Archive for the ‘A Four-Year Lectionary (Humes) Year A’ Category

Devotion for Proper 16, Year A (Humes)   1 comment

Above:  Judah and Tamar, by the School of Rembrandt van Rijn

Image in the Public Domain

The Law of Mercy

AUGUST 25, 2019

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Blessed Lord, who caused all holy Scriptures to be written for our learning:

Grant us so to hear them, read, mark, learn, and inwardly digest them,

that we may embrace and ever hold fast the blessed hope of life,

which you have given us in our Savior Jesus Christ,  who lives and reigns

with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.  Amen.

The Book of Common Prayer (1979), page 236

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Genesis 38:1-26 or Isaiah 40:21-31

Psalm 18:31-36, 43-50

1 Corinthians 6:12-20

Matthew 12:1-21

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Temple prostitution, in the background in Genesis 38, might be background for 1 Corinthians 6:12-20 also.  If it is, the reading becomes deeper than it is otherwise.  If to engage in sexual relations with a pagan prostitute is to unite with the deity the prostitute serves, idolatry becomes an issue.  Christians are supposed to function as part of the body of Christ, therefore visiting a pagan temple prostitute is worse than visiting a prostitute in general.

Speaking of Genesis 38, it is another of those different stories we find frequently in the Hebrew Bible.  It remains a proverbial hot potato.  When must a father-in-law sire his grandsons?  When the laws governing levirate marriage (Deuteronomy 25:5-10) dictate.  The text does not condemn Tamar for her deceit either, for the narrative makes plain that it was the option left open to her.

In June 1996 my father became the pastor of the Asbury United Methodist Church in northern Appling County, Georgia, U.S.A.  One of the adult Sunday School classes was reading the Book of Genesis a chapter at a time.  One week the teacher announced that the class would not discuss Chapter 38 (although they had apparently discussed Chapter 37 the previous week), but would talk about Chapter 39 instead.  I wonder if the teacher also skipped the rape of Dinah and the subsequent bloodbath in Chapter 34.  Probably, yes.

When passages of scripture make us that uncomfortable, we should study them.  We should study all of the Bible, of course, but double down on the parts that cause us to squirm.

God is strong, mighty, loving, and trustworthy, we read.  Sometimes mercy on some takes the form of judgment on others.  After all, judgment on oppressors does help the oppressed, does it not?

Much occurs theologically in Matthew 12:1-21, but the major point is that mercy overrides Sabbath laws.  We read that some labor was mandatory on the Sabbath, especially for priests.  So yes, we read Jesus announce, the hungry may pluck grain and the man with the withered hand may receive healing, not just rudimentary first aid.

In the Gospel of Matthew one of the points drilled into the text was that Jesus did not seek to destroy the Law of Moses.  No, he presented his interpretation as correct and in opposition to the interpretations of his critics.  Jesus stood within the context of Judaism, not against it.  For example, the Mishnah, published in 200 C.E. (about 170 years after the crucifixion of Jesus), listed 39 types of labor prohibited on the Sabbath.  Plucking food was not one of them.  Christ’s opponents in Chapter 12:1-21 were, to use an anachronistic expression, more Catholic than the Pope.

The Sabbath, in the Law of Moses, was about liberation.  Slaves in Egypt received no days off, so a day off was a mark of freedom.  Besides, science and experience have taught us the necessity of down time.  Much of my Christian tradition has reacted against leisure (especially “worldly amusements,” a bane of Pietism and Puritanism) and insisted that idle hands are the Devil’s workshop.  Nevertheless, science and experience have affirmed the necessity of a certain amount of idleness.

Judaism, at its best, is not legalistic; neither is Christianity.  Yet legalistic Jews and Christians exist.  A healthy attitude is to seek to respond to God faithfully, without becoming lost in the thicket of laws, without failing to see the forest for the trees, without mistaking culturally specific examples for timeless principles, without shooting cannon balls at gnats, and without forgetting mercy.

