a sermon by
The Rev. Canon Charles LaFond
Proper 28, November 13, 2011
Holy Cross, Weare, NH
When I was a child, I had a collection of post cards from my grandmother. One day, a friend, staying at my house as our guest, ripped the corners off most of them to steal the stamps. When I saw what had happened, I confronted him and he said he did not think I would miss them. The relationship was permanently damaged. That experience was my first exposure to what I do now as my life’s work – encouraging this conversation we are having in the church around stewardship. I did not love my friend less, however, I was always aware that there was less joy in our friendship after that. When we hold back our pledge, it is not the love between us and our god which is sapped – rather it is some of the joy that is reduced. And the irony is that it is OUR joy which is withered by the self-worship of that particular flavor of greed.
This morning’s readings from the prophet Zephaniah, from Paul’s letter to the Philippians and from the Gospel are all pointing to right relationship. The entirety of the Holy scriptures of the Hebrews and the Christians can be summed up as a story about the difficult relationship between God and God’s created humans. And this set of readings is no different.