173: Proper 8C (June 26, 2016)


173 Proper 8C - (June 26, 2016)
Voice in the Wilderness: Willie Deuel Galatians 5:1, 13-25 Fruit of the Spirit

Voice in the Wilderness: Galatians 5:1, 13-25 Fruit of the Spirit

Featured Musician - Richard Bruxvoort Colligan, “Faithfully Angry (Psalm 58)” from his album Love Stands With.

Episode 173 Proper 8C - (June 26, 2016)
Hello and welcome to the Pulpit Fiction Podcast, the lectionary podcast for preachers, seekers and Bible geeks. This is episode 173 for Sunday June 26, 2016, Proper 8, Year C.

Introduction and Check-in  

  • Horrifying tragedy amidst #pulseorlando, #prayfororlando

    • To name the shooter or not?
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Voice in the Wilderness: Galatians 5:1, 13-25 Fruit of the Spirit

Featured Musician - Richard Bruxvoort Colligan, “Faithfully Angry (Psalm 58)” from his album Love Stands With.

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  • Jesse Perkins

Gospel Reading:  Luke 9:51-62 Jesus heads toward Jerusalem
Initial Thoughts

  • Major shift from Galilee to the next 10 chapters - the journey to Jerusalem - which is the largest portion of Luke (2 chapters on birth, 7 chapters in Galilee, 10 chapters journeying to Jerusalem, 5 chapters in Jerusalem and post-resurrection)
  • Just had the Transfiguration 9:28-36
  • Followed by the disciples not being able to cast our demons and being jealous of others who could.
  • 2 Passion predictions (v. 21-22 and 44) followed by the Disciples not “getting it”

Bible Study

  • Samaritan Village

    • Bringing the Good News to “outsiders”
    • James and John want wrath- “our way or the fire & brimstone way!”

      • Jesus has just said, “whoever is not against you is for you.” (v.50)
      • They still don’t get it
      • A call back to Sodom and Gomorrah - lack of hospitality?
    • Jesus never condemns the Samaritan village- the rebuke is against the the disciples not the Samaritans.

      • Jesus told them to shake the dust from their feet as testimony against those who do not welcome you (Luke 9:5)
    • Vengeance and judgment do not belong to the disciples, but only God alone
  • Lessons on Discipleship

    • Human One has no Place:

      • To follow Jesus is to put the Way of Jesus and the Good News above all things- even a roof over your head.
      • Love, mercy and grace must come before all- that is what it means to follow Jesus
      • Jesus pulls no punches and doesn’t ask much- just your heart, soul, mind and strength
      • BEWARE ABSOLUTES: Not about asceticism or dualism- remember Jesus is a glutton and a drunkard (7:34), but everything is secondary to the missio dei
    • Let the Dead Bury the Dead

      • Same theme and line as the previous story- missio dei comes before even family and propriety (i.e. what is proper).
      • Not about Jesus hating family, but Jesus challenging the status quo
    • Let me say good-bye - same time of reasoning- Follow Jesus, NOW, do not let anything stop you

      • Clear connection to Elisha’s call (1 Kings 19:19-20)
  • Invitation to join Jesus on the Journey

Sermon Thoughts and Questions:

  • How do we respond when the Good News is rejected? How should we respond? What is the balance between faithful prophetic witness and angry retaliation?
  • Are we ready to give up everything for the sake of love, forgiveness and grace? Homes? Security? Education? Family? What are you not willing to give up for the sake of Jesus?

    • Perhaps following the way of Jesus is not about giving up, but using our gifts- homes, family, education, security, power, etc to serve Jesus. Sometimes this may mean giving up power and privilege, sometimes it may mean using them for God’s will instead of our own.

Psalm Nugget: Psalm 77:1-2, 11-20 with Richard Bruxvoort Colligan (psalmimmersion.com, @pomopsalmist)

Second Reading:  2 Kings 2:1-2, 6-14 Elijah hitches a ride
Initial Thoughts

  • “Chariots of Fire,” by Vangelis won the Oscar for best original score and was No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 in May 1982.
  • NRSV uses “mantel” not “cloak.” What’s a mantel?

    • "short, loose, sleeveless cloak," variant of mantle (q.v.). Sense of "movable shelter for soldiers besieging a fort" is from 1520s. Meaning"timber or stone supporting masonry above a fireplace" first recorded 1510s, a shortened form of Middle English mantiltre "mantletree" (dictionary.com)
    • Could a mantel be a place of protection, shelter, in addition to a cloak? Clearly, the descriptive action only makes sense if it is a cloak, but the added definition offers some paths of interpretation.

Bible Study

  • Where did Elisha come from?