And while one is doing that, one should read the scriptural passages that make one squirm in one’s seat.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

JULY 30, 2018 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF CLARENCE JORDAN, SOUTHERN BAPTIST MINISTER AND WITNESS FOR CIVIL RIGHTS

THE FEAST OF SAINT PETER CHRYSOLOGUS, ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOP OF RAVENNA AND DEFENDER OF ORTHODOXY

THE FEAST OF SAINT VICENTA CHÁVEZ OROZCO, FOUNDRESS OF THE SERVANTS OF THE HOLY TRINITY AND THE POOR

THE FEAST OF SAINT WILLIAM PINCHON, ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOP

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https://blogatheologica.wordpress.com/2018/07/30/the-law-of-mercy/

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Devotion for Proper 15, Year A (Humes)   1 comment

Above:  Joseph Reveals His Dream to His Brethren, by James Tissot

Image in the Public Domain

Trusting in God, Part II

AUGUST 18, 2019

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Blessed Lord, who caused all holy Scriptures to be written for our learning:

Grant us so to hear them, read, mark, learn, and inwardly digest them,

that we may embrace and ever hold fast the blessed hope of life,

which you have given us in our Savior Jesus Christ,  who lives and reigns

with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.  Amen.

The Book of Common Prayer (1979), page 236

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Genesis 37:1-28 or Isaiah 30:15-25

Psalm 18:16-30

1 Corinthians 6:1-11

Matthew 11:2-19

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Patriarchs in Genesis had dysfunctional families.  Abraham tried to kill his son Isaac, on faith that God had told him to do so.  (Yes, I argue with that story.)  Isaac’s son Jacob, with the help of Jacob’s mother, fooled him and defrauded Esau.  Jacob seemed not to care about the rape of his daughter Dinah and, in a different context, acted in such a way as to foster tension among his sons, most of whom fooled him into thinking that his son Joseph was dead.  With family like that, who needs enemies?

The main idea in 1 Corinthians 6:1-11 is that believers ought to conduct themselves in ways that glorify God and distinguish them from unbelievers.  Yet even when holy people do that, they will still receive criticism, for some people thrive on finding faults, even if those faults are imaginary.  It is preferable that the criticisms be baseless; that way they show up the critics.

During the reign of King Hezekiah of Judah (reigned 727/715-698/687 B.C.E.), the kingdom entered into a military alliance with Egypt against Assyria.  This was an ill-advised alliance; Egypt was not trustworthy.  The author of Isaiah 30 argued that the alliance indicated a lack of trust in God, who was reliable.  After the announcement of divine wrath followed the prediction of mercy.

Trusting in God liberates one to do as one should and become the person one should be.  One can lay aside the desire for revenge, not to lead a life defined by anger, and value justice instead.  With confidence in God one can avoid foolish decisions that end badly.  One, trusting in God, can find the source of ultimate peace and strength.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

JULY 30, 2018 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF CLARENCE JORDAN, SOUTHERN BAPTIST MINISTER AND WITNESS FOR CIVIL RIGHTS

THE FEAST OF SAINT PETER CHRYSOLOGUS, ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOP OF RAVENNA AND DEFENDER OF ORTHODOXY

THE FEAST OF SAINT VICENTA CHÁVEZ OROZCO, FOUNDRESS OF THE SERVANTS OF THE HOLY TRINITY AND THE POOR

THE FEAST OF SAINT WILLIAM PINCHON, ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOP

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https://blogatheologica.wordpress.com/2018/07/30/trusting-in-god-part-viii/

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Devotion for Proper 14, Year A (Humes)   1 comment

Above:  The Seduction of Dinah, Daughter of Leah, by James Tissot

Image in the Public Domain

Trusting in God, Part I

AUGUST 11, 2019

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Blessed Lord, who caused all holy Scriptures to be written for our learning:

Grant us so to hear them, read, mark, learn, and inwardly digest them,

that we may embrace and ever hold fast the blessed hope of life,

which you have given us in our Savior Jesus Christ,  who lives and reigns

with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.  Amen.

The Book of Common Prayer (1979), page 236

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Genesis 34 or Isaiah 29:13-24

Psalm 18:1-15

1 Corinthians 5:1-13

Matthew 10:34-11:1

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We have some unpleasant content this week–rape, deceit, and murder in Genesis 34 and incest in 1 Corinthians 5.

The rape of Dinah is one of those stories that makes people squirm.  Dinah is the only completely sympathetic character.  Jacob, her father, is indifferent to her plight.  Her brothers Simeon and Levi are sympathetic until they entrap and massacre Canaanite men still recuperating from circumcision.  Shechem the rapist is not sympathetic at all; neither is his father Hamor.  Still, Simeon and Levi, avengers of their sister, are somewhat sympathetic characters.

