Just as God opens the door when we knock, so should we do the same for our neighbor. First Reading Track One : 1 Kings Heilung des Besessenen Healing of the demon-possessed , medieval illumination in the Ottheinrich folio, Bayerische Staatsbibliothek Bavarian State Library. Our first readings during this time will present the prophets of the Hebrew Bible; our second readings will draw from the letters to the Galatians, the Colossians, First and Second Timothy, and Second Thessalonians. First Reading Track Two : Isaiah We now return to the long season after Pentecost.
God, speaking through the prophet, is angry because the people who returned from exile are already breaking the covenant, ignoring the Law, eating unclean food, and even worshiping idols. God is beyond anger and is ready to kill them all. But God will not destroy them all. Psalm: Track One : Psalms 42 and They are filled with lamentation but end at last in hope and faith. But when faith falters, the Psalmist asks over and over why God has forgotten him. Let all the congregation praise the lord, we sing. Let Israel stand in awe of God, and know that God works justice and righteousness to all who seek and praise God, not least the hungry poor who seek God for protection and food.
Second Reading: Galatians They need not keep kosher nor be circumcised. Gentiles are in no way second-class Christians, Paul proclaims, in beautiful, inclusive language that rings through the ages: There is no longer Jew or Greek, there is no longer slave or free, there is no longer male and female; for all of us are one in Jesus.
Having just landed in a Gentile community on the far side of the Sea of Galilee following a stormy trip in which Jesus calmed the fierce waters that frightened his disciples , Jesus encounters a noisy, scary man, naked and in chains. This raises so many questions! What were Jesus and the apostles doing in a graveyard in the first place, which would have made them unclean under Jewish law?
Why did the demons talk to Jesus, and why did he answer them!? Why did the whole business prompt the neighbors to ask Jesus to leave town? This remarkable story leaves us wondering. So many questions! First Reading: Proverbs , On the first Sunday after Pentecost we celebrate Trinity Sunday, honoring the theology that came about as the early church sought to understand how Creator, Son, and Holy Spirit can come together as three persons within a single God.
THE GOSPELS OF MATTHEW, MARK, LUKE, AND JOHN, HARMONIZED
Now in the Hungarian National Gallery, Budapest. At the moment of creation, as told in Genesis, we see God as Creator, Word and Spirit wind moving over the waters to separate light from darkness and earth from sea. Now in Proverbs we hear another way to visualize the Spirit: God called Wisdom, a powerful, creative woman, to be present at the moment of creation. She cries out joy in the newly made world, delighting in humanity. Psalm: Psalm 8. The ancient hymns in the book of Psalms serve many purposes, from expressions of sadness and lamentation to prayers for help to songs of praise and joy.
We lift our voices in joyful appreciation to the God who created this beautiful world and everything that lives on it. Alternate to the Psalm: Canticle Protected by God, as told in Daniel and the apocryphal Song of Azariah, they walked unharmed through the fire, singing a hymn of praise to God and all creation. We sing their full song as Canticle Second Reading: Romans This short passage calls for thoughtful reading, as it is important to understand that Paul is not telling us that suffering is good. Nor is he warning that God makes us suffer. Gospel: John But he also assures them that the Holy Spirit, the spirit of truth, will come to guide them, bearing the glory of Creator and Son.
First Reading: Acts Peter Reviving Tabitha In our first reading from the Acts of the Apostles, we find Peter out in the world, filled with the Holy Spirit.
A beloved disciple, Tabitha also known in Greek as Dorcas , became ill and died. Her friends are weeping, remembering the clothing she had made for them. When Peter arrives, to their amazement of the disciples and perhaps even to his own surprise, he brings Tabitha back to life with a prayer and a command, just as Jesus had done with Lazarus. Psalm: Psalm Many Christians know the beloved 23rd Psalm so well — perhaps in the cadences of King James — that we could recite it from memory.
Sometimes though, too much familiarity can rob us of the beauty of rediscovering the details. Try reading it today with fresh eyes and mind, taking it slowly, one verse at a time. God loves us all, always. What could be more comforting than that? Second Reading: Revelation We remain through Eastertide in the strange land of Revelation, a book that was written in symbolic language to inspire and reassure the people of a persecuted first century church.
