God’s call

Third Sunday after Epiphany; 24 January 2021; Epiphany 3B (RCL); Jonah 3:1-5, 10; Psalm 62:6-14; 1 Corinthians 7:29-31; Mark 1:14-20.

All of the readings for this week seem short and abrupt, and leave more unsaid than they say. We get only a tiny piece of the story of Jonah — his second call. We miss his running away to Tarshish, the three days in the belly of the fish, and then it leaves off the end of the story — Jonah being angry about the plant. All we get is his short sermon to Nineveh.

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The body politic

Second Sunday after Epiphany; 17 January 2021; Epiphany 2B (RCL); 1 Samuel 3:1-20; Psalm 139:1-5, 12-17; 1 Corinthians 6:12-20; John 1:43-51.

The epistle reading for this Sunday seems kind of oddly out of context. Who asked about fornication? In my growing-up days in a fundamentalist background, this passage was used to proscribe sex in general (outside of marriage, but even in marriage it still sort of frowned on). Paul, however, is talking about something very specific here: temple prostitution.

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Watching insurrection

First Sunday after Epiphany; the Baptism of our Lord; 10 January 2021; Epiphany 1B (RCL); Genesis 1:1-5; Psalm 29; Acts 19:1-7; Mark 1:4-11.

I am watching the television coverage of a protest (?), a riot (?), an insurrection (?) at the US Capitol Building. It seems to me that the scripture readings for this coming Sunday have something to say to us about the way power works in God’s plan as opposed to how we think it should go.

At Jesus’ baptism, as narrated by Mark, the Spirit descends on Jesus in the form of a dove (think of Noah sending out the dove after the flood), and a voice comes from heaven saying, “You are my Son, the Beloved, with you I am well pleased.” Mark is here quoted Psalm 2, a coronation psalm, and one of the Servant songs in Isaiah.

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