From the Desktop of the Pastor – Week of the 15th Sunday after Pentecost

Hi everyone,

Last week during Sunday Service I mentioned the documentary “The Great Hack” that is currently on Netflix. At the time I didn’t see it yet, but I just got the gist of what it was about. I took the time this past week to see it, and man alive the world is a very messed up place.

Essentially, the documentary tells us how social media (namely Facebook) was used to sway the vote in the 2016 US Presidential election. All the information that Facebook’s users freely give the website is mined and analysed to the point where your personality and voting pattern can not only be predicted, but also manipulated.

It was all quite scary.

And really the moral that I took away is that stop putting real stuff about yourself on Facebook (this is coming from a guy who changed his birthday everyday on Facebook to see how long people would notice and stop wishing me a happy birthday… it took about a month). But I also saw something else, and that is how much people would do for money. Because really, all this came down to who paid who to do what. And there was a lot of unethical “what” being done, and people were quite handsomely paid.

I guess it makes sense, money does make the world go around after all, and perhaps the more you’re willing to compromise the more likely you could get paid (not across the board of course, there are many ethical ways of getting paid… it’s just not as easy to make a lot that way).

Here are the readings for next week:
Amos 8:4-7
Psalm 113
1 Timothy 2:1-7
Luke 16:1-13

I think this is what Jesus is talking about in this really weird parable he gives. He gives us a picture of how the world works, and a bleak one at that. It’s like the corrupt commend the corrupt for being corrupt, which then encourages more corruption just to get ahead. It how the world is, it’s how we’re used to things working, it’s how we almost expect to operate.

And it’s sad.

So I think Jesus is giving us a contrast to who would we rather serve? Money, that is often full of unethical and unscrupulous corruption, or God, who is like the exact opposite.

As the Psalmist sings, “Who is like our God?” and lists God’s great acts of grace of mercy. The answer is that no one is like our God, but that doesn’t mean we can’t try at least to have some attributes in common.

Serving God doesn’t mean we must be poor and have no money, but it means that we don’t have to worry about money and the perhaps empty promises it gives, but we can live in a way different from the world and offer a voice of joy and peace, full of welcome and community, and reflecting God’s love upon all people.

Indeed we are in the world, but not of the world. And it is my hope and prayer that the world can change because of God’s grace as lived through the lives of God’s children (that’s us, btw).

Have a great week, everyone!

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