Hosea 11:1-11; Psalm 107:1-9, 43; (Ecclesiastes 1:2, 12-14 and 2:18-23; Psalm 49:1-12;) Colossians 3:1-11; Luke 12:13-21
Exodus 16:2-4, 9-15 (Psalm 78:23-29); Ephesians 4:1-16; John 6:24-35 | Semi-continuous first reading: 2 Samuel 11:26 - 12:13a (Psalm 51:1-12)
Genesis 32:22-31; Psalm 17:1-7, 15; (Isaiah 55:1-5; Psalm 145:8-9, 14-21;) Romans 9:1-5; Matthew 14:13-21
How do you summon compassion when you’re depleted?
It is the day after Jesus fed the 5,000. The picnic is over and Jesus has taken his disciples to the other side of the lake. But the crowds of people who shared the meal with him yesterday and who then tried to turn him into their king are not about to let him go.
Paul claims that no one is “out”—neither the people of Israel for not accepting the Christian story nor the non-Jewish people for not being part of Israel’s story.
Here in the rural upper Midwest, it seems every other person has a pole barn. Usually it’s full of old tires, a trailer, dozens of tools gathering rust, coffee cans loaded with lug nuts and screws. Ed and Edna’s place is pretty typical. Edna's cupboards, bureaus, garage, attic and spare bedroom have been crammed full of things that define her. (“Oh, you know Edna Furbelow,” says her neighbor, “she collected Hummels.”) Now that Edna has died and her husband’s pole barn has finally gotten emptied, everything must go.
As Christians, we are joined together, responsible for one another’s Christian walk and well-being. Paul talks about “one body and one spirit,” so when someone we know is in trouble—some metaphorical fuse is burning in his or her life—we’re there for that person, praying, talking, listening and helping. We “bear with one another in love,” with “humility, gentleness and patience.” Of course, it's easier to describe that kind of fellowship with good religious words than to actually pull it off.
The first covenant holds forever.