Texts for June 272010-06-20 by Person in the Pew
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1 Kings 19:15-16, 19-21
Galatians 5:1, 13-25
19:15 Then the LORD said to him, "Go, return on your way to the wilderness of Damascus; when you arrive, you shall anoint Hazael as king over Aram.
19:16 Also you shall anoint Jehu son of Nimshi as king over Israel; and you shall anoint Elisha son of Shaphat of Abel-meholah as prophet in your place.
19:19 So he set out from there, and found Elisha son of Shaphat, who was plowing. There were twelve yoke of oxen ahead of him, and he was with the twelfth. Elijah passed by him and threw his mantle over him.
19:20 He left the oxen, ran after Elijah, and said, "Let me kiss my father and my mother, and then I will follow you." Then Elijah said to him, "Go back again; for what have I done to you?"
19:21 He returned from following him, took the yoke of oxen, and slaughtered them; using the equipment from the oxen, he boiled their flesh, and gave it to the people, and they ate. Then he set out and followed Elijah, and became his servant.
5:1 For freedom Christ has set us free. Stand firm, therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.
5:13 For you were called to freedom, brothers and sisters; only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for self-indulgence, but through love become slaves to one another.
5:14 For the whole law is summed up in a single commandment, "You shall love your neighbor as yourself."
5:15 If, however, you bite and devour one another, take care that you are not consumed by one another.
5:16 Live by the Spirit, I say, and do not gratify the desires of the flesh.
5:17 For what the flesh desires is opposed to the Spirit, and what the Spirit desires is opposed to the flesh; for these are opposed to each other, to prevent you from doing what you want.
5:18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not subject to the law.
5:19 Now the works of the flesh are obvious: fornication, impurity, licentiousness,
5:20 idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, anger, quarrels, dissensions, factions,
5:21 envy, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these. I am warning you, as I warned you before: those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.
5:22 By contrast, the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness,
5:23 gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against such things.
5:24 And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.
5:25 If we live by the Spirit, let us also be guided by the Spirit.
9:51 When the days drew near for him to be taken up, he set his face to go to Jerusalem.
9:52 And he sent messengers ahead of him. On their way they entered a village of the Samaritans to make ready for him;
9:53 but they did not receive him, because his face was set toward Jerusalem.
9:54 When his disciples James and John saw it, they said, "Lord, do you want us to command fire to come down from heaven and consume them?"
9:55 But he turned and rebuked them.
9:56 Then they went on to another village.
9:57 As they were going along the road, someone said to him, "I will follow you wherever you go."
9:58 And Jesus said to him, "Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests; but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head."
9:59 To another he said, "Follow me." But he said, "Lord, first let me go and bury my father."
9:60 But Jesus said to him, "Let the dead bury their own dead; but as for you, go and proclaim the kingdom of God."
9:61 Another said, "I will follow you, Lord; but let me first say farewell to those at my home."
9:62 Jesus said to him, "No one who puts a hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God." Texts for June 202010-06-14 by Person in the Pew
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1 Kings 19:1-4, (5-7), 8-15a
19:1 Ahab told Jezebel all that Elijah had done, and how he had killed all the prophets with the sword.
19:2 Then Jezebel sent a messenger to Elijah, saying, "So may the gods do to me, and more also, if I do not make your life like the life of one of them by this time tomorrow."
19:3 Then he was afraid; he got up and fled for his life, and came to Beer-sheba, which belongs to Judah; he left his servant there.
19:4 But he himself went a day's journey into the wilderness, and came and sat down under a solitary broom tree. He asked that he might die: "It is enough; now, O LORD, take away my life, for I am no better than my ancestors."
19:5 Then he lay down under the broom tree and fell asleep. Suddenly an angel touched him and said to him, "Get up and eat."
19:6 He looked, and there at his head was a cake baked on hot stones, and a jar of water. He ate and drank, and lay down again.
19:7 The angel of the LORD came a second time, touched him, and said, "Get up and eat, otherwise the journey will be too much for you."
