The Rev. Noah Van Niel
St. John the Evangelist
September 3rd, 2017
13 Pentecost (Proper 17 A): Jeremiah 15:15-21; Psalm 26:1-8; Romans 12:9-21; Matthew 16:21-28
The world turns and the world changes,
But one thing does not change.
In all of my years, one thing does not change.
However you disguise it, this thing does not change:
The perpetual struggle of Good and Evil.
–TS Eliot (Choruses from “The Rock”)
That’s TS Eliot. He’s right you know. No matter how you “disguise it,” the struggle between Good and Evil is “perpetual,” and as people of faith we are caught up in that struggle whether we like it or not. Any one of you (and I hope it’s all of you) who seek to be a good person, live a good life and inspire goodness in othersis a soldier in that fight.
If you were looking for some direction about how to go about doing those things—how to be a good person; live a good life—you couldn’t do much better than following Paul’s instructions to the Romans from our reading this morning. Love, compassion, humility, respect and a lack of vindictiveness; it’s like a recipe for goodness. Seriously, I recommend taking this bulletin home, cutting out that passage, framing it and reading it every morning, because if you spent your entire life trying to live like that, I think that when you walked up to the pearly gates, St. Peter would say, “Well done, good and faithful servant.”
Would that it were that easy, though. Continue reading