Year A, Ordinary 12, 2017 – The Other Side
Hello, and welcome to this week’s show notes!
The phrase “the Other Side” is surprisingly evocative, and a little slippery, as it can refer to so many things. It might mean a physical location away from yourself – the other side of the room or of the road, for example. It’s where the grass is greener, and it’s why chickens cross roads. It can mean an opposing team in sports or the opposing party in politics. Sometimes we’re referring to a later time after an event, as in “We’ll meet you on the other side of the holidays when things settle down.” Sometimes we’re referring to death, or perhaps the spiritual realm beyond death – “She has passed to the other side.” Our texts for this week hold many of those flavors. In the story of Sarah and Hagar, the two rivals (sides?) finally find a conclusion to their struggles with each other, although it means one undergoes an ordeal. With God’s help, she makes out the other side. In the epistle to the Romans, Paul insists that those who have been baptized have crossed to the Other Side, through death into a new life. In the Gospel lesson, Jesus continues his instructions to the apostles on how to deal with adversaries to their ministry and the divisions they can expect because people will have to choose one side or the other. Perhaps these are just the sort of texts we should be working on in a world that seems desperately divided. It’s been said that whenever people draw a dividing line, Jesus is on the other side.
This week’s texts are:
Genesis 21:8-21 [01:59]
After last week’s joyful laughter at the birth of Isaac, the abrupt change of tone in this week’s passage may make us duck and cover. Sarah has weaned little Isaac and seeing him in company with Ishmael awakens fear for her son’s future. He is Abraham’s second son, and she is worried about primogeniture. Since he is the child through whom the covenant will be fulfilled, Sarah demands that Ishmael and his mother be cast out of Abraham’s protection. In MUSIC smart, we wonder if the passage could be written as poetry or set to music, as it has some poetic undertones to start with. In EYE smart, we determine how far Hagar went to get away from Ishmael’s cries. Is Sarah fulfilling the role of the Evil Stepmother? We look at that trope and other family drama in PEOPLE smart. And in SELF smart, how would you answer the question in verse seventeen if God were to ask you?
- Smarts – Eye [03:56], Music [06:13], People [08:05], Self [09:58]
- OT worksheet
- Links in Genesis 21
- EYE smart – The distance of a bowshot
- BODY smart – The effects of dehydration
- MUSIC smart – Structure of the passage from Mark Throntveit, Working Preacher
- NATURE smart – the wilderness of Beer-Sheba
- the desert of Paran
- PEOPLE – The wicked stepmother trope
Romans 6:1b-11 [10:31]
The Romans passage is all about baptism. Well, and sin. And new life! And death. And resurrection. And everything that is new about being part of Christ. Being baptized into Jesus means a new perspective and understanding of oneself for having gone through it, which means no turning back. In WORD smart, we illustrate this new outlook with George R. R. Martin’s saga Game of Thrones. We have several ideas for illustrations in MATH smart to demonstrate our congruence with Christ. The new life in Jesus stretches out over a lifetime, not unlike some self-care habits, which we illustrate in BODY smart. Baptism is much like crossing a boundary, and in NATURE smart, we illustrate this boundary crossing with mountain passes and bridges.
- Smarts – Word [11:49], Math [13:25], Body [16:44], Nature [17:35]
- EPISTLE worksheet
- Links in Romans 6
Matthew 10:24-39 [20:14]
This week, Jesus has a lot of instruction for the disciples. Nothing will ever be kept secret and in EYE smart, we give some ideas of things that can be uncovered. IN BODY smart, we look at the connection between the body and the soul. Sparrows show up in MUSIC smart and in PEOPLE smart, we have a movie and television show as illustrations for complicated family relationships and loyalties.
- Smarts – Eye [22:30], Body [24:55], Music [26:11], People [26:45]
- GOSPEL worksheet
- Links in Matthew 10
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