19:8 He got up, and ate and drank; then he went in the strength of that food forty days and forty nights to Horeb the mount of God.
19:9 At that place he came to a cave, and spent the night there. Then the word of the LORD came to him, saying, "What are you doing here, Elijah?"
19:10 He answered, "I have been very zealous for the LORD, the God of hosts; for the Israelites have forsaken your covenant, thrown down your altars, and killed your prophets with the sword. I alone am left, and they are seeking my life, to take it away."
19:11 He said, "Go out and stand on the mountain before the LORD, for the LORD is about to pass by." Now there was a great wind, so strong that it was splitting mountains and breaking rocks in pieces before the LORD, but the LORD was not in the wind; and after the wind an earthquake, but the LORD was not in the earthquake;
19:12 and after the earthquake a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire; and after the fire a sound of sheer silence.
19:13 When Elijah heard it, he wrapped his face in his mantle and went out and stood at the entrance of the cave. Then there came a voice to him that said, "What are you doing here, Elijah?"
19:14 He answered, "I have been very zealous for the LORD, the God of hosts; for the Israelites have forsaken your covenant, thrown down your altars, and killed your prophets with the sword. I alone am left, and they are seeking my life, to take it away."
19:15a Then the LORD said to him, "Go, return on your way to the wilderness of Damascus.
3:23 Now before faith came, we were imprisoned and guarded under the law until faith would be revealed.
3:24 Therefore the law was our disciplinarian until Christ came, so that we might be justified by faith.
3:25 But now that faith has come, we are no longer subject to a disciplinarian,
3:26 for in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith.
3:27 As many of you as were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ.
3:28 There is no longer Jew or Greek, there is no longer slave or free, there is no longer male and female; for all of you are one in Christ Jesus.
3:29 And if you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham's offspring, heirs according to the promise.
8:26 Then they arrived at the country of the Gerasenes, which is opposite Galilee.
8:27 As he stepped out on land, a man of the city who had demons met him. For a long time he had worn no clothes, and he did not live in a house but in the tombs.
8:28 When he saw Jesus, he fell down before him and shouted at the top of his voice, "What have you to do with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I beg you, do not torment me"--
8:29 for Jesus had commanded the unclean spirit to come out of the man. (For many times it had seized him; he was kept under guard and bound with chains and shackles, but he would break the bonds and be driven by the demon into the wilds.)
8:30 Jesus then asked him, "What is your name?" He said, "Legion"; for many demons had entered him.
8:31 They begged him not to order them to go back into the abyss.
8:32 Now there on the hillside a large herd of swine was feeding; and the demons begged Jesus to let them enter these. So he gave them permission.
8:33 Then the demons came out of the man and entered the swine, and the herd rushed down the steep bank into the lake and was drowned.
8:34 When the swineherds saw what had happened, they ran off and told it in the city and in the country.
8:35 Then people came out to see what had happened, and when they came to Jesus, they found the man from whom the demons had gone sitting at the feet of Jesus, clothed and in his right mind. And they were afraid.
8:36 Those who had seen it told them how the one who had been possessed by demons had been healed.
8:37 Then all the people of the surrounding country of the Gerasenes asked Jesus to leave them; for they were seized with great fear. So he got into the boat and returned.
8:38 The man from whom the demons had gone begged that he might be with him; but Jesus sent him away, saying,
8:39 "Return to your home, and declare how much God has done for you." So he went away, proclaiming throughout the city how much Jesus had done for him. Sin & Forgiveness (June 13)2010-06-10 by Peggy Dillner
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Why do I always have time to respond to the lectionary here when the readings are uncomfortable? Hmmmm.
Sins from the Old Testament seems fairly obvious, and through today's eyes somewhat sexist. Even in the New Testament readings the women are forgiven for transgressions; don't tell me men were pure!
