Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Readings for Sunday, January 20, 2013

Thank you to all who helped with the two funerals I had yesterday (Walt Knudsen) and today (Laurence Karnes). Your help and work brought comfort to the families of these two gentlemen. Thank you!

Our readings this week are:

Isaiah 62:1-5 – In this oracle, the Lord declares that he will not rest until Zion (another name for Jerusalem) is restored to its former glory (like a crown or diadem) and all the world’s leaders will take notice. In verses 4 and 5, the Lord’s joy for this restored Zion will be like a new husband’s delight in his new wife. I think this metaphor works the other way also: as a new wife delights in her new husband.

Psalm 36:5-10 – This Psalm is in the form of ABA` but the lectionary chooses only to use B. The first section, A, verses 1-4, is about those who follow evil and ignore the Lord. The third section, A`, verses 11-12, is a plea to God to keep the evil people away. Our reading, the center section B, is about God’s steadfast love, faithfulness, and righteous judgment. B is good, but B is better with A and A`.

1 Corinthians 12:1-11 – This is the classic Paul statement on the gifts of the Spirit. Paul takes pains to point out that though there are many gifts, all gifts should be used for the common good. A gift, no matter what it is, if not used for the common good of the believing community is really no gift of all. What are your gifts and how can you use it or them for the common good of our churches?

John 2:1-11 – The Gospel of John is often thought of as the book of signs. This familiar story is the first sign of Jesus. The last sign might be thought of as either Jesus crucified on the cross or the empty tomb. In our story who is the primary actor who commands the people? Churches often have people who seem to take charge. Sometimes it is only in certain situations but sometime they seem to be in charge all the time. Can this be a problem for our church? Are we sometime reluctant (like Jesus?) to take orders from these persons? Back to the story: how is this miracle a “sign” for the disciples? Do we need signs?

Have a great week serving the Lord!

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