November 18, 2017

How Do We "Get Free From the Darkness That Ensnares Us" (Proper 33)

The Collect is a prayer that focuses us on the general theme of the readings for each Sunday in liturgical churches. Proper 33 is the last Sunday in the Church year before the "Reign of Christ" (next week) which marks the end of Year A. This is important as a final message generally sums up all that has gone before. The readings begin with a contrast between the disasters that fell on the Hebrew people when they abandoned God, and the military victories and good times when they returned to faith and kept the Covenants of Abraham and Moses. Paul's letter to the people in Thessalonica (1 Thess. 5.1-11) describes this contrast as between people of light and people of darkness. The parable of the Talents (75 lbs. of silver) is a reminder that Jesus will come back to judge us based on what we have done with the gifts we have been given in life. This is not about good works but about faith, hope and the development of spiritual life.

1. What was the darkness ensnared the "wicked servant"?
Notice that he was not accused of the usual sins we think of as preventing inclusion in the Kingdom of God: