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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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    Robin Lostetter
    KISS
    2 Kings 5:1-14; Luke 10:1-11, 16-20

    Naaman didn’t know the familiar acronym KISS -- which for our purposes stands for “Keep It Simple, Servant!” Washing seven times in the Jordan just didn’t match his image of a cure for his leprosy. No one else had a cure, and simple washing had never accomplished it -- so how could washing in this paltry river in Israel do anything?
         How many times have we imagined or actually created complicated plans to achieve a goal? And when we are presented with a simple solution by someone else, we are first startled, and then sometimes defensive about our beautiful design? How could one simple step -- one brief effort... one move -- accomplish the intricate pattern we have devised?
         And then someone breaks into our ego fantasy and reminds us to KISS -- Keep It Simple!
         Perhaps “Father, if the prophet had commanded you to do something difficult, would you not have done it? How much more, when all he said to you was, ‘Wash, and be clean’?” is the Hebrew equivalent of KISS.
         Perhaps KISS is what Congress needed to be told last week. Was that the message of the sit-in? Is that the message of the myriad social media memes and constituent communications? “We don’t care how you do it, just limit the sale of assault weapons and demand background checks! KISS! (Keep It Simple, Senators!)”...more
    Ministering When You're Not Welcome
    Jesus knew what to do all the time, and he knew how to go about it. He knew how to serve God in good times and in bad.
         In these scriptures from Luke, we continue to follow Jesus on the way to Jerusalem. But for now, the apparent destination of the trip has receded to the background. Something else has caught our attention. For one thing, Jesus' message of announcing the coming of the kingdom of God is being met with increasing curiosity. There is, at the same time, growing hostility to what Jesus has to say and an increasing acceptance of his message. ...more
    David Kalas
    Help Wanted
    In an election year there are certain themes that are bound to enjoy national prominence, including economic issues like unemployment. The monthly and quarterly figures may be spun as good news or bad news. But here is undeniable good news: there is no unemployment in the kingdom of God!...more
    Keith Wagner
    Those who Reap what they Sow are Servants
    Galatians 6:(1-6), 7-16
    When I was a student at Otterbein College I met an elderly couple by the name of Henry and Martha. They weren’t teachers, or coaches or school administrators. Henry worked for the college service department and Martha was a cook at the campus dining hall. Henry and Martha opened their home to students who couldn’t afford housing. They sometimes had as many as four students living on the second floor of their little home on Center Street. They included them in meals, helped them get jobs and they became surrogate parents. Henry and Martha were true servants....more
    Janice Scott
    Early evangelism
    When the "Alpha" courses started at Holy Trinity Brompton, some years ago, they were based around a meal. That fellowship of eating together was found to be very important and was thought to be at least partly responsible for the success of the courses. Since then there have been other, similar initiatives based around eating together, including a course (imaginatively entitled "Food for Thought") sponsored by the Archbishop of Canterbury....more
    Mary Eichelman
    Get Ready, Get Set...
    Object: Come dressed in a jogging suit or ask one of the children to come dressed that way. (Also you could use a picture of a person in a jogging suit.)
    Today I need your help. I can't remember what we say when we start out on a race. I'm all dressed for the race (or a certain child is all dressed). Let's see, I think it goes something like ready, set, ______ hmm can't remember the word. Can you help me out? Ready, set, "GO" (Let kids yell it out.)...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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