Leaving all the sexism of the biblical stories aside, what we need to sort through is the enormous grace offered to people who recognized their wrongdoing - their sin. I think that is what I need to remember from all these stories from our faithful ancestors - contrite recognition of what one has done wrong is forgiven. At least that's what I read. I fall down every day, whether is big ways (obvious to others) or in small ways (things I just didnt' do!). I count on a forgiving God who understands my weaknesses and accepts me for who I am. Tomorrow may be a better day!
Texts for June 132010-06-06 by Person in the Pew
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1 Kings 21:1-10, (11-14), 15-21a
21:1 Later the following events took place: Naboth the Jezreelite had a vineyard in Jezreel, beside the palace of King Ahab of Samaria.
21:2 And Ahab said to Naboth, "Give me your vineyard, so that I may have it for a vegetable garden, because it is near my house; I will give you a better vineyard for it; or, if it seems good to you, I will give you its value in money."
21:3 But Naboth said to Ahab, "The LORD forbid that I should give you my ancestral inheritance."
21:4 Ahab went home resentful and sullen because of what Naboth the Jezreelite had said to him; for he had said, "I will not give you my ancestral inheritance." He lay down on his bed, turned away his face, and would not eat.
21:5 His wife Jezebel came to him and said, "Why are you so depressed that you will not eat?"
21:6 He said to her, "Because I spoke to Naboth the Jezreelite and said to him, 'Give me your vineyard for money; or else, if you prefer, I will give you another vineyard for it'; but he answered, 'I will not give you my vineyard.'"
21:7 His wife Jezebel said to him, "Do you now govern Israel? Get up, eat some food, and be cheerful; I will give you the vineyard of Naboth the Jezreelite."
21:8 So she wrote letters in Ahab's name and sealed them with his seal; she sent the letters to the elders and the nobles who lived with Naboth in his city.
21:9 She wrote in the letters, "Proclaim a fast, and seat Naboth at the head of the assembly;
21:10 seat two scoundrels opposite him, and have them bring a charge against him, saying, 'You have cursed God and the king.' Then take him out, and stone him to death."
21:11 The men of his city, the elders and the nobles who lived in his city, did as Jezebel had sent word to them. Just as it was written in the letters that she had sent to them,
21:12 they proclaimed a fast and seated Naboth at the head of the assembly.
21:13 The two scoundrels came in and sat opposite him; and the scoundrels brought a charge against Naboth, in the presence of the people, saying, "Naboth cursed God and the king." So they took him outside the city, and stoned him to death.
21:14 Then they sent to Jezebel, saying, "Naboth has been stoned; he is dead."
21:15 As soon as Jezebel heard that Naboth had been stoned and was dead, Jezebel said to Ahab, "Go, take possession of the vineyard of Naboth the Jezreelite, which he refused to give you for money; for Naboth is not alive, but dead."
21:16 As soon as Ahab heard that Naboth was dead, Ahab set out to go down to the vineyard of Naboth the Jezreelite, to take possession of it.
21:17 Then the word of the LORD came to Elijah the Tishbite, saying:
21:18 Go down to meet King Ahab of Israel, who rules in Samaria; he is now in the vineyard of Naboth, where he has gone to take possession.
21:19 You shall say to him, "Thus says the LORD: Have you killed, and also taken possession?" You shall say to him, "Thus says the LORD: In the place where dogs licked up the blood of Naboth, dogs will also lick up your blood."
21:20 Ahab said to Elijah, "Have you found me, O my enemy?" He answered, "I have found you. Because you have sold yourself to do what is evil in the sight of the LORD,
21:21 I will bring disaster on you; I will consume you, and will cut off from Ahab every male, bond or free, in Israel;
5:1 Give ear to my words, O LORD; give heed to my sighing.
5:2 Listen to the sound of my cry, my King and my God, for to you I pray.
5:3 O LORD, in the morning you hear my voice; in the morning I plead my case to you, and watch.
5:4 For you are not a God who delights in wickedness; evil will not sojourn with you.
