Finding the Lessons

I try to post well in advance of the upcoming Sunday.

You will want to scroll down to find the bible study for the lessons closest to the upcoming Sunday.

The blog will be labeled with proper, liturgical date, and calendar date.

You can open the monthly calendar to the left and find the readings in order.

You can also search below by entering the liturgical date, scripture, or proper. This will pull up all previous posts.


Search This Blog by Proper and Year (ie: Proper 8B or Christmas C or Advent 1A)

Saturday, July 2, 2016

Proper 11C / Ordinary 16C / Pentecost +9 July 17, 2016

Quotes That Make Me Think

"We do know that Jesus invites all of us who are worried and distracted by many things to sit and rest in his presence, to hear his words of grace and truth, to know that we are loved and valued as children of God, to be renewed in faith and strengthened for service.

Commentary, Luke 10:38-42, Elisabeth Johnson, Preaching This Week,, 2013.

"This brief encounter within the gospel narrative purposely disrupts expectations and disturbs our sense of propriety. I hope to hear a sermon that resists the temptation to justify Jesus and allows Jesus the guest to offend my sensibilities."

Commentary, Luke 10:38-42 (Pentecost +8), Marilyn Salmon, Preaching This Week,, 2010.

General Resources for Sunday's Lessons from

Let your gracious presence here in word an at table remind us that one thing only is necessary, and that in those to whom we offer hospitality, it is you whom we receive as a guest.  We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God for ever and ever. Amen.

From Prayers for Sunday and Seasons, Year C, Peter J. Scagnelli, LTP, 1992.

Some Thoughts on Luke 10:38-42

Oremus Online NRSV Gospel Text

Resources for Sunday's Gospel

The first thing that is interesting to me is that most scholars group this passage with the passage of the

Good Samaritan. As familiar with the last story as most Christians are the story of Mary and Martha has cultural ramifications and is very popular in its own way.

Martha welcomes Jesus and sets about his comfort. Meanwhile, Mary sits and listens to the word. Overwhelmed by the serving Martha has had enough. She is all tangled up in life and goes to Jesus to seek a better portion. But she finds in the words of Jesus that her cause of anxiety and worry and trouble is of her own making. As Jesus points out there is only need of one thing. So what is the one thing?

Some scribes have made some serious errors. They thought Jesus meant dishes and so replaced one with few. We are all focused on the dishes vs. prayer argument.

Jesus is simply talking about the essential note of hospitality: pay attention.

Others have thought he meant the one thing – Jesus.

The idea that Jesus means to be attentive and that this is the chief concern of hospitality may seem foreign but not when you take it into the context of the last few weeks Gospel lessons. When you are a messenger be attentive to your message (do lift your head from your plow), those to whom you go should be attentive for the kingdom is near, and be attentive to your opportunity to serve even if the person is so very unlike you. In this reading we see that if we miss being attentive because we have busied ourselves with the practice we will in the end miss our opportunity.

Remember, the message of the Gospel of Luke is that Jesus the great prophet is present, he is working miracles, he is bringing in the very real kingdom of God, and he is sending us out. Acts teaches us the Spirit is present with us today. Be ATTENTIVE God is working in our lives and we don’t want to miss it!

Luke Timothy Johnson summarizes this series of episodes on the way to Jerusalem in a wonderful way:

“It is obvious that Luke understand something about human psychology. The pattern of avoidance exhibited by the priest and Levite, the self-justifying bluster of the lawyers, the irritation of the “dutiful daughter” Martha. These are people like us. Less familiar perhaps is what goes beyond psychology into gospel: the compassion that is not simply a feeling but translates itself into the self-giving that takes risks, that disposes of the self and one’s possessions and then allows the other to leave without clinging; the hospitality that receives the other as the other wishes to be received, that listens.”

This Sunday the preacher will have a difficult time staying away from the allegory of Mary and Martha, the worker bee and the contemplative. To engage in that dichotomy may be a false sense of Christian life. In the meditations of a Benedictine at work we discover work is prayer. In the contemplation of a solitary we discover prayer is work. Both are true but neither is Godly unless it is attentive to the revelation of Christ.

Some Thoughts on Colossians 1:15-29

Resources for Sunday's Epistle

This week we read an ancient Christian hymn.  The purpose of the hymn is to remind us of who it is that is the Church's Lord.

Jesus Christ is the revelation, the manifestation, and the representation of God.  Christ is not a copy but as Ralph Martin says, Christ is the "projection of God on the canvas of our humanity and the embodiment of the divine in the world of men and women." (Colossians,Interpretation,  109)

The hymn is use by Paul to set forth his theology.

Jesus Christ is the image of the invisible God.  He is the firstborn of creation.  All things were created, everything on heaven and in the earth.  Thrones, dominions, principles, authorities, are all under his authority.  Creation is his and it exists for him. Christ is the binder of all creation and he is the head of the church.  Christ, the resurrected one, is the firstborn of the dead who will rise.  Jesus Christ is the one who has done (and is the only one who can) do the work of reconciliation.  

Not unlike the passage from Luke, Paul is clear that Christ is the revelation of God and that we are to be attentive to this revelation. Moreover, like Paul we are to reveal this God in our own lives and in our ministry.  I am challenged to reflect today...when people are in contact with me and engage in ministry with they see the revelation of God as through Christ?  Hmmmm...

Some Thoughts on Amos 8:1-12

We continue this week with our lesson from Amos. We remember that Amos is a dresser of fruit trees and herdsman. From his context the prophet brings forth imagery to call people back into a faithful response to God's mercy and deliverance.

We must always remember that the framework of the prophets is located within the following faith system:
1) God acted on behalf of his people
2) At Sinai the people chose to respond to God's action with faithfulness
3) God's people are want to faithlessness and to replace God with kings and rulers
4) The prophets are raised by God to call the people to repent
Amos refers to the failing leaders and idols as a basket of rotting summer fruit. Then Amos says that part of the unfaithfulness has become evident by the people's lack of care for those in need and the poor of the land are revelations of the people's rejection of God and God's desire that all be cared for on God's behalf. 

Amos then reminds the people of their covenant with god and that they have brought upon 
God's poor and the neglected and so themselves shall suffer. This is not merely an act of God upon the kingdom but a direct correlation is made in Amos' prophesy between the kingdom's faithfulness, the poor and needy, and their longterm prosperity. 

Amos makes it clear that the kingdom that remembers their promise to God after Sinai will be a people who remember the poor and neglected (as God once remembered his suffering people) and so will bring about just community. But when the nation forgets their God they bring upon themselves their own terrible suffering. Amos tells the people in no uncertain terms their unfaithfulness is bringing upon them a great calamity; and God will not stop it.

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