177: Proper 12C (July 24, 2016)


177: Proper 12C (July 24, 2016)

ImageBy CBS Television (eBay item photo back) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
Voice in the Wilderness: Colossians 2:6-15

  • Diann Bailey, Associate Pastor of First Church of Christ, CT, Suffield, CT

Featured Musician - “Love you Like I Should” by The Steel Wheels from Live at Goose Creek 

Episode 177 Proper 12C - (July 24, 2016)
Hello and welcome to the Pulpit Fiction Podcast, the lectionary podcast for preachers, seekers and Bible geeks. This is episode 177 for Sunday July 24, 2016, Proper 12, Year C.

Image: By CBS Television (eBay item photo back) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Introduction and Check-in  

  • Dallas, Baton Rouge - This is not Black Lives Matter vs Police

    • If you hear people complaining that Black Lives Matter is just “people with no jobs causing trouble.” Show them this. This is a comprehensive reform proposal. The whole purpose is to regain accountability, reduce the number of contacts between police and citizens, stop financial predatory fines, and rebuild trust. In the end, restored trust saves lives - blue and black.
    • Campaign Zero

Voice in the Wilderness: Colossians 2:6-15

  • Diann Bailey, Associate Pastor of First Church of Christ, CT, Suffield, CT

Featured Musician - “Love you Like I Should” by The Steel Wheels from Live at Goose Creek

DONATE: www.pulpitfiction.us/donate

  • Glenda Survance
  • Bridget Fidler - Hi Eric and Rob! Just want to say thank you for your great work! You inspire me not to be too lazy in the summer! Blessings! Bridget

Gospel Reading: Luke 11:1-13 Jesus teaches how to pray
Initial Thoughts

  • Talked to some older people in a discussion group. Responses:

    • “It’s sort of a lazy prayer,”
    • “When I don’t know what else to say.”
    • “Have seen people in memory care able to say it.”
  • Pastoral Prayer, I always close with this prayer. What if we started with it, and did so deliberately, slowly.

Bible Study

  • Jesus teaches how to pray

    • “Jesus also invites his disciples to pray that God’s name be hallowed or kept holy (hagiastheto). The passive voice indicates that we ask God to hallow God’s own name, to act in such a way that God’s name is held in honor. The petitions that follow flesh out what this means. When God’s name is hallowed and God’s kingdom comes, there is daily bread for all, forgiveness is practiced, and God delivers the faithful from the time of trial” (David Lose, Working Preacher)
    • “Hallowed be thy name,” is an invitation for God to act in the world. It is not simply praise. It is not say, “Holy is your name,” it is a request for God to act in the world so that God’s name would be made holy.
    • “Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” Implies that not everything that happens on earth is the direct will of God. NOT IN THIS PASSAGE.

      • I was recently told, “God is in control.” Really? Then God is drunk.
      • If everything happens according to God’s will, why would Jesus tell us to pray like this?
  • Do we really want to pray like Jesus?

    • “The prayer invites those participating to a new allegiance which stands in opposition to the world, rulers and kingdoms, and self. It is scary for it calls us away from our individualistic notions of God’s provision and places us right in the midst of God’s self giving love. This new allegiance incorporates practices which if followed might lead to places we did not expect!” (Roy M Terry IV, The Hardest Question)
  • Was Jesus annoyed by the request?

    • Wasn’t hanging out with him good enough? Shouldn’t they already know what they need to know.
    • “Jesus… seems irritated. It’s like the disciples asked him for an egg and he stung them. What is it that bugs Jesus so much? Or, if he is not bugged, why all the negativity? I think it has to do with what is behind the disciples’ question. They don’t ask Jesus to teach them to pray, they ask Jesus to teach them to pray as John taught his disciples. It’s like the disciples want something John’s disciples have, that Jesus is not providing them. Do they want a formula for their spiritual discipline, while Jesus wants them to seek the unpredictable, unquantifiable movement of the Holy Spirit?” (Russell Rathbun, The Hardest Question)

Sermon Thoughts and Questions:

  • “The Lord’s Prayer can’t be just words that we recite.  It is a prayer that we live.  It is one thing to say the words of the Lord’s Prayer, but it is an entirely different thing to live the Lord’s Prayer… When you live the Lord’s Prayer, it becomes more than words that you say.  It is the choices you make, the grace you show, the forgiveness you give, and the bread you share.” (Robb McCoy, The Fat Pastor)
  • What about unanswered prayer?

