Sunday, July 11, 2010

Scriptures and Reflection Questions for July 18

Scriptures and Reflection Questions 
8th Sunday after Pentecost, Proper 11
 July 18, 2010
How to use this page:
Print this and read a different passage each day and think about it.  Some questions are offered to help stimulate your reflection.  You'll find your experience of worship on Sunday will be intensified.
For a method to read and pray with the scriptures you might try to use the ancient practice of Lectio Divina (Divine Reading).  We've written some instructions on how to use Lectio with the Sunday Scriptures at the following link: Using Lectio Divina to pray the lections
We use the Episcopal Revised Common Lectionary.

The Collect:
Almighty God, the fountain of all wisdom, you know our necessities before we ask and our ignorance in asking: Have compassion on our weakness, and mercifully give us those things which for our unworthiness we dare not, and for our blindness we cannot ask; through the worthiness of your Son Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
The Lessons

Amos 8:1-12
Psalm 52     
Colossians 1:15-28
Luke 10:38-42
Amos 8:1-12
This is what the Lord GOD showed me-- a basket of summer fruit. He said, "Amos, what do you see?" And I said, "A basket of summer fruit." Then the LORD said to me,
     "The end has come upon my people Israel;
          I will never again pass them by.
     The songs of the temple shall become wailings in that day,"
     says the Lord GOD;
     "the dead bodies shall be many,
          cast out in every place. Be silent!"
Hear this, you that trample on the needy,
     and bring to ruin the poor of the land,
saying, "When will the new moon be over
     so that we may sell grain;
and the sabbath,
     so that we may offer wheat for sale?
We will make the ephah small and the shekel great,
     and practice deceit with false balances,
buying the poor for silver
     and the needy for a pair of sandals,
     and selling the sweepings of the wheat."
The LORD has sworn by the pride of Jacob:
Surely I will never forget any of their deeds.
Shall not the land tremble on this account,
     and everyone mourn who lives in it,
and all of it rise like the Nile,
     and be tossed about and sink again, like the Nile of Egypt?
On that day, says the Lord GOD,
     I will make the sun go down at noon,
     and darken the earth in broad daylight.
I will turn your feasts into mourning,
     and all your songs into lamentation;
I will bring sackcloth on all loins,
     and baldness on every head;
I will make it like the mourning for an only son,
     and the end of it like a bitter day.
The time is surely coming, says the Lord GOD,
     when I will send a famine on the land;
not a famine of bread, or a thirst for water,
     but of hearing the words of the LORD.
They shall wander from sea to sea,
     and from north to east;
they shall run to and fro, seeking the word of the LORD,
     but they shall not find it.

What are the economic abuses that Amos complains of?
What might he say to our culture?

Psalm 52   

You tyrant, why do you boast of wickedness *
     against the godly all day long?

You plot ruin; your tongue is like a sharpened razor, *
     O worker of deception.

You love evil more than good *
     and lying more than speaking the truth.

You love all words that hurt, *
     O you deceitful tongue.

Oh, that God would demolish you utterly, *
     topple you, and snatch you from your dwelling,
     and root you out of the land of the living!

The righteous shall see and tremble, *
     and they shall laugh at the tyrant, saying,

"This is the one who did not take God for a refuge, *
     but trusted in great wealth
     and relied upon wickedness."

But I am like a green olive tree in the house of God; *
     I trust in the mercy of God for ever and ever.

I will give you thanks for what you have done *
     and declare the goodness of your Name in the presence of the godly.
St. Helena Psalter

What sort of person is the psalmist complaining about?
Colossians 1:15-28 

Christ Jesus is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation; for in him all things in heaven and on earth were created, things visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or powers -- all things have been created through him and for him. He himself is before all things, and in him all things hold together. He is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that he might come to have first place in everything. For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him God was pleased to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, by making peace through the blood of his cross.

And you who were once estranged and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds, he has now reconciled in his fleshly body through death, so as to present you holy and blameless and irreproachable before him-- provided that you continue securely established and steadfast in the faith, without shifting from the hope promised by the gospel that you heard, which has been proclaimed to every creature under heaven. I, Paul, became a servant of this gospel.

I am now rejoicing in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I am completing what is lacking in Christ's afflictions for the sake of his body, that is, the church. I became its servant according to God's commission that was given to me for you, to make the word of God fully known, the mystery that has been hidden throughout the ages and generations but has now been revealed to his saints. To them God chose to make known how great among the Gentiles are the riches of the glory of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. It is he whom we proclaim, warning everyone and teaching everyone in all wisdom, so that we may present everyone mature in Christ.


What is personally meaningful to you in this rich passage?
Luke 10:38-42 

As Jesus and his disciples went on their way, Jesus entered a certain village, where a woman named Martha welcomed him into her home. She had a sister named Mary, who sat at the Lord's feet and listened to what he was saying. But Martha was distracted by her many tasks; so she came to him and asked, "Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to do all the work by myself? Tell her then to help me." But the Lord answered her, "Martha, Martha, you are worried and distracted by many things; there is need of only one thing. Mary has chosen the better part, which will not be taken away from her."_______________

Are you more like Martha or Mary?
Why do you think Jesus told Martha that Mary had chosen the better part?


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