July 2019 Newsletter Column
Dear Friends in Christ,
After a later Easter, an Easter Season full of John’s Gospel, and then the festival Sundays of Pentecost and Holy Trinity (more John), we get to spend the summer in the Gospel of Luke. The lectionary gospel texts for the month of July are rich in character development and tell us plenty about the Jesus we follow and what that following should look like. A nice coincidence in a summer in which we are emphasizing storytelling, you will hear three great stories: Jesus sending the 70, the Parable of the Good Samaritan (Jesus at his storytelling best), and Jesus’ visit to Mary and Martha. On July 27, the text from Luke is Jesus giving his followers the Lord’s Prayer, something we say each time we celebrate/remember/enact the story of the Last Supper. Pay attention to Luke’s storytelling and, in that third week, Jesus’ own storytelling. They are both masters. Crucial I think is that on all four Sundays, the scripture points beyond itself. It points us to God. These gospel texts are set alongside readings from the prophets. The readings start in the Book of Kings with the prophet Elisha confronting Naaman. The readings the following three weeks are from the book of Amos or Hosea. Listen for what the prophets reveal about the God we follow and what it means to follow and worship such a God. Your Sundays in July will be rich because they will be grounded in scripture, the narrative which we hold sacred. Dwell in the word richly friends. It is a gift that nurtures us, challenges us, confronts us, and can ultimately give life.