Year B, Ordinary 30 (Proper 25, Pentecost +23), 2018 – I See
Greetings!! Welcome back! As we introduced the passages for the week, we said we did not perceive a common thread running through them, but as I’ve pondered for a bit, I think the common thread is perception. Yeah, that’s a bit like chasing one’s tail there, but hang with me. In the Old Testament reading, Job comes to a different understanding of his situation after seeing the heights and depths and dimensions of God’s glory. In Hebrews, the author continues to present an image of Jesus as high priest who’s office will never end. And in Mark, Jesus asks a blind man the exact question he asked James and John last week – “what do you want me to do for you?” – and is told by the man that he wishes to see again. Being able to perceive one’s circumstances and turn from planned action, seeing Jesus as the One to whom we take our offerings, and having blind eyes opened are all ways we can say, “I see.” See?
This week’s texts are:
Job 42:1-6, (10-17) [01:58]
I think we had a difficult time finding material for this passage because it seems so rushed to be over. The whole story has this spectacular movement when God shows Job the universe, and then, after 40 chapters, it’s over when Job says, “I repent.” The ending is sudden. But, maybe that’s how quickly Job’s perception changed. In EYE smart, we suggest illustrating this sudden change with the experience you have when you meet a blind date for the first time. You’ve had someone “designed” in your imagination, and then they walk into the room. Or, like meeting someone you’ve been told a lot about and matching up what you’ve heard with what you are seeing. Or, seeing a radio personality and wrapping your head around what they really look like as opposed to what you thought they looked like. We have a fun way to demonstrate this with a special effect! So, Job repents of his previous perception of who God is. The word “repent” can also be translated as “recant” (some WORD smart definitions), which means to turn away from a planned course of action. In SELF smart, Job’s willingness to turn from his former intention to follow God’s will reveals humility. We have an extended quotation for an illustration and some questions for a special effect.
- Smarts – Eye [04:28], Self [07:27]
- Job 42 worksheet
Hebrews 7:23-28 [10:45]
The author of Hebrews makes a strong case for the supremacy of Jesus’ priesthood. As 21st century protestants, we may have a bit of trouble connecting with the idea, so David came up with a brilliant metaphor for BODY smart. We may not get “high priest,” but we certainly understand “referee.” We have a suggestion for a song in MUSIC smart, linked below. As I read the passage, an image came to mind of Jesus as an experienced trail guide, so I searched for information about NATURE trails and found the link below. Whatever metaphor you settle on – referee, trail guide, or something else – Jesus has gone before us and through the Holy Spirit will accompany us on our own road to Jerusalem.
- Smarts – Body [12:23], Music [14:36], Nature [24:48]
- Hebrews 7 worksheet
- Links in Hebrews
Mark 10:46-52 [17:01]
And, speaking of a journey to Jerusalem, in the passage this week, the group is very close to its destination. Jericho is not far away, and one commentary I read said that the last time anyone in Jericho shouted, the walls came down. I really like that comparison, and it’s a nice bonus WORD smart illustration! Also, Jesus asks the same question of Bartimaeus he asked of James and John and gets a very different answer. For an EYE smart special effect, have the congregation experience the story as if they were Bartimaeus. Take that idea into BODY smart by having someone move around the sanctuary not being able to see where they are going. We have a praise song suggestion for MUSIC smart, and David gave me a horrible ear worm that has come back as I’m typing this. He makes up for this by writing a Reader’s Theatre option for PEOPLE smart, which is attached to the worksheet. Finally, put yourself back into Bartimaeus’ shoes for some SELF smart questions.
- Smarts – Eye [19:28], Body [20:18], Music [21:02], People [23:10], Self [24:51]
- Mark 10 worksheet
- Links in Mark
- MUSIC smart –