St. Mark's Episcopal Church

124 North Sylvia Street - Montesano, WA, 98563

Pentecost 18



Sunday, October 4, 2020 (Proper 22)

Exodus 20:1–4, 7–9, 12–20

Psalm 19

Philippians 3:4b–14

Matthew 21:33–46


Let The words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight. O Lord, my strength, and my redeemer.

David ended his meditation of praise for the law in this week’s Psalm with this humble prayer: “Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight. O Lord, my strength, and my redeemer.”

Margaret always began her sermons with these humble words. A prayer that asked God to bless the preacher, while she humbly stands at the pulpit, reflecting on scripture. For me, this prayer respectfully asks God to vet the accuracy and intention of my words. Jim asked me one time why preaching makes me so nervous. He commented that otherwise I appeared intelligent and confident but seem to tremble when I am preaching. I think about this comment often.  I think I am just so in awe of this responsibility.

Often as I am putting together these thoughts, I hear a voice in my head whose judgmental tone is honestly more like Larry David’s than the loving tone of Jesus, “Well, Not really. That’s not exactly what I meant. But ok, whatever. They can probably sort it out”  So, you can understand my trepidation. 


Which brings me to Moses. Before Moses was called to lead the Israelites out of Egypt, he was not at all sure this was the right fit for him. He understood and believed in the mission, but he was humble in his honest question of whether he was the best choice to lead. I think at this time in history we can all agree that Arron seemed like the one with the better leadership qualities. But God did choose Moses. And Moses led the people on a 40-year meander through the wilderness, all the way south to the bottom of the Sinai Peninsula.

Now there was a much more direct route. They could have traveled due East out of Egypt to the Promised Land. In fact, it was an established trade route at the time. But no, they wandered south to Mt. Sinai.  And this is where God provided some well needed assistance.