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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
    Paying Up
    Matthew 21:33-46;
    Exodus 20:1-4, 7-9, 12-20

    The Earth... you may know it as that blue thing Bruce Willis is always trying to save. Or from its famous collaboration with Wind and Fire. Or just simply as that place where George Clooney lives.What do you think?
         That’s how John Oliver, host of HBO’s satirical news program Last Week Tonight, began a segment in May about a White House report that global warming is affecting us now -- that this is not some problem we can deal with down the road, in the future tense.
         John Oliver knows we’ve been living large in the vineyard and that the rent is due.
         Do we? Do our leaders? How aware are we as tenants on the earth enjoying God’s good creation that it is high time to return the good that has been given so generously to us? How will we respond? By killing the messenger and keeping the spoils of the earth’s goodness all to ourselves? What will it take for us to understand that careful and sacrificial stewardship of the good creation are the rent we pay to the Landowner for the privilege and gift of living on this earth? Or will we be a part of the 25% that vehemently denies that there is a problem threatening all God’s people and that insists that 5 is indeed bigger than 15?...more
    A Vision Vanished
    Arnold Toivonen was headed to work at 5:06 a.m. Monday morning on a wet highway winding east through the dark pines that came crowding up close to the road from out of the spring fog. Arnold worked at the Caterpillar shop in town, crawling into the iron bellies of enormous Caterpillar tractors, scraping his knuckles on their cold, sharp innards, dropping heavy wrenches on the concrete with that satisfying metallic ring, and wiping his greasy hands on gray cloths while he stood around talking with his foreman, Jack, about what to do next. Sometimes he wondered while he was crawling around in the guts of a machine if one day some dope would fire the thing up and grind him to a grisly pulp. Still, Arnold liked his job. It was steady. It paid well. There was vacation time and insurance, and somehow Jack got all of his workers off work during deer hunting season every year....more
    Ron Love
    We shall be as a city upon a hill
    Over fifty years ago on January 9, John Fitzgerald Kennedy gave his farewell speech to the Massachusetts legislature before departing to Washington DC to prepare for his presidency. Kennedy opened his speech with these words: "We shall be as a city upon a hill." Kennedy was quoting John Winthrop, who used that phrase in his speech abroad the ship Arbella in 1630 as the Puritans were preparing to land in the New World. Kennedy was implying that the eyes of the world would be upon the new administration, and in so doing his presidency must be like a city upon a hill. Ronald Reagan, in his first inaugural address used the same words from Winthrop's speech, in reference that the United States under his administration would become the guiding light for the free world and the antithesis to communism.
         The three lectionary readings for this Sunday carry the common theme that we are to live our lives as a witness to our obedience to the teachings of God. That witness will make us like a light set upon a hill for those with whom we come in contact on a daily basis. Though, as Paul recounts we may not be a perfect witness, we will be an adequate witness....more
    Frank Ramirez
    Spilled Milk
    Philippians 3:4b-14

    Perhaps you remember the old saying: "It's no use crying over spilled milk." But did you know it's possible to use spilled milk to faithfully guide you on your way?
         Our word galaxy comes from the Greek word galaktos, which means milk. What we in the Northern Hemisphere call the Milky Way is of course our own spiral galaxy as it looks to us on earth as we spin around a rather ordinary star circling on the edge of this island of stars. We know the Milky Way is composed of millions of stars, but the ancient Greeks thought it looked like spilled milk splashed across the night sky, and so they called it galaktos....more
    Janice Scott
    Why doesn't God wipe out the wicked?
    In my spare time I enjoy a thriller, either on the screen or in book form. I discovered Patricia Cornwell on holiday, and have enjoyed reading about the exploits of her heroine Dr Kay Scarpetta, forensic pathologist.
         Like all heroes and heroines of thrillers, Dr Scarpetta often walks into danger. As I sit in my armchair reading about a solo midnight assignation in a cold and lonely place, I find myself willing Dr Scarpetta not to go, for I know she's going to end up in trouble! ...more
    Cynthia Cowen
    God's Family
    The Point: As children of God we are to tell others about Jesus' love and salvation.

    The Lesson:
    Good morning, children. Thank you for joining me for this special time of sharing God's word.
         This morning I brought my Baptismal (Dedication, Membership) Certificate with me. (show document) When I was baptized I became a part of God's family....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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