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Proper 9 | Ordinary Time 14 | Pentecost 7 (Cycle C)

This beautiful Individual Hymn of Praise (considered also in Proper 5 above) glorifies the Lord God for bringing the nephesh (the life, the animating principle) of the psalmist back from sheol (the abode of the dead). In its original setting, this psalm acclaims Adonai for providing a resuscitation of a life that has lost all of its spirit and all of its power, like a rubber tire that is flat, not a resurrection from death to life in which there was no longer a tire at all. The restoration to life proclaimed in this psalm is a manifestation of the power and of the love shown by Adonai. It is intended to encourage people to respond to Adonai with praise and thanksgiving.

Read More About - Proper 9 | Ordinary Time 14 | Pentecost 7 (Cycle C) »

Proper 8 | Ordinary Time 13 | Pentecost 6 (Cycle C)

The emphasis in these texts on trusting in the Lord (Adonai in Psalm 16 and in Psalm 77 and Jesus as the Christ in Luke 9:51-62) is appropriate for this occasion, near our annual celebration of the anniversary of the Declaration of Independence in the USA. Also useful in this connection is the article by Hans Walter Wolff, “Swords into Plowshares–Misuse of a Word of Prophecy?” (Currents in Theology and Mission 12:3, June, 1985, pp. 133-147).

Read More About - Proper 8 | Ordinary Time 13 | Pentecost 6 (Cycle C) »

Proper 6 | Ordinary Time 11 | Pentecost 4 (Cycle C)

According to these texts, the greatest need of people and the greatest gift of God are the same — the grace of God. The writer of Psalm 5 asks for the help and grace of God and in faith expects to receive it. Psalm 32 emphasizes the importance of confessing to God every type of sin. As each type of sin is acknowledged, God gives God’s grace and the sinner is forgiven. The guilt that follows the sin is taken away. In the story about Naboth and his vineyard in 1 Kings 21, even though the grace of God is not expressed, there is great need for the gift of God’s grace for all involved: for Naboth who had been murdered, for King Ahab and for his wicked Queen Jezebel who had arranged for the murder of Naboth, and for Elijah the prophet, who had the onerous task of confronting the king. In the 2 Samuel readings for this occasion, through the skillful use of a parable the terrible injustice of David’s sin with Bathsheba was expressed to King David and David had declared his own death warrant to Nathan the prophet…

Read More About - Proper 6 | Ordinary Time 11 | Pentecost 4 (Cycle C) »

Proper 5 | Ordinary Time 10 | Pentecost 3 (Cycle C)

The principal theme in these texts is that the Lord (Adonai in the Israelite Scriptures and Jesus as the Christ in the Newer Testament) renews life. There is a progression in the texts from lifting up those who are bowed down in Psalm 146 to healing those who are at the point of death in Psalm 30 and 1 Kings 17:17-24 to bringing back to life a young man who was being carried out of a city to be buried in Luke 7:11-17. The Galatians 1:11-24 reading may seem to stand outside this theme, unless we articulate “the gospel that Paul proclaimed” (Galatians 1:11) as the good news that God raised Jesus from the dead and will also raise us from the dead.

Read More About - Proper 5 | Ordinary Time 10 | Pentecost 3 (Cycle C) »

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Authors of
Lectionary Scripture Notes
Norman A. Beck is the Poehlmann Professor of Theology and Classical Languages and the Chairman of the Department of Theology, Philosophy, and Classical Languages at Texas Lutheran University
Dr. Norman A. Beck
Mark Ellingsen is professor at the Interdenominational Theological Center in Atlanta, Georgia
Dr. Mark Ellingsen