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Year B, Ordinary 3 (Epiphany3), 2018 – Time’s Up!

January 17, 2018 / Molly Douthett / Epiphany, Ordinary Time

Greetings!! Welcome back to the show! Do you remember taking tests while in school and hearing the teacher call out, “Time’s up!” and what that felt like? Have you ever played a game where you are racing against the clock to complete a task? Have you ever felt that time was simply against you? Or, have you sensed time moving onward to a future that shows signs of being very different? Geoffery Chaucer gets the credit for the phrase time and tide wait for no man, but Jonah, Paul, and Jesus all pre-date him significantly with admonitions to pay attention. Jonah is sent by God to proclaim to Nineveh that time is running out for them, so repent. Paul instructs the Corinthians to live as though Jesus will return any moment, and Jesus himself tells us that “the time is fulfilled”. All three passages reveal how God controls reality and God’s intention for humanity to find its fulfillment in what God has created. 


This week’s texts are:

Jonah 3:1-5, 10 [01:59]

We pick up the story of Jonah just after the large fish has deposited him back on dry land. We are back at the beginning and once again, the word of the Lord comes to Jonah and reiterates the charge to go to Nineveh and preach repentance. Jonah apparently only needs to be swallowed by a great fish one time, because he finally goes where he’s told. Pull out the maps to show where Nineveh was for EYE smart special effect. Also, since this is the second time around for Jonah, we have a suggestion to demonstrate that with clapperboards and boxing ring signs. To illustrate the frustration of being a prophet, try using the TV show linked below (or the other ones we suggest in the show). Jonah’s sermon was basic and uninspired – but it was ridiculously effective! We have an EYE smart special effect that demonstrates how God can use even our weak efforts to further God’s purposes. For BODY smart, bring in some burlap. For NATURE smart, we have some ideas using withered, dry seeds. And for PEOPLE smart, we invite you to imagine how difficult Jonah’s task was by comparing it to some contemporary places that could stand in for Nineveh. 

  • Smarts – Eye [03:26], Body [07:45], Nature [09:18], People [10:44]
  • Jonah 3 worksheet
  • Links in Jonah


1 Corinthians 7:19-21 [12:05]

In order to communicate just how important Jesus’ resurrection is to our reality, Paul writes these short verses to the Corinthians. He uses simile to convince them that their lives are no longer the same and to live accordingly. Those of us who speak English have sometimes misinterpreted his directions because we do not understand what he means by “the time has grown short”. In Greek, the word is kairos which has a much different quality than chronos – which is what we hear when we see that word. We think of the clock – tick tock tick tock – and not the larger essence of time on a universal scale. In WORD smart, we have a link to a book that might help you illustrate the difference between the two Greek words. For MATH and MUSIC smart, we found some mathematic formulas and lyrics that might help illustrate the difference, as well. In SELF smart, we have some questions about the energy devoted to different obligations and how realigning our understanding of time may allow us to re-channel some of it.


Mark 1:14-20 [23:08]

As this passage begins, Jesus has adopted the message of his cousin John. We were struck by how much his sermon sounds like Jonah’s. Of course, Jesus is much more impassioned and truly cares about the people to whom he is preaching. We have a suggestion for a WORD smart special effect to demonstrate how direct this speech is. Jesus calls four fishermen to become his disciples. In EYE smart, we have some illustrations that call to mind the change in their lives using a railroad switch and an artist’s work using fishing nets. For a special effect, demonstrate the word “fulfilled” using water glasses and solar eclipses. For NATURE smart, consider how Jesus baited the hook to catch Simon, Andrew, James, and John. Also, we have a link to a story about learning to trust the power of water currents. Going back to the topic of bait, we wonder how Jesus would bait hooks for the members of your congregation in PEOPLE smart. We also have a story about leadership that follows Jesus. And in SELF smart, relive your own call – how did Jesus lure you?

  • Smarts – Word [24:07], Eye [25:12], Nature [27:53], People [29:24], Self [31:04]
  • Mark 1  worksheet
  • Links in Mark
    • EYE smart –
    • NATURE smart –
    • PEOPLE smart –
      • A story about desegregation when black congregations sent out delegates to white churches.


Image Credit: Copyright: sergign / 123RF Stock Photo. Used by permission.


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