Year C, Ordinary 12, 2016 – In Our Right Mind
Our show is very late this week due to real life. We had to pull ourselves out of the news coming from Orlando, FL, and get back into podcasting mode. It’s been kind of tough. When I heard that there had been a shooting last Sunday, I was on my way to worship. The information was very basic and my thought was to add this to the morning prayers, which I did. After worship, I chose to listen to other music as I travelled about and so did not have the radio on for the rest of the afternoon. I did not fully know what had happened until I got home around 3PM and by then, the story was everywhere and will be for a while.
I suppose we can respond to this news in many ways, and I must admit one of them is to wish for a different era when mass shootings were not “just another one.” Yet, here we are, and Sunday is upon us. I truly hope there never comes a time when we allow horrible news like this to bounce off our weary and hardened shells. I think it is our task as worship leaders to stand in the gap with our Lord and Savior and reflect not only his love and mercy, but the lengths to which our fear and anger will take us. We are simultaneously a mirror for people to see how their actions destroy and a window to reveal how God intends for us to be with one another in this creation God calls good. May God bless us all as we gird ourselves to lead the people this week.
Reflections on Orlando
[01:55] We start the show this week with a few thoughts on the most recent violent episode in the U.S. news and the role of the preacher. We also offer a prayer for you and all who will attempt to address this terrible event with the grace of Jesus Christ.
This week’s texts are:
1 Kings 19:1-15a [05:01] – We’ve been jumping around a bit in the Old Testament readings for the past couple weeks. Today, we are going backwards from last week’s story about injustice done to Naboth in chapter 21 to the aftermath of the prophet Elijah’s encounter with the priests of Ba’al in chapter 18. Here at the beginning of chapter 19, word comes to Elijah that Jezebel is not at all pleased with the massacre of the prophets, and she threatens him with the same fate. Elijah believes she will do as she says and takes off from Mt. Carmel to Be’er Sheva and then further on to Mt. Horeb in the Sinai peninsula. It’s a long arduous journey which we track with maps using Eye smart. We also consider how a person endures such a trek in Body smart. In People smart, we look at a story about a Russian journalist who stood her ground by reporting about the KGB back in the mid 90’s. Her actions are the exact opposite of Elijah’s – although she did not have to contend with Jezebel!
- Smarts – Eye [10:02], Body [11:40], People [14:19]
- 1 Kings 19 worksheet
Galatians 3:23-29 [15:38] – Paul continues to plead with the Galatians to remember what he had previously taught them about Jesus and his mercy and grace. Remember, he is astonished at how quickly they had veered off the path he had set for them and returned to embrace the law. In this short section, Paul argues that the law is like a restrictive guardian who dogs every step we take making us prisoners to it. We took a closer look at what this meant and decided that Paul was likening the law to a pedagogue; a person tasked with seeing the children of the house to and from school and making sure they got their studies done. Which also made us think of Jiminy Cricket, and if you have seen Walt Disney’s Pinocchio, you know what we mean! We take a look at this in Eye smart. In Body smart, we have a suggestion for The Extra-Large T-shirt of Baptism, and in Self smart we wonder what it is like to take on another person’s identity. But in a good way, not a creepy-steal-your-money way.
- Smarts – Eye [17:11], Body [21:17], Self [22:00]
- Galatians 3 worksheet
Luke 8:26-39 [23:45] – Was it demons or mental illness? I have heard people describe their struggles with mental health as a fight against torment, so who’s to say that even with our modern understanding of the brain and how it functions that there isn’t room for the spiritual dimension of this process? Using Body smart, we also look at the physical aspect of mental and spiritual illness. We are completely integrated beings (or could be! or are meant to be!), and so when one part of us suffers the rest does, too. We consider the fear that flows through this story in People smart; the fear of the demons when they see Jesus, the fear of the people when they see this man now in his right mind and fully clothed. How does fear permeate our society. Then using Self smart, what are some ways we can look to Jesus to help us manage it and thus avoid another mass shooting?
- Smarts – Body [25:35], People [28:53], Self [30:39]
- Luke 8 worksheet
… in 1 Kings
… in Galatians
… in Luke