Grace Episcopal Church



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Proper 24a 2014
19 October
Ex. 33:12-23; Ps. 99
I Thess. 1:1-10; Matt. 22:15-22
Jack Hardaway
                                    SHOW ME YOUR GLORY

 I was 13 years old the year the year that the movie Raiders of the Lost Ark came out.  Anybody remember that movie?  I’ve had the theme song going through my head for over thirty years now. 

I loved everything about it, the adventure, the fascinating world we live in, the mystery, the intrigue, the bad guys but what really struck was the sense of awe before God.
As you remember the lost Ark was the Ark of the Covenant, it carries the presence of God, the tablets of the commandments, Aaron’s staff, and manna from the wilderness.

At the end of the movie they were about to open the Ark, Indiana Jones tells his lady friend to keep their eyes closed.  Out of the Ark flew these beautiful art nouveau angels which quickly turned into the angels of death and the bad guys all melted like wax.
 It was very dramatic and gross and I loved it!
Indiana Jones and his lady friend supposedly survived because they did not behold God’s presence directly.
Ever since then whenever I read Psalm 68, “as the wax melts at the fire, so let the wicked perish at the presence of God” I think of that movie.

Moses on the mountain, on Sinai, he had just received the second set of tablets of the commandments, after breaking the previous set in anger.  He is struggling with his calling to lead, especially after his crazy brother Aaron led the people in making and worshiping the golden calf.  He prays three prayers to God and each is answered, and his last prayer is, “Show me your glory.”
God hides Moses in a crevasse and passes by, Moses can only see God indirectly, his back side.  The King James says, “My back parts.”

Show me your glory.  It will get me through this mess.
Show me your glory, but not all of it, I don’t want to melt like wax.

What do we want to see?  What do we give our eyes to?  Our attention?  Our focus?
What moves us? What gets us through?
Is it the right thing?  The glory of God?  The vision of God?  The seeing and seeking of God’s presence?
Or something else?  An idol of some sort.
Why does it matter?
Because we become what we worship.
Will we become somehow part of God’s glory in the world.  Something living?
Or part of something that is dead, a golden calf, consumer goods, convenience, cheap appetite?

Twenty two chapters into Matthew’s Gospel and the religious leaders can only think of cultivating their own indignation when they see Jesus.  Let’s play word games.  Let’s trap him.  Let’s put him in his place.  Let’s talk about taxes!  Seriously?  This strange and amazing man walks into town, who speaks of God’s kingdom and heals the sick, casts out demons for all to see and what do they want to talk about?  Taxes. 

How typical of us, our human condition, we have a chance to see God and we can’t let go of being petty.  Taxes.
How about this for a question, “Show us God.  Please rescue me from my petty heart.”

Jesus does answer their question.  He doesn’t give into petty bickering or political maneuvering.  He tells them to struggle.  Give to the emperor what belongs to the emperor and to God what is God’s.”
He doesn’t say how to tell the difference.  Struggle.  Have an adventure.
We owe God our loyalty, our everything.  

While at the same time we live in a world that is occupied by fallen powers and broken beyond recognition.  How do we live in this occupied territory?  Live the adventure, give to God what belongs to God, give to the emperor as well, struggle with that, high adventure.

Moses prayed to God that God’s presence would go with them that they may be distinct among the nations, set apart by that presence.
Show me your glory.
It keeps us alive like sunlight on green leaves.
It changes us.
What do we look for?
What do we give our eyes too?
What presence do we carry in the world?
Jesus is the glory God, beholding him we become alive.
Live that adventure.

Sermon Archives

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10-19-2014 Proper 24A 2014
10-12-2014 Proper 23A 2014
9-07-2014 Proper 18A 2014
8-31-2014 Proper 17A 2014
8-24-2014 Proper 16A 2014
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7-27-2014 Proper 12A 2014
7-20-2014 Proper 11A 2014
6-08-2014 Pentecost 2014
6-01-2014 Easter 7a 2014
5-25-2014 Easter 6a 2014
5-18-2014 Easter 5a 2014
5-11-2014 Easter 4a 2014
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4-27-2014 Easter 2a 2014
4-20-2014 Easter 2014
4-18-2014 Good Friday 2014
04-09-2014 Lent 5a 2014
03-30-2014 Lent 4a 2014
03-06-2014 Lent 2a 2014
03-09-2014 Lent 1a 2014
03-05-2014 Ash Wednesday 2014
02-23-2014 Epiphany 7a 2014
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01-26-2014 Epiphany 3a 2014(pdf)
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