Skip to main content

Lectionary Notes for Fourteenth Sunday after Pentecost, Year B


Readings for Fourteenth Sunday after Pentecost, 9/2/12: 

Song of Solomon 2:8-13; Psalm 45:1-2, 6-9, James 1:17-27; Mark 7:1-8, 14-15, 21-23

Song of Solomon 2:8-13
  • Song of Solomon only makes it into the lectionary cycle twice, and it is this passage both times. I guess we're not  comfortable with reading scriptures in church that are full of praise for the physical features of one's lover!
  • Still, this passage is beautiful. In college, we sang and arrangement of the text called Rose of Sharon, and it is still one of my favorite pieces. 
  • This passage is a rare example of scripture written from the point of view of a woman, even if the author was not actually a woman. This part of the text is written in the first person, female.
  • With sex portrayed any and every where, texts like this are rare and romantic and loving. Perhaps we should set an example for loving relationships by reading from Song of Solomon more often?
Psalm 45:1-2, 6-9:
  • Chris Haslam says that this psalm is written by "a court scribe, a skilled writer (“a ready scribe”) [who] feels inspired to write an ode for a royal wedding."
  • The psalmist compares God's kingly qualities with the King of the land's qualities. Who's qualities remind you of God's nature?
  • Who would you write a psalm/ode to, and why?
James 1:17-27:
  • :17 - Well said - not only are gifts from God, but also "every generous act of giving." Giving, receiving, gifts - all from God.
  • "welcome with meekness the implanted word" - meekness is not often considered a virtue or asset these days. How do you receive God's word meekly?
  • "be doers of the word, and not merely hearers" - this is James' theme throughout. Don't just hear, do. Don't just use words, act. Not just right belief, but also right action. Rather than saying James advocates for a salvation by works, I think James says our deepest faith is expressed in our way of living (what we do!) - How do you 'do' the word? For James, it is only in 'doing' that we really 'get' what we're believing.
  • "unstained by the world" - what imagery! How can we be seek to be unstained by the world without having a "don't want to get our hands dirty" attitude? A fine line to walk.
Mark 7:1-8, 14-15, 21-23:
  • Traditions can bless and enrich us, but they can also bind and trap us. Again, a fine line. What traditions are important to you - which would upset you to have broken? Why?
  • "You abandon the commandment of God and hold to human tradition." Ah, how true. How often have our traditions only served to lead us away from what Jesus would have us do!
  • It isn't what goes in but what comes out of a person that defiles. Do you believe that? Sometimes, I think what goes in, even if it doesn't defile, can tempt or harm. But I think in this scenario, Jesus has a different point to make. It isn't the outsides but the insides that make us who we are.
  • Check out a possible children's sermon for this text here, one of my favorites. (Too bad I already used it in my current setting!) 

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

re-post: devotional life for progressive Christians

I posted this a while back before anyone was really reading this blog. Now that more people seem to be stopping by, I thought I'd put it out there again with some edits/additons since it's been on my mind again... Do you find it difficult to have any sort of devotional time? When I was growing up, I was almost compulsive about my personal Bible Study, devotion time, etc. Somewhere along the way, I got more and more sporadic. In part, I found myself frustrated with the devotional books that I considered theologically too conservative. I find it hard to bond with God when you're busy mentally disagreeing with the author of whatever resource you're reading. My habit was broken, and I've never gotten it back for more than a few weeks at a time. So, a disciplined devotional/prayer/bible-reading life - is it something I should be striving to get back, or something that is filled by other ways I am close to God? This is a debate I have with myself all the time. On the

Sermon for the First Sunday in Advent, "Hope: A Thrill of Hope," Mark 1:1-8

Sermon 11/26/17 Mark 1:1-8 Hope: A Thrill of Hope             Are you a pessimist or an optimist? Is the glass of life half empty, or half full? My mom and I have gone back and forth about this a bit over the years. She’s wildly optimistic about most things, and sometimes I would say her optimism, her hopefulness borders on the irrational. If the weather forecast says there’s a 70% chance of a snowstorm coming, my mom will focus very seriously on that 30% chance that it is going to be a nice day after all. I, meanwhile, will begin adjusting my travel plans and making a backup plan for the day. My mom says I’m a pessimist, but I would argue that I’m simply a realist , trying to prepare for the thing that is most likely to happen, whether I like that thing or not. My mom, however, says she doesn’t want to be disappointed twice, both by thinking something bad is going to happen, and then by having the bad thing actually happen. She’d rather be hopeful, and enjoy her state of

Sermon for Second Sunday in Advent, "Peace: All Is Calm, All Is Bright," Isaiah 11:1-10, Mark 13:24-37

Sermon 12/3/17 Mark 13:24-37, Isaiah 11:1-10 Peace: All Is Calm, All Is Bright             “Silent night, holy night. All is calm, all is bright. Round yon’ virgin mother and child. Holy infant, so tender and mild. Sleep in heavenly peace. Sleep in heavenly peace.”             This week, I read news stories about North Korea testing a missile that perhaps could reach across the whole of the United States.             This week, I spoke with a colleague in ministry who had, like all churches in our conference, received from our church insurance company information about how to respond in an active shooter situation. She was trying to figure out how to respond to anxious parishioners and yet not get caught up in spending all of their ministry time on creating safety plans.             This week, we’ve continued to hear stories from people who have experienced sexual assault and harassment, as the actions, sometimes over decades, of men in positions of power have been