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Lectionary Notes for Fourth Sunday after Pentecost, Year B (Proper 7, Ordinary 12)

Readings for Fourth Sunday after Pentecost, 6/21/15:
1 Samuel 17:(1a, 4-11, 19-23) 32-40, Psalm 9:9-20, 2 Corinthians 6:1-13, Mark 4:35-41

1 Samuel 17:(1a, 4-11, 19-23) 32-40:
  • What's your Goliath? I read this passage, and see such a cartoon childhood-Bible-story image. But for the Israelites - terror. What would be a comparable image of terror for you?
  • :39 - David removing the armor reminds me of a scene from the movie Contact - Jodie Foster, traveling in the machine, is strapped to a chair that wasn't in the specifications, for her safety, supposedly. But eventually she realizes that the chair is only holding her back, and once she unstraps herself from it, she floats calmly and safely. What kind of things do we try to add into our lives that are only holding us back?
  • appearances - David's early story is all about appearances. Goliath thinks he knows what David is all about because of how he looks. What would your appearance say about you? Is that who you are? When do you let appearances influence what you think about others?
Psalm 9:9-20:
  • "a stronghold for the oppressed" - God is the safe place for those who have no other.
  • Not my favorite psalm - a lot of "I hate my enemies - get 'em, God!" talk.
  • "let the nations know that they are only human." What a timely reminder, eh? Someone needs to remind the nations today of this truth - not God, but humans.
2 Corinthians 6:1-13:
  • "an acceptable time" - God's time and our time don't always seem to mesh. We're so rushed, we rarely seem able to wait for God's action. But when the acceptable time comes, when God acts, we don't always seem ready to respond! Jesus was all about the time being now, the kingdom being at hand - here, arrived. Do we miss the message? Are we late?
  • :4-:10 - What a description from Paul, and how he has sought to mold himself and his ministry. Can you apply these descriptors to yourself? What would your 'list' look like?
  • "no restriction in our affection" "open wide your hearts also" - beautiful. It is hard to live without putting conditions on our love of others. How open are your hearts?
Mark 4:35-41:
  • "Have you no  faith?" If I were the disciples, I admit, I'd be on Jesus' case too! After all, early in the gospel account, maybe they don't know him well enough yet.
  • Still, aren't they fisherman, many of them? And Jesus a rabbi? What exactly were they expecting of him? A miracle performer only?
  • I imagine Jesus wasn't thrilled, either, that they accused him of not caring. Why, in crisis times, do we sometimes throw out the most hurtful things we can think of to say?

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