Proper 22 (working notes)
Given the small size of the congregation at St Lawrence’s in Effingham, it seemed more appropriate to preach from notes rather than a fleshed-out text. The relevant scripture reading is the day’s epistle: Hebrews 1:1-4, 2:5-12.
- Reading from Hebrews paints compelling picture of God’s final victory over everything that ails us—in fact, the exaltation of humankind to a position almost of co-ruler with God (“all things in subjection under [our] feet”)
- But this vision does not usually correlate with our actual experience. We see massive suffering in others, and inevitably suffer greatly ourselves (“As it is, we do not yet see everything in subjection …”)
- “But we do see Jesus … now crowned with honor and glory because of the suffering of death, so that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone.”
- We live in a “time in between”—Analogy/illustration: Battle of New Orleans, Japanese snipers on Pacific islands after WWII—the realm of sin and death still casts a shadow, but the Kingdom of Heaven is breaking in all around us
- Amidst the suffering (both petty and grand) of this life, the risen Jesus (with whom we connect in the Eucharist) is the constant sign of God’s victory, and the redemption of suffering.