5:5 The boastful will not stand before your eyes; you hate all evildoers.
5:6 You destroy those who speak lies; the LORD abhors the bloodthirsty and deceitful.
5:7 But I, through the abundance of your steadfast love, will enter your house, I will bow down toward your holy temple in awe of you.
5:8 Lead me, O LORD, in your righteousness because of my enemies; make your way straight before me.
2 Samuel 11:26-12:10, 13-15
11:26 When the wife of Uriah heard that her husband was dead, she made lamentation for him.
11:27 When the mourning was over, David sent and brought her to his house, and she became his wife, and bore him a son. But the thing that David had done displeased the LORD,
12:1 and the LORD sent Nathan to David. He came to him, and said to him, "There were two men in a certain city, the one rich and the other poor.
12:2 The rich man had very many flocks and herds;
12:3 but the poor man had nothing but one little ewe lamb, which he had bought. He brought it up, and it grew up with him and with his children; it used to eat of his meager fare, and drink from his cup, and lie in his bosom, and it was like a daughter to him.
12:4 Now there came a traveler to the rich man, and he was loath to take one of his own flock or herd to prepare for the wayfarer who had come to him, but he took the poor man's lamb, and prepared that for the guest who had come to him."
12:5 Then David's anger was greatly kindled against the man. He said to Nathan, "As the LORD lives, the man who has done this deserves to die;
12:6 he shall restore the lamb fourfold, because he did this thing, and because he had no pity."
12:7 Nathan said to David, "You are the man! Thus says the LORD, the God of Israel: I anointed you king over Israel, and I rescued you from the hand of Saul;
12:8 I gave you your master's house, and your master's wives into your bosom, and gave you the house of Israel and of Judah; and if that had been too little, I would have added as much more.
12:9 Why have you despised the word of the LORD, to do what is evil in his sight? You have struck down Uriah the Hittite with the sword, and have taken his wife to be your wife, and have killed him with the sword of the Ammonites.
12:10 Now therefore the sword shall never depart from your house, for you have despised me, and have taken the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be your wife.
12:13 David said to Nathan, "I have sinned aginst the LORD." Nathan said to David,"Now the LORD has put away your sin; you shall not die.
12:14 Neverthelss, because by this deed you have utterly scorned the LORD, the child that is born to you shall die."
12:15 Then Nathan went to his house. The LORD struck the child that Uriah's wife bore to David, and it became very ill.
32:1 Happy are those whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered.
32:2 Happy are those to whom the LORD imputes no iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no deceit.
32:3 While I kept silence, my body wasted away through my groaning all day long.
32:4 For day and night your hand was heavy upon me; my strength was dried up as by the heat of summer. Selah
32:5 Then I acknowledged my sin to you, and I did not hide my iniquity; I said, "I will confess my transgressions to the LORD," and you forgave the guilt of my sin. Selah
32:6 Therefore let all who are faithful offer prayer to you; at a time of distress, the rush of mighty waters shall not reach them.
32:7 You are a hiding place for me; you preserve me from trouble; you surround me with glad cries of deliverance. Selah
32:8 I will instruct you and teach you the way you should go; I will counsel you with my eye upon you.
32:9 Do not be like a horse or a mule, without understanding, whose temper must be curbed with bit and bridle, else it will not stay near you.
32:10 Many are the torments of the wicked, but steadfast love surrounds those who trust in the LORD.
32:11 Be glad in the LORD and rejoice, O righteous, and shout for joy, all you upright in heart.
2:15 We ourselves are Jews by birth and not Gentile sinners;
2:16 yet we know that a person is justified not by the works of the law but through faith in Jesus Christ. And we have come to believe in Christ Jesus, so that we might be justified by faith in Christ, and not by doing the works of the law, because no one will be justified by the works of the law.
2:17 But if, in our effort to be justified in Christ, we ourselves have been found to be sinners, is Christ then a servant of sin? Certainly not!
