Skip to main content

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

Readings for 21st Sunday after Pentecost, 10/21/12:
Job 38:1-7 (34-41), Psalm 104:1-9, 24, 35c, Hebrews 5:1-10, Mark 10:35-45

Job 38:1-7, (34-41):
  • Would we be prepared for God to answer us in such a direct way like this? God telling us, "Get ready, I'm about to tell you how it is?" I don't think I would be!
  • Still, God's answer, while vivid and beautiful in its poetic way, isn't one that would satisfy me if I were asking the questions Job had been asking. God's answer is basically "I'm God, and you aren't. How can you question me?" But my own experience of God finds God more sympathetic to my questioning - even if not providing any more answers. For me, not having answers is very frustrating. But I'm trying always to accept that God is beyond my understanding. Can you have faith without all the answers? I guess that's why it is faith!
  • Biblical sarcasm - this part I enjoy. God is pretty sarcastic in his answer with Job. I'm glad to know my preferred style of humor is one God enjoys too!

Psalm 104:1-9, 24, 35c:
  • "Bless the Lord, O my soul." We normally ask God to bless us and others. What does it mean for us, instead, to bless God, to be a blessing to God?
  • This psalm almost reads like a reverse of the Job passage, doesn't it? Instead of God prompting Job to remember that God has done, here the psalmist remembers on his own what God has done, in the same sort of vivid imagery.
  • All the clothing/fabric imagery in this psalm is interesting - God is enveloping, wrapping around us and the world, surrounding, covering, protecting.
  • The imagery in 6-9 talks about water - water "fleeing" as if water is the enemy. Flood and safety from another flood.
     
Hebrews 5:1-10:
  • Verses 1-4 actually describe, to an extent, what we mean by ordained ministry. A good resource for hopeful ordinands!
  • Check out Genesis 14:17-20 and Psalm 110:4 for context about Melchizedek. 
  • I don't usually think of Jesus as a "high priest." What priestly functions do you see Jesus filling? How is Jesus priest? The author gives his answer in verses 7-10.
  • :8 - I also don't think of Jesus as one who had to "learn" obedience, but as one who simply was obedient. But maybe there is more power in thinking of Jesus learning to obey God through his faithfulness to God's plan for him. What do you think?

Mark 10:35-45:
  • James and John are apparently unfazed by their previous (and recent) conversation with Jesus and the other disciples about who is greatest, where Jesus reminded them about the first being last and taking up the cross and all that . . .
  • James and John say that they are able to walk the same path as Jesus, in their quest for greatness. Jesus takes them at their word, and they probably wish they hadn't agreed quite so quickly!
  • The other ten are mad at James and John - why? For asking a silly question of Jesus? For pledging to follow him in a way they hadn't? Because they want the places of greatness for themselves?
  • Jesus talks (again!) about a different world-order, a different system of greatness and power. How many times must he tell them this opposites first-last master-servant stuff before they get it? How many times must he tell us? 

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

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

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