So let us not grow weary in doing what is right, for we will reap at harvest time, if we do not give up.
Welcome. Our handout features the readings for the Fourth Sunday After Pentecost (July 3, 2022) in Year C of the Revised Common Lectionary.
In our Forum on Wednesday, July 6, 2022, we’ll explore the final portion of the letter to the Galatians. Please view or download the handout we’ll use in our discussion as your own exploration continues.
If we live by the Spirit, let us also be guided by the Spirit.
Welcome. Our handout features the readings for the Third Sunday After Pentecost (June 26, 2022) in Year C of the Revised Common Lectionary.
In our Forum on Wednesday, June 29, 2022, we’ll explore the portion of the letter to the Galatians that includes Paul’s understanding of the “fruit of the Spirit” and his admonition: ” If we live by the Spirit, let us also be guided by the Spirit.” Please view or download the handout we’ll use in our discussion as your own exploration continues.
Welcome. Our handout features the readings for the Third Sunday After Pentecost (June 19, 2022) in Year C of the Revised Common Lectionary.
If we follow the lectionary reading for this Sunday, we enter Psalm 22 right in the middle of an anguished scream.
The psalmist has begun the psalm with a desolate cry of abandonment (“My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”), and then has detailed his 5 Hear what the Spirit is saying Pentecost +2 Proper 7C Week of June 19, 2022 troubles, using vivid metaphors. He is a “worm, and not human” (verse 6). He is surrounded by “bulls,” “lions,” and “dogs” (verses 12-13, 16). He is “poured out like water” (verse 14). And he is not afraid to place blame where blame is due: “You [God] lay me in the dust of death” (verse 15).
And yet, the psalmist also knows where his help lies; strangely enough, from the same source he has just accused of foul play. As we enter the psalm, the psalmist cries, “But you, O LORD, do not be far away! O my help, come quickly to my aid!” (verse 19).
In our Forum on Wednesday, June 22, 2022, we’ll explore Psalm 22 (the entire Psalm, though only verses 18-27 will be used in worship). Please view or download the handout we’ll use in our discussion as your own exploration continues.
May you be strengthened to proclaim Jesus Christ ….
Welcome. Our handout features the readings for Ascension Day (May 26, 2022) in Year C of our Lectionary.
Jerusha Matsen Neal an Assistant Professor of Homiletics at Duke Divinity School writes, “Jesus’ ascension in Acts is no text of glory. It is a text that stands with those in countries far from home, those whose witness has been costly, and those who do not see “convincing proofs” (verse 3) of resurrection. It is, in fact, a passage about a community of faith that relinquishes the “proof” of Christ’s risen body for the “promise” of a Spirit (verses 4-5) coming.”
Ascension Day, for Acts’s disciples, looks more like trust in the face of uncertainty. It looks more like prayerful commitment and costly witness. It looks a lot like today.
Jerusha Matsen Neal
Called to trust in the face of uncertainty, how do you move to that place of trust? What is called forth in your heart? in your mind? in your will to do something?
“For freedom Christ has set us free. Stand firm, therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery. … 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. For the whole law is summed up in a single commandment, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’”
Galatians 5:1, 13-14
Read on Sunday, June 30, 2013
The Revised Common Lectionary provided a very rich fare on Sunday, June 30th. I bring the wind chimes out of storage to keep the music (of the Spirit) going into this new week. Here is a sample of a commentary on Sunday’s reading from Galatians (Chapter 5, verses 1 and 13-25):
Paul makes the strongest possible emphasis on the “you” plural address. Again he frames the sentence with words describing the addressees: “You all,” “brothers,” “You all have been chosen for freedom.” He repeats the confident assertion of 5:1 by making personal and direct and clear, that “you all” have been chosen for freedom indeed, but Paul moves on very quickly to define the freedom.
It is not a wild, abstract freedom from restraint. Paul’s freedom does not create the culture we have become — at least not in his mind or on purpose. Paul proclaims the freedom with the passive voice of having been chosen by an implied agent, God. To be chosen by God for freedom, to have been freed by Christ is to have been freed from the dire results of life lived apart from God. It is also a call into freedom that in some ways mirrors God’s own, that is a freedom dedicated to serving others in love.