2:18 But if I build up again the very things that I once tore down, then I demonstrate that I am a transgressor.
2:19 For through the law I died to the law, so that I might live to God. I have been crucified with Christ;
2:20 and it is no longer I who live, but it is Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.
2:21 I do not nullify the grace of God; for if justification comes through the law, then Christ died for nothing.
A Desperate Faith (Jun 6)2010-06-02 by Tim Norton
7:36 One of the Pharisees asked Jesus to eat with him, and he went into the Pharisee's house and took his place at the table.
7:37 And a woman in the city, who was a sinner, having learned that he was eating in the Pharisee's house, brought an alabaster jar of ointment.
7:38 She stood behind him at his feet, weeping, and began to bathe his feet with her tears and to dry them with her hair. Then she continued kissing his feet and anointing them with the ointment.
7:39 Now when the Pharisee who had invited him saw it, he said to himself, "If this man were a prophet, he would have known who and what kind of woman this is who is touching him--that she is a sinner."
7:40 Jesus spoke up and said to him, "Simon, I have something to say to you." "Teacher," he replied, "Speak."
7:41 "A certain creditor had two debtors; one owed five hundred denarii, and the other fifty.
7:42 When they could not pay, he canceled the debts for both of them. Now which of them will love him more?"
7:43 Simon answered, "I suppose the one for whom he canceled the greater debt." And Jesus said to him, "You have judged rightly."
7:44 Then turning toward the woman, he said to Simon, "Do you see this woman? I entered your house; you gave me no water for my feet, but she has bathed my feet with her tears and dried them with her hair.
7:45 You gave me no kiss, but from the time I came in she has not stopped kissing my feet.
7:46 You did not anoint my head with oil, but she has anointed my feet with ointment.
7:47 Therefore, I tell you, her sins, which were many, have been forgiven; hence she has shown great love. But the one to whom little is forgiven, loves little."
7:48 Then he said to her, "Your sins are forgiven."
7:49 But those who were at the table with him began to say among themselves, "Who is this who even forgives sins?"
7:50 And he said to the woman, "Your faith has saved you; go in peace."
8:1 Soon afterwards he went on through cities and villages, proclaiming and bringing the good news of the kingdom of God. The twelve were with him,
8:2 as well as some women who had been cured of evil spirits and infirmities: Mary, called Magdalene, from whom seven demons had gone out,
8:3 and Joanna, the wife of Herod's steward Chuza, and Susanna, and many others, who provided for them out of their resources.
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I wonder who among us today would have the faith that the woman in the 1 Kings passage showed? Having never faced abject poverty such as she, can I even comprehend the risk she took? All she knew she had was barely enough for one final meal for herself and her son. After that it was gone. She, being a widow, would have no other means of support and would surely die. No social security, no benevolent societies, no hope. Yet she trusts Elijah, a man of God. She trusts God, but sees Elijah as her only link to God - notice that she says, “As the Lord your God lives…” And that trust has some more risk to it when her son falls ill later. Is this the same desperate faith we see today in the lives of survivors of natural disasters such as Hurricane Katrina and Agatha, the earthquake in Haiti, or decades of famine in parts of Africa? Folks who, understandably, could lose all hope, yet don’t lose their faith, but rely on the rest of the world, the rest of us, to be the Elijah in their lives, to be instruments of God’s saving love to them.
The Luke passage again deals with a widow and her only son, also showing the love God has for his faithful, this time the instrument is Jesus. The Acts of the Apostles and the books of Paul’s letters to the infant Christian world are filled with examples that show God responding in love toward his faithful, sometimes with miracles, sometimes with a word, always through his peace. Pastor, talk to me about faith. How do I increase my faith? How can I learn to depend on a desperate faith such as that?- to have lost so much that I have nothing of the former comforts I’ve been accustomed to. How do I learn to love the risk? “Desperate” literally means “having lost hope”. Desperate faith – faith in spite of having lost all hope; it seems the term might be an oxymoron, - I wonder…….
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