We are still learning what it means to be human, even as we learn who God truly is.
Season after Pentecost | 24th Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year B)
Isaiah 50:4-9a (Psalm 116:1-9 or Wisdom of Solomon 7:26-8:1); James 3:1-12; Mark 8:27-38 | Semi-continuous first reading: Proverbs 1:20-33 (Psalm 19)
As I read the headline yesterday, my heart began to pound and my throat closed up: “School Clerk In Georgia Persuaded Gunman To Lay Down Weapons.” This was a good story—ultimately a hopeful one—but all I could see was “school” and “gunman."
Sometimes preaching in a lectionary church is like being Philip in Acts 8—the Spirit plucks us up and drops us where ever she darn well pleases. It is necessarily this way, certainly. Between the thematic requirements of the seasons of the church year and the sheer length of the four Gospels spread out over 156 Sundays, there is no way we can read all four in their entirety in three years. So, we skip stuff. Especially in Year B, as we try to mash the shortest Gospel, Mark, together with the other Gospel, John, together in some supposedly coherent way.
by Steve PankeySeptember 21, 2012
Recently, a friend and I were talking about how disturbed and saddened we’ve been by the hateful and decidedly unchristian words spoken by self-proclaimed Christian leaders in recent years. The examples are too numerous to cite, and each has its own agenda of hatred and division. I complained that it was so deeply unfair that such intolerant and offensive perspectives were being allowed to speak for me and all other Christians. My friend offered a profound and simple response: “Chris, they only speak for you if you don’t speak for yourself.”