At least they cared about what had happened to her, what was happening to her, and might happen to her.

As for Dinah, given the realities of her situation in a patriarchal culture that shamed raped women, her future seemed bleak.  Who would marry her now?  And marrying her rapist was not a good option either.  She almost dropped out of the narrative; her name recurred in the census in Genesis 46.  She had no descendants.

Her brothers’ vengeance brought them material gain and ego boosts, but wounded their souls and diminished them as human beings.  It made a bad situation worse.

Trust in God, most of the assigned readings tell us.  Trust in God when doing so is difficult.  Trust in God and live accordingly.  Trust in God, take up one’s cross, follow Jesus, and take care of each other.  Trust in God when one’s family abandons one.

Trusting in God can prove challenging during the best of times, especially if one insists on self-reliance.  Trusting in God when one is in dire straits can therefore be more difficult.  Yet I know from experience that trusting in God might be easier in times of dire straits if, for perhaps no other reason, one is acutely aware of one’s dependence on God and of God’s presence.  God is always with us.  If one likens God to a lamp turned on, one might understand my point.  One might notice the light during daylight, but the light is more noticeable at night.

Trusting in God also entails leaving desires for revenge unfulfilled.  Vengeance might prove satisfying in the short term, but it devours those who have committed it.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

JULY 30, 2018 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF CLARENCE JORDAN, SOUTHERN BAPTIST MINISTER AND WITNESS FOR CIVIL RIGHTS

THE FEAST OF SAINT PETER CHRYSOLOGUS, ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOP OF RAVENNA AND DEFENDER OF ORTHODOXY

THE FEAST OF SAINT VICENTA CHÁVEZ OROZCO, FOUNDRESS OF THE SERVANTS OF THE HOLY TRINITY AND THE POOR

THE FEAST OF SAINT WILLIAM PINCHON, ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOP

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https://blogatheologica.wordpress.com/2018/07/30/trusting-in-god-part-vii/

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Devotion for Proper 13, Year A (Humes)   1 comment

Above:  The Reunion of Esau and Jacob, by Francesco Hayez

Image in the Public Domain

Facing God, Other People, and Ourselves

AUGUST 4, 2019

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Blessed Lord, who caused all holy Scriptures to be written for our learning:

Grant us so to hear them, read, mark, learn, and inwardly digest them,

that we may embrace and ever hold fast the blessed hope of life,

which you have given us in our Savior Jesus Christ,  who lives and reigns

with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.  Amen.

The Book of Common Prayer (1979), page 236

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Genesis 33:1-11 or Isaiah 17:7-13

Psalm 17:1-8

1 Corinthians 4:1, 9-21

Matthew 10:16-33

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One might suffer for any one of a variety of reasons.  One might suffer (as in the case of Damascus, in Isaiah 17) as punishment for idolatry and injustice.  Maybe (as in 1 Corinthians 4 and Matthew 10) one might suffer for the sake of righteousness.  Perhaps one is merely unfortunate.  Or maybe another explanation fits one’s circumstances.

Either way, the commandment to remember, honor, and obey God remains.  Also, judgment for disobedience is both collective and individual.

As worthwhile as those points are, another one interests me more.  Certain verses in Genesis 32 and 33 refer to faces–of Jacob, Esau, and God.  Karen Armstrong, writing in In the Beginning:  A New Interpretation of Genesis (1996), makes a vital point:  they are all the same face.  Jacob, in confronting Esau, also confronts God and himself.

We human beings go to great lengths to avoid facing God, other people, and ourselves.  In the city in which I live, seldom do I enter a store or a restaurant in which music is not playing; silence is apparently anathema.  Unfortunately, the music is almost always bad, especially in one thrift store, the management of which pipes contemporary Christian “seven-eleven” songs over the speakers.  (I avoid that thrift store more often than not.)  Or, if there is no music, a television set is on.  Sensory stimulation is the order of the day.

But when we are alone and silent, we cannot ignore God and ourselves so easily.  And if we cannot face ourselves honestly, we cannot face others honestly either.  If we persist in running away, so to speak, we will cause our own suffering.  It will not be a matter of God smiting us, but of us smiting ourselves.

