I cant remember who I heard joke once that it seemed like all the sermons he heard quoted The New York Times, a new sociology study, and a favorite best selling novel before saying, "But Jesus really got it best when he said..."
In today's readings (I'm thinking of Joel, Luke and Timothy here) it's awfully tempting to head in this direction. In Joel - what are the people doing in response to disaster? In Timothy - what's Paul thinking in his last days? And in Luke - What about that wacky Pharisee, huh? Cant he see that it's all about doing as the tax collector does?
David Lose over at working preacher (I know I'm always quoting Working Preacher, but really it's just because they so have it going ON over there!) lays it on the line: "Rather, this parable is about God: God who alone can judge the human heart; God who determines to justify the ungodly."
Which makes me think that maybe it would behoove us to look at all the scriptures this way. I admit my first tack is too often to ask what what the people are doing in these passages. What happens if we ask instead first hat is God doing in Joel (and speaking of Working Preacher, check out our own Wil Gafney's excellent commentary on this passage) and Timothy?
Let us know where your early-in-the-week thinking is taking you. See you in the comments!