69: Mount Moriah is not HWY 61 or Pentecost +3A


For Sunday June 29, Proper 8A/ Ordinary 13A/ Pentecost+3A

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SHOW NOTES -  6/29/2014

Episode 69: Mount Moriah is not HWY 61 or Pentecost +3A

For Sunday, June 29, 2014

Episode 69

Welcome to the Pulpit Fiction Podcast, where two local pastors discuss the  lectionary reading for the week.  

This is episode 69 for Sunday June 29, Proper 8A/Ordinary 13A/Pentecost +3, Year A.
Matthew 10:40-42 - Welcoming the Disciples
Genesis 22:1-14 - Isaac gets a close shave

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Introduction and Check-in


  • World Cup

  • July 4th...what to do about it?

Featured Musician - Bryan Sirchio - “I am Welcome”  from Something Beautiful For God more of his music at www.sirchio.com/, @bryanjsirchio.

Primary Scripture - Matthew 10:40-42 - Welcoming the Disciples

  • Initial Thoughts

    • Completing teaching from last week.

      • Comes immediately after Jesus warns his followers that things won’t always go well for them.

      • Feels improper to separate this note of hospitality from the harsher teaching from last week.

  • Bible Study

    • Hospitality

      • Non-acceptance of the message was anticipated in the previous.  Here, welcome is anticipated.

      • The Hardest Question: Could it be that simple?

        • “It tells us to treat a stranger the way we would treat someone who is a guest in our home—can I get you something to drink. It is a way of seeing the world—seeing all people. It is about seeing the other as one of your own. It is about basic human kindness—it is just being nice.  The ethics of the Kingdom of God surely can have implications for global warming or may be able to address poverty and violence—but first it is concerned with being nice to people.” (Russell Rathbun)

    • Jesus is in all

      • “Underlying this saying is the shaliach conception of ancient Jewish law, according to which a man’s duly authorized messenger ‘is as the man himself.’” (Douglas Hare, Interpretation: Matthew, p. 118)

      • Foreshadows Matt 25:31-46 - the story of the sheep and the goats, where the receiving of the least of these is equated with the reception (or rejection) of Jesus himself.

      • The term “little ones,” is not about children.  It refers to “humble Christians who are not church leaders and who may also be poor.  Such persons must not be neglected or treated with disdain, because they too represent the Christ.” (Douglas Hare, Interpretation: Matthew, p. 119)

    • Context of Matthew’s community

      • This is a word to the disciples, but also to those that would be receiving them.

      • Matthew is only gospel that uses the word ekklesia, or church.

      • “Wandering Prophets” are described in the Didache.  They had certain guidelines to follow to separate themselves from other wandering preachers who were not legitimate.

        • “While all Christians were expected to spread the word, not all were called to be wandering missionaries.” (Douglas Hare, Interpretation: Matthew, p. 119)

        • This reflects that even in the early church, the “division of labor” was happening.  Some are called to itinerancy, some are not.

  • Preaching Thoughts

    • Could it really be that simple?  Give someone a cold cup of water?  What could a cold cup of water mean to someone? What are the ramifications of having access to clean water, and sharing that with someone - even a stranger.

    • There are  many types of calling.  Some are called to make tents.  Others are called to pitch them.  Being a missionary of Christ is not an easy job, and trouble should be expected.  It is important for those to receive prophets with hospitality and grace.  How often do we simply build silos of agreement?  Facebook friends, Twitter followers, News channels, blogs we follow - all a circle of agreement.  Do we allow the prophetic word to break in?

Featured Musician - Steel Wheels - “Go Up to the Mountain”  from No More Rain more of their music at www.steelwheels.com, @thesteelwheels.