    • Introduced shortly after last week’s narrative, which ended at 19:15, God told Elijah to go back and anoint Hazael. The next verse says “Also anoint Jehu, Nimshi’s son, as king of Israel; and anoint Elisha from Abel-belohah, Shaphats son, to succeed you as prophet.”

      • This would have been nice to include last week. Sorry we didn’t tell you that.
      • Read the rest of chapter 19 to see their introduction, which is immediately affectionate.
    • Ahab continues to be a terrible King, worshiping Baal. His son, Ahaziah, is no different. He dies (which Elijah predicted) in chapter 1 of II Kings. At the same time, Judah’s King Jehosophat “did the right things in the Lord’s eyes.”
    • Chapter 1 of II Kings serves as a reminder that “thus sayeth the Lord” always takes precedence over “thus sayeth the King” (Richard Nelson, Interpretation: I and II Kings)
  • “The world of these narratives is certainly not the world of the modern reader… waters part… Chariots and horses of fire appear, and whirlwind takes Elijah ‘up’ to God. In other ways, however, the chapter sounds oddly modern.” (Richard Nelson, Interpretation: I and II Kings)

    • Loyalty to mentors
    • Trouble with changing leadership
    • Grief of loss - denial
  • Elisha’s denial or pursuit?

    • Read the parts that lectionary takes out.
    • Elisha doesn’t want to let Elijah go.
    • Elijah doesn’t want Elisha to have to follow him.
  • Elisha’s request

    • Wants ‘double the spirit’
    • This the inheritance of the first born. The first born gets the “double share”
    • He wants to be seen as Elijah’s son.
    • He wants to pick up Elijah’s ministry.
  • Elisha picks up the cloak (takes up the mantel)

    • Sees Elijah’s death.
    • Mourns - rips his clothes
    • Picks up the cloak, and does just as Elijah had done, striking the water to part it.
    • Elisha’s action bring healing
  • Elijah/Moses parallel

    • Moses has a mysterious death. No one knows where he is buried.
    • Elijah taken away - leaves his coming back open
    • Moses and Elijah cross over the parted waters
    • Only the successor is able to cross over the second time (Joshua over Jordan, Elisha back to the people)

Sermon Thoughts and Questions

  • Few are taken to heaven in a windstorm. Many go quietly in a bed with buttons on it. Sometimes surrounded by loved ones who have promised “As the Lord lives and as you live, I won’t leave you.” How to die a good death? Is it better to be able to say goodbye? To leave someone with a blessing, final words, a mantel to hold onto long after the deceased has departed. “Do you know that your master is going to be taken from you today?” Is knowing this a privilege or a curse? How do you live as if that were the case?
  • In many Methodist churches, this is the last Sunday for pastors - who switch on July 1. This is not just two leaders in isolation. There is a company of 50 other prophets as well. They are leaders as a part of a greater community.

Tasty Wafer of the Week:

Thank you listeners

  • Pulpitfiction.us

    • Daniel U'Ren has just posted a comment on your blog post, 172: Proper 7C (June 19, 2016): Your description of the legion and comparison to the Roman Legion possessing the land reminds me of an old Presbyterian Minister friend who served the church across the street from mine once shared a commentary with me regarding the pigs. As you pointed out to the Jews these were unclean animals, but to the Romans it was their food supply. For them to be driven off the cliff would have been removing the Roman Legion's food supply.
    • Rev. John Werner has just posted a comment on your blog post, 171: Proper 6C (June 12, 2016): When I was 12 I read the Old King James Version because a friend invited me to visit his Southern Baptist Youth Group for the Summer. I read the piece about Ahab in the Old King James which reads instead of urinates as, "and all who pisseth on the wall" As a twelve year old I couldn't believe this. I asked the pastor what it meant. There was a lot of hemming and hawing. Needless to say it was a fun summer! Lol
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    • ACY2002: Five Star Review “I am a seminary trained Baptist layperson in Georgia. It might be surprising, but I leave church most weeks frustrated in the conservatism and civil religion touted from my church’s pulpit. These two guys offer challenging commentary on the lectionary texts that is accessible and refreshing. I highly recommend this podcast.
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Featured Musician - Richard Bruxvoort Colligan, “Faithfully Angry (Psalm 58)” from his album Love Stands With.

Thanks to our Psalms correspondent, Richard Bruxvoort Colligan (psalmimmersion.com, @pomopsalmist). Thank you to Scott Fletcher for our voice bumpers, Dick Dale and the Del Tones for our Theme music (“Misirlou”), Nicolai Heidlas (“Sunday Morning”, "Real Ride" and “Summertime”) and The Steel Wheels for our transition music(“Nola’s First Dance” from their album Lay Down, Lay Low) and Paul and Storm for our closing music (“Oh No”).