Monthly Archives: May 2020

Daily Lectionary – May 24, 2020

 

Morning Psalms 93; 150

First Reading Exodus 3:1-12

Second Reading Hebrews 12:18-29

Gospel Reading Luke 10:17-24

Evening Psalms 136; 117

 

Luke 10:17-24

 

17The seventy returned with joy, saying, “Lord, in your name even the demons submit to us!” 18He said to them, “I watched Satan fall from heaven like a flash of lightning. 19See, I have given you authority to tread on snakes and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy; and nothing will hurt you. 20Nevertheless, do not rejoice at this, that the spirits submit to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.”

 

21At that same hour Jesus rejoiced in the Holy Spirit and said, “I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and the intelligent and have revealed them to infants; yes, Father, for such was your gracious will. 22All things have been handed over to me by my Father; and no one knows who the Son is except the Father, or who the Father is except the Son and anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.”

 

23Then turning to the disciples, Jesus said to them privately, “Blessed are the eyes that see what you see! 24For I tell you that many prophets and kings desired to see what you see, but did not see it, and to hear what you hear, but did not hear it.”

 

Now the authority belongs to the disciples. Jesus sends the seventy with his own power and they return with the results, “Lord, in your name even the demons submit to us!” Jesus makes it clear that this has nothing to do with the inherent worth of the disciples, who are described as not wise or intelligent but infants. This is the reversal Jesus brings. The kings of the earth would want his power and see what Jesus’ disciples see but instead it is given to his people as a gift. This is the Spirit we share, who enables all that we do together as the people of God. We may not feel like we’re especially intelligent or wise; we may feel flawed or broken; distant or dispirited. Jesus shows that it’s through people just like us that God works. We don’t always get power—we get the power of God. Would we want anything else?

 

God, help us to be faithful stewards of the great gifts you have given us—above all, the gift of your presence, to help and encourage and bear witness to your love that extends to all, even us. We pray through Christ, our Lord. Amen.

 

Art: Christ the King of Kings, from Art in the Christian Tradition, a project of the Vanderbilt Divinity Library, Nashville, TN. http://diglib.library.vanderbilt.edu/act-imagelink.pl?RC=55319 

[retrieved May 18, 2020]. Original source: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Christ_King_of_Kings_(Greece,_c._1600).jpg.

Daily Lectionary – May 24, 20202020-09-08T16:04:49-05:00

Daily Lectionary – May 23, 2020

 

Morning Psalms 92; 149

First Reading Numbers 11:16-17, 24-29

Second Reading Ephesians 2:11-22

Gospel Reading Matthew 7:28-8:4

Evening Psalms 23; 114

 

Matthew 7:28-8:4

 

28Now when Jesus had finished saying these things, the crowds were astounded at his teaching, 29for he taught them as one having authority, and not as their scribes.

1When Jesus had come down from the mountain, great crowds followed him; 2and there was a leper who came to him and knelt before him, saying, “Lord, if you choose, you can make me clean.” 3He stretched out his hand and touched him, saying, “I do choose. Be made clean!” Immediately his leprosy was cleansed. 4Then Jesus said to him, “See that you say nothing to anyone; but go, show yourself to the priest, and offer the gift that Moses commanded, as a testimony to them.”

 

The word “authority,” broken down to its root, means something like “from a substance” or “from something real.” Jesus’ authority is something from God; it reveals his closeness to God and the source of his wisdom and power. The healing shows this. How can “choose” to heal our illnesses? According to Matthew, it’s Jesus, a sign of God’s power vested in the Messiah. Of course the scribes don’t have this authority. The theologian Karl Barth put it: “God is God and we are not.” The story isn’t about us; it’s about Jesus. It’s why we have any hope at all.

Loving God, renew your hope within us, to see what you would have us see, and know what you would have us know, in the revelation that Jesus is Lord. Help us in sharing good news, and celebrating your gifts, through Christ’s own life. We pray in his name. Amen.

 

Art: Christ the King of Kings, from Art in the Christian Tradition, a project of the Vanderbilt Divinity Library, Nashville, TN. http://diglib.library.vanderbilt.edu/act-imagelink.pl?RC=55319 

[retrieved May 18, 2020]. Original source: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Christ_King_of_Kings_(Greece,_c._1600).jpg.

Daily Lectionary – May 23, 20202020-09-08T16:04:49-05:00

Daily Lectionary – May 22, 2020

 

Morning Psalms 96; 148

First Reading 1 Samuel 2:1-10

Second Reading Ephesians 2:1-10

Gospel Reading Matthew 7:22-27

Evening Psalms 49; 138

 

1 Samuel 2:1-10

 

1Hannah prayed and said, “My heart exults in the LORD; my strength is exalted in my God. My mouth derides my enemies, because I rejoice in my victory.

