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Proper 10 | Ordinary Time 15 | Pentecost 8

These texts are dominated by the theme of the good news of God’s deliverance of those who are suffering. In some instances, the good news is given liberally, just as God gives the rain and the snow from the skies and as the one who sows spreads the seed over good soil, among thorns and thistles, on rocky ground, and along the path. The Matthew 13 text suggests that at times the suffering of the People of God is so severe the good news from God must be disguised in parables of the coming of the kingdom and rule of God so the oppressors, even though they hear the good news of the coming of deliverance for the people whom they are oppressing, will not understand it. The People of God, however, will understand it, and even though they are suffering so greatly now they will believe and heed the good news from God and will be strengthened by it. In other instances, however, the suffering and the deliverance seem to be repeated in recurring cycles.

Read More About - Proper 10 | Ordinary Time 15 | Pentecost 8 »

Proper 9 | OT 13 | Pentecost 7

While there is interest in human love and matchmaking only in the first three texts: finding an appropriate wife for Isaac in the selections from Genesis 24, in a royal marriage in Psalm 45:10-17, and in the love of a woman for the man she loves in Song of Solomon 2:8-13, there is gospel in each of these seven texts.

Read More About - Proper 9 | OT 13 | Pentecost 7 »

Proper 8 | Ordinary Time 13, Cycle A

We are called in these texts to lives of commitment to God and to service as People of God, to live and to serve in the world as members of a community of faith. There are no unrealistic promises in these texts that life within the community of faith will be easy. Instead, there is the expectation that there will be struggles and strife. The security for the People of God will be in their covenant relationship with God.

Read More About - Proper 8 | Ordinary Time 13, Cycle A »

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    Earth Day... Charged with Grandeur: Sermons and Practices for Delighting in God's Creation

    Dean Feldmeyer
    Meeting Jesus Again
    Luke 24:13-35

    Last month the Barna Research Group released some more of their findings about why people, especially those in the millennial generation, aren’t going to church. Basically, it can be boiled down into two assertions:
    1. I’m not meeting God at church; and
    2. The church isn’t making the world a better place.
         In other words, from their perspective the Christian church, in all of its modern
    permutations, is not keeping the Great Commandment (Matthew 22:36-40), nor is it living out the Great Commission (Matthew 28:19-20).
         Of course, Barna says, this is not news. It has been happening for decades. It’s just being felt more now because the numbers are greater.
         People come to church to meet Jesus, up close and personal, face to face. They want and expect not just to hear about Jesus but to have an encounter with the Living Christ. They are hungry for that encounter; they need it to give their lives meaning, direction, depth, and authenticity. And they want to be part of something that is actually improving their lives and the lives of generations to come.
         Like those two disciples walking to Emmaus on that first Easter afternoon, they are at loose ends and looking for direction -- and they are asking us to help them find it through Jesus Christ....more
    My Laughin' Place
    There's an old Uncle Remus story about Br'er Rabbit. Br'er Fox catches Br'er Rabbit and is fixin' to cook him for supper. Rabbit kinda giggles behind his hand. Fox grabs him by the ear, and says, "Why you laughin'?"
         Rabbit says, "Jus' thinkin' 'bout my Laughin' Place." Fox says, "What Laughin' Place?" Rabbit says, "Oh, I cain't tell you about it. I got to show you!"
         So ol' Br'er Fox fergits about cooking and takes Br'er Rabbit to where he says. Of course, they come to a briar patch and Br'er Rabbit slips away from his captor. A very angry Br'er Fox hollers at Rabbit from across the briar patch: "I ain't laughin'! I thought you said this was a Laughin' Place?"...more
    Sandra Herrmann
    Redemption in Christ
    Many years ago, I was invited to the home of a parish family for Easter dinner. It was a big family, and some of us were standing around the edges of the dining room, waiting for the fragrant aromas to turn into something to eat. It’s always tricky for a woman pastor too. Should I be helping in the kitchen? No. I was the pastor. Still, the offer was greeted with smiles. The grandfather of the clan walked over to me and said, “Pastor, I have a question about your sermon this morning. What’s your definition of a Christian?”....more
    Peter Andrew Smith
    Burning Hearts

    Luke 24:13-35

    Heather lined the basketball up with the net. She took a deep breath and made her shot. The ball was high and missed. She tried again. This time the ball hit the backboard and went toward the corner. Heather sighed and let the ball bounce away. This is useless. I can’t make a basket no matter how much I try. She made her way over to the bench in the empty community center gymnasium and slumped down....more
    Janice Scott
    Strangers or neighbours?
    A week or two ago I received an unexpected registered package through the post. It was a manuscript and turned out to be the memoirs of an elderly relative, Mary, who was a cousin of my mother's, and who had died a couple of years previously. She had lived miles away and I'd never met her, although we had corresponded occasionally and spoken on the phone once or twice. ...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