with tit-for-tat calculated thinking but it’s also a glimpse into God’s kind of thinking—that God doesn’t repay us according to our deeds, our status, or accomplishments. God loves us and provides for us simply because we’re…us. This reality is challenging for many of us to take in, who have grown up in a world where our value and our worth is determined by how much we make, how beautiful we are, our status in the world and how valuable we are to others. None of that matters to God and not just that, our worth has nothing to do with any of those things. Crazy, right?

Let’s reflect more on these ideas today this Sunday. We’ll also be sharing in the sung communion so that will be fun as well. As Rev. Jeri said this past Sunday, I know it’s Labor Day weekend so many of you might be away. But if you’re not, come by and celebrate with us.

In this together,

Rev. Lydia