And when he entered the temple, the chief priests and the elders of the people came up to him as he was teaching, and said, “By what authority are you doing these things, and who gave you this authority?” (Matthew 21:23)  





first sunday in angels’ tide

Sermon Starter

Feelings are often confused with compassion. Feelings are good. God created us with feelings. But feelings are not compassion. You can have compassion on someone even if you do not have strong feelings or no particular feelings for that person. Likewise, you can have strong feelings and actually not act compassionately toward a person because you are acting on feelings rather than doing what will actually help the person.

Feelings are good, but we can’t rely on them. They are wonderful, but they don’t always help. We’d all agree that we need to be compassionate. That it’s wrong not to have compassion. We look favorably upon compassionate people. We trust our leaders to be compassionate rather than rule with an iron fist.

The religious leaders in Jesus’ day were charged with the spiritual care of God’s people. We’d expect them to do that with compassion. One thing they understood was that you cannot be compassionate as a leader without authority. You yourself must submit to authority and must exercise authority over those you are leading. If your feelings are your guide then you’ll be all over the map. Not a sound way to be a leader. There are times leaders don’t feel like being compassionate. But if they are truly good leaders they will do what’s best for the people. If there is an outside solid authority they are going by, then they’ll be compassionate on the people they are to serve, even if at times they don’t particularly feel like helping them.

The religious leaders in Sunday’s Gospel knew this.

Collect of the Day

Almighty God, You exalted Your Son to the place of all honor and authority. Enlighten our minds by Your Holy Spirit that, confessing Jesus as Lord, we may be led into all truth; through the same Jesus Christ, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.