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Pentecost Year B

Pr16


The lectionary texts for this Sunday are difficult for me. Somewhere between the high Christology of John's discourse and the militaristic imagery of the Ephesians text I become disheartened. There lies in the Hebrew text, however, an unmistakable though oft' overlooked challenge which is relevant for our day.

From 1 Kings:

8:41 "Likewise when a foreigner, who is not of your people Israel, comes from a distant land because of your name
8:42 --for they shall hear of your great name, your mighty hand, and your outstretched arm--when a foreigner comes and prays toward this house,
8:43 then hear in heaven your dwelling place, and do according to all that the foreigner calls to you, so that all the peoples of the earth may know your name and fear you, as do your people Israel, and so that they may know that your name has been invoked on this house that I have built.

1 Kings 8:41-43, paraphrase

When a stranger, who is not of your people,
comes from a distant land because they have heard of you-
and they will hear of you, your power and your open door -
when a stranger comes and prayers with you,
then hear my voice calling and do as the stranger asks,
so that all the peoples of the earth may know your name
and know that your name reflects my indwelling.

Gospel Reflection (could be responsive)

give to them that seek
not because of their need
not because of their worthiness

give to them that ask
not for our own glory
not to testify to our personal goodness

give to them that seek
to bear witness
to the spirit dancing in our lives

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