Everyone is included!
The closing verses, too, offer us reassurance and hope: The Lamb will be our good shepherd, guiding us beside the still waters, protecting us from danger and delivering us from hunger and thirst. Here is the comfort of Psalm 23, restated in Revelation. Palm Sunday and Passion Sunday fall on the same day in modern times, prompting us to watch in shock and surprise as the crowds who cheered for Jesus upon his arrival in Jerusalem quickly turn to mocking him and calling for his crucifixion.
Shout aloud, O daughter Jerusalem!
Lo, your king comes to you; triumphant and victorious is he, humble and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey! Psalm: Psalm , Imagine a joyful crowd at the gates to the ancient Temple, clapping hands and loudly singing, praising the Lord, our God, whose mercy and steadfast love endure forever. First Reading: Isaiah a. Now our readings turn darker and more painful as Holy Week draws near.
But even as shadows and twilight fall, the hope that rests in faith and trust remains. The darkness deepens as we hear this Psalm. These verses that echo the pain of the Suffering Servant remind us that numbing anguish can sap the strength of body, mind and soul. But even in the darkest depths, hope remains! Second Reading: Philippians Jesus took on human frailty as he bore the gruesome pain of crucifixion.
Now the joy and celebration of the procession with the palms is fully turned. We see Jesus and his friends at the Last Supper, and now the crowds who had cheered for Jesus are mocking him and calling for his crucifixion. How are we called to serve? First Reading Track One : 2 Samuel God has made an everlasting covenant with David, one that will bring prosperity to his reign and success to all his descendants. First Reading Track Two : Daniel , It might seem awkward for Americans, who tossed out the British king in in favor of a Republic governed by its people, to declare God a traditional monarch and Jesus a warrior king.
But Christ as King or Lord stands in opposition to earthly kings. In contrast with the emperor of Rome, Christ was a new, different kind of king, bringing a new and just kind of kingdom where all receive their daily bread. Our first reading from Daniel imagines an Ancient One, a mighty God of flame, coming in clouds on a fiery throne, an all-powerful God giving dominion over all peoples, nations, and languages.
Psalm Track One : Psalm Remembering the hardships that David endured in keeping his oath to God, the Psalmist vows not to rest until Israel builds a temple on Mount Zion, a dwelling place on earth where God can rest. God is king! God is majestic! God is powerful! How this mighty hymn must have thundered through the ancient temple, celebrating the power and the kingship of God in metaphors of sound and fury: Roaring floods and massive ocean waves thundering, calling out the glory of God our king.
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- Speaking of Gods in Figure and Narrative | SpringerLink.
Second Reading: Revelation b This greeting from the first page of Revelation gives away the simple secret of this mysterious book: It is not a strange and frightening prediction of the End Times, nor does it conceal coded information about our times, or any other time or place.
It was a subversive sermon for persecuted Christians in Asia Minor, carrying this simple message: God our King, who was with us at the beginning and will be with us at the end, loves us and frees us from our sins through Christ. In words that echo the Daniel reading, we hear that Jesus our Savior, God, ruler of all the kings of the earth, will come back with the clouds to deliver justice. Or does he? Is he a king? But when and how will this kingdom come?
I go to church every Sunday. I keep faith with my family and friends. I am a Christian. But why are you asking? Well sir I want to go swimming, and have two quarters here in my shorts, and I wanted someone I could trust to hold them while I swim. Peter and Andrew are casting, casting nets. They have no furrowed brows, no endless worries, no pessimism, and no angst. They probably have left unattended some holes in their nets, these two happy brothers. They are willing to accept that their casting will be imperfect, as all evangelism is imperfect.
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But that imperfection will not keep them from enjoying the labor of casting. To miss the first light is to miss the fun of faith! Here at dawn…those first stirrings, first longings, first intimations of something new and good. Meanwhile, back on the beach, Jesus heads south, cove by cove, with Andrew and Peter frolicking in tow. They had already left home. They are ready to take a flier on some new trek, not fully sure how it will work out. Still, every little scrap of memory of these two brothers tends in the same direction—full of vim, vigor, vitality and pepperino.
Yes, they will follow! But Jesus is about to make a second invitation. Not to the defiant, but to the compliant.