To receive and share God’s accepting Grace, challenging Wisdom and transforming Love

STEDY, February 7, 2018

Matthew 12:1-14 The Message

One Sabbath, Jesus was strolling with his disciples through a field of ripe grain. Hungry, the disciples were pulling off the heads of grain and munching on them. Some Pharisees reported them to Jesus: “Your disciples are breaking the Sabbath rules!”
Jesus said, “Really? Didn’t you ever read what David and his companions did when they were hungry, how they entered the sanctuary and ate fresh bread off the altar, bread that no one but priests were allowed to eat? And didn’t you ever read in God’s Law that priests carrying out their Temple duties break Sabbath rules all the time and it’s not held against them?
“There is far more at stake here than religion. If you had any idea what this Scripture meant-‘I prefer a flexible heart to an inflexible ritual’-you wouldn’t be nitpicking like this. The Son of Man is no lackey to the Sabbath; he’s in charge.”
When Jesus left the field, he entered their meeting place. There was a man there with a crippled hand. They said to Jesus, “Is it legal to heal on the Sabbath?” They were baiting him.
He replied, “Is there a person here who, finding one of your lambs fallen into a ravine, wouldn’t, even though it was a Sabbath, pull it out? Surely kindness to people is as legal as kindness to animals!” Then he said to the man, “Hold out your hand.” He held it out and it was healed. The Pharisees walked out furious, sputtering about how they were going to ruin Jesus.

I have forgotten the name of the show, let alone the name of the main character, but I remember that she was sweet, simple and unassuming. Having pulled herself up by her bootstraps she wasn’t as sophisticated as her colleagues, but she was genuine and hard working. This one episode centered around her fiancé’s family whose background was quite different than hers. His mother and aunts were an old money, deep south hybrid who didn’t feel this woman was worthy to carry on their name. They criticized her heavily and scolded her often for her ignorance of high society etiquette. Before dinners and parties this young woman would frantically read Emily Post and quiz friends whom she felt were more refined and yet still, her fiancé’s family could find some way to publicly belittle her. At one point this young woman stood up to her future mother-in-law by reminding her that manners were created not to be a way to assess someone’s breeding but rather to put people at ease. The whole point behind having good manners is to make people feel comfortable. I loved that, and I remember being rather disappointed with myself and the world that that we needed to be reminded of something so obvious.
The bible and all its laws have a similar purpose and yet have been misused in a similar way. While to us today these law seem a bit outdated, every law was intended to protect lives, to stop prejudice as well as social injustice. In their day, these laws were progressive and set the people of Israel apart from their neighbors. I believe God wants us to keep evolving in our practices so that we continue to be progressively gracious and set apart from our neighbors. I think God wants us to keep pushing society to end the injustices we see today. Sadly, that has been lost and one’s ability to display fluency of the original versions of these laws has become more prized than caring for the people in our midst. Much of what the gospels record Jesus doing and saying was to remind people that we need to take care of each other and if following the law means hurting or walking away from someone than we have missed the point of the law.

When I read these passages where Jesus is in the face of the Pharisees, challenging how they interact with those in need and making them so angry I wonder how he would respond to us today? I would love to think of him going to abusive preachers, standing up to them like the woman from the old sitcom did to her future mother-in-law, reminding them the laws are meant to unite and heal not separate and rate people. I also think of these stories where Jesus goes to a man with a crippled hand, a woman who had been bleeding for 12 years, a young girl who had died and I like to think of where Jesus would be. If he were here today Jesus would be seeking out the gay, lesbian, transgender or queer teenager on the verge of suicide and tell them they are loved. He would be on the shores of Turkey ready to bring a drowned Syrian child back to life. He would be standing with the #metoo movement quoting passages that support a woman’s right to be in the world safely. If we want to encounter Jesus and live lives according to his word, then we need to be there too.

~ Upcoming Events ~

We Need a Vote!
Aladdin is playing at the Pantages and we would like to organize a trip to see it. We have two dates in mind, if you are interested
please Heather or Antonio know which date you prefer so we can get tickets before they run out.

Options are:
Sunday, March 25th at 6:30 pm. Tickets are $50
or
Tuesday, March 27th at 8 pm. Tickets are $35.
(this is spring break week for San Marino USD)

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Sunday, February 11
Team 2 Acolyting
Children’s Liturgy
10 am | Chapel
Sunday School
10:30 am | Sunday School Classrooms
Teaching: Vicki, Antonio and Heather

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February 13
Shrove Tuesday Pancake Dinner
5:30 – 7:00 p.m.
Please join us for a pancake feast before our Lenten fasting begins!
RSVP to Karen at kharrigian@sbcglobal.net or 626-441-0787 so
that we may plan accordingly. But if you find yourself in the mood
for pancakes at the last minute, please join us anyway.
Any proceeds benefit St. Edmund’s Church:
$6 for adults and teens, $3 for children 12 and under.
If you’d like to help in the kitchen before or after you have your pancakes, please also let Karen know. Help would be much appreciated!

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Thursday, February 15
Trip to SkyZone, Covina

Please RSVP to Heather

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Sunday, February 18
Team 3 Acolyting
Sunday School
10 am | Sunday School Classrooms

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Sunday, February 25
Team 4 Acolyting
Children’s Liturgy
10 am | Chapel
Sunday School
10:30 am | Sunday School Classrooms

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Wednesday, February 28
The Many Colors of Holi
3:45 – 4:45 pm
Norton Simon Museum
Free for kids under 18!
Holi is a Hindu festival that celebrates the end of winter and represents renewal or new life. Look at Krishna Fluting in Vrindavan and learn how Holi originated from the story of Krishna, his love for Radha and his attempt to color her skin so that it matched his own. Create an artwork using an airbrush technique to spray color in an expressive way and bring this story to life.
Please RSVP as space is limited to 15

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Sunday, March 4
Team 1 Acolyting

Children’s Liturgy
10 am | Chapel

Sunday School
10:30 am | Sunday School Classrooms
Teachers: Shawna, Antonio and Heather

Youth Group
5-7 pm

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Sunday, March 11
Team 2 Acolyting

Children’s Liturgy
10 am | Chapel

Sunday School
10:30 am | Sunday School Classrooms

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Sunday, March 18
Team 3 Acolyting

Children’s Liturgy
10 am | Chapel

Sunday School
10:30 am | Sunday School Classrooms

Please feel free to contact Heather if you have questions.