Year C, Ordinary 9, 2016 – Trust and Obey
I had to turn on Pandora to get rid of the ear worm the title for this post gave me.
Trust runs through each of the passages for this week. In 1 Kings 18, Elijah explicitly asks the people of Israel how long they will continue limping along indecisively after God, neither following nor turning away. He arranges a big show to get them off the fence and make up their minds who they will trust. Paul is very surprised to discover the disciples in Galatia have so quickly deserted the teaching he gave them. They, too, are easily distracted and have been of two minds about the Gospel. In stark contrast, a Roman centurion in Luke reveals absolute certainty that his request to Jesus will not only be met, but met with Jesus’ full attention promptly. Jesus is amazed at his faith and even though he and the centurion never see each other face to face in this exchange, Jesus answers his prayer.
This week’s texts are:
1 Kings 18:20-21,(22-29) 30-39 – [02:15] – This passage has all the intelligences –
with the exception of music – and they are all utilized by Elijah himself in the course of the story. (David suggested that the Charlie Daniels classic “The Devil Went Down to Georgia” has a similar feel of a high stakes contest, so we found a music illustration!) We have illustrations and special effects for all nine intelligences but decided to look only at four. We began by concentrating our attention on word smart looking at Elijah’s trash talking the priests of Ba’al and Ba’al himself. This was a pretty bold move considering they outnumbered him 450:1. We take those numbers in math smart and illustrate just how lopsided the contest seemed to be, vis a vis servants of YHWH and Ba’al. Since Elijah was an army of one in this contest, we wondered how difficult it would be to build an altar to the LORD all by oneself in nature smart. The parallel silence between the people of Israel and Ba’al illustrate trust in self smart. The people could not find it in themselves to trust God at the beginning of the story and Ba’al proved himself untrustworthy by not being able to answer the prayers of 450 priests.
- Smarts – Word [03:29], Math [05:17], Nature [06:32], Self [08:25]
- 1Kings 18 worksheet
Galatians 1:1-12 [09:42] – Paul begins his letter to the Galatians with the usual greeting – but slips in a statement about who gave him his commission. That’s the first clue this letter is going to be different. The second clue (see Audrey West’s commentary) is the omission of a statement of thanksgiving. Those two subtle things – one addition and one omission – catch our attention. By verse six, Paul has the proscribed opening out of the way and gets right to the heart of the matter. He is blown away by the Galatians faithlessness. We use spike strips in eye smart to illustrate Paul’s state of mind and consider the effects surprising news has on the body in that smart. Fundamental laws of physics in nature smart illustrate and demonstrate Paul’s theology about the resurrection. To demonstrate the confusion bred in the minds and hearts of the Galatians, we have a little fun with a Let’s Make a Deal type skit in people smart.
- Smarts – Eye [11:21], Body [12:53], Nature [14:20], People [19:11]
- Galatians 1 worksheet
Luke 7:1-10 [20:10] – Luke often uses the people outside the circle of Israel as examples of someone who places trust in Jesus. I think there is a two fold reason for this. One reason may be to encourage the Jewish hearers of his Gospel to open up their imaginations a bit as to who is allowed into the circle of Jesus’ salvation. The other reason is to assure those outside the circle they have a place inside it. This story of Jesus healing a centurion’s slave is explicitly both. In word smart, we explore the centurion’s trust in Jesus’ capacity to simply say a word and have his commands met. This story has a lot of movement from here to there, so in eye smart, we suggest a demonstration that could really be a lot of fun for adventurous volunteers in your congregation! And in people and self smart, we suggest some ideas to use the confidence of the centurion for the good of the Body.
- Smarts – Word [22:00], Eye [25:09], People [26:06], Self [28:02]
- Luke 7 worksheet
… in 1 Kings
- Trash talk definition
- Trash talk example
- … trash talk?
- The Sandlot, 1993
- Elijah rebuilds the altar – digitally – and God responds
- The Louisiana State Capitol building
- Stone altar and another one
- Michael Chan at Working Preacher
… in Galatians
- Mary Hinkle Shore at Working Preacher
- Severe tire damage
- “gobsmacked” defined
- Thermodynamics – reversible and irreversible processes
- Double decker car “Zonk” – Let’s Make a Deal
- avoiding the “zonk” pie
… in Luke
- Commentary by D. Mark Davis at Left Behind and Loving It
- an emergency 9-1-1 call
- sermon by Alan Brehm at The Waking Dreamer
Chain of Command – Luke passage