Monday, October 22, 2012

Lectionary Notes for Twenty-Second Sunday after Pentecost, Year B

Readings for 22nd Sunday after Pentecost, 10/28/12:
Job 42:1-6, 10-17, Psalm 34:1-8 (19-22), Hebrews 7:23-28, Mark 10:46-52

Job 42:1-6, 10-17:
  • Here is our conclusion to our four week look at Job. Job, having heard directly from God, seems extremely humbled and compliant. "I didn't mean what I said God!" I wonder if we'd feel similarly if God directly answered some of our whining/complaining!
  • "I had heard of you by the hearing of the ear, but now my eye sees you." Just a great sentence, both for content and literary style. We hear about God often. But seeing God, experiencing God - a better treat. Job rightly appreciates it.
  • v. 10 - "And the Lord restored the fortunes of Job . . . and the Lord gave Job twice as much as he had before." I think this is an unfortunate ending to the book. Wouldn't it have been more powerful if Job hadn't gotten back all that he had before? What's the ultimate lesson here?

Psalm 34:1-8, (19-22):
  • "[God's] praise shall continually be in my mouth" - how often, really, do you praise God? How much a part of your daily life is giving thanks?
  • "Magnify the Lord" Think about what that really means - to magnify is to increase something, or make it bigger, more see-able. We, by our living, our actions, are supposed to make God more see-able to the world.
  • "Taste and see that the Lord is good." Our connection with God involves all the senses. Taste too. How do you taste God's goodness?
  • :19 - This verse and others relate well to Job's experience.
Hebrews 7:23-28:
  • The author is setting up the contrast between the priesthood set up in regular folks and the priesthood of Jesus. Jesus, he argues, always can succeed in saving those who come to God through him because he is always living to make intercession, unlike mortal men who, through death (and other causes), were not always present to make intercession.  A practical concern, no?
  • Also: Jesus doesn't have to first sacrifice to repent of his own sins, and then those of the people. He can get right to dealing with our sins. This argument stirs up an intriguing question. How did Jesus participate in rituals of repentance during his life? We have no reason to believe, for instance, that he didn't join in the Day of Atonement or other rituals. But of course, we don't know his inner dialogue with God on these occasions.

Mark 10:46-52:
  • "Have mercy on me!" cries Bartimaeus, to Jesus. Asking for mercy, begging for it or for anything, is hard. Have you ever had to beg from someone? Cry for their mercy?
  • Many order Bartimaeus to keep silent. Not much has changed. We don't want to hear begging voices today much either. They make us uncomfortable, but usually not uncomfortable enough to act on our discomfort!
  • "Take heart." I love this verse. "Take heart" - Jesus is about to act in your life where no one else would stop to even care. Take heart indeed!
  • "Your faith has made you well." Do you have confidence that Jesus could say these words to you?

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