The Second Sunday after Pentecost PROPER 9 (Green)
Sunday, June 3rd, 2018
SAMUEL 3:1-10; PSALM 139:1-5, 12-17; 2 CORINTHIANS 4:5-12; MARK 2:23-3:6
Collect – Lord God of the nations, you have revealed your will to all people and promised us your saving help. May we hear and do what you command, that the darkness may be overcome by the power of your light; through your Son Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, now and for ever.
Alt 1 – God of rest and gladness, we praise you for the dignity of work and the joy of play, for the challenge of witness and for the invitation to delight at your table. Renew our hearts through your sabbath rest, so that we might be refreshed to continue in your work of restoring the world to wholeness. Amen. (Revised Common Lectionary Prayers (2002) alt.)
Alt 2 – God made known in human frailty; your Chosen One walked through fields where bitterness flourished and mercy was enclosed: break through our conspiracies of power and teach us what it means to save and honour life; through Jesus Christ, Lord of the Sabbath. Amen. (Prayers for an Inclusive Church (2009) alt.)
Prayer over the Gifts – Eternal God, receive all we offer you this day. Give us the wisdom of obedience and help us to do your holy and life-giving will; through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Prayer After Communion – Eternal God, you have fed us at the table of your grace. Deliver us from all spiritual pride, and give us a quiet confidence in your mercy. We ask this in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord.
A READING FROM THE FIRST BOOK OF SAMUEL
Now the boy Samuel was ministering to the Lord under Eli. The word of the Lord was rare in those days; visions were not widespread. At that time Eli, whose eyesight had begun to grow dim so that he could not see, was lying down in his room; the lamp of God had not yet gone out, and Samuel was lying down in the temple of the Lord, where the ark of God was. Then the Lord called, “Samuel! Samuel!” and he said, “Here I am!” and ran to Eli, and said, “Here I am, for you called me.” But he said, “I did not call; lie down again.” So he went and lay down. The Lord called again, “Samuel!” Samuel got up and went to Eli, and said, “Here I am, for you called me.” But he said, “I did not call, my son; lie down again.” Now Samuel did not yet know the Lord, and the word of the Lord had not yet been revealed to him. The Lord called Samuel again, a third time. And he got up and went to Eli, and said, “Here I am, for you called me.” Then Eli perceived that the Lord was calling the boy. Therefore Eli said to Samuel, “Go, lie down; and if he calls you, you shall say, ‘Speak, Lord, for your servant is listening.’” So Samuel went and lay down in his place. Now the Lord came and stood there, calling as before, “Samuel! Samuel!” And Samuel said, “Speak, for your servant is listening.”
1 SAMUEL 3:1-10
Lord, you have searched me out and known me; you know my sitting down and my rising up; you discern my thoughts from afar.
You trace my journeys and my resting-places and are acquainted with all my ways.
Indeed, there is not a word on my lips, but you, O Lord, know it altogether.
You press upon me behind and before and lay your hand upon me.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is so high that I cannot attain to it.
For you yourself created my inmost parts; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
I will thank you because I am marvellously made; your works are wonderful, and I know it well.
My body was not hidden from you, while I was being made in secret and woven in the depths of the earth.
Your eyes beheld my limbs, yet unfinished in the womb; all of them were written in your book; they were fashioned day by day, when as yet there was none of them.
How deep I find your thoughts, O God! how great is the sum of them!
If I were to count them, they would be more in number than the sand; to count them all, my life span would need to be like yours.
PSALM 139:1-5, 12-17
A READING FROM THE SECOND LETTER OF PAUL TO THE CORINTHIANS
We do not proclaim ourselves; we proclaim Jesus Christ as Lord and ourselves as your slaves for Jesus’ sake. For it is the God who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. But we have this treasure in clay jars, so that it may be made clear that this extraordinary power belongs to God and does not come from us. We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be made visible in our bodies. For while we live, we are always being given up to death for Jesus’ sake, so that the life of Jesus may be made visible in our mortal flesh. So death is at work in us, but life in you.