Secondary scripture - Genesis 22:1-14 - Isaac gets a close shave

  • Initial Thoughts

    • The binding of Isaac

    • "The Parable of the Old Man and the Young" by Wilfred Owen

    • Fear and Trembling by Soren Kierkegaard

    • “Here I am Lord” - sing that this Sunday

    • Background

      • Abraham will be the father of nations whose descendants will outnumber the stars

      • Doesn’t have a baby (with Sarah) until very late in life

      • Isaac means to laugh

        • in response to the unexpected joy of childbirth

        • in response to Sarah’s doubting the “messengers” of God

      • The second son Abraham will sacrifice - and God will provide for

    • Kathryn Schifferdecker “There is a Yiddish folk tale that goes something like this: Why did God not send an angel to tell Abraham to sacrifice Isaac?Because God knew that no angel would take on such a task. Instead, the angels said, "If you want to command death, do it yourself.”

  • Bible Study

    • testing

      • v. 1 - Abraham is being tested

        • ancient and modern literature contains themes of testing:

          • Harry Potter and the Goblet of fire

          • Luke Skywalker in the Dagobah cave

          • Story of Job and Jonah

          • Labors of Hercules

          • Oedipus and the Sphinx

          • About any disney movie

      • How do we address issues of God testing us?

      • What does it mean to be tested by God and is this spiritually helpful or damaging?

      • “Now I know” - God has risked everything on Abraham and needs to know he is faithful

        • God is not omniscient- God does not know what Abraham will do

    • sacrifice

      • Child sacrifice was part of other Ancient Near East traditions. Other Gods require child sacrifice- YAHWEH does not (see Lev. 18:20 and 20:2-5, Jer. 7:30-34, Ezekiel 20:31)

      • This is a story to explain the shift from human sacrifice to animal sacrifice

      • Carol Dempsey - connections between Isaac and Jesus

        • Clement of Alexandria made this connection and views Jesus as the new Isaac, but one whose sacrifice was carried through

        • both were “only sons”

        • Both carried the wood of their sacrifice (Isaac the firewood and Jesus the cross)

        • Theological focus is not on the death but on the resulting life: Isaac is spared, Jesus is raised

        • Ignores the historical context of sacrifice as well as the life and ministry of Jesus

        • Hebrews 11:17-19 - Abraham believed God could raise the dead

    • obedience

      • Kierkegaard - three stages of faith development

        • Aesthetic - what feels good to me

        • Ethic - what is good for the community

        • Religious - what is good

      • Abraham has ascended to a higher level of faith

    • faith

      • Are we willing to truth God  and place our future and our children’s future in God’s hands? How?

      • Many love the tune “Here I am Lord” when it calls us to go to seminary or help at a food pantry or be born again - but what about when God calls you to kill your child...that verse must have been left out of the song.

  • Preaching Thoughts

    • God does not demand child sacrifice

    • God does demand total devotion

      • What is total devotion to God? Love, grace and trust in God’s providence

    • What are we willing to sacrifice for God?

Featured Musician - Steel Wheels - “Go Up to the Mountain”  from No More Rain more of their music at www.steelwheels.com, @thesteelwheels.


TY listeners

Shout outs:

  • Facebook conversation about changes and dealing with the stress of life changes.  

    • Carole Barner “Create a ritual of change, celebrating what has been, anticipating what is to come as an adventure.”  

    • Jennifer Johnson: “Laugh together with ones you love and they will be there for you when you cry.”

    • Emily Lorraine Carroll I'm super excited for the changes in my life right now...was just ordained and moving to a great place. But I kinda just want to binge watch season 2 of otnb so I might not be the best one to weigh in here.

  • Tom: Robb: I feel like I've been talking about this video a lot lately, but I think it has everything to do with what you were saying in regard to "GO and make disciples of all nations." In the Episcopal Church in Minnesota, we've been having a lot of these conversations about going versus coming. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZiuSDRAqMMA

Featured Musician - Bryan Sirchio - “I am Welcome”  from Something Beautiful For God more of his music at www.sirchio.com/, @bryanjsirchio.

Featured Musician - Steel Wheels - “Go Up to the Mountain”  from No More Rain more of their music at www.steelwheels.com, @thesteelwheels.

Our theme music is Misirlou by Dick Dale and the Del Tones and our closing music this week is “Soccer” by Paul & Storm.