One would think that silence would be welcome in more churches.  The silence at the end of the Good Friday service in The Episcopal Church is potent, for example.  Yet many churchgoers have an aversion to silence.  And I recall that, one Good Friday, during that potent silence after the service had ended, someone’s cellular telephone rang, causing spiritual and liturgical disruption.

if we are to become the people we are supposed to be in God, we need to take time to turn off the distracting stimulation and face God, others, and ourselves.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

JULY 30, 2018 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF CLARENCE JORDAN, SOUTHERN BAPTIST MINISTER AND WITNESS FOR CIVIL RIGHTS

THE FEAST OF SAINT PETER CHRYSOLOGUS, ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOP OF RAVENNA AND DEFENDER OF ORTHODOXY

THE FEAST OF SAINT VICENTA CHÁVEZ OROZCO, FOUNDRESS OF THE SERVANTS OF THE HOLY TRINITY AND THE POOR

THE FEAST OF SAINT WILLIAM PINCHON, ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOP

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https://blogatheologica.wordpress.com/2018/07/30/facing-god-other-people-and-ourselves/

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Guide to Ordinary Time Devotional Posts for July 2019   Leave a comment

Above:  St. Peter’s Episcopal Church, Lewes, Delaware, February 1941

Photographer = John Vachon

Image Source = Library of Congress

Reproduction Number = LC-USF34-062444-D

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Monday, July 1:

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2016/03/08/devotion-for-monday-after-proper-8-year-c-elca-daily-lectionary/

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2012/07/18/devotion-for-june-30-july-1-and-july-2-lcms-daily-lectionary/

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2010/12/16/week-of-proper-8-monday-year-1/

Tuesday, July 2:

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2016/03/08/devotion-for-tuesday-and-wednesday-after-proper-8-year-c-elca-daily-lectionary/

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2012/07/18/devotion-for-june-30-july-1-and-july-2-lcms-daily-lectionary/

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2010/12/16/week-of-proper-8-tuesday-year-1/

Wednesday, July 3:

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2016/03/08/devotion-for-tuesday-and-wednesday-after-proper-8-year-c-elca-daily-lectionary/

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2012/07/21/devotion-for-july-3-lcms-daily-lectionary/

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2010/12/16/week-of-proper-8-wednesday-year-1/

Thursday, July 4:

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2016/03/09/devotion-for-thursday-before-proper-9-year-c-elca-daily-lectionary/

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2012/07/21/devotion-for-july-4-lcms-daily-lectionary/

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2010/12/17/week-of-proper-8-thursday-year-1/

Independence Day (U.S.A.):  Thursday, July 4, 2019:

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2018/07/23/devotion-for-independence-day-u-s-a-july-4/

Friday, July 5:

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2016/03/12/devotion-for-friday-and-saturday-before-proper-9-year-c-elca-daily-lectionary/

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2012/07/21/devotion-for-july-5-and-6-lcms-daily-lectionary/

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2010/12/17/week-of-proper-8-friday-year-1/

Saturday, July 6:

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2016/03/12/devotion-for-friday-and-saturday-before-proper-9-year-c-elca-daily-lectionary/

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2012/07/21/devotion-for-july-5-and-6-lcms-daily-lectionary/

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2010/12/18/week-of-proper-8-saturday-year-1/

PROPER 9:  FOURTH SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST, YEAR C:  JULY 7, 2019:

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2018/07/23/devotion-for-proper-9-year-a-humes/

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2017/06/17/devotion-for-proper-9-ackerman/

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2016/12/17/devotion-for-proper-9-year-d/

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2012/07/21/proper-9-year-c/

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2012/07/27/devotion-for-july-7-and-8-lcms-daily-lectionary/

Monday, July 8:

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2016/03/12/devotion-for-monday-and-tuesday-after-proper-9-year-c-elca-daily-lectionary/

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2012/07/27/devotion-for-july-7-and-8-lcms-daily-lectionary/

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2010/12/20/week-of-proper-9-monday-year-1/

Tuesday, July 9:

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2016/03/12/devotion-for-monday-and-tuesday-after-proper-9-year-c-elca-daily-lectionary/

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2012/07/27/devotion-for-july-9-lcms-daily-lectionary/

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2010/12/21/week-of-proper-9-tuesday-year-1/

Wednesday, July 10:

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2016/03/12/devotion-for-wednesday-after-proper-9-year-c-elca-daily-lectionary/

