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Epiphany 6 | Ordinary Time 6, Cycle B

“Lord God, mercifully receive the prayers of your people. Help us to see and understand the things we ought to do, and give us grace and power to do them; through your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.”
It is in the portions of The Prayer of the Day for this Sunday that are italicized above that we see the unifying factor in the four texts selected for this day. Naaman, the commander of the army of the king of Syria, needed help from the Lord God through Naaman’s own servants before he could understand the things that he should do in the cleansing of his body from leprosy in the 2 Kings 5:1-14 Elisha story.

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  • SermonSuite Special
    Chris Keating
    Not Changed but Transformed
    Job 23:1-9, 16-17; Psalm 22:1-15

    Thursday, October 1 was supposed to be just another day.
         For Jason Johnson, 33, last Thursday was the fourth day of classes at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Oregon. Johnson had just enrolled in school after completing rehab for drug addiction. Like others in the small college, Johnson was settling into a morning of classes. Just another day in a busy semester.
         But it turned tragic as Johnson and eight others were murdered by a fellow student, who then killed himself after exchanging gunfire with police officers. An additional nine persons were wounded in a mass shooting that left the little community and the entire nation stunned. Hoping to improve his life, Jason Johnson had enrolled in classes at UCC after successfully passing the GED a few months ago. His family reported that Johnson was proud to be taking steps toward a new life, even as the gunman was taking steps to end it.
         The numbing routine of crisis once again interrupted the nation. Another day, another act of gruesome violence. Another community visited by horror.
         As news spread, the now-familiar script of tragedy unfolded. The Roseburg shooting was the nation’s 294th mass shooting in 274 days, a statistic so stunning that it defies explanation. The bitterness of President Obama’s voice was evident as he stood before reporters in a room ironically named for former presidential press secretary and shooting victim James Brady. Speaking as a president but also as a father, Obama asked for prayers for the young persons who had been shot. But then, he added, “that’s not enough.”...more
    Like A Child
    Angela was still a pre-schooler the Christmas Grandpa Harvey got her the red Radio Flyer wagon, and by summer it had become a popular item in the family's backyard. When her younger sister learned to toddle along sometime later they made a game of pulling each other, often with the help of Mom or Dad.
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    Wayne Brouwer
    Beyond consumerism
    I know a mother who remembers an embarrassing moment that happened when she went with her daughter’s class on a school field trip. When the mother showed up with her car, the daughter hid at the back of the group as it was gathering. One more vehicle was needed to transport all of the students, so my friend offered to drive. At first the daughter didn’t want to ride with her mother, and tried to get into one of the vans. When she was taken by the hand and led to join her mother, the girl slouched in the back seat and never said a word for the rest of the day....more
    John Fitzgerald
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    Hebrews 4:12-16

    I ran across a list of biblical themes which if they were books written for modern readers would be sure to sell many volumes. Consider these titles and how they would appeal to contemporary audiences:

    How to Live with Violence in the Family by Cain and Abel
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    Jonah’s Seafood Diet by Jonah the Prophet
    Slaying the Giant and Taking Charge of your Life: by King David

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    Janice Scott
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    Cynthia Cowen
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Author of
Lectionary Scripture Notes
Mark Ellingsen is professor at the Interdenominational Theological Center in Atlanta, Georgia
Dr. Mark Ellingsen

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