This week’s Revised Common Lectionary readings are timely. In Ephesians 2, Paul teaches that Jesus has erased divisions between people, and created a single, united humanity. Groups that were previously at odds have been reconciled. Peace reigns. Together, all people build a community that becomes the household of God, a place where the divine can interact with all of humanity.
This vision is certainly encouraging in a society that seems to be ever more divided. When world leaders are confused as to who is friend and who is foe, such a united humanity seems like a far-off dream. The lesson from Ephesians gives us hope for a better world, and perhaps can serve as inspiration to help bring that world about. Consider whether there are ways that your community can work toward the vision of unity and reconciliation, and encourage your worshipers to be involved!
Both Hebrew Bible readings address the issue of God’s people having a place of their own. 2 Samuel 7:10-11 promises that the people will have a home, and rest from their enemies – this home is more important than building a Temple as home for God. Jeremiah 23:2-3 condemns those who have separated God’s people, and promises that they will be reunited. These verses are particularly poignant as we remain in the midst of the largest refugee crisis in world history, and many of our communities are discussing ways to respond to migrants and folks seeking asylum.
Keeping up with all the political and social causes of the day could keep us so busy that we don’t even have time to eat! When that happens, Jesus calls us to retreat and be refreshed. Even if the time of relaxation only lasts as long as the commute, as seemed to be the case for Jesus and the disciples, it is worth taking some intentional time for self-care.
What themes stand out to you from this week’s readings? What message is relevant to your community? Please share your ideas and questions in the comments. Blessings in your preparation for worship this week!
Katya Ouchakof is an ELCA pastor in Madison, WI. Her garden is currently producing zucchini, green beans, carrots and lettuce, and she’s open to suggestions on what to plant next year. Katya blogs occasionally at Provocative Proclamations.
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5 thoughts on “Revised Common Lectionary: One Humanity”
I think someone commented on one of the Rev Gal platforms last week about Ephesians…”I have a love/hate relationship with it” and I couldn’t agree more…yet I’m considering it this week for the theme of reconciliation in the midst of me leaving a toxic church. Though I’m also thinking about Samuel and reminding my people that God is outside the building…outside structure…with the people. Also thinking about doing what we want for God vs. God’s want/will
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God is outside the building, with the people… makes one question why staying in a toxic congregation would make sense for anyone! Blessings to you this week, and in the next steps that await you.
I am not preaching this week and that’s probably a good thing. Life has been very busy for me and not preaching this week gives me a little bit of breathing room. Last night I had an amazing dream that reminded me of the need to rest and breathe. In case you are in a similar spot, here it is: https://rachaelkeefe.wordpress.com/2018/07/19/come-away/
Get in the Boat. In the boat, we have all the time we need for renewal and restoration, and we need that time because once the boat hits the shore, there will be sheep waiting, and our task is to be the Body of Christ at work in the world.
I covet your prayers tomorrow morning. I am preaching for the first time in two and a half years in the church I served for thirteen years. I am overwhelmingly thankful for this opportunity and the way it heals my soul, but at the same time, I am a little nervous about how it will be received by those who weren’t terribly disappointed to see me leave. I *think* those relationships have been repaired in the nearly two years since I left my position as I have carefully observed appropriate boundaries for their healing and for mine, and frankly, I don’t think there were many of them, but tomorrow may tell. Thank you~