2 CORINTHIANS 4:5-12
THE HOLY GOSPEL OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST ACCORDING TO MARK
One sabbath Jesus was going through the grainfields; and as they made their way his disciples began to pluck heads of grain. The Pharisees said to him, “Look, why are they doing what is not lawful on the sabbath?” And he said to them, “Have you never read what David did when he and his companions were hungry and in need of food? He entered the house of God, when Abiathar was high priest, and ate the bread of the Presence, which it is not lawful for any but the priests to eat, and he gave some to his companions.” Then he said to them, “The sabbath was made for humankind, and not humankind for the sabbath; so the Son of Man is lord even of the sabbath.” Again he entered the synagogue, and a man was there who had a withered hand. They watched him to see whether he would cure him on the sabbath, so that they might accuse him. And he said to the man who had the withered hand, “Come forward.” Then he said to them, “Is it lawful to do good or to do harm on the sabbath, to save life or to kill?” But they were silent. He looked around at them with anger; he was grieved at their hardness of heart and said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” He stretched it out, and his hand was restored. The Pharisees went out and immediately conspired with the Herodians against him, how to destroy him.
MARK 2:23 3:6
Gifted, Called and Sent! Homily – June 3, 2018 – The Rev’d Bev Diet
May the words of my lips and the meditations of our hearts be acceptable in your sight our Lord and Redeemer. Amen
The past two weeks we have been looking at Meaningful Conversations in our coffee hour. The first day was listening to one another with suggestions about being a better listener. We can always improve.
The next week we looked at our gifts- our individual gifts given to us by God.
As examples I shared what I saw as Rev’d Robert’s gifts and he shared what he saw as mine. There is no need to be shy or embarrassed about them – it is God who gave them to us.
I read the gospel for this week – Jesus and his disciples in conflict with the religious authorities. The disciples picking the grain and Jesus healing a man’s hand both on the Sabbath. I wondered what I could do with this.
I looked at our first reading from Samuel. We probably remember the story of Samuel being called by God, Eli finally told Samuel that it was God calling him. Samuel was already part of the faithful worshipping community when his special call came in the night. He did not recognize God’s call when it came. It is God who calls us into the divine presence. Our emphasis is on listening – deep listening. Our faithful response is, “Here I am Lord” – a familiar hymn.
We might think about what does it mean to listen to God’s voice or how do we hear God’s call and how do we discern the meaning of the call. What would be our response? We may speak of a ‘sense of call’. All are called to be in ministry. There are many ways to serve the gospel.
Our third week in our Meaningful Conversations coffee time, look at blockages to Listening or ‘Whose ministry is it anyway’. Our second reading from 2 Corinthians says ‘ We do not proclaim ourselves, we proclaim Jesus Christ as Lord and ourselves as your slaves for Jesus’ sake. We have this treasure in clay jars so that it may be made clear that this extraordinary power belongs to God and does not come from us. The treasure in clay jars is the gospel – ‘earthen vessels’.
In looking at Blocks to Listening and thus ministry most of them are about ourselves. For example, personal anxiety can prevent a person from relaxing and listening – we then may ignore or not notice individual differences and uniqueness. We all have anxiety but to be aware of it is to avoid being controlled by it. We need to recognize its symptoms and reflect on its causes. Anxiety lessens when we stop worrying about our role and start to be ourselves – the gift God gave us.
Another example would be a ‘saviour’ complex. We learn through our weakness and mistakes that there is only one Saviour but we have a compelling desire to alleviate pain in people’s lives. This desire is good until we make it our sole responsibility – others have different gifts – but work as a team.
There has been an interesting change of words throughout this process of Meaningful Conversation. It seems to have started especially in Clinical Pastoral Training with pastoral conversation. Then I read an article called ‘The Art of Meaningful Conversation’. The author is Dale Curd, host of CBC’s – Hello Goodbye, Canada. He says we undervalue the benefit of connecting with other people. Another author writing about 2 Corinthians calls it relational. It was about being a good listener an image of ‘putting on Christ’ to help us with what we do not yet know and help us be what we have not yet become. I think relational really speaks to that connection with Jesus and others – that relationship.
Our gospel points in the direction that the life and love of Jesus signify. This gospel brings together our time in coffee together – our time of connecting more with one another – a time of discovering our gifts together. Hopefully we can continue in this process of ministry in the Lord’s name with the gifts he has given us. It is a good example of the spirit working in our lives as following with Gift, Called and Sent. This shows how the spirit guides us – how these readings line up with our process of Meaningful Conversations – Connecting with one another.