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Proper 6 Year A

Note: The Lectionary offers us a reading that begins in Genesis 18 and concludes in Genesis 21, but skips the troubling text of Genesis 19. Given the parallel structure in Chapters 18 and 19, and the significance of this text in current social debates, I have chosen to include Genesis 19 in the reading for Proper 6A.

Litany (inspired by the Parable of the Sower)

Three visitors knock on AbrahamÕs door
and he responds with confident hospitality
calling for the calf, setting the feast, making the guest welcome.
He offers the best of what he has to the stranger in need.
And the community responds in kind.

The seeds of compassion find fertile ground.

Two angels beckon at LotÕs door
and he responds with nervous hospitality
gathering the bread, pouring the wine, offering words of welcome.
Still, he offers the best of what he has for to the stranger in need.
Yet the community thwarts his efforts.

The seeds of compassion fall into the weeds.

Somewhere in between the good intentions something goes bad.
Abraham is blessed and becomes a mighty nation.
LotÕs homeland is laid waste and his wife a pillar of salt.
The individual held in the context of community.

The seeds of compassion are vulnerable.

A single stranger beckons now
and we respond with timid commitment
writing a check, drafting a letter, offering promises of welcome.

May our seeds of compassion be sown in fertile ground.