Welcome to the third week of July!  This coming week is Proper 12A, the 7th Sunday After Pentecost for 2014.  The readings for the week can be found here.


SO why don’t we get free labour in exchange for marrying off our daughters anymore?  With 4 daughters I think I could benefit greatly from such an arrangement.  Mind you, having just watched Fiddler on the Roof a couple weeks ago I can only read this story of Laban and Jacob;s “bargaining”  with Perchik’s Marxist interpretation running through my mind.   ANd what do Leah and Rachel think of the whole deal?

Solomon Praying
Solomon Praying

Or then there is Solomon asking not for riches or strength but for wisdom (mind your he ends up accumulating wisdom and power anyway as the story goes on).

Moving on to the passage from Romans, we find the pinnacle of Chapter 8.  Indeed verses 38-39 are part of my personal “canon within the canon” of favourite Scriptures.

And then there is Matthew.  I actually preached on this passage back in February when the Presbytery was meeting and worshiped with our congregation.   Because I think the church needs to hear about how the Kingdom transforms (pollutes? contaminates?) the context.  In the sermon I suggested the Kingdom of God was like a rotten potato.  What we often miss is that leaven in the context was a contaminant, it was essentially rotting dough — though now we call it sourdough.

The Hidden Treasure
The Hidden Treasure

AS I relax on vacation I will be thinking of all of you working hard on your worship planning.  SO enjoy!

6 thoughts on “RCL Leanings: The Small is Great…or two weddings…or a gift of wisdom… Edition

  1. Reading your post made me wonder about the connection between tricky Jacob and Laban, and the trickiness of the leaven in the loaf, showing us that unsettling, surprising nature of how God works. Thanks!


  2. Gord, your comment on the rotting potato got me looking at other interpretations of the parable of the leaven. I went first to Luise Schottroff (Lydia’s Impatient Sisters) who focuses on the life-giving and life-sustaining aspects of bread-baking and then to Mary Ann Beavis’ collection of essays, “The Lost Coin: Parables of Women, Work and Wisdom. There I found an essay by Holly Hearon and Antoinette Clark Wire who rest the short parable in the context of everyday lives of women. Bread baking (and hence the use of leaven) was an essential part of women’s lives–indeed, it was one of the seven roles required of women according to the Mishnah. Later in that same essay Hearon and Wire write, “In the village setting, fifty pounds of flour was not so much an exceptional quantity to prepare at one time for baking–an oven once heated would be used repeatedly…but it is wondrous that the woman can press the flour in which she has hidden away the yeast until it is completely leavened and set for transformation.(148)”

    Their conclusion is really quite delightful:
    If we were to imagine ourselves, for a moment, as women in antiquity gathered with the other women in the courtyard to bake bread and spin our wool, how might we retell these teachings of Jesus? ….We might comment on a baker woman God who knows how to work the leaven into the whole loaf so that it is leavened evenly….we might begin to re-vision ourselves differently: not as exploited workers in the patriarchal household, but as the hand of God who promises a new economy for the household of God. As baker women, we work the leaven which is the well-being of creation and that challenges the leaven which corrupts.” (157)

    Thanks for sending me on this search.


  3. Chiming in late. I am going with the Romans passage, which I assumed would be all about vv. 38-39 because that’s my jam, but turns out with all the hurting in the world and in people’s lives right now, the Spirit’s “sighs too deep for words” were jumping in my face and wouldn’t back down. Also happen to be reading Barbara Brown Taylor’s new book, Learning to Walk in the Dark, and am figuring that creeps in somewhere too…


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