Each Sundays during the summer months, there is an outdoor ecumenical prayer service at the Lake Harriet Bandshell. A different Catholic or Protestant parish runs the service each week. This week the service was in the hands of the parishes of Christ the King and St. Thomas Apostle. Last year at the service run by this team, Bill Nolan (Pastoral Associate at St. Thomas Apostle) presided and I gave the homily. This year we reversed roles and I presided, with Bill offering the homily.
I recognize these services are not everyone’s cup of tea. But I enjoy these opportunity to come together with people of different Christian denominations as members of one Body of Christ to worship together.
In today’s Gospel Jesus tells his disciples that “some are last who will be first, and some are first who will be last.” Bill’s homily (which moved through both CS Lewis and a wonderful running analogy) talked about the difference between our world of winners and losers, haves and have nots and the kingdom, observing that
The centrality of the Gospel message is not a prediction of a cosmic role reversal, nor a replacement of one hierarchical structure with its polar opposite. Jesus’ message – Jesus’ invitation to all is, I believe, to be builders of a kingdom, where there are no winners and losers, have and have-nots, firsts and lasts.
You can access a recording of Bill’s homily here or stream it from the icon below. The podcast runs for 10:49.