July 2022 Trinity Epistle Pastor’s Column
Dear Friends in Christ,
I love the gems found in the Revised Common Lectionary (our three-year cycle of scripture readings) this summer! Before you read this column, I will have begun a three-week series on Galatians, on which I have also been leading a Monday Zoom Bible Study. The Apostle Paul is fired up, to put it mildly, in this letter and for good reason. I’ve often thought that no one should form a theology based solely on this letter, in large part because of Paul’s anger, and yet it contains a few of my favorite passages in all the letters and one of my favorite scripture passages of all time. I will try to faithfully open these letters and show how they are relevant to our lives of discipleship today. Then we will flip back the pages in our Bibles and have a summer of the prophets, not profits. We began hearing stories about Elijah and Elisha (recorded in 1st and 2nd Kings) in June. On July 17 we will turn to passages from the Minor Prophets (so named because their books are shorter, not because their words are not mighty) including Amos and Hosea. In August we will move to words from Isaiah and finally Jeremiah. The prophets we will hear from this summer lived and worked during the times of the monarchies or kingdoms. Who were these individuals and what was their task? Jewish scholar Abraham Heschel wrote this in his classic The Prophets, “The prophet was an individual who said No to his society, condemning its habits and assumptions, its complacency, waywardness, and syncretism. He was often compelled to proclaim the very opposite of what his heard expected. His fundamental objective was to reconcile man and God. Why do the two need reconciliation? Perhaps it is due to man’s false sense of sovereignty, to his abuse of freedom, to his aggressive, sprawling pride, resenting God’s involvement in history.”
I cannot predict exactly how these ancient words will resonate with our community of faith today, but I trust the Holy Spirit to show up in our gatherings, these ancient texts, the current context, adapted rituals, and our open hearts and minds.