Fifth Sunday after Pentecost, June 24, 2018, Proper 7, Year B

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Full lections can be read here.

Based on the Readings as Set

First Reading (1 Samuel 17:[1a, 4-11, 19-23], 32-49)

After the giant Philistine, Goliath, challenges the army of Israel, the youthful David faces him with only his sling and a trust in the Lord who had saved him before. Goliath’s subsequent death sends a clear message to the whole earth that there is a God in Israel.

Psalm (9)

The Psalmist praises the God of Israel as an unfailing stronghold for those in trouble, even at the gates of death. The nations have forgotten the needy and have fallen into their own pit as a result. They are but mere mortals who cannot escape his judgment.

Second Reading (2 Corinthians 6:1-13)

Paul claims that the day of salvation has arrived and now is the right moment to respond. Things are extremely urgent and Paul is doing everything he can to make this abundantly clear to everyone, in spite of mistreatment and misunderstanding.

Gospel (Mark 4:35-41)

As Jesus sleeps in a boat his disciples are terrified by a sudden and furious storm that threatens to sink them all. Waking Jesus, they are awestruck as he simply commands the wind and the waves to cease and they do so immediately. “Who is this?”, they ask.

CONNECTION SUGGESTIONS

  • Truly desperate circumstances provide an opportunity to see God at work.
  • Truly desperate circumstances provide a true test of faith
  • God helps those who can’t help themselves
  • Past experience of God’s salvation leads to more expectant faith

Based on the First Alternative Readings

First Reading (1 Samuel 17:57-18:5, 18:10-16)

After killing Goliath David meets with Saul, whose son Jonathan makes a brotherly pact with him. Saul sets him over the army after he proves himself and then, in a moment of madness tries to kill him. The Lord is with Israel’s new hero and no longer with Saul.

Psalm (133)

The Psalmist rhapsodizes over the rich experience of families living in harmony. He likens it to the copious anointing oil poured over Aaron, the brother of Moses and the first in the line of Israel’s priests. It is the blessing of life forevermore.

Second Reading (2 Corinthians 6:1-13)

Paul claims that the day of salvation has arrived and now is the right moment to respond. Things are extremely urgent and Paul is doing everything he can to make this abundantly clear to everyone, in spite of mistreatment and misunderstanding.

Gospel (Mark 4:35-41)

As Jesus sleeps in a boat his disciples are terrified by a sudden and furious storm that threatens to sink them all. Waking Jesus, they are awestruck as he merely commands the wind and the waves to cease and they do so immediately. “Who is this?”, they ask.

CONNECTION SUGGESTIONS

  • Trouble awaits those who dare to join the family of God
  • God can save us from serious trouble and danger
  • God can lead us into serious trouble or danger, but always under his protection
  • Realizing the urgency of the moment we are in

Based on the Second Alternative Readings

First Reading (Job 38:1-11)

The Lord challenges Job’s demand for an answer as to why he is so afflicted. Out of the whirlwind the Lord asserts his absolute right to do as he pleases. He, certainly not Job, is the all-powerful creator of the earth, laying its foundations and limiting its cloudy seas.

Psalm (107:1-3, 23-32)

The Psalmist urges praise to the Lord for his enduring love and amazing works in saving those in trouble. He even rescued those in peril on the sea when life-threatening storms arose at his command. When they called out to him he calmed both water and wind.

Second Reading (2 Corinthians 6:1-13)

Paul claims that the day of salvation has arrived and now is the right moment to respond. Things are extremely urgent and Paul is doing everything he can to make this abundantly clear to everyone, in spite of mistreatment and misunderstanding.

Gospel (Mark 4:35-41)

As Jesus sleeps in a boat his disciples are terrified by a sudden and furious storm that threatens to sink them all. Waking Jesus, they are awestruck as he merely commands the wind and the waves to cease and they do so immediately. “Who is this?”, they ask.

CONNECTION SUGGESTIONS

  • The power of God surpasses that of the most awesome powers of nature
  • God can save us from serious trouble and danger
  • God is beyond our ability to fully understand
  • Chaos exists in defiance of the peace of God’s created order

 

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