Archive for September, 2012

A profitable life?

Thursday, September 13th, 2012

Lessons for Sunday 16 September 2012
Sixteenth Sunday after Pentecost
Proper 19B (RCL)
Proverbs 1:20-33
Psalm 19
James 3:1-12
Mark 8:27-38

Too bad we get this part of Lady Wisdom’s speech in our lectionary, rather than her invitation to the meal. People are only too ready to (mis-)use this piece of her discourse when tragedy happens. In 1993, when the Mississippi and Missouri Rivers flooded in the midwest, people were happy to say it was because various governments had allowed riverboat gambling (I guess God doesn’t like gambling). When Hurricane Katrina damaged New Orleans, it was because our culture had gone soft on gays and lesbians. The difficulty is that Lady Wisdom doesn’t tell us what her reproof looks like. John Prine sings a song written by R. B. Morris, called, “That’s how every empire falls.” The last verse includes the lyrics, “If terror strikes without a warning, there must be something we don’t see.” So, how do we learn to look?

James seems to me like wisdom literature (more…)

Dogs?

Thursday, September 6th, 2012

9 September 2012
Fifteenth Sunday after Pentecost
Proper 18B (RCL)
Proverbs 22:1-2, 8-9, 22-23
Psalm 125
James 2:1-17
Mark 7:24-37

It will be very hard to refrain from preaching a political sermon this week! “Do not afflict the poor because they are poor.” “Don’t show favoritism.” It shouldn’t be hard to guess my political proclivities. But, we are called to preach the gospel, and all need to hear it.

I suppose the most troubling aspect of the scriptures this week is Jesus’ classification of the Syrophoenecian woman as a dog. There (more…)