Year A, Ordinary 17, 2017 – Winning!
Hey everyone! We apologize for our tardiness getting the show out this week. Real life has been pulling us away from our laptops, which is a very good thing for our real world relationships, but not so great for our productivity. The clash between what we hope to do and what is actually happening is a bit like Jacob in the Genesis passage for this week, except we don’t wake up to discover we have married someone else. In Romans, Paul’s declaration that nothing – including deadlines – will separate us from the love of God gives us peace. Jesus gives us five parables recorded in Matthew’s gospel extolling the abundant growth and exceeding value of the kingdom of heaven. Our wee podcast may be like a mustard seed; small and seemingly insignificant, but with the nourishment of the Spirit, it may grow to provide blessings for many. We pray it will, anyway!
This week’s texts are:
Genesis 29:15-28 [03:00]
As with the stories that precede this one, the passage for today is WORD smart wealthy. The drama of being with the “wrong” person fuels many soap operas and romance novels. (We could not find any written by the Russian romance novelist Nikolai Riptzercorzetzov, though.) [;-)] Passion, betrayal, confrontation – we have everything needed to get the heart racing. So we wonder where people might feel this story in BODY smart. We also wonder in PEOPLE smart who folks might find themselves identifying with as the story unfolds. Would it be Jacob, the trickster who is tricked? Maybe it is Laban, the smooth player who orchestrates the trick, or Rachel, the bride who is wanted and left standing on the sidelines, or Leah, the bride who is offered and rejected. In isolation, this story is full of human intrigue but not much hope or grace. To find those elements, you may need to step back from this scene and include the larger backdrop of the entire covenant cycle and God’s faithfulness to the promise in spite of human folly.
- Smarts – Word [05:02], Body [06:26], People [08:40]
- Genesis 29 worksheet
- Links in Genesis
- WORD smart –
- EYE smart –
- Michelangelo’s “Leah and Rachel” – one of many art offerings!
- BODY smart –
- PEOPLE smart –
- Quote from Chabad.org on the two sisters
- This story of complicated wedding relationships in India
- According to this, a hog trough may be involved in marrying the younger daughter prior to the elder. Really.
- More references to this eldest-first custom may be found here
- Cheaters being cheated?
Romans 8:26-39 [12:24]
Paul encourages believers to pray consistently, even if they do not know what to pray for. We have an eternal translator working to make our hearts known to God, sort of a celestial translator. In WORD smart, you might illustrate this translator using the examples we provide. While there is a lot of good theological meat on the bones of this passage, it is rather long. David wrote a choral reading for this passage which may help people hear the WORDs with new ears. We were taken with the idea of being transformed into the image of Christ and found a fun program that morphs faces for you to try out in EYE smart (see the link below). The illustrations and special effects we offer for MATH smart have a strong EYE smart element in them, but there is a logic to them as well. Living into the image of Christ may be like children trying on their parents’ clothes which we suggest as an illustration for PEOPLE smart. We also have an idea to demonstrate nothing keeping us from Jesus’ love.
- Smarts – Word [14:00], Eye [16:00], Math [17:48], People [21:00]
- Romans 8 worksheet
- Links in Romans
Matthew 13:31-33, 44-52 [21:59]
The parables are WORD smart wealthy, so we looked at some of the details for material for the other intelligences. In MATH smart, we looked at the amount of flour the woman used to make bread. It turns out to be enough to feed far more than merely herself and her household. (Follow the link below “The Bread Monk”.) For NATURE smart, find a recipe for bread, and make it while you preach. Then offer it to the congregation. And in SELF smart, we have a mini-devotion that you and members of your flock can use.
- Smarts – Math [23:30], Music [26:10], Nature [26:47], Self [28:13]
- Matthew 13 worksheet
- Links in GOSPEL
Image credit: Copyright: maxborovkov / 123RF Stock Photo. Used by permission.