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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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    Chris Keating
    The Apex of Hope
    Jeremiah 32:1-3a, 6-15; Psalm 91:1-6, 14-16

    Someone apparently forgot to tell Jeremiah that the primary rule of thumb for conducting real estate deals is location, location, location.
         The prophet has minced no words about what is about to happen to Jerusalem. He’s reminded the people that God is about send a blistering, devastating wind upon the city. He’s told them disaster is on its way. But now, even as the king of Babylon has surrounded the town and Jeremiah is sequestered in prison, he decides it’s time to go house hunting.
         Could someone cue up an episode of The Property Brothersfor him?
         It’s an unlikely act -- a bit like purchasing a shopping center in Aleppo. If someone asks “What’s Aleppo?” tell them that the United Nations Under Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs called it “the apex of horror.” Once Syria’s highly commercialized business hub, the city -- now under siege and cut off from basic supplies -- has largely been reduced to rubble. Don’t expect a run on real estate there any time soon.
         Yet even in a place of absolute devastation, hope has managed to crawl out of a bunker, if only briefly. A fragile ceasefire brought a modicum of relief to Aleppo’s residents last week. It provided a chance for children to play outside, and gave parents a chance to take shallow, uneasy breaths of hope....more
    Blind In One Eye...
    The Downtown Club was an old and well-established bastion for the shakers and movers in Dallas, Texas. That's what it was called -- The Downtown Club. Not a fancy or imaginative name, but one had to be well-heeled and successful in business as a first step to becoming a member. Then there was the matter of being recommended by five long-standing members, plus numerous other prerequisites for joining. Oh, yes, and one had to be of the male gender. The club was one of the last holdouts as a hang-out for men only. How long that would last was anybody's guess, but the members continued their enjoyment of the club and their comrades as though things would go on the same forever....more
    Sandra Herrmann
    The power of money
    The course we are charting today takes us from our self-centered, worrisome lives to the expansive love that God has for us and wants us to have for each other. We are weaving in between all the current worries of our time and place, our fears of what the future holds, our concerns about whether our investments, pensions, and Social Security benefits will cover what we will need in our old age. It aims us toward the others in our lives, even those we do not know personally, who are sailing these same seas with us, with the same worries and fears. It aims us toward a realization that we need not face the future alone, but that we can, by working together and sharing what life has blessed us with, face the future confidently....more
    John Fitzgerald
    Love of Money
    1 Timothy 6:6-19
    Have you ever noticed that when you get a raise in salary or come into unexpected money that it’s never enough? Even when you are making a pretty decent income and have other sources of revenue, there never comes a time of financial security. When your money pile seems strong something always rocks the boat. A child gets sick, the vehicle breaks down, your job has a downturn, and suddenly money disappears....more
    Janice Scott
    John's Prize
    John was hanging around the gates of the big house, hoping he might catch a glimpse of Michael. They were the same age, and had played together when they were small, when John's Mum had been the cleaner at the big house....more
    Mary Kay Eichelman
    If Only
    Object: Can of bug spray
    How many of you listen to your mom the first time she tells you to do something? Jeremy was getting ready to go to summer camp. His mother reminded him to be sure to pack a can of bug spray. He remembered to pack his football, his cool sunglasses, and bags of chips...more

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

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