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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
    Leah Lonsbury
    What We Fail to Mention
    Genesis 29:15-28; Psalm 105:1-11b, 45b

    In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends. -- Martin Luther King Jr.
         In this week’s passage from Genesis, Laban establishes a relationship of trust based on family ties and loyalty with Jacob, but it doesn’t last for long. The two men strike a bargain at Laban’s suggestion, and in a seemingly generous move he offers Jacob the chance to set the terms. Jacob gives of his labor and himself out of love for Rachel and trust in Laban. Laban answers Jacob’s earnest attempts to uphold their relationship and agreement with craftiness and betrayal, and it all hinges on what he fails to mention.
         Yeah... that’s not really the way we do things around here. If you really want Rachel, that’ll be another seven years of your life, please.
         What details do we leave out? What are our sins of omission -- the things we can and ought to do and say but don’t? How does our failure to be fully present and forthcoming, faithful and trustworthy do damage to our relationships and break the covenants we have established in our families, churches, communities, workplaces, and world? What is the effect of our failure to speak and act?...more
    Why We Need The Pledge Of Allegiance
    When I was in high school, a new music teacher came to town. He was fresh out of college and full of ambition. But here he was, stuck in a very rural community where people didn't put up with (as they called it) "long-haired music," either from the Beatles or Beethoven.
         Still, he was determined to teach us good music. We were going to sing selections from Handel's Messiah for our Christmas concert. Most of us had never heard of George Frideric Handel, and when we first tried to sight-read through the selections we became convinced we didn't like his music. It was too hard, too complicated. More than that, Handel wouldn't allow us to sing simple harmonies; no, he created different parts for each voice, and we in the bass section weren't able to hide all our typical mistakes when Handel and our new director demanded that we sing alone....more
    David Coffin
    Kingdom Ambiguities
    So a person believes they have gotten a job or are active in a community that calls itself "Christian." Is this place a snapshot of the Kingdom of God (or Heaven as St. Matthew calls it), or are we all in process of becoming the "Kingdom of God?" Today's texts provide ambiguities of how God's kingdom comes together with varying personalities and concerns....more
    Sandra Herrmann
    When We Cannot Pray
    Romans 8:26-39

    Jean lay in bed. Her hospital room was an isolation unit, so there was nothing to brighten it up. Even a greeting card might carry in bacteria, and flowers were absolutely forbidden. She felt restless, even though she could do hardly anything. Getting out of bed by herself was a "forbidden activity" -- she felt light-headed even laying down. All she could do was watch TV or listen to music. Reading had become practically impossible ever since her first round of chemotherapy. There was something about the chemicals they used that made her feel stupid and forgetful. She picked at the sheet that was folded back over the blanket....more
    Janice Scott
    For all the moans and groans voiced by disgruntled motorists over the many speed cameras now apparent in the UK, there is a certain satisfaction when habitual speeders are caught and fined. There's even more satisfaction when these speeders who seem to think they are beyond the law, clock up so many points on their licence that they are prevented from driving for a certain period of time. It feels like justice is being done at last and that our roads are safer for it....more
    Cynthia Cowen
    Guide to Heaven
    The Point: Jesus wants us to know what the kingdom of heaven is like.

    The Lesson: Good morning boys and girls. Thank you for coming up to share this time with me. Have you ever wondered what another country might be like? (let children answer) I have always wondered what Italy is like. Some day I may have the opportunity to actually go and visit Italy. I went to the library and checked out this book about Italy. Even though I haven't been there, this guidebook on Italy has helped me to understand a lot about the country. Rome is the capital. Do you know what the ancient ruins of Rome are called? (let children answer)...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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