Prayer based on all Lessons:
We praise you, o Lord, for you alone are worthy to be praised.
You rescued your people through hesitant prophets like Jeremiah; through your
Son Jesus you manifested your willingness and power to save the whole human
family. Deliver us from the things that possess our time and attention; free
us and empower us so that we might heed your call to serve. Inspire us to love
you and one another according to the true meaning of (agape) love. God of
Love and Grace, heal our communities and bring wholeness to our lives. In
Christ's name. Amen.
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Comfortable and Familiar?
Rev. Karen A. Goltz
have an interesting relationship with scripture, don’t we? We turn to it gladly
when we’re looking for comfort or inspiration. We might point to it proudly
when justifying our own behaviors, or accusingly when judging someone else’s.
But most of the time, we keep it at a distance. It includes some nice stories,
some harsh words, some clear expectations. It includes some parts we return to
again and again, and it includes some parts we carefully avoid.
Last week I challenged you to approach the
bible as a person dying of thirst might approach water, but the truth is that
most of us approach it more like an all-you-can-eat buffet of exotic foods,
going for the few things we think we know and like, cautiously sampling a few
others, and utterly avoiding the rest. It’s too overwhelming to try it all.
And it’s too dangerous. You never know what you’re going to get. Better to
just stick with what you know, with what’s safe and familiar.
But are you sure you know what you think you
The people of Nazareth were in familiar territory. It was Sabbath, and
they were in the synagogue. It wasn’t a festival day or a big holiday that
might attract more occasional worshippers—it was just a regular Sabbath with all
the regular people there. Nothing unusual at all. Everyone’s sitting
in their usual places, doing their usual things. And oh look!
There’s Mary’s boy Jesus, all grown up now and back visiting his home synagogue.
When the folks saw him they probably chatted a bit amongst themselves, comparing
notes on what they’d heard he’d been up to since he’d left home...
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