Gospel themes study

01 September – 04 October

The theme of the Season of Creation 2020 is “Jubilee for the Earth.”

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The Jubilee year (Hebrew) – every fiftieth year – and the Sabbatical year – every seventh year – are Biblical commandments concerning ownership. Every seventh year, farmers are to let land lie fallow. The celebration of the Jubilee is the fiftieth year (7 x 7 + 1), that is, the year after seven Sabbatical cycles. All debts are forgiven (zeroed) in the Jubilee year. In Christian tradition, a Jubilee is a year of confession, remission and forgiveness of sins.

The Baptismal Covenant
Will you strive to safeguard the integrity of God’s creation, and respect, sustain and renew the life of the Earth?

Gospels for Year A

Proper 23 Matthew 18:15-20Conflict in community”
In the church, how should a strayed “member” (sinner), who offends us be treated? First, point out the fault; if necessary, then take it to the church, if no resolution, treat that one as a Gentile or tax collector.

Proper 24 Matthew 18:21-35The unforgiving slave”
The story-line of the parable is straight-forward. The slave owes a large sum which is forgiven. When asked to forgive a fellow slave, he refuses. The king withdraws his forgiveness and orders him tortured, a fate for those who not forgive their brother from the heart.

Proper 25 Matthew 20:1-16Laborers in the vineyard
The landowner appears to be unfair. The passage begins “... the kingdom of heaven is like ...” The wages stand for God’s grace. God chooses to give the same to all: the landowner pays “whatever is right” – there is no hierarchy. The landowner decides to whom he is “generous.” The last will be first and the first last.

Proper 26 Matthew 21:23-32Tough question/two sons
Jesus teaches in the Temple. “Chief priests and the elders” ask who has given him “authority.” His answer is a question about the authenticity of the baptism of John who they consider a prophet. The parable of the sons, one is asked to go and refuses then goes, the other promises and did not go. Which one does the will of his father?

Proper 27 Matthew 21:33-46Wicked tenants
Jesus tells the story of tenants of a vineyard who eventually kill the only son of the landowner. It’s impossible for the members of the Sanhedrin not to recognize the similarity between the tenants (leaders of Isreal), the vineyard (God’s people) and, the son (Jesus the only Son of God).

1. Think specifically about a Cathedral ministry in which you are engaged and identify one connection point between either a scriptural theme or the over all theme of responsibility and care of creation emphasized during the Season.

2. If some way we do what we do as a church community could better reflect our regard for creation and the better stewardship of it, what would it be?


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