July 23, 2017
Matthew 13:24-30, 36-43
Romans 8:12-25
Genesis 28:10-19a


Family trip
Proper 11 | OT 16 | Pentecost 7

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David Kalas
Every parent is familiar with the backseat refrains. “Are we there yet?” “How much farther is it?” “How soon will we be there?” It is standard fare on a family journey to field the continual questions that are born out of both impatience and excitement.

Children are not to be faulted for this, of course, as though it is peculiar to their age. The adults are just as impatient and excited, but they don’t have to express it aloud: they just check the odometer, the clock, and the GPS. And it may be, in fact, that the adults check more often than the children ask!

In any case, this is a natural part of being on a trip. We have a sense of our destination, and we are eager to get there. And in our eagerness, we may also feel and exhibit a certain restlessness. It is a genuine challenge for us human beings to wait patiently for what we want.

And we may be getting worse at it. Folks of my generation will remember the standard “please allow 4 to 6 weeks for delivery” that accompanied any mail order purchase. Now we are spoiled by next-day -- and, in a growing percentage of instances, same-day -- delivery. The conveniences with which we live have perhaps exacerbated our natural impatience.

Well, the three scripture passages from which we will preach this week feature these thematic elements. Jacob is on a journey. The servants in Jesus’ parable are impatient. The apostle Paul encourages the Romans to wait patiently. And in it all there is a wise and provident God with a plan, a destination....

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Proper 11 | OT 16
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