Clergy Notes – Twenty-fifth Sunday after Pentecost, November 14, 2021

Competition. What do you think of when you hear that word? Business? Sports? Sibling rivalry? Academic prowess? Driven by rivalry or the desire to climb ranks or achieve, we pit ourselves one against another, all the while growing more uneasy about our own standing in the rat race.


As Christians, however, we believe in the integrity of community: we are the Body of Christ . . . which may seem incompatible with competition — at least the kind we regularly practice in Western society. We read, however, in the letter to the Hebrews, an encouragement to the members of the community to “provoke one another to love and good deeds.”


Provoke is a strong word . . . it’s not just passive, unspoken competition; it’s full of passion — it’s really out there! But this is competition of another sort, isn’t it? Holding fast to the confession of hope in Christ erases all worries about our own inadequacies, and frees us to compete in a different way: to challenge each other (not just ourselves) to bigger, bolder, more audacious expressions of love and good deeds. In this competition, everyone wins. Everyone grows more fully into the stature of Christ, and the Kingdom of God grows ever nearer.


My beloved friends in Christ, let me provoke you this week and always, towards audacious love for one another — and I hope you will provoke me to the same!


Mother Amanda

Download Sunday booklet here: Liturgy at Home Pentecost 25 November 14 2021