November 4, 2018
Jesus unrolled the scroll and found the place where it was written: “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to bring good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.
The Bible makes mention of the fact that we carry dual citizenship as citizens of the kingdom and citizens of the world. But these identities are not equal. If there is ever a conflict, the values of the kingdom must come first. There is a level of confusion in the minds of many Christians equating being a Christians with being patriotic, but they are not the same. Jesus said that anyone who loves mother or father, brother or sister, “is not worthy of me.” We are a God-first people who put the cares of God before all others. Therefore, we are made better citizens of the state because we are concerned about those who are not deemed worthy of attention. We stand with those the state will not defend or support. We speak truth to those in political power that the real authority belongs to a God who calls us to feed the hungry, welcome the immigrant, care for the sick and rehabilitate the prisoner. Out of our faith commitment to the Kingdom of God, we transform the kingdoms of this world into the Beloved Community.
The Rev. Jimmie R. Hawkins; Director, Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) Office of Public Witness, Compassion, Peace & Justice Ministry; Presbyterian Mission Agency
Today’s Focus: Christian and Citizen
Let us join in prayer for:
PC(USA) Agencies’ Staff
Sue Budd, PMA
Cherrie Burch, FDN
Let us pray:
Most gracious and loving God, you are sovereign over every aspect of our living. You created each one of us in your image after your likeness. There is no one who is outside of your love and grace. Teach us to see each other as you see us, people filled with great capacity and ability and worth. Enable us to transform this nation into a place where all are respected, treated with dignity and provided the opportunity to fulfill the purpose you have given. In Christ’s name. Amen.
Revised Common Lectionary Readings for Sunday, November 4, 2018, the Thirty-First Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year B)
First Reading Ruth 1:1-18
Second Reading Hebrews 9:11-14
Gospel Mark 12:28-34