Monday, September 23, 2013

Lectionary Notes for Nineteenth Sunday after Pentecost (Proper 21, Ordinary 26, Year C)

Readings for 19th Sunday after Pentecost, 9/29/13:
Jeremiah 32:1-3a, 6-15, Psalm 91:1-6, 14-16, 1 Timothy 6:6-19, Luke 16:19-31

Jeremiah 32:1-3a, 6-15:
  • I would have a hard time preaching on this text, without it being a part of a series on Jeremiah, personally. Chris Haslam points out that this text records a very detailed account of a business transaction from that period, with the deeds, sealed and opened, and the earthen vessel to store them in. But for preaching, I'm not sure where that leads us.
  • Verse 15 - "Houses and fields and vineyards shall again be bought in this land." This place has a future!
  • "right of possession and right of redemption" - property - what can property and ownership and land signify? In the Old Testament, land, and possessing it, is integral to the story of God's people. Finding a home - literally and figuratively, home is an important concept to most people.
Psalm 91:1-6, 14-16:
  • This psalm provides the verses for the popular hymn, "On Eagle's Wings."
  • The themes here are of God's protection, finding refuge in God. Safety from harm, physical and spiritual.
  • By verse 14, we have switched narration - here God is speaking in the first person.
  • God promises to deliver and protect those "who love me" and "who know my name." Does God protect others too? Deliver others? Does God need our love to act with love?
1 Timothy 6:6-19:
  • "for the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil" - Perhaps one of the most famous verses in the Bible, though many do not know it is from the Bible! Note, money itself is not evil, but the love of money is. And we do love money...
  • godliness + contentment = great gain. That's all we need, perhaps.
  • "Fight the good fight of faith."
  • Many words here for those who are rich - to be truly rich, be "rich in good works" and "ready to share" - this brings "the life that really is life." everything else is cheap imitation!
Luke 16:19-31:
  • "this place of torment," verse 28. The Greek word is basanou, literally can translate also as "the touch-stone", "trial", or "test"
  • "who longed to satisfy his hunger", verse 21. The Greek here is epithumon, which means literally, "set his heart/psyche/soul upon", "covet", "desire" as well as "long for"
  • Abraham speaks of the "great chasm" that cannot be crossed between "heaven" and "hell" - isn't this indeed comparable to the great chasm in life between the rich and the poor, that is essentially, seemingly, un-crossable?
  • Lazarus means "help/assistance of God" according to http://www.sacklunch.net/BibleNames/L/Lazarus.html
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