This week's assigned Gospel story is a continuation of the story assigned for the Second Sunday in Advent. (See Chapter 4.) A single story has been broken into two parts and divided in our attention by several weeks. One thing our sermon for this week needs to do is to put this story back together again.
Jack Kingsbury speaks of the importance of this passage in the schema of Matthew's story:
Are you paying attention? Or are you paying attention to the wrong stuff? A voice that sounds a lot like Wisdom as we met her in Proverbs begs us to learn from past experience, so as not to spend money when we can get free stuff. The first generation liberated from Egypt died in the desert because they didn’t learn. And when the people pointed with oohs and ahhs towards current events, Jesus asked them to learn from the past to recognize that some things are not as significant as the eternal choices.
The government has finally woken up to the fact that the health of our children in this country is threatened by their food. For two generations, since World War 2, food has become increasingly processed and the era of the fast food meal is well and truly with us.
Karen hates church. She feels it's a place where people are brainwashed. She thinks the people who go to church are weak, looking for a crutch in sermons that tell them how to behave. Karen clearly has an issue with established religion.