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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
    Mary Austin
    Greener Pastures
    John 10:11-18; 1 John 3:16-24

    Spring means that presidential campaigns are springing up faster than flowers, with Senators Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, and Rand Paul as well as former Senator and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton formally in the race -- and others likely to join them. Joe Biden? Chris Christie? Scott Walker? Even Bernie Sanders has said he’s thinking about it. As the candidates take up the full-time job of campaigning, voters assess them based on their records, their clothing choices, their spouses, their beliefs, and how they “feel” to people. Each candidate will spend the next year and a half announcing himself or herself as the most qualified person to run the country. There’s no room for doubt, and scarcely any for ordinary human mistakes. 
         In contrast, Jesus never aspired to any formal position of leadership, or ran for anything with a title. Understanding that the people of God are like sheep, frightened and silly, he proclaimed himself to be simply the Good Shepherd.
         The Good Shepherd prompts us to look again at what qualities make a good leader, and how we choose people who will lead, inspire, and nurture us....more
    He Shepherds Us!
    Andrew Young, former delegate to the United Nations and former mayor of Atlanta, finally published the book he claims he should have written ten years ago. The book, The Way Out of No Way, contains Young's observations about how real change occurs. He notes that changes for the better do not happen simply because we teach people how to work better or harder. Reforms take place when people exert their spirituality to achieve change. In his aristocratic and very intelligent manner, Mr. Young uses both personal and public experiences to make his points. Most certainly, the most obvious to all of us has been the civil rights movement which was inspired and achieved by both white and black churches. It was in that experience that many people learned that the only kind of life worth living is one that one is willing to die for. However, such an achievement also helps us to question seriously our concepts of power for effecting change....more
    David Kalas
    The posture of love
    One of the popular songs of the mid-1960s sweetly declared, “What the world needs now is love.” That era in American history was a troubled one, of course, with assassinations at home and wars abroad. There were palpable cultural changes taking place and growing talk of a “generation gap.” In the midst of that context, therefore, the Hal David and Burt Bacharach song struck a chord that rang true....more
    Frank Ramirez
    Ordinary and Uneducated
    Acts 4:5-12

    In this text the religious authorities see the apostles Peter and John as “uneducated and ordinary men,” as it says in one of today’s scriptures. Yet it is likely that the two apostles spoke at least three languages, Aramaic, Hebrew, and Greek, were proficient in the business of fishing, and seem to have known their way around the scriptures....more
    Janice Scott
    Winston's Race
    Winston was determined to win the race. It was partly because he wanted to be a fast runner, and partly because with a name like Winston you felt you ought to win something. Winston had never won anything in his life, but he thought he might have the chance in the school sports. Every day after school for months, he practised running. And after that, he did some weight lifting and circuit training, just to make sure he was in the peak of fitness....more
    Cynthia Cowen
    Jesus, our Good Shepherd
    Object: Shepherd's staff
    The Point: As our shepherd, Jesus out of love protects and guides us.
    The Lesson: Good morning, girls and boys. Thank you for coming forward to share this moment with me. I wonder if you know what I have here? Yes, you are right. It is a shepherd's staff....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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