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2012/07/27/devotion-for-july-10-and-11-lcms-daily-lectionary/

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2010/12/22/week-of-proper-9-wednesday-year-1/

Thursday, July 11:

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2016/03/14/devotion-for-thursday-and-friday-before-proper-10-year-c-elca-daily-lectionary/

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2012/07/27/devotion-for-july-10-and-11-lcms-daily-lectionary/

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2010/12/23/week-of-proper-9-thursday-year-1/

Friday, July 12:

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2016/03/14/devotion-for-thursday-and-friday-before-proper-10-year-c-elca-daily-lectionary/

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2012/07/27/devotion-for-july-12-lcms-daily-lectionary/

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2010/12/24/week-of-proper-9-friday-year-1/

Saturday, July 13:

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2016/03/14/devotion-for-saturday-before-proper-10-year-c-elca-daily-lectionary/

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2012/07/27/devotion-for-july-13-lcms-daily-lectionary/

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2010/12/24/week-of-proper-9-saturday-year-1/

PROPER 10:  FIFTH SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST, YEAR C:  JULY 14, 2019:

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2018/07/24/devotion-for-proper-10-year-a-humes/

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2017/06/17/devotion-for-proper-10-ackerman/

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2016/12/17/devotion-for-proper-10-year-d/

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2012/07/27/proper-10-year-c/

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2012/08/07/devotion-for-july-14-15-and-16-lcms-daily-lectionary/

Monday, July 15:

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2016/03/14/devotion-for-monday-tuesday-and-wednesday-after-proper-10-year-c-elca-daily-lectionary/

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2012/08/07/devotion-for-july-14-15-and-16-lcms-daily-lectionary/

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2010/12/25/week-of-proper-10-monday-year-1/

Tuesday, July 16:

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2016/03/14/devotion-for-monday-tuesday-and-wednesday-after-proper-10-year-c-elca-daily-lectionary/

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2012/08/07/devotion-for-july-14-15-and-16-lcms-daily-lectionary/

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2010/12/26/week-of-proper-10-tuesday-year-1/

Wednesday, July 17:

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2016/03/14/devotion-for-monday-tuesday-and-wednesday-after-proper-10-year-c-elca-daily-lectionary/

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2012/08/07/devotion-for-july-17-and-18-lcms-daily-lectionary/

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2010/12/27/week-of-proper-10-wednesday-year-1/

Thursday, July 18:

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2016/03/16/devotion-for-thursday-friday-and-saturday-before-proper-11-year-c-elca-daily-lectionary/

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2012/08/07/devotion-for-july-17-and-18-lcms-daily-lectionary/

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2010/12/28/week-of-proper-10-thursday-year-1/

Friday, July 19:

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2016/03/16/devotion-for-thursday-friday-and-saturday-before-proper-11-year-c-elca-daily-lectionary/

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2012/08/07/devotion-for-july-19-lcms-daily-lectionary/

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2010/12/29/week-of-proper-10-friday-year-1/

Saturday, July 20:

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2016/03/16/devotion-for-thursday-friday-and-saturday-before-proper-11-year-c-elca-daily-lectionary/

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2012/08/10/devotion-for-july-20-lcms-daily-lectionary/

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2010/12/30/week-of-proper-10-saturday-year-1/

PROPER 11:  SIXTH SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST, YEAR C:  JULY 21, 2019:

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2018/07/24/devotion-for-proper-11-year-a-humes/

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2017/06/17/devotion-for-proper-11-ackerman/

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2016/12/17/devotion-for-proper-11-year-d/

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2012/08/11/proper-11-year-c/

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2012/08/11/devotion-for-july-21-22-and-23-lcms-daily-lectionary/

Monday, July 22:

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2016/03/16/devotion-for-monday-after-proper-10-year-c-elca-daily-lectionary/

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2012/08/11/devotion-for-july-21-22-and-23-lcms-daily-lectionary/

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2011/01/03/week-of-proper-11-monday-year-1/

Tuesday, July 23:

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2016/03/16/devotion-for-tuesday-and-wednesday-after-proper-11-year-c-elca-daily-lectionary/

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2012/08/11/devotion-for-july-21-22-and-23-lcms-daily-lectionary/

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2011/01/04/week-of-proper-11-tuesday-year-1/

Wednesday, July 24:

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2016/03/16/devotion-for-tuesday-and-wednesday-after-proper-11-year-c-elca-daily-lectionary/

