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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
     
    SermonSuite
    Mary Austin
    Losing and Finding
    Matthew 16:21-28; Romans 12:9-21
    In words that are hard to understand on ordinary days, Jesus says “those who want to save their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake will find it.” On extraordinary days, we find the truth of what he says.
         The life and death of journalist James Foley draw us to the depth in Jesus’ words.
         Foley, beheaded on camera by fighters from the Islamic State army, had been held captive since November 2012. His life was threatened, if not lost, as a captive. Still, his roommate during some of those months said that Foley found an added sense of purpose even in such limited circumstances.
         According to the Committee to Protect Journalists, “Frenchman Nicolas Hénin spent seven months in the same room with the U.S. reporter and even recognized the shoes he wore in the execution video as a pair they had shared.” Asked if Foley had imagined the day of his release and made any plans, Hénin replied, “Oh yes. He wanted two things; either to work for the Committee to Protect Journalists or work on interfaith dialogue and rebuild bridges between the Christian and Muslim worlds.” The numbing experience of captivity had opened his eyes to other places of need in the world, and he imagined dedicating his time to new ways to serve the bonds between people....more
    Proper 17
    THE LESSONS

    Lesson 1: Exodus 3:1-15 (C)
    Moses is called to deliver God's people from bondage in Egypt. While tending his father-in-law's sheep Moses is called by Yahweh to return to Egypt to lead out his oppressed people. First Yahweh must get Moses' attention by having a bush burn without burning up. Because God is present, Moses is ordered to remove his sandals, for he is on holy ground. Wherever God exists, the place becomes sacred. Yahweh tells Moses that he is concerned about his people in slavery and commands him to lead them out to a good land. Moses feels inadequate to do this, but Yahweh promises to be with him....more
    David Coffin
    The power of names
    A certain congregation has many problems as they survey the community where they exist grows more secular and obsessed with school sports. Fewer volunteers want to do ministry work in the church and several building projects need to be completed before the year's end. The finances are tight, the pastor is spread out thin in terms of what is expected of him or her and many people wonder, "Why not just stay home and watch church on TV?" One group within the church believes they have some great ideas as to what should be in this church to improve things (as they remember them in times past). However, this group wants other people to carry out their ideas because they believe they have "done their time." Another group in the congregation believes they have some solutions to the church's problems but believes if they had the right pastor or if the current pastor would follow their directives, there would be much improvement....more
    C. David McKirachan
    Take Off Your Shoes
    Exodus 3:1-15

    Being a preacher's kid, I was taught that anywhere we lived had to do with my father's job, not home. Home was the family. The dedication to my father's book, Older than Eden, was "To Ked, with whom is home." The place was irrelevant. The gathering of the family made us what we were. That's handy if you move every few years. We happened to be living in another place, and further, a place that God called us to be, not our hometown.
         But there was a place that did not change, a place that belonged to us. A place where I wasn't the preacher's kid, I was David, one of the bunch that did not come and go. We had a house on Long Beach Island, a populated sandbar a few miles off the coast of New Jersey. Most of the summer renters occupied the house, but even then they walked in and out the front door under a sign that said "The Mac's." And those people only stayed for a week or two....more
    Janice Scott
    Be sincere in love...
    Many years ago at the age of eighteen, when I started training as a physiotherapist, we had to spend the first six months in academic learning in college. We weren't allowed near a patient and barely even saw the physiotherapy department. Of course at eighteen, all of us students were desperately impatient to begin the real work, the job for which we were training, and that first six months seemed to go on for ever. We wanted to learn our skills on real people, not just in the classroom. Looking back, from the point of view of the patients, it was mercy we were restrained!...more
    Cynthia Cowen
    Jesus' Team
    The Point: Jesus wants us to follow him and not just say we believe.

    The Lesson: Welcome boys and girls. Thank you for coming to share this special time together.
         I brought one of my favorite shirts with me this morning. It is special to me because it reflects my favorite football team. What team is it? (let children answer) Right, the Green Bay Packers. One of my favorite players on the team is Aaron Rodgers. He is the team's quarterback. Every player on the team is important. If the team is going to win the football game they each most do the best they can....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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