 

2“There is no Holy One like the LORD, no one besides you; there is no Rock like our God. 3Talk no more so very proudly, let not arrogance come from your mouth; for the LORD is a God of knowledge, and by him actions are weighed. 4The bows of the mighty are broken, but the feeble gird on strength. 5Those who were full have hired themselves out for bread, but those who were hungry are fat with spoil. The barren has borne seven, but she who has many children is forlorn. 6The LORD kills and brings to life; he brings down to Sheol and raises up. 7The LORD makes poor and makes rich; he brings low, he also exalts. 8He raises up the poor from the dust; he lifts the needy from the ash heap, to make them sit with princes and inherit a seat of honor. For the pillars of the earth are the Lord’s, and on them he has set the world.

 

9“He will guard the feet of his faithful ones, but the wicked shall be cut off in darkness; for not by might does one prevail. 10The LORD! His adversaries shall be shattered; the Most High will thunder in heaven. The LORD will judge the ends of the earth; he will give strength to his king, and exalt the power of his anointed.”

 

Hannah sings a song when she finds out she is pregnant with Samuel. Samuel will become a great prophet in Israel and someone critical to the office of king (he anoints both Saul and David). But here Hannah is the prophet, announcing God’s word, prefiguring Mary’s own song in the Gospel of Luke. What will the reign of God look like? The bows of the might broken, the hungry fat with spoil, the barren fruitful, the needy raised from the ash heap to sit with princes. It’s a vision of the kingdom of God and the reign of Christ—and, it’s a promise “The LORD will judge the ends of the earth; he will give strength to his king, and exalt the power of his anointed.” Hannah sings of the result of God’s power. The vision reminds us why we work for the kingdom, and why we wait on its Lord.

 

Holy God, we pray that it would be done according to Hannah, on earth as it is in heaven. Break the bow, feed the hungry, let the barren bloom, and raise the downtrodden. We pray all these things in Jesus’ name, in hope that Christ prays just the same, at your right hand. Amen.

 

Art: Christ the King of Kings, from Art in the Christian Tradition, a project of the Vanderbilt Divinity Library, Nashville, TN. http://diglib.library.vanderbilt.edu/act-imagelink.pl?RC=55319 

[retrieved May 18, 2020]. Original source: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Christ_King_of_Kings_(Greece,_c._1600).jpg.

Daily Lectionary – May 22, 20202020-09-08T16:04:49-05:00

“Life Together” Sessions

What does it mean to be a church in the time of COVID-19?

The current pandemic hasn’t just interrupted our ordinary life. It raises questions about what it means to be a church. How are we a church when we are not together? In the coming weeks, you are invited to be a part of theological conversation on the classic depiction of Christian community in Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s Life Together. Written during the repression of the “Confessing Church” during 1930’s Germany, Bonhoeffer reflects on the experience of Christian community through his stewardship of a secret seminary. Questions like: how to be alone; how to be together; and how to reconcile our ideals of community with reality all come to the fore, as Bonhoeffer articulates a vision of community strong enough to stand up to the tragedy of his context. You are welcome to purchase the book and read along (link here. Or you are welcome to simply join the conversation or listen as we discuss the following topics:

Tuesday Nights @ 8:00 p.m.

Session 1: Community – June 9
Session 2: The Day Together – June 23
Session 3: The Day Alone – July 7
Session 4: Service – July 21
Session 5: Confession and the Lord’s Supper – August 4

*Please email Will for a link to the conversation.*

“Life Together” Sessions2020-09-08T16:04:49-05:00

Daily Lectionary – May 21, 2020

 

Morning Psalms 47; 147:12-20

First Reading Daniel 7:9-14

Second Reading Hebrews 2:5-18

Gospel Reading Matthew 28:16-20

Evening Psalms 68; 113

 

Matthew 28:16-20

 

16Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them. 17When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. 18And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

 

 

Today we observe Jesus’ Ascension. Forty days after the resurrection, Jesus ascends to heaven, to rule creation at the right hand of God until he comes again. The early church expected this coming soon—that God would right the injustices of the world. But we’re still waiting. In the meantime, Jesus gives his disciples something to do: go, baptize, and teach. This is the mission of the church. We spread throughout the earth announcing the God’s reign, a better reign, has begun—and teaching what that means in the things we say and do and in the ways we treat our neighbors. Jesus gives us no excuse—he has the authority of heaven and earth behind his words and he sends us as a token of his presence throughout the earth. Our mission, then, everything we have to do in the world, comes from the reign of Jesus. It means that no matter how defeated we feel, Jesus will not let us fail; no matter how broken creation appears, it belongs to Jesus.

 

Gracious God, we thank you for the lives you have entrusted to us, to love and serve our neighbors just as you have loved and served us in Jesus Christ. Let your Spirit remain with us, to guide and encourage, as we go about Christ’s work, until he completes all things, in a new heaven and new earth. We pray in Christ. Amen.

 

Art: Christ the King of Kings, from Art in the Christian Tradition, a project of the Vanderbilt Divinity Library, Nashville, TN. http://diglib.library.vanderbilt.edu/act-imagelink.pl?RC=55319 

[retrieved May 18, 2020]. Original source: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Christ_King_of_Kings_(Greece,_c._1600).jpg.

Daily Lectionary – May 21, 20202020-09-08T16:04:49-05:00
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