20th Sunday after Pentecost
by Calvin Redekop
I love to return again to the Scriptures, to those visions seen by the prophets and apostles and singers of Israel about the “peaceful reign of God.” There is a strange concatenation of judgment and celebration in some of the Psalms, especially Psalms 96 to 99 and 104. Psalm 99 beings, “The Lord is king; let the people tremble!” In many Christian circles it is today politically incorrect to speak about God as king, as reigning, as judging, and instead God is portrayed as a morally nondiscrimination, indulgent Santa. Such and attitude represents the deliberate denial of a theme that runs through the Bible from beginning to end. “The Lord is king,” and one of the functions of a king was to be a judge, to dispense justice.
Fort McMurray Alberta Tar Sands, Kris Krüg CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
19th Sunday after Pentecost
By Wes Howard-Brook and Sue Ferguson Johnson
When you tell the story of your, your family’s, or your community’s journey, what role does the land and its nonhuman creatures play?
Central to God’s promise to ancient Israel was a land to call their own, both as a people and as local families. In this week’s reading, Psalm 106 presents one of several biblical summaries of Israel’s relationship with YHWH, the land and its peoples. It is framed by “praise YHWH,” although the core of the psalm laments the people’s constant disobedience and forgetfulness. Throughout the psalm, the land is close at hand, beginning with deliverance from Egypt via the Red Sea, and continuing into the wilderness struggles. Continue reading
Continued from yesterday’s reflections on the lectionary for the 18th Sunday after Pentecost
By Ched Myers
Isaiah articulates the contemptible socio-economic disparity in Israel. A series of prophetic “woes” (howy) commences in verse 5:8 that extend through 5:23, and the first one summarizes starkly and succinctly all that will follow. The image of “joining house to house and field to field” specifically refers to the phenomenon of “latifundialization,” the economic process by which large landowners increase their holdings by foreclosing on indebted small farmers. Theologians Urich Duchrow and Franz Hinkelammert point out that the 8th century BCE saw history’s first wave of “privatization” spread throughout the Mediterranean world, including Israel: Continue reading
Old millstone, Palestine
Proper 22 (27)
18th Sunday after Pentecost
By Ched Myers
The 18th Sunday after Pentecost this year comes on the heels of the “Season of Creation,” a contemporary liturgical and lectionary movement celebrated during the four Sundays in September prior to St Francis of Assisi Day (4 October). Today’s haftorah—Isaiah’s famous “Song of the Vineyard”—continues this vein of ecological theology. Continue reading
Seventeenth Sunday after Pentecost
Ezekiel 18:1-4, 25-32
By the Reverend Doctor Victoria Marie
As I reflected on today’s readings the theme that emerged is: our response to God. In the first reading Ezekiel is saying that when we turn away from what is just, we die. When we return to acting with justice, we save our lives. Continue reading
Credit: Clancy Dunigan
Fifteenth Sunday After Pentecost
Then the prophet Miriam, Aaron’s sister, took a tambourine in her hand; and all the women went out after her with tambourines and with dancing. And Miriam sang to them: ‘Sing to the Lord, for he has triumphed gloriously;
horse and rider he has thrown into the sea.’
By Tevyn East and Jay Beck
John: “She died in a dry place, yet the spring followed her.
It followed her everywhere
like a lover, easing us to rest,
springing from hidden places
in our wanderings.
Always, we were thirsty. Continue reading
By Laurel Dykstra
Now you know and I know, that lice, mice, roaches, bed-bugs, and rats are no respecters of persons. They invade the house of Pharaoh, the houses of his officials, and of all his people (Exod 8:21, 10:6); they infest the luxury hotels and the welfare hotels. But when the special shampoo costs eight dollars a bottle, and a visit from the exterminator $125, those that can—pay, and those that can’t, or whose landlord won’t—scratch.