July 2: The Fifth Sunday after Pentecost

The Rev. Joseph Peters-Mathews is the vicar of St. Hilda St. Patrick. The sermon for July 2, 2023 was preached extemporaneously in response to Matthew 10:40-42 based on the notes below.
  1. No longer present your members to sin as instruments of wickedness, but present yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life, and present your members to God as instruments of righteousness. For sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace.
  2. Paul is writing to the Romans about new life, life in baptism
  3. For Christians he’s saying there’s an absolute dichotomy, no middle ground: submitting to sin or submitting to God. We’re humans, not gods
  4. In baptism we’ve chosen to submit to God. Now we have to do it!
  5. This is what Jesus is talking about in the gospel — those who have chosen to follow him so much that they are received as if they are him
  6. Alignment of  behavior has shifted — missionary journey, acting as Christ, received as Christ
  7. Paul doesn’t say it in this passage, but the spirit is willing the flesh is weak is the same thing — actively choose to follow Jesus
  8. Paul Achtemeier, “Sin does not prevent one from willing the good. …The problem does not lie in willing the good. The problem lies in doing it. That is what slavery to sin prevents. Such enslavement keeps people from accomplishing their good intentions. Sin takes what one does in order to accomplish the good and turns it to evil. That is the problem with enslavement to sin.”
  9. Following Jesus, accepting him as Lord as we do in our baptisms, being sealed by the Holy Spirit, gives us thes strength not to just to want to do good, but to do good! 
  10. I’ve quipped lately that my life would be a lot easier if I didn’t have a call to ordained ministry. If I could reject this level of commitment to new life in Jesus’ resurrection I could be making a lot more somewhere else!

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