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Year C, Ordinary 5 (Epiphany 5), 2019 – Calling

February 6, 2019 / Molly Douthett / Epiphany, Ordinary Time

Greetings! Welcome back to the show! Calling in today is our special guest, Barry White! Just kidding, it’s me with a bad head/chest cold. However, there is a lot of calling happening in today’s passages. In the Old Testament, Isaiah has a vision of THE HOLY and is terrified. Yet, once a seraph performs a cleansing on him, he is ready to answer God’s call to prophesy. In Luke, Jesus teaches a crowd from a boat on the Sea of Galilee and then helpfully suggests a sweeter fishing spot for the work weary disciples. Simon Peter, figuring they’ve got nothing to lose, takes the lead and is astounded to recognize The Holy in the man before him. Like Isaiah, he is also overcome with self recognition, and Jesus calls him to start fishing for people. Paul calls his cantankerous Corinthian congregation back to their true selves, and the Psalmist lays a layer of praise over the whole thing. Let’s brainstorm some ways to use Multiple Intelligence Theory to call people to worship and service.


Smarts of the Week [01:58]

This week, we are discussing MUSIC and NATURE smart, and here you can download our worksheets for each of them.


This Week’s Texts

Luke 5:1-11 – [04:15]

Simon Peter wonders why Jesus insists they go out and toss their nets again after they had tried all night with no success. He acquiesces and is amazed to haul in so many fish the nets began to break. For MUSIC smart, David thought of a scene from the movie Amadeus where Salieri labors to compose a piece that Mozart not only memorizes on one hearing but then improvises improvements. Peter’s response is much different than Salieri’s, though!

The Gospel lesson takes us to the water where Jesus teaches the crowds from a boat. For NATURE smart, we wonder if the natural amplification of water may have been the reason for Jesus getting into the boat and pushing off shore a bit. Also, why fish at night? We have some links that might have some reasons.


1 Corinthians 15:1-11 – [15:23]

Sometimes, in order to find an intelligence in a passage, you may have to do a little eisegesis. NATURE smart is not readily apparent in these verses about the resurrection; we need to step into the land of metaphor and talk about planting seeds. Paul’s intention for the Corinthians was for them to grow into the full maturity of Christ and bear fruit for the gospel; it wasn’t happening. By writing this letter, he was attempting to alter their behavior and help them find a new way to use their gifts. This made me think of a documentary on PBS about the Dust Bowl.

It’s safe to say that Paul is concerned about the church in Corinth. His letter to them addresses their (remarkably current) issues with the intention of reforming them into what God intends them to be. In MUSIC smart, David thinks you could illustrate this as a choral composition that begins with a soloist (Paul) who is joined by other voices as the piece goes along. The other voices sing counterpoint, harmonize, and eventually all the voices join together in the chorus. Try demonstrating this as a special effect!


Psalm 138 – [24:00]

A psalm of praise is all about MUSIC smarts! David has some ideas either to use existing songs and hymns of praise or to write and proclaim some spontaneous praise of your own on the spot. If your congregation is open to participating freely in the service, this could be very memorable! If your congregation is not comfortable with spontaneous response, then arrange for some people to help out ahead of time. Either way, the Spirit will enliven what you do!

In verse six, the psalmist says that God “regards the lowly.” Scott Hoezee’s comment about God’s surprising attention to those we tend to overlook caught my interest. Since I was looking at this passage through the lens of NATURE smart, I wondered what are the small things in the natural world that get overlooked? Until quite recently in our history, we overlooked bacteria. Now, we understand the “small” world of microbiology and its role in health and ecosystems.

  • MUSIC smart – [25:01]
  • NATURE smart – [27:39]
    • Scott Hoezee’s commentary
    • A definition and history of bacteriology from the Encyclopedia of Life Sciences.

Isaiah 6:1-8, (9-13) – [31:23]

For NATURE smart, examine how using the live coal to purify Isaiah’s lips is similar to wound cauterization. I have a story about a surgical wound on the bottom of my foot being cauterized; you may know of something similar. Also, heat is used to purify water systems, killing harmful bacteria. Those little guys show up everywhere!

Isaiah is overcome being in the presence of The Holy. He is simultaneously aware of God’s majesty and his own sinfulness. For MUSIC smart, David suggests staying with that image of doom and suggests a collection of poems. However, most of the poets are struggling with the meaninglessness of the Void, while Isaiah is overcome by the Holy. How do some of our hymns of majesty avoid the threat of Holiness? For a special effect, find some rhythm instruments and use them to punctuate the reading.


Image courtesy of LoboStudio Hamburg on Unsplash. Used by permission.

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