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Proper 13 | Ordinary Time 18 | Pentecost 10 (Cycle C)

The central theme of most of these texts is that it is foolish for us to trust in the transitoriness of the things that we can do but wise to place our reliance on God, who gives wisdom and knowledge and joy.

Read More About - Proper 13 | Ordinary Time 18 | Pentecost 10 (Cycle C) »

Proper 12 | Ordinary Time 17 | Pentecost 10 (Cycle C)

The worship services and the messages for next weekend obviously will be focused on prayer. The texts selected for this occasion (especially Psalm 138, Genesis 18:20-32, and Luke 11:1-13) provide models and guidance about how we as people of God should communicate with God. From these texts we see that our prayers to God should be personal and persistent. God is to be perceived as our concerned but transcendent Father and as our generous and always helpful Friend.

Read More About - Proper 12 | Ordinary Time 17 | Pentecost 10 (Cycle C) »

Proper 7 | Ordinary Time 12 | Pentecost 5 (Cycle C)

Perhaps the closest we can come to identifying a unifying theme within this series of texts is to see that in each of them there is either an expectation of a new revelation from God or a declaration of it. In each instance, the new revelation will be redemptive.

Read More About - Proper 7 | Ordinary Time 12 | Pentecost 5 (Cycle C) »

Proper 11 | Ordinary Time 16 | Pentecost 9 (Cycle C)

The stimulating tension between the importance of adequate faith and right living continues from last Sunday. The selections are different, but in these texts also “salvation” is possible only because of the grace of God. Adequate faith and right living are basic essentials expected of the people of God, even though apart from the grace of God these essentials would not produce salvation.

Read More About - Proper 11 | Ordinary Time 16 | Pentecost 9 (Cycle C) »

Proper 10 | Ordinary Time 15 | Pentecost 8 (Cycle C)

Within most of the texts selected for us for this occasion there is a stimulating tension between the importance of adequate faith and right living as prerequisites for “salvation.” This stimulating tension exists regardless of whether “salvation” is perceived primarily in terms of life as we know it here and now with security, prosperity, and happiness for one’s self and for one’s family as in Psalm 25 and Deuteronomy 30, or whether “salvation” includes also the dimension of eternal life, as it does in the Newer Testament texts Colossians 1:1-14 and Luke 10:25-37.

Read More About - Proper 10 | Ordinary Time 15 | Pentecost 8 (Cycle C) »

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    Mary Austin
    Do I Have to Invite Jesus Over for Thanksgiving?
    Matthew 10:24-39; Genesis 21:8-21

    Daytime talk shows, podcasts, and reality TV shows remind us every day that family drama is common, even normal. Advice columns are full of questions about where to place our loyalty. What are our obligations to in-laws, stepchildren, and extended family? What about the troublesome family? The abusive family? None of these questions would have made any sense in Jesus’ day, where loyalty to family was a sacred obligation and duty to family was clear. Family strife may have been normal, but there was no option to check out of the family and find a new one.
         The question of who belongs comes at us constantly, in a world where we can select our own tribe. We can choose to live near people who share our economic status, work with people who share our values, and vacation with people who love the same places. We can eat with people who follow the same eating plan, and shop with people who share our taste. At the ballgame, we sit with people who have the same loyalties. Our news comes slanted to our particular taste.
         But Jesus pokes his way into our cocoon, raising the question of who belongs in a wider family of faith; and Abraham and Sarah, believing they’re following God’s plan, make a choice to exclude rather than include. So who belongs? Who gets to come over for a family dinner?...more
    Proper 7 | OT 12
    The Gospel assigned for the Fifth Sunday after Pentecost comes out of the heart of Matthew 10. Last week's text brought us through Chapter 10:23. In the optional verses from 10:9-23 we heard Jesus give additional words of instruction for the disciples as they are set to carry out their mission to Israel. In 10:16-23 there begins a section of Jesus' call and commissioning that portends a mission that will be very difficult....more
    Mark Ellingsen
    Living in Jesus can ease our anxieties
    In accord with the overall theme of the Pentecost season, all the texts for this Sunday pertain to living the Christian life (sanctification), specifically with how Christian life is easy, for it is not our work but the result of God’s grace....more
    C. David McKirachan
    Going Native
    Matthew 10:24-39
    A few years ago, when I’d been in my then church about 10 years, I took a continuing education course called Renewal in the Long Pastorate. Walter Wink and Roy Oswald came at the attendees from both directions, comforting the afflicted and afflicting the comfortable. To get in you had to be in your present parish at least eight years....more
    Janice Scott
    Gotcha!
    Steven couldn't believe his luck. He'd been slouching around the shopping centre with his hands in his pockets feeling miserable because he had no money. There was a new computer game he was desperate to buy, because all his friends had it and were raving about it. Steven had been wandering around the shop gazing longingly at the game, but he had no means to buy one....more
    Arley K. Fadness
    No Fear
    Object: Football or bicycle helmet

    Have I got something to show you today! But first I have a question.
    Are there things that make you afraid?  (children answer)
    Are you afraid of the dark? Are you afraid of thunder?
    Are you afraid of getting sick or hurt in sports?...more

Authors of
Lectionary Scripture Notes
Norman A. Beck is the Poehlmann Professor of Theology and Classical Languages and the Chairman of the Department of Theology, Philosophy, and Classical Languages at Texas Lutheran University
Dr. Norman A. Beck
Mark Ellingsen is professor at the Interdenominational Theological Center in Atlanta, Georgia
Dr. Mark Ellingsen

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