Skip to main content

Lectionary Notes for Seventh Sunday after Epiphany, Year B

Readings for 7th Sunday after the Epiphany, 2/19/12:
Isaiah 43:18-25, Psalm 41, 2 Corinthians 1:18-22, Mark 2:1-12

Isaiah 43:18-25:

  • "I am about to do a new thing . . . do you not perceive it?" The church and its people sometimes have a hard time doing new things. We like, generally, to do the same things in the same way. But our God is always doing new things in our lives - don't you know? God says, "get with the program!"
  • "the wild animals will honor me" - Great imagery. If humans are too busy to honor the God who chooses them, wild animals will do what we're supposed to be doing.
  • "you have . . . not satisfied me with . . . your sacrifices. But you have burdened me with your sins." Don't we often do this? Try to appease God with bargains, instead of giving what God really wants: our repentant hearts?
  • "I am [the One] who blots our your transgressions for my own sake, and I will not remember your sins." Beautiful. Why does God forgive? For God's sake! God doesn't desire to punish us, but to love us. This is a great God-as-parent image - wanting, always, to love and heal relationship with wayward children.

  • Psalm 
  • "happy are those who consider the poor" This is one of few Psalms I can think of that has a care-for-others theme to it. What are other Psalms like this one?
  • "all who hate me whisper together about me; they imagine the worst for me" The psalmist sounds like a picked-on child. We've probably all been in this place - feeling totally alone and ostracized. It is a lonely place to be.
  • "even my bosom friend . . . lifted the heel against me." Have you ever been betrayed by a friend? What pain! The words bring to mind Jesus and Judas and the pain Jesus must have felt to know that one of his companions would be the one to turn him over to authorities, no matter how necessary or expected such an action was.

  • 2 Corinthians 1:18-22:
  • "yes and no" - Compare this passage with Matthew 5:33-37. We tend to want things both ways - yes, and no. Paul calls on us to be clear. God is always Yes - always faithful. We can trust that. Can we be always Yes as well?
  • "his seal on us" An image of a seal - stamped with authority/approval. Or think of a seal that would close a letter - the seal was the symbol of authenticity - you would know by the seal that the letter was truly from a  certain person.
  • "his Spirit in our hearts as a first installment" Nice - the idea is that there is so much more to come, much more that Christ offers, when we're ready to accept.

  • Mark 2:1-12
  • I would call this a "Sunday School passage" - a story that I distinctly remember hearing as a child, so vividly, picturing a man lowered through a roof!
  • "so many gathered around" - The huge number of crowds pressing in on Jesus constantly is a theme in Mark. Everywhere Jesus goes, people are wanting to see him, needing to be with him. What a pressure for Jesus! But we see how much people were eager for him, to soak him up.
  • "Which is easier" - Jesus will work with the complaining scribes - if they'd rather see miracles than authority - fine - but Jesus reminds them that he does have authority, even if they don't like it.
  • "We have never seen anything like this" - Another theme in Mark - Jesus' ministry is unique - unlike anything people have seen. Jesus is doing a new thing in a new way, and it doesn't go unnoticed.
  • Comments

    Popular posts from this blog

    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

    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, "Serve Jesus," Mark 10:35-45

    Sermon 10/28/18 Mark 10:35-45 Serve Jesus Today, we’re concluding our series looking at the components that will make up our intentional discipleship plan, the method, the approach we’re going to use as we try to focus on our purpose of making disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world. Our hope is that we will help folks to Meet Jesus, Follow Jesus, and Serve Jesus as we journey on the path of discipleship. We talked about how we want to work to bring folks into Jesus’ presence to meet him, and how we will do the hard work of choosing to follow Jesus, even when there are sometimes many paths we’re tempted to choose. Today, we think about how we continue to grow in the life of faith. As followers of Jesus, we commit to serving him, and the best way we’ve found to serve Jesus is in serving one another, serving our neighbor. Jesus always links together loving God and loving neighbor. We demonstrate our love of God and our service to Christ when we work to