June 23, 2019

1 Kings 19:1-15a Psalm 42 Luke 8:26-39 “In the Strength of that Food” This is the season in the Church Year that is called “Ordinary Time.” If I were dressed more formally in my alb and stole, I’d be wearing the dark green stole and I’d be sticking with that colour all the way through from now until Advent at the end of November. Now, it’s not called “ordinary time” because it’s nothing special or just a regular Sunday. Ordinary Time actually refers to the ordinal numbering of the Sundays after Pentecost. Today is the 2nd Sunday after Pentecost, and we’ll keep counting the Sundays like that all through the summer and fall. But some commentaries suggest that paying attention to the more common meaning of the word “ordinary” may actually help us think about what comes after big events for a community. We celebrated Holy Week and Easter with great planning, and many people involved, and special music and liturgies. We marked Pentecost too – the birthday of the church – and rejoiced in the gift of the Holy Spirit poured out to give us courage, and confidence, and wisdom in sharing the good news with all people. Now that the high holy days are past, and the big events (including General Assembly for me) are over, we move into a quieter time… ordinary time. Of course, there are people who find their way back to church only for those special days of celebration. They join their grandmas for … Read more »

June 23, 2013

1 Kings 19:1-15a Psalm 42 Luke 8:26-39 “I Shall Again Praise God” Over the last several weeks, today, and next Sunday, the Old Testament readings in the lectionary have been the great stories of the prophet Elijah. We heard about Elijah challenging the prophets of Baal to a contest between the gods, and demonstrating powerfully that the God of Israel is the one true God. Then we had the story about Elijah’s visit to a poor widow in Zarephath. He invited her to share the few resources she had in the midst of a drought, and with God’s help he multiplied her grain and her oil so that she and her family were fed for many days. Then when the widow’s son died, God gave Elijah the power to raise him back to life, and he did. We skipped over last week’s reading about Elijah in order to celebrate Christian Family Sunday, but it was the one in which King Ahab and his wife Jezebel get a man killed in order to take possession of his vineyard. God sends Elijah to challenge the king and accuse him of his wrongdoing. Elijah serves as the prophet of truth and justice, assuring the king that he will suffer the consequences of his own evil deeds. Next week’s story will be the final one about Elijah. We’ll hear about the end of his life – not his death, but the day that he is taken up directly into heaven to be with God … Read more »