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Year A, Ordinary 17, 2017 – Winning!

July 27, 2017 / Molly Douthett / Ordinary Time

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.


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.


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.


Image credit: Copyright: maxborovkov / 123RF Stock Photo. Used by permission.


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One thought on “Year A, Ordinary 17, 2017 – Winning!

  • I used the labeled blocks and box from Romans 8 Eye Smart. I used 2 old video tape boxes taped together and wrapped each pair with a legal size page on which I had printed the things that won’t separate us from the love of God. I pulled them out one at a time and described how it might work in your life stacked them up as I went. By the end I had a stack almost 3 feet high.

    I also used the Math Smart chart to categorize my blocks, using a newsprint pad, which pushed the point that these things really cover all aspects of our life.

    Then I said something to the effect, “You might stand up against any one of these, or even some of them, but no mortal can prevail against all of them! [pause] …. But GOD can!” Instead of a big box I used a cardboard trifold presentation thingie like you would use for a science fair. I put a big label on the back that said “Love of God in Christ,” and stood it up in front of my stack. “God transforms our no-win situation by the absolute love of Christ into a no-lose scenario.”

    It worked really well, apparently, as several people told me it was super effective. One guy took a picture, which I’ll post somewhere if I can.

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