Sunday, June 21, 2015

Lectionary Notes for Fifth Sunday after Pentecost, Year B (Proper 8, Ordinary 13)

Readings for Fifth Sunday after Pentecost, 6/28/15:
2 Samuel 1:1, 17-27, Psalm 130, 2 Corinthians 8:7-15, Mark 5:21-43

2 Samuel 1:1, 17-27:
  • David laments the deaths of both Jonathan, who he loved dearly, and Saul, who spent a lot of time trying to kill David. Could you give someone like Saul such a lament? Apparently, David was sympathetic to the obvious psychological distress Saul seemed to be in over David's rise to power.
  • "greatly beloved were you to me; your love to me was wonderful, passing the love of women" David and Jonathan are constantly expressing their love for one another. What was their relationship like, do you think? Today, we don't encourage such emotional expressions from men, especially directed at other men.
Psalm 130:
  • A favorite Psalm. My favorite musical setting of this Psalm is the John Rutter Requiem.
  • Out of the depths - what are the depths from which you call to God? Do you remember to call to God from your lowest low?
  • This psalm shows a great faith and hope in God's grace and forgiving mercy, unlike some psalms that are more bent on vengeance: "If you, O Lord, should mark iniquities, Lord , who could stand?" It is a nice change.
  • wait, wait, wait the psalmist says. I've read statistics before about how many years of our life we spending waiting in line for things. How much of your life do you spend waiting on God? Are you more patient about waiting in line for concert tickets than you are about waiting for God? 
  • Relate this Psalm to the text from 2 Samuel. They are both laments. Do you lament to God?
2 Corinthians 8:7-15:
  • Paul 'butters up' the Corinthians, telling them they excel in everything else already, so no doubt they will excel in following the teachings he gives now.
  • :11 "finish doing it" - Good advice for the church. How often do we get fired up with new ideas, new hope, new visions for our church, only to run out of steam and energy and creativity before we follow through?
  • Paul is talking about a deep generosity - "your present abundance and their need, so that their abundance may be for your need, in order that there may be a fair balance." Fair balance - do we have much of that today in terms of abundance and need? Hardly!
Mark 5:21-43:
  • Synagogue leaders weren't always welcoming to Jesus and his teaching - and yet Jairus humbles himself and turns to Jesus in need. When was the last time you had to humble yourself?
  • The woman knows just being near to Jesus, touching him, will bring her healing. Can you imagine her faith?
  • The KJV of the Bible calls the young girl in this passage a "damsel." I just can't picture Jesus saying damsel, can you?! :)
  • "something to eat" - the eating in passages like this is a sign confirming she's really alive and really human, not some spirit.
  • The little girl's perspective is one we never get - we hear from everyone else. What do you think she was thinking when she was raised? Have you ever had a near-death experience?
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