Preaching to the Choir

These are some sermons, but mostly lectionary discussions. It also has prayers for some Sundays.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Lectionary Discussion for Aug. 3, 20o8

August 3, 2008Ordinary Time/Twelfth Sunday after Pentecost

Genesis 32:22-31 Jacob wrestles with the angel and has his hip put out of joint. He gets a name change and a blessing from the angel. No longer will he have the name "Grabber" (Jacob) but now he will be called "Wrestler-with-God" (Israel). 32:30 tells us; So Jacob called the place Peniel, saying, "For I have seen God face to face, and yet my life is preserved." How poignant. Perhaps when we see God face to face we too have had life altering experiences. Perhaps that is why so few want to really see and experience God. And perhaps that is why so few churches want to really see and experience God. If preaching this it is helpful to set the context of the passage that Jacob is heading home to meet Esau. What does this say about our God and about us in relation to God and to others? When have you wrestled with God and what were you left with?

Psalm 17:1-7, 15 (UMH 749)

Romans 9:1-5 Paul writes with passion his deep anguish and sorrow for his people, the Israelites that have it all. Perhaps we need to ask when is it we have felt such passion and concern for someone(s) who did not know Jesus? And if we feel the compassion for them what are we doing to reach them?

Matthew 14:13-21 Jesus tries to withdraw after hearing of the death of John the Baptist but is unable. And when he meets the crowd he is moved to compassion on them, but the disciples want to send them away for lack of food and the time of day it is. Jesus will have none of that and tells them they are to give them something to eat. Thus comes the story of the five loaves and two fish feeding the five thousand. Matthew's Gospel includes two near-duplicate stories (see also Matthew 15:32-39) which are close parallels of two in Mark (6:32-44 and 8:1-10). Luke (9:10-17) and John (6:1-13) also include the "feeding of the five thousand" or a parallel. Jesus told the disciples to feed them, what is he telling us to do today? Who is it that is hungry in your community? How are you feeding them? Vs 19 reminds of our communion words, maybe you are celebrating communion Sunday. At the end there was plenty to go around. How is that we the churches till believe in scarcity and not a God of abundance? What will it take for us to believe differently? And yet we live in a country with abundance, we throw out tons of food daily, while there are areas of the world starving.

What are thinking, which way are you headed for Sunday?


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