Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Scripture Reading for Sunday, July 23, 2017

Sisters and Brothers in Christ,

I hope everyone came through last night's storms without too much damage.

Thank you to all the people at Grey Eagle UMC for making the garage sale a huge success. Your help was vital to its success.

Here are our readings for this coming week. (Full disclosure - most of what you read below was written in 2014. I have added some and corrected errors)

Genesis 28:10-19a – In last week’s reading, Jacob cheats Esau, his older twin brother, out of his birthright. In Chapter 27 Jacob cheats his father, Isaac, into giving him the blessing that was intended for Esau. At the beginning of chapter 28, Rebekah, Jacob’s mom and Isaac’s wife, convinces Isaac to send Jacob back to the family homeland to get a wife. This will also keep Jacob safe from Esau’s murderous hatred. (Jacob ends up with two wives, two concubines, and twelve sons.) In our reading this week, Jacob is on the way back Palestine and his brother Esau. He stops for the night to get some sleep using a stone for a pillow (ouch!!). There he has a dream of a ladder to heaven and angels ascending and descending. The LORD (Yahweh) appears in the dream and repeats the promise of offspring and a nation that the LORD promised to Abraham.

Psalm 139:1-12, 23-24 – A psalm about God from whom we cannot escape, who is with us wherever we go, and who knows us entirely. In the NRSV, the version of the Bible I use, the second half of verse 8 says, “. . . if I make my bed in Sheol, you (God) are there.” So, in your understanding, what is “Sheol”?

OR Wisdom of Solomon 12:13, 16-19 – Pastor Gary, where is this in my Bible as I can’t find it? If you have any Protestant Bible then you will not find it. What you will need is a Bible with the Apocrypha or will need a Catholic Bible. Or you could just follow this link: 

or Isaiah 44:4-6 – God declares that there is really no other god and we are God’s witnesses.

Psalm 86:11-17 – The psalmist asks God to teach him God’s ways for God’s steadfast love has sustained and protected her. Verse 15 is a prominent theme of the Old Testament: “But you, O Lord, are a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness."

Romans 8:12-25 – Here are a few of the key points of this passage. If we are led by the Spirit (which Paul affirms in verse 9) then we are the children of God. When we cry out to God, it is the Spirit witnessing to us that we are God’s children, adopted into the family, and heirs to God’s kingdom with our now brother Jesus Christ. Whatever we suffer in this present world will be made up by the glory of God’s revelation. All of creation awaits that revelation so it will be free of decay and rot. We currently have the first fruits of the Spirit and as we wait for the revelation we wait with hope with patience.

Matthew 13:24-30, 36-43 – The parable of the weeds. The first section is the telling of the parable and the second section is the explanation. A person sows wheat in a field. At night someone else sows weeds in the same field. In Jesus’s world there was a plant, thought to be 
darnel (link here), which looked like wheat in the early stages of growth so that you couldn’t tell the difference. To try to weed out the darnel risked pulling out the wheat. It is not until the darnel and wheat mature can the farmer tell the difference (wheat becomes brown and darnel becomes black). Darnel can also be infected with a poisonous fungus, hence the need to separate the darnel from the wheat at harvest time. Now remember, parables are designed to make us think. Setting aside the explanation given in 36-43, what other ideas can this parable generate?

Have a great week serving God by serving others.

Peace in Christ,
Pastor Gary Taylor

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