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'worship' Tagged Posts

November 24, 2019 – Christ the King Sunday – Recovering the Law

2 Kings 22:1-10 [11-20]; 23:1-3           Josiah’s Reform (Luke 24:30-32)            When the temple is rebuilt, like when we renovate or remodel, surprises are found. In this case, there is a scroll found, a book of the law. It’s a surprise. It’s old fashioned. And it is not really good news when it comes to Josiah.            Josiah hears the words, and realizes how…

November 17, 2019 – Twenty-Third Sunday after Pentecost – Vines, Stumps, and Shoots

Isaiah 5:1-7; 11:1-5                  Isaiah’s Vineyard Song(Mark 12:1-3)            Isaiah’s prophetic voice is not to be underestimated. With 66 chapters, there’s a lot to consider, read, and hear. Isaiah’s use of metaphor is wide and varied, and today we hear two different images, both of which have to do with plants and growing.            The vineyard is a major investment. Hills are selected…

November 10, 2019 – Twenty-Second Sunday after Pentecost – Prophetic Hindsight

Hosea 11:1-9                                                         Hosea(Mark 10:13-14)            The benefit of hindsight is great. Often we see things we had no way of seeing before, or we see things whose significance we did not recognize in the past, or in the moment. We receive warnings in advance, and yet we do not heed those warnings. We say that we’ll never do that, and then…

November 3, 2019 – Twenty-First Sunday after Pentecost – Church and State

1 Kings 18:[17-19] 20-39       Elijah at Mount Carmel (Mark 9:2-4)            We have here the classic battle between power and faith. Elijah, that most famous of prophets, it facing off against Ahab, who accuses Elijah of troubling Israel, when Ahab has followed Baal. This is the introduction of Jezebel who gets the short end of the stick historically and in the Biblical tale.…

December 1, 2019 – The First Sunday of Advent – Promise To The Exiled

Jeremiah 33:1-4, 10-22             Promise of the Messiah            Jeremiah is a prophet for the people of Israel. He is prophet of God Almighty, to the southern kingdom (Judah) through the fall of Jerusalem. He has an unpleasant, unwanted message for the people of God – that they have violated the covenant, and that God will withdraw God’s blessings.            By the time…

October 27, 2019 – Twentieth Sunday after Pentecost – And Low Points

1 Kings 12:1-17, 25-29                     Kingdom Divided(Mark 10:42-45)            Just 2 generations later, we end up in these passages. We hear what we often hear about the young neglecting the wisdom of their elders, of men who need to impress with their strength and virility, and of people who take the wrong advice. Rehoboam angers the people who was meant to serve.…

October 13, 2019 – Eighteenth Sunday after Pentecost – Go Home

           The tail end of this passage is often used at weddings. Often the bias in using it is towards having the woman docilely follow her husband or her husband’s family. That’s not really the power of the narrative though. We have a renewal of the earlier story of the chosen people of God moving from one place to another due to…

October 6, 2019 – Seventeenth Sunday after Pentecost – A Long Practice

Deuteronomy 5:1-21; 6:4-9             Hear O Israel, Ten Commandments (Mark 12:28-31)            Over my lifetime, the 10 commandments have made a comeback. It sounds odd to say that, but for the longest time many Christians were convinced that anything Old Testament was made irrelevant by Jesus, including the 10 commandments, and so we heard more about the greatest commandment. And then suddenly there…

September 29, 2019 – Sixteenth Sunday after Pentecost – A Long Delivery

Exodus 1:8-14 [1:15–2:10]; 3:1-15  Moses and God’s Name (Mark 12:26-27a)            This small (3 chapter) section of Exodus highlights again how long a scale God does things over. At the very beginning we hear that things have changed in Egypt. The people of God are forgotten – their connection to Joseph and Joseph himself are unknown by those in power. That situation didn’t…