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Year C, Ordinary 4 (Epiphany 4), 2019 – Crazy Quilt

February 2, 2019 / Molly Douthett / Epiphany, Ordinary Time

Hey all! Welcome back! The passages for this week seem to go everywhere with no readily discernible overall theme. Jeremiah is called and commissioned to be a prophet, and the psalmist sings praise to God for safety. Paul tells the Corinthians that love is steady and mature, and Jesus is almost tossed off a cliff by angry worshippers in Luke. Do we go with the fine line between love (1 Corinthians) and hate (Luke 4)? Is the emphasis on going boldly out into the world to proclaim God’s strength or is it encouraging people who need refuge to curl into God’s protective embrace? Maybe it’s all of them at once; each one attending to a part of life in your congregation, because if we are honest, situations do not come at us in a linear fashion. Love, hate, bold proclamation, and a need to retreat all may swirl around us. Rather than try to make them submit, let’s just let them come, and we’ll find what we need in them.

Here are the ideas for illustrations and special effects from three years ago! And if you are not familiar with a crazy quilt, here is a sampling. While there is no obvious pattern in a crazy quilt (which is the idea), there is harmony of color and fabric.

A note on from the show editor: This week’s show was unusually hard to edit for a couple reasons. We were recording in a hotel room at the beach, so the sound quality is very different, to start with. The portable recorder we used had an auto-level function that made the levels jump all over the place. We also seem not to have had any sense of time, so we went really long, and since it was a disrupted week I didn’t have time or focus to cut a lot of the content. So you get a late, long, kind of noisy episode this week. We hope it will still be useful to you. Next week should be back to our usual standards. Thanks for your forbearance.


Smarts of the Week – [01:58]

We take a few minutes to talk about our two smarts of the week in the episode, and here you can download our worksheets for each of them.

This Week’s Texts

Luke 4:21-30 – [04:32]

Gosh, fortunes can turn on a dime, can’t they? At the end of last week’s Gospel, Jesus was a welcome guest preacher. At the end of this week’s passage, his hometown congregation is trying to throw him off a cliff! What happened? Could it be assumptions about Jesus’ relationship with the people in Nazareth clouded their perception of him? He had been doing great things in the area where he is not native, so he would of course do fantastic things for his home folk, right? Jesus reveals this is not so and their anger is epic. We take that anger and find illustrations and special effects in both BODY and MATH smart. See the many links below!

1 Corinthians 13:1-13 – [18:15]

The first passage ends with unthinking hate so we were quite glad this passage is about love. For BODY smart, David looks at the physiology of love from the first blush of attraction to a more mellow and peaceful companionship. There are hormones that flow through all the phases – ironically, some of them that produce physical reactions similar to hate!

In MATH smart, I looked at love as a foundation, and since my father was a civil and architectural engineer, those many Saturdays spent helping him on house upkeep projects as a kid came rushing back. For those people in your congregation who appreciate the soundness of structures, building a platform out of faith, hope, and love will grab their attention.

Psalm 71:1-6 – [29:36]

As in the Gospel, we both centered on the same verses about refuge and safety. For BODY smart, David has some thoughts about our physical safety and ways we act to make certain we are protected. Safety and refuge made me think of storm cellars and safe rooms for MATH smart. The engineer – fu runs deep in me, but it’s a very good thing that I am not in charge of building anything, believe me.

Jeremiah 1:4-10 – [41:36]

Deconstruction is also part of construction, but we talk about it in terms of BODY smart for this passage. The LORD tells Jeremiah he has been appointed to “pluck up and pull down, to destroy and overthrow, and to build and to plant”. The physical labor involved in these activities is a great way to engage your BODY smart people.

I will admit that once I got onto the engineering angle for these passages, I really could not get off of it. But, rather than actually construct a project or make plans for a storm cellar, this passage is much more about the initial idea. A blue print or schematic is the representation on paper of a future reality. Jeremiah is a young man at the beginning of this book. His final ministry is still ahead of him, but God can see it in him already, just like an architect or engineer can “see” the completed structure in a diagram.

  • BODY smart – [42:52]
  • MATH smart – [45:43]

Photo by Jeremy Galliani, used by permission through Unsplash

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