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.

Enjoy.

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

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Proper 14C / Ordinary 19C / Pentecost +12 August 7, 2016

Quotes That Make Me Think

"The generosity Jesus urges is not an accumulative good-deed-doing, to bank on earning you a ticket to heaven, but a rush of self-forgetting, a joyfully celebrative generosity that empties its purse without worries of a harsh future."

"Treasure in Heaven," Nancy Rockwell, The Bite in the Apple, 2013.

"Fear, treasure, and being prepared is the pattern for discipleship. Being without fear, knowing the source of your treasure -- that is, your identity, your worth -- makes it possible to be prepared for and an actual participant in God's kingdom."

Commentary, Luke 12:32-40, Karoline Lewis, Pentecost 12C Preaching This Week, WorkingPreacher.org, 2013.

"Let's each use this day to complete our own portfolio reviews. Where am I letting fear cloud my judgment? What possessions could I sell to enjoy greater simplicity while also being a tangible blessing to someone else?"

"Portfolio Review," Steve Godfrey, Church in the World, 2013.

General Resources for Sunday's Lessons from Textweek.com

Prayer
Keep our lamps burning brightly, our hearts ever watchful for the hour of your Son’s return, that we may open the gate as soon as he knocks and be admitted by him to the eternal banquet. 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 12:32-48

Oremus Online NRSV Gospel Text

Resources for Sunday's Gospel


Jesus in Luke’s Gospel is clear about our work. We are to share all that we have, just as God has shared all that he is. So we arrive at this Gospel for today prepared to hear Jesus tell us to be watchful and be prepared to serve.
Make purses for yourselves that do not wear out
We are ready. Our belts are cinched and we are waiting for the moment, just as a master of the house expecting a thief.

Unlike the rich man from last week’s Gospel reading, we are to be ready. We do not know when God is coming, but we are to be prepared as if it were now – this very moment.

What we discover is that Jesus is not only talking about the Day of Judgment. Jesus is also talking about the fact that we are to be acting and ready in every moment. God sees us. God sees us all the time. There is never a time when we are alone – the existential and egotism of the modern era would be considered a lie to Jesus.  No we are always in community with our God.

Notice Jesus and the work of the disciples are to be compared with the servant/slave who serves the table and household well. We get caught sometimes in the parables awful tale of woe for the lazy and unfaithful steward; perhaps because we automatically place ourselves in this secondary role.

Jesus though seems to want us to identify with the good servant.  Jesus is offering, beckoning us to take the first role. We are called and invited to be like Jesus (who will after all serve at the last supper). We are to be the first servant. We are to be faithful managers of the household. We are to be sensible. We are to make sure everyone has food to eat and we are to so see that kingdom work is carried out.

Jesus is clearly offering not only a vision of discipleship as the “sensible” servant. He is also offering a vision of those who are currently keeping God’s house.

Here is the work of the church today. We must take care not to become the second servant. We cannot become the one who abuses those who serve with us. We cannot be gluttonous desiring only our own worldly security. This will become clearer as we approach the parables of kingship and vineyard from Luke's gospel.

We as Christians, followers of Jesus, who believe in the divine household of God, given through God’s providence, know that with such a great gift comes a great responsibility for all of creation. It is this great responsibility and great task that we inherit a mandate for healthy and active stewardship.

We must be ready, for we do not know when the master of the house returns. But when he returns, even though we be servants in the household of God for only a short while, may he find here in the church a family of God, a temple of the Holy Spirit, a community of faithful, wise, and sensible servants; and a world changed by our mission on his behalf.

It has me wondering what would a world changed and improved by the church's presence, and the presence of active followers, look like to God?  Would it look like this world?


Some Thoughts on Hebrews 11:1-19


Resources for Sunday's Epistle

"Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen."  This is a great passage of scripture!  This is the story of Israel's faith and this is the story of our faith.

This passage is mentioned by Augustine and Aquinas, and is even the answer of Dante when he arrives in Paradise. (Craig Koester, Hebrews, 478). Essentially Paul tells us that faith is something our ancestors had and that God blessed.  Faith understands that God is creator of all things and that God has spoken the whole of creation into being.  And that it is from things not seen that all things flow.  Out of nothingness, from a world that cannot be seen, and from the speaking mouth of God.

The author then recounts the faith of Abel, Enoch and others.  Faith though seems to have some qualities that are presented.

Abel - acceptable sacrifice
Enoch - pleased God in his lifetime of believing
Noah - listened to God and acted
Abraham - listened to God and ventured out not knowing his destination
Isaac and Jacob - listened and were builders of God's vision
Sarah - believed and was given a family

Each of these people were faithful. They did not necessarily see or even experience the results of their faith. (An important fact in the story telling which is often forgotten in a culture of immediately attainable goals.)

In the very last phrase of our passage we are told that God has chosen them and he has not been disappointed.  


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