July 9: The Sixth Sunday after Pentecost

The Rev. Joseph Peters-Mathews is the vicar of St. Hilda St. Patrick. The sermon for July 9, 2023 was preached extemporaneously in response to Matthew 11:16-19, 25-30 based on the notes below.
  1. Enneagram. Helping Professions Zodiac. 1-9, self sorting.
  2. 1w2. Perfectionist. Helper. “Here, let me help you do that the right way.”
  3. Rude-Enneagram. Highlights dichotomies and competing motivations. Good Mythical Morning, “Having such an unfailing, stubborn hope in the possibility of a brighter and better future.” / “Feeling the oppressive weight of having assigned themselves responsible for all the work required to bring about that better future. 
  4. That’s what both Jesus and Paul are talking about today, and to cut to the chase – it’s not me, it’s God through Jesus. 
  5. Matthew sets up Pharisees as Jesus’ opponent — mad about being expelled from the community so uses very negative light
  6. Pharisees assigned themselves the responsibility of bringing a better future, but give the work to everyone.
  7. John is too dour and ascetic, so they reject him. Jesus doesn’t follow the law enough, so they reject him. Won’t be satisfied, like whining kids on a playground.
  8. Genders, playing funeral, playing wedding. 
  9. Paul carries this forward, talking about the law. Not breaking up Spirit / Flesh as separate — two wills. Broken human will, all good from above will of God.
  10. We want to do what’s right, but we get in our own way. Dana White tweeted, “You don’t want encampments, but you don’t want a shelter in your neighborhood and you’re not coming together with your neighbors to help the less resourced or raise hell about the always increasing rent. Do you see how it’s not only systems perpetuating homelessness? It’s you.”
  11. This is a broad brush, extremely broad! But it illustrates our shortcomings, the way we can will something good – and end to homelessness – but the conventional wisdom, where we make sure to take care of ourselves, keeps us from acting
  12. Also shows that was seems wise, or like common sense, keeps us from understanding and receiving Jesus. He isn’t understood by the wise or powerful, but by the infants, the simple, the people on the ground. 
  13. These are the people for whom the law has become a burden, and Jesus is fulfilling it. Not by taking it away, but by offering rest. Not a rest of inactivity, but of work. It’s taking a yoke. 
  14. That’s what Paul – a writer, keeper, and enforcer of the Law – is calling out for! “??Who will rescue me from this body of death, the broken sinful humanity that gets in the way of doing what’s good? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord!” 
  15. Jesus is offering to team up with his hearers, to be yoked to them, to share their burdens as we learn his techniques and how to live like him.
  16. This is a lifelong journey and a lifelong commitment. Not a life of known wisdom or being known, but gentleness and humility like Jesus, walking daily yoked to him.
  17. Invites us to not show others how to do it the right way, or take the responsibility for getting all the work for a better future done ourselves — but to share with Jesus, and let him work alongside us. 
  18. “Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”

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