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2012/09/05/devotion-for-july-24-25-and-26-lcms-daily-lectionary/

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2011/01/04/week-of-proper-11-wednesday-year-1/

Thursday, July 25:

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2016/03/17/prologue-to-posts-scheduled-around-proper-12-year-c-revised-common-lectionary/

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2016/03/17/devotion-for-thursday-before-proper-12-year-c-elca-daily-lectionary/

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2012/09/05/devotion-for-july-24-25-and-26-lcms-daily-lectionary/

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2011/01/07/week-of-proper-11-thursday-year-1/

Friday, July 26:

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2016/03/17/devotion-for-friday-before-proper-12-year-c-elca-daily-lectionary/

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2012/09/05/devotion-for-july-24-25-and-26-lcms-daily-lectionary/

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2011/01/09/week-of-proper-11-friday-year-1/

Saturday, July 27:

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2016/03/17/devotion-for-saturday-before-proper-12-year-c-elca-daily-lectionary/

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2012/10/04/devotion-for-july-27-lcms-daily-lectionary/

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2011/01/10/week-of-proper-11-saturday-year-1/

PROPER 12:  SEVENTH SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST, YEAR C:  JULY 28, 2019:

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2018/07/24/devotion-for-proper-12-year-a-humes/

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2017/06/17/devotion-for-proper-12-ackerman/

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2016/12/17/devotion-for-proper-12-year-d/

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2012/10/05/proper-12-year-c/

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2012/10/05/devotion-for-july-28-29-and-30-lcms-daily-lectionary/

Monday, July 29:

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2016/03/17/devotion-for-monday-after-proper-12-year-c-elca-daily-lectionary/

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2012/10/05/devotion-for-july-28-29-and-30-lcms-daily-lectionary/

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2011/01/11/week-of-proper-12-monday-year-1/

Tuesday, July 30:

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2016/03/17/devotion-for-tuesday-after-proper-12-year-c-elca-daily-lectionary/

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2012/10/05/devotion-for-july-28-29-and-30-lcms-daily-lectionary/

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2011/01/12/week-of-proper-12-tuesday-year-1/

Wednesday, July 31:

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2016/03/17/devotion-for-wednesday-after-proper-12-year-c-elca-daily-lectionary/

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2012/10/05/devotion-for-july-31-august-1-and-august-2-lcms-daily-lectionary/

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2016/03/17/epilogue-to-posts-scheduled-around-proper-12-year-c-revised-common-lectionary/

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2011/01/12/week-of-proper-12-wednesday-year-1/

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Devotion for Proper 12, Year A (Humes)   1 comment

Above:  Jacob Struggles with the Angel, from the Gutenberg Bible

Image in the Public Domain

Wrestling with God

JULY 28, 2019

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Blessed Lord, who caused all holy Scriptures to be written for our learning:

Grant us so to hear them, read, mark, learn, and inwardly digest them,

that we may embrace and ever hold fast the blessed hope of life,

which you have given us in our Savior Jesus Christ,  who lives and reigns

with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.  Amen.

The Book of Common Prayer (1979), page 236

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Genesis 32:3-31 or Isaiah 14:5-20

Psalm 15

1 Corinthians 3:10-23

Matthew 10:1-15

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Jacob had been wrestling all his life.  In the womb he and his brother Esau had struggled with each other.  Jacob had, so to speak, wrestled with Esau during childhood and adulthood.  Jacob had also been wrestling with himself.  On the eve of what turned out to be reconciliation with Esau, Jacob literally wrestled with God or an angel in human form and received a blessing, as well as a limp.  Jacob, literally “supplanter,” also became Israel, literally “may God rule.”

I admire Judaism, from which I learn much.  One aspect of Judaism I find especially helpful is struggling with God as part of a relationship with God.  One finds evidence of that collective struggle throughout the Hebrew Bible.  One also finds evidence of divine judgment and mercy, hence restoration following exile.  The reading from Isaiah 14 is a song of taunting against the defeated Babylonian/Neo-Chaldean monarch.

According to the high standards of Psalm 15, not one of we mere mortals has any hope, except via grace.  Moral perfectionism is an impossible standard, but we should still strive to be the best versions of ourselves we can be.

