In the Old Testament passage assigned by the lectionary for the fifth Sunday after Epiphany, Isaiah excoriates the Israelites for their fasting practices. The Israelites are frustrated with what they perceive as the Lord's failure to meet their expectations, but God (through Isaiah) responds by calling them out for their sham theatricality and false humility, noting: "You serve your own interest on your fast day... you fast only to quarrel and to fight and to strike with a wicked fist" (Isaiah 58:3-4).
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A pastor has been called to a certain congregation with one major mandate in mind: “Revitalize our youth ministry! We built this new addition to our church building, with a huge mortgage and we cannot get any younger people to come to our church activities.” So, the Pastor mobilizes the younger families in both the church and in the local area for monthly Sunday night activities. However, the very faces that were on the pastoral call committee often have alternative family plans on Sunday nights.
It is said that if everyone started their adult life on an equal footing with £1000 each, some would go on to become millionaires, some would chug along comfortably, some would struggle to make ends meet and some would become poor. It may also be true that those who became millionaires would be venerated, those who were comfortable would be admired, those who struggled would be despised and those who were poor would be so completely disregarded that they would quickly become invisible.
1Then Jesus said to the disciples, "There was a rich man who
had a manager, and charges were brought to him that this man was
squandering his property. 2So he summoned him and said to him,
'What is this that I hear about you? Give me an accounting of
your management, because you cannot be my manager any longer.' 3Then the manager said to himself, 'What will I do, now that my
master is taking the position away from me? I am not strong
enough to dig, and I am ashamed to beg. 4I have decided what to