Pentecost 16 Sept 29, 2019

(Ps 146, Amos 6:4-7, 1 Tim 6:6-12) Luke 16:19-31 Dip his finger in the water * Jesus hears his mother, while he’s still in the womb, singing about God filling the hungry with good things, sending the rich away empty (Luke 1:53). We’ve heard Jesus preach “Blessed are you poor, yours is the kingdom of God. Blessed are you who are hungry now, you’ll be filled…” and “Woe to you rich, you’ve had your comfort… Woe to you who are full now, you’ll be hungry…” (Luke 6:20-26). So maybe we’re not shocked to hear Jesus tell this parable today. If it’s a parable. Most consider today’s gospel reading a parable, though Jesus never names it as such. And John Wesley, our Methodist founder believed its not a parable. If it is a parable, it’s the only one told by Jesus in which any character has a name. The name Lazarus means “God will help.” A name that makes sense only if the story is literally true. Or true on a level deeper than literal. I think our story today is a parable. I hope it is, because Jesus occasionally employs hyperbole (exaggeration) in some of his parables – to accentuate his point. And I hope Jesus is exaggerating here to get our attention. But I really don’t know if it’s a parable or not or if Jesus is exaggerating. So I’m trying not to make assumptions….And I remember… The popular book a few years ago by Mitch Albom titled The Five People You Meet in Heaven – about people you meet again in the after-life. Thinking – if St. Luke the gospel writer were to title this story Jesus tells today he might call it– One of the Few Persons We See in Heaven – and The Only Person We Meet in Hell. Elsewhere in Luke’s gospel we overhear Jesus tell a crucified thief next to him on the cross, “today you’ll be with me in Paradise.” Elsewhere we glimpse Jesus flanked by Moses and Elijah of old, transfigured in heavenly light. Here today, Jesus speaks of Abraham and Lazarus, together, in the heavenly realm. But the rich man of our story today is the only person we ever see in the New Testament in hell – more literally Hades – an ancient word for the grey-area of afterlife between what we call hell – and what Catholics and some Anglicans and Eastern Orthodox believers call purgatory. I don’t think Jesus intends to open up discussion of purgatory today. But I will note in passing – in some versions of purgatory the flames are not literal – and in all versions are meant to purge and purify souls so as to be able to ascend to heaven. I don’t recommend ever aiming for purgatory – since we really don’t know if it exists – and if it does, we don’t know how hot those flames are, or how long it might take for purification to happen…. Best not to go there… But I suppose… We can say there is some good news in this parable – in that this rich man today is the only person Jesus ever describes as suffering in the afterlife… Although, there’s also some bad news – in that, apparently, we don’t have to be...

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September 29, 2019 – Cataumet

ANNOUNCEMENTS Pumpkins are coming Sunday. They will arrive at the Bourne church shortly after noon. Please come and help unload, if you can. Upcoming concert: The Kempters, Americana Worship, at the Bourne UMC at 6:30 pm on October 10th. This concert will be preceded with a meal of chili and cornbread at 5:30. No tickets needed, but donations are welcome. ADDITIONAL ANNOUNCEMENTS Bible Study is on Thursdays, 1pm, in the Perry Room at the Bourne church. EVENTS EVERY WEEK Sunday                         7:45 am                        Choir practice Sunday                         9:00 am                        Worship Sunday                         7:30 pm                       AA Meeting Monday                         9:30am                        Osteo Exercise Monday                        7:30 pm                       N/A Meeting Tuesday                         9:00am                       Exercise Tuesday                        7:00 pm                       AA Meeting Thursday                       9:00 am                      Exercise Thursday                        7:00 pm                    NA Meeting Saturday                       9:00 am                        Osteo...

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September 29, 2013 – Pentecost 19

Luke 16:19-31 “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 looked up 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, father, I beg you 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 goes to them from the dead, 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.’” Pentecost 19 Sept 29, 2013  (Ps 147, Deut 15:7-11, 1 Tim 6:6-19)   Luke 16:19-31 Even if someone rises from the dead – other readings posted at end *************************************************************** Gospel means good news. The gospel of Jesus Christ is always good news. Though our gospel reading today sounds a bit like one of those stories that starts by saying, we’ve got good news – and we’ve got bad news. First the good news. This rich man is the one and only person Jesus ever describes as in the hot place, with no way out. (I hear this very short list as good news.) This rich man today in Hades, an ancient word for a sort of long-term-after-life-interim-residence on the way to heaven or hell – though the destinies of those going either direction seem already determined as Jesus tells it– this rich man is the only one in the whole New Testament we ever hear of in hell. Good news. *** Then there’s also bad news. We don’t have to be Adolph Hitler to end up in hell. This guy sweating it out in Hades today is no serial killer – not guilty of genocide – hasn’t mugged anyone in dark alleys. All he’s done to get where he is to treat his neighbor like a piece of furniture he doesn’t notice. *** And there’s more good news – and more bad news… The good news is that Jesus tells this story to the Pharisees – the zealous religious leaders who (in Luke) always seem to thinking...

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Bourne: Week of September 29th, 2013

NEW WEBSITE: The Bourne and Cataumet UMCs are combining their websites into one, at www.bournecataumetparish.org. The old sites are no longer available. Thank you for your patience as the new site is created! USHERS WANTED!!! We are in need of people to help with ushering duties, as we do not have enough people to serve as ushers. We also would like someone who would like to learn the Powerpoint procedures – it’s easy! Please sign up in Crain Hall or speak to Robby Cotter if you are interested. Thank you! THE PUMPKIN’S ARRIVE TODAY following worship!! Please plan on staying to help unload the truck. Make sure to sign up on the list in Crain Hall for a shift(s) in the patch! Lots of volunteers are needed! OCTOBER NEWSLETTER DEADLINE is this Tuesday, October 1st. FALMOUTH CHAMBER CHORALE CONCERT is next Sunday, Oct 6th at 2:30pm, here at Bourne UMC. UMW LUNCHEON AND BAKE SALE on Saturday, Oct 12th from 11am to 1pm. Baked goods donations welcome! Sign up sheet in Crain Hall. OUR PARISH CHARGE CONFERENCE (ANNUAL MEETING) is Monday November 18, at Bourne UMC, starting with potluck supper at 5:30, meeting to start at 6:30. Our District Superintendent asks that we be ready to respond to two questions: 1) If your church has one goal that is practical, concrete, and tangible next year, what would it be? And 2) Does your congregation have Spiritual Disciplines to be transformed by the Spirit? (Prepare to share your concrete and practical spiritual disciplines). Please attend if at all possible....

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