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October 24, 2021 Twenty-second Sunday after Pentecost “The Blind Shall See”

FIRST READING         Jeremiah 31:7-9     This passage speaks not only of the southern kingdom, Judah, and its homecoming from exile in Babylon, but also of the northern kingdom (“Israel” or “Ephraim”) and its restoration. The northern tribes of Israel had been lost in exile to Assyria more than a century before Jeremiah prophesied. 7For thus says the Lord: Sing aloud with gladness…

October 17, 2021 Twenty-first Sunday after Pentecost “Calling Shotgun”

FIRST READING             Isaiah 53:4-12 This reading is from the last of four passages in Isaiah that are often called “servant songs.” Christians are probably most familiar with this servant song. In light of Christian faith, the servant’s healing ministry and redemptive suffering are understood to be fulfilled in the life and death of Christ. 4Surely he has borne our infirmities and…

September 26, 2021 Eighteenth Sunday after Pentecost “Wandering, With A Purpose”

FIRST READING           Numbers 11:4-6, 10-16, 24-29 What constitutes legitimate need and legitimate leadership is the focus of this reading. God provides manna in the wilderness, yet the people crave meat. What is truly needful? God bestows the spirit on seventy elders, yet two men not designated as leaders prophesy in the power of God’s spirit. What constitutes real leadership? 4The rabble…

September 19, 2021 Seventeenth Sunday after Pentecost “What Is Life Worth?”

FIRST READING          Jeremiah 11:18-20 Today’s reading tells of the suffering of the prophet Jeremiah, who announced God’s word to Judah but was met with intense opposition and persecution. Jeremiah continues to trust in God in the midst of his suffering. 18It was the Lord who made it known to me, and I knew; then you showed me their evil deeds. 19But I was like…

September 12, 2021 Sixteenth Sunday after Pentecost “Messianic Secret”

FIRST READING            Isaiah 50:4-9a The image of the servant of the Lord is one of the notable motifs in the book of Isaiah. Today’s reading describes the mission of the servant, whom early Christians associated with Jesus. Like Jesus, the servant does not strike back at his detractors but trusts in God’s steadfast love. 4The Lord God has given me the tongue…

September 5, 2021 Fifteenth Sunday after Pentecost “Just Keep Swimming (With Love!)”

FIRST READING                 Isaiah 35:4-7a These verses are a word of hope to the exiles in Babylon. Isaiah 34 portrays God’s vengeance on Edom, Israel’s age-old enemy, which makes the path from Babylon to Zion safe for the exiles’ return. The desert itself will flow with water to give drink to the returning exiles. 4Say to those who are of a fearful…

August 29, 2021 Fourteenth Sunday after Pentecost “Evil (and Good) Within”

FIRST READING             Deuteronomy 4:1-2, 6-9 The Israelites believed the law was a divine gift that provided guidelines for living out the covenant. Moses commands the people to obey the law and to neither add to nor subtract it from it. The Israelites are also to teach the law to their children and their children’s children. 1So now, Israel, give heed…

August 22, 2021 Thirteenth Sunday after Pentecost “To whom—or what—do we go?”

FIRST READING          Joshua 24:1-2a, 14-18 In the Near East, covenant means “agreement” or “alliance.” It describes relationships and is the primary word used to characterize the relationship between God and Israel. By delivering Israel, God has already begun the relationship. Joshua calls upon the people to respond. 1Then Joshua gathered all the tribes of Israel to Shechem, and…