Year A, Ordinary 7, 2017 – Bonus Material*
* Just the title. Not really bonus material. This time.
Greetings!! Welcome back! As I was poking about online looking for a reason why some texts were paired with the other texts in the lectionary, I came across this article written by Gail O’Day at Ministry Matters. Ordering our worshipping life together has some pretty long roots – even though the current design for readings goes back only to the Second Vatican Council. What got me to wondering is that sometimes, we really scratch our heads as to why certain texts are paired with others. If I were a liturgical sommelier, there would be some weeks I would drop everything and cower in a closet rather than try to make a pairing. Other times, the texts co-operate fully and work together. I think this Sunday is one of those times. In Leviticus, Moses is giving the people a bit more muscle for the basic bones of the commandments. In Matthew, Jesus is still preaching his sermon on the Mount and is exercising those muscles and giving them strength and definition. In the Corinthians passage, Paul is encouraging the believers to consider the types of materials they will use to build the temple of their lives in which God’s Holy Spirit will dwell. Sort of a spiritual gymnasium for working out, if you will. So each of the texts is providing the faithful with bonus material to build up the spiritual body for the good of all, or a way of thinking about what good materials they should be using to build their lives of faith.
This week’s texts are:
Leviticus 19:1-18 [02:00]
The music and rhythm of Torah is on full display in these verses, which we think could be fun to explore in Music Smart. In Nature Smart, we learn that gleaning is an ancient practice that benefits both the landowners and those who need food. Did you know it is still practiced here in the United States? We have a link below to the United States Department of Agriculture that outlines some gleaning projects. Our special effect in People Smart could be a lot of fun, so we highly recommend it! And in Self Smart, we consider the dangerous effects of enacting vengeance on one’s own. NOT recommended.
- Smarts – Music [03:50], Nature [05:25], People [07:30], Self [08:35]
- Leviticus 19 worksheet
- Links in Leviticus
1 Corinthians 3:10-23 [10:49]
Paul wants the Christians in Corinth to think carefully about the type of life they are building around the faith he has conveyed to them. He uses the image of a temple to focus their attention. So in Eye Smart, we wonder how images of different worship spaces might get our own thoughts rolling. Paul tells them to choose wisely because their materials will be tested in the fire of the judgement day, which we think could be a very interesting special effect. Using the same idea of the body as a temple, we have some ideas to play with this in Body Smart. In Nature Smart, we stay with fire and the ignition temperatures for various materials (see links below) and think inviting a firefighter to speak would be an awesome special effect. And may happen anyway if you choose to do these burns in worship and things get out of hand! And finally in People Smart, we have a question about leadership for an illustration and encourage you to go find the blueprints for your own building.
- Smarts – Eye [12:13], Body [15:07], Nature [17:38], People [18:58]
- 1Corinthians 3 worksheet
- Links in 1 Corinthians
Matthew 5:38-48 [19:59]
Jesus continues his sermon and re-interprets – or fulfills – some points of the law. He is telling the people nothing new. As a matter of fact, what he is teaching has been around for a while and has likely become just background noise. So in order to get the disciples’ attention, Jesus takes old ideas and reinvigorates them with fresh language, which we look at in Word Smart. We have an interesting suggestion to try the same thing as a special effect; if you try it, please let us know how it goes! The logic of loving your enemy involves adding infinity to the equation which we do in Math Smart. Body Smart has several possibilities including throwing fake punches, imagining sporting events where personal fouls do not happen, and a link to an article by Walter Wink (see below). Jesus is serious about this loving your enemies stuff, and we have a suggestion to try it out in a Nature Smart special effect.
- Smarts – Word [21:17], Math [23:37], Body [26:38], Nature [29:07]
- Matthew 5 worksheet
- Links in Matthew
Image credit: Copyright: aquir / 123RF Stock Photo. Used by permission.