St. Paul the Apostle wrote to the quarrelsome Corinthian church that it was God’s temple.  (The “you” is plural in the reading.)  That congregation needed to shape up and come closer to its spiritual potential.  Unfortunately, as anyone who has studied the (First) Letter to the Corinthians from St. Clement (I) of Rome (circa 100) should know, the congregation remained quarrelsome and troublesome for at least a generation after St. Paul’s demise.

As my father taught me, troubled people cause trouble..  They are like Jacob.  They are wrestling, metaphorically, with themselves and others.  Perhaps they are wrestling with God also.  In the meantime, in the context of congregational life, are holding a church back, and other members of that community are permitting them to do so.  This is a dynamic present in come congregations I have observed.

One progression in the Gospel of Matthew is the expansion of the audience for the message.  The audience in 7:6 consists of Jews.  Yet, in 28:19, the audience is

all nations.

I, as a Gentile, am grateful for this expansion of the audience.  Through it the wisdom of Judaism, has come to me.  As I struggle with God, others, and myself, I hope that I cause no trouble in churches.  I hope that I am improving spiritually.  I hope that people will recognize the light of Christ in me.  To the extent any of this comes true, God deserves all the glory.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

JULY 24, 2018 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF THOMAS À KEMPIS, ROMAN CATHOLIC MONK, PRIEST, AND SPIRITUAL WRITER

THE FEAST OF JOHN NEWTON, ANGLICAN PRIEST AND HYMN WRITER

THE FEAST OF WALTER RAUSCHENBUSCH, U.S. BAPTIST MINISTER AND THEOLOGIAN OF THE SOCIAL GOSPEL

THE FEAST OF SAINTS VINCENTIA GEROSA AND BARTHOLOMEA CAPITANIO, COFOUNDERS OF THE SISTERS OF CHARITY OF LOVERE

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https://blogatheologica.wordpress.com/2018/07/24/wrestling-with-god-part-ii/

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Devotion for Proper 11, Year A (Humes)   2 comments

Above:  Jacob and Rachel, by Palma Vecchio

Image in the Public Domain

God Cares

JULY 21, 2019

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Blessed Lord, who caused all holy Scriptures to be written for our learning:

Grant us so to hear them, read, mark, learn, and inwardly digest them,

that we may embrace and ever hold fast the blessed hope of life,

which you have given us in our Savior Jesus Christ,  who lives and reigns

with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.  Amen.

The Book of Common Prayer (1979), page 236

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Genesis 29:1-6, 10-28 or Isaiah 13:6-16

Psalm 14

1 Corinthians 3:1-9

Matthew 9:9-13, 27-34

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A recurring theme in the Hebrew Bible is people tricking tricksters–in this case, Laban tricking Jacob.  What comes around, comes around.

The condemnations of evil and the predictions of divine wrath on the day of the LORD continue in Isaiah 13:6-16.  Passages such as these belie the claim of the benighted, evil, foolish people who tell themselves in Psalm 14 that God does not care, a translation more to the point than the standard

There is no God.

Practical atheism, not theoretical atheism, is the matter in Psalm 14.

The Incarnation confirms that God cares.  The Church is the building of God, metaphorically; God is the builder; Jesus is the foundation.  Jesus seeks out sinners to reform and heals blindness.  Yet there is more than one variety of blindness; spiritual blindness seems more stubborn than literal blindness in some stories of Christ healing people.

What comes around, goes around, and God cares.  God cares enough to let us learn from our mistakes.  God cares enough to grant us opportunities to reform.  God cares enough to invite us take messages of God to others.  God cares enough to tend to physical needs.  God cares enough to reintegrate us into community life.

God cares.  Do we?  Do we care enough?

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

JULY 24, 2018 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF THOMAS À KEMPIS, ROMAN CATHOLIC MONK, PRIEST, AND SPIRITUAL WRITER

THE FEAST OF JOHN NEWTON, ANGLICAN PRIEST AND HYMN WRITER

THE FEAST OF WALTER RAUSCHENBUSCH, U.S. BAPTIST MINISTER AND THEOLOGIAN OF THE SOCIAL GOSPEL

THE FEAST OF SAINTS VINCENTIA GEROSA AND BARTHOLOMEA CAPITANIO, COFOUNDERS OF THE SISTERS OF CHARITY OF LOVERE

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https://blogatheologica.wordpress.com/2018/07/24/god-cares-part-vi/

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