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Year C, Ordinary 17, 2016 – Shameless

July 22, 2016 / Molly Douthett / Ordinary Time

In her book Miss Manner’s Guide to Rearing Perfect Children, Miss Manners responded to the following reader:

Dear Miss Manners,

After the birth of my child several months ago, I called the newspaper and had her birth announcement printed. My mother was appalled. She said that birth announcements in the paper were considered tasteless and low-class. Does this still apply in modern times?


Gentle Reader:

It is one of Miss Manners deepest beliefs, which you will appreciate now that you have a child, that mothers are never wrong. However, yours is, Miss Manners regrets to say. The old fashioned social rule was, “A lady has her name in the paper only three times: when she is born, when she is married, and when she dies.” Notice of a person’s birth has never been considered to tarnish her reputation. This has been adapted to fit times when a lady can find herself married three times. After that, she should stop making public announcements about it – saying on successive occasions that one is marrying “positively for the last time” is only courting disaster for the lady who is probably busy already. This rule applies, of course, to a lady’s personal rather than her professional life. Making a profession of one’s personal life is as vulgar as ever.  

I remember hearing that old saying when I was younger and thought it was not necessarily helpful nor true. Of course social norms have changed rather a lot and making a profession of one’s personal life is not only no longer considered vulgar, it is currently running for President of the United States. At any rate, I prefer a different quote:

“Well behaved women seldom make history.”

A sense of shamelessness or outrageousness runs through our texts for Ordinary 17, Year C. In Hosea, God instructs the prophet to marry a woman of questionable character. In Colossians, Paul seems to suggest that the entire cosmos has undergone a profound realignment because of Jesus’ resurrection, and in Luke, the disciples want to know how to be in a consistent, persistent, shameless state of relationship with God.


Smart of the Week! [02:13]

Self Smart or Intrapersonal Intelligence

We haven’t looked at a specific “smart” or intelligence for quite a while and thought it was time to get back to highlighting a particular element of the group. Today, we pull Self smart forward. One of the challenges of this intelligence is that it permeates all of them; in the podcast, I refer to it as the “annoying little sister” who always tags along and has a comment for everything. (Full disclosure: I am a little sister.) Self smart is like an internal thermostat or monitor that keeps a person in tune with emotional and spiritual levels or reserves. Psychotherapists, counsellors, and religious leaders – or anyone who needs to establish strong personal boundaries in order to be effective – are self smart people. As always, if you want to learn more, click the link at the top right corner of the page!


This week’s texts are:

Hosea 1:2-10  [05:02]  – Harlotry, whoredom, prostitution – worship will need an R rating if you choose to use this passage on Sunday. Hosea’s selection is a shining example of shamelessness – God’s shamelessness, to be exact. Israel has probed the limits of God’s patience and fidelity. In order to express just how frustrated God is, Hosea is instructed to live a life that mirrors Israel’s relationship to YHWH. Being a prophet is challenging, sometimes. Today, we look at the meaning of names for Hosea’s wife and children using Word smart. We look at why God chose this avenue of prophet proclamation for Hosea in People smart. One name, Jezreel, calls to mind the location of bloodshed and violence and we wonder what other places might be used for our times in Eye smart. Johnny Cash and Shel Silverstein make a brief appearance in Music smart and in Self smart, we wonder what names you bear and why.

  • Primary Expressed Intelligence [06:02] – {MWD} Word {D2} Word, with hints of People
  • Smarts – Word [06:42], Eye [09:28], Music [10:57], People [11:23], Self [13:05]
  • Hosea 1 worksheet   


Colossians 2:6-15 (16-19) [13:58] – Whether Paul is countering a different Gospel from a competing apostle is difficult to determine in Colossians. Based on the trouble he had with the Galatians and Corinthians, Paul may simply be planting the flag for Jesus as firmly as possible with them so as to prevent or correct misdirection. At any rate, his argument for the supremacy of Jesus’ crucifixion and resurrection is as strong as ever in this passage. He waxes poetic about the before and after of life in Christ and we take a playful look at that in Eye smart. The typical logical argument of greater to lesser makes another appearance in Math smart and David thinks that Paul’s repeated references to the incarnation and resurrection make Body smart the Primary Expressed Intelligence. I was taken by the imagery of Scott Hoezee’s commentary on this passage that all of the cosmos has been shifted because of Jesus’ resurrection – everything is new and I push for that viewpoint in Nature smart. The 1962 movie musical The Music Man is a guest star in People smart and we have some questions to ponder in Self smart.

  • Primary Expressed Intelligence [15:08] – {MWD} Nature      {D2} Body
  • Smarts – Eye [18:51], Math [19:40], Body [15:11], Nature [16:56], People [20:33], Self [22:15]
  • Colossians 2 worksheet   


Luke 11:1-13  [23:05] – Just like his father, Jesus is all about shamelessness in the parable he uses in today’s passage. Just ASK might be a good sermon title if one uses Luke on Sunday. David thinks People smart is the primary expressed intelligence and has an interesting idea for an experiment. I also have an experiment for Self smart and if you try either or both, please let us know how it went! Once again, greater to lesser appears in Math smart, Jesus uses objects from Nature and the Lord’s prayer has been covered by a wide variety of artists – we have a few links!

  • Primary Expressed Intelligence [23:55] – {D2} People     {MWD} Self
  • Smarts – Math [25:35], Music [26:20], Nature [26:52], People [24:18/27:27], Self [24:52/29:31]
  • Luke 11 worksheet   



… in Hosea  


… in Colossians


… in Luke 



The Lord’s Prayer:


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