Skip to main content

Lectionary Notes for Third Sunday in Lent, Year C

Readings for Third Sunday in Lent, 2/24/13:
Isaiah 55:1-9, Psalm 63:1-8, 1 Corinthians 10:1-13, Luke 13:1-9

Isaiah 55:1-9:
  • This is one of my very favorite passages. "Ho, everyone who thirsts, come to the waters...why do you spend your money for that which is not bread, and your labor for that which does not satisfy?" Check out John 6 for strong correlations with this passage. Why indeed to we choose again and again for our lives things which we know will not cure the hurts and desires and pains that we have? God must scratch the head over us all the time. We choose so poorly for ourselves!
  • "And nations that you do not know shall run to you, because of the Lord your God." I really like this image! Too often, as Americans, we find that our claim of faith has just the opposite effect on people. Nations run from us because of the way we claim our God, God blessing America at the expense of all others. What would it mean for nations to run to us because of our faith?
Psalm 63:1-8:
  • This psalm sounds like it could be a Shakespeare love sonnet! "My soul thirsts for you, my flesh faints for you." Reminds me a bit of Jars of Clay - remember way back when they first came out and had the big hit and no one knew they were a Christian group singing about God? Well, they have a song, "Love Song for a Savior", that I love. But do we love God? Love Jesus? How do we have faith so deep and exciting that it can't be told apart from the over-the-top way we claim to love other humans? I'm not sure I've managed that myself yet!
1 Corinthians 10:1-13
  • "God is faithful, and [God] will not let you be tested beyond your strength." These are appropriate words for the season of Lent when many are struggling to stay faithful to what they have given up for the 40 day season. I've often heard these words, however, used to 'comfort' someone who is suffering some great trial. I'm not sure how 'comforting' they actually are in that situation, however!
  • "Nevertheless, God was not pleased with most of them..." After Paul describes the spiritual experiences of the Israelites, he ends by saying that they still were evildoers in many circumstances. I think that's a good reminder for us: God knows our hearts. God knows the difference between show and reality, words, and faith.
Luke 13:1-9:
  • Huh? Sometimes the parables make us go, "Ohhh" with recognition. Sometimes they make us go, "Huh?" with puzzlement like the disciples. At first read, this parable is one of the latter, not the former! We read about this fig tree that is not bearing fruit, and the owner wants to have it cut down. But the gardener bargains to save it for one more year - he will put manure on it and see if he can get it to grow. The owner accepts the deal, and says they can wait one more year to see if it can bear fruit. Unfortunately, there is no helpful section recorded here where the disciples act confused as usual and ask for an explanation from Jesus, so we can't cheat and pretend we knew what Jesus meant all along...
  • So, what does he mean? I think that it is a passage about God's amazing grace, for one thing: even when we deserve to get cut down, someone, Jesus?, is still negotiating for our undeserved salvation. Thank God!
  • In the first part, Jesus warns against feeling that the suffering and death of certain groups of people is a particular sign of God's judgment. (Did Pat Robertson and co. ever read this passage?) Judgment comes to those who die prematurely and those who live long lives. So repent!


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