    • This passage, as much as any other in the Bible, has created some intense difficulties for believers about the nature and efficacy of prayer. Take for instance, the young boys in my first congregation who prayed everyday that their dad be cured of cancer. He wasn't, and they wanted to know why. Or consider the young woman in another congregation who told me of years of sexual abuse by her father. She told me she prayed and prayed that it would stop. It didn't, at least not for many years, and she wanted to know why. Unanswered prayer, in light of these verses, creates a huge crisis of faith. (David Lose, Working Preacher)

Psalm Nugget: Psalm 85 with Richard Bruxvoort Colligan (psalmimmersion.com, @pomopsalmist)

Second Reading: Hosea 1:2-10 (11) Hosea’s odd marriage
Initial Thoughts

  • Read through verse 11
  • Hosea

    • 750-740 BCE (Israel destroyed in 722 BCE)
    • Preaching to Israel
    • Israel is allowing other deities to compete and conflict with worship of YHWH
  • …”whoredom”...I think I would read CEB this Sunday

    • Should be disturbing - Otis Moss
    • Sexist, violent term that perpetuates a patriarchal, abusive rhetoric

Bible Study

  • Unfaithfulness

    • Read in the context of Song of Songs- a loving relationship which is falling apart
    • God loves God’s people and enter into a covenant- like a marriage with Israel
    • Israel is unfaithful
    • God’s response: anger, hurt, sorrow
    • God is not an abstract, transcendent God, instead God is deeply and emotionally relational. God is intimate with us
    • God is also the disappointed parent (v. 10-11)
    • How is Israel unfaithful?

      • By sleeping around with Baal and fertility Gods
  • Hosea’s marriage

    • Literal - disturbing , unlying divine approval of prostitution, drives the point home and helps Hosea feel what God feels
    • Metaphorical - avoids the difficult divine commission of prostitution, perhaps doesn’t carry the same weight as a literal interpretation
  • Gender Issues

    • Be careful- this text can easily be used (and has been used) to dismiss women as the root of unfaithful corruption of society
    • Men are the moral leaders at best and the foolish, faithful cuckold at worst while women are the unfaithful, sensual underminers of community
    • The above interpretation must be addressed and countered- this is about Israel’s unfaithfulness, not a prescription for gender roles.
    • Interesting that here God embodies the very issues most often used to bully women: emotion, intimacy, anger and irrationality
  • Gomer

    • Means a “sudden stop or end”
    • She is not the center- infact she has little to no role or voice in these matters
    • Gomer = the people of God before God
    • Hosea = God
    • This is about how God feels, not about how we feel. It is our response to God’s feelings of anger, frustration, betrayal and sadness.
  • Children

    • If taken literally is very disturbing and reminds us of the sins of the parents being visited upon the children-most likely (and hopefully metaphorical)
    • Jezreel

      • Jehu- King who allowed his descendants to worship Baal
    • Lo-Ruhamah - “No Mercy”

      • Rachamim means mercy or compassion
      • Rechem is the root - mean “womb”
      • God’s rechem and hesed are dependant on Israel’s rechem and hesed

        • See Psalm 103
      • V. 7 is more likely a continuation of v 6 not a contrast. “Nor will I have mercy on the house of Judah...or save them” Francis Andersen and David Freedman, Hosea, Anchor Bible 24 (Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1980), 189
    • Lo-Ammi - “Not My People”

      • Ammi - “my people”
      • “My people” is the foundation of the covenant from Exodus (see Ex. 3:7; 6:7; 19:5-6)
      • Therefore- the covenant is broken!
  • Redemption?

    • Re-iteration of the Genesis 12 promise of fruitfulness
    • Re-adoption into the land and the family of God
    • Unity instead of brokenness

Sermon Thoughts and Questions

  • What other gods are we “promiscuous” with? Workaholism? Greed? Security over basic human right?

    • When we acknowledge ourselves or any other than God as the source of blessing are we not “prostituting” ourselves to other gods/false idols?
  • Explore what it means to be faithful to God. What does it mean for the church to be the spouse of God? To be in loving and faithful relationship
  • How often do we focus on what God may be feeling? What is our response to God’s feelings of anger, frustration and betrayal in light of the ways we hurt, kill and abuse one another or remain silent while others are hurt, killed and abused?

    • It can be dangerous to impose feelings on God, but several clear connection can be made between Israel’s unfaithfulness (not caring for the poor, lack of justice, etc) and our current injustice (Prison industrial complex, systemic racism, massive refugee crisis, declining rhetoric re: sexism and racism)
  • What does it mean to see God as being intimately connected with us? Passionate and emotional?

Tasty Wafer of the Week:

Thank you listeners

Featured Musician - “Love you Like I Should” by The Steel Wheels from Live at Goose Creek thesteelwheels.com

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”).