1 Kings 21:1-10, (11-14), 15-21a; Psalm 5:1-8; (2 Samuel 11:26-12:10, 13-15; Psalm 32;) Galatians 2:15-21; Luke 7:36-8:3
1 Samuel 15:34 - 16:13; Psalm 20; (Ezekiel 17:22-24; Psalm 92:1-4, 12-15;) 2 Corinthians 5:6-10, (11-13), 14-17; Mark 4:26-34
Genesis 18:1-15, (21:1-7); Psalm 116:1-2, 12-19; (Exodus 19:2-8a; Psalm 100;) Romans 5:1-8; Matthew 9:35-10:8, (9-23)
One of my seminary teachers once said that if you can’t think of anything original to preach, you should tell Bible stories—they have enough power to turn people’s hearts toward God. This may not work with every text, but it certainly works with the drama and wisdom of the story of Naboth and the story of the woman who washes Jesus’ feet with her tears.
When I read the lectionary texts for this week, I was disappointed. Give me texts of David sinning, Amos raging against the “cows” of Bashan or Jesus again in trouble for loving outcasts. These I can run with. But don’t give me Paul always confident, walking by faith and not sight, apparently really feeling he’d rather be at home with the Lord than in his body, regarding no one from a human point of view.
When I take a long road trip, the route I choose depends on whether I am driving my car or riding my motorcycle. If I have a tight time line, I drive my car. I prefer to travel on interstate highways if possible. My priority is to get to my destination quickly; I map out a route, set the cruise control, turn on the radio, fly through the countryside and stop only when absolutely necessary.
Each of the four Gospels tells about the woman who anoints Jesus while he is at table, and in each Gospel someone sharply rebukes her for her action. But Luke is unique: unlike event as told the other three Gospels, the act of anointing as told in Luke does not portend Jesus’ death. Instead, hospitality and table fellowship are the recurrent themes, and they are a clue to the meaning of this parable.