New Revised Standard Version
Scripture Summary for the 5th Sun. after Pentecost-Year A (July 5) by Rev. Shelley
Genesis 24:34-38,42-49, 58-67: The love story between Isaac and Rebekah begins. Abraham's promised son should marry a Hebrew woman and Abraham's servant goes on a journey to find him a wife. Miraculously, on his first stop, he meets a relative of Abraham's, with a young daughter who is to be Isaac's bride. As she journeys back with Abraham's servant she meets Isaac on the way. It's love at first sight.
Psalm 45: 10-17: This might have been a wedding song for the king. God's blessing is on this king. His bride will bear many sons and nations will seek his favour. Even future generations will continue to celebrate the king's goodness.
Romans 7:15-25a: Here St. Paul perfectly captures the dilemma that plagues us all. The good I want to do, I don't do. The bad I don't want to do; that's what I end up doing. This can lead to frustration and depression. But thanks be to God, Jesus rescues us from this dead-end living and invites us to a new life by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Matthew 11:16-19, 25-30: Here Jesus speaks of the fickleness of human nature. Live like the ascetic John the Baptist and people say “demon”. Live like Jesus, enjoying the hospitality of others, and people say “glutton” and “drunkard”. But Jesus gives us another way to assess the worth of John and Jesus' lives. Judge them by their deeds. Both John and Jesus were bearing ministry fruit that would last forever.
Scripture Summary - 6th Sunday after Pentecost-Year A (July 12) by Rev. Shelley
Genesis 25: 19-34: The miracle child Isaac is now a father of twins – Esau and Jacob. Once again God thwarts the patriarchal norms and states that the line from the younger son will carry the promise of God, not the elder. But Jacob is not unlike his grandmother Sarah, and decides that he will “help God along” by stealing the birthright from his older brother Esua. Thus begins a rift that will last their whole lives.
Psalm 119:105-112: This longest Psalm in the Bible is all about the beauty and wisdom of God's word – the Scriptures. The Psalmist sees God's word as a “lamp before my feet, and a light for my journey”. To be wise, content, and living in God's favour the Psalmist will read Scriptures and strive to live by them forever.
Romans 8:1-11: Here St. Paul shows us the life that God's spirit gives to us. We can choose to live a life centred on ourselves. It is doomed to failure, and will not ultimately bring us happiness. It will also not please God. If however, we let God's Spirit live in us, we will please God and bring contentment to ourselves.
Matthew 13:1-9, 18-23: Jesus here tells the parable of the farmer sowing seed on four different types of terrain. Some seed fell on a path, and birds came and ate it. Some seed fell on rocky ground and there was not enough soil to produce growth. Some seeds fell on thorny ground and were choked out by weeds. Finally some seeds fell on good soil and produced a good crop. Then Jesus explains that this is a picture of the many types of people that hear God's word.
Scripture Summary - 7th Sunday after Pentecost – Year A (July 19) by Rev. Shelley
Genesis 28:10-19a: Jacob is fleeing from his brother Esau (from whom he has stolen the family inheritance). Yet God is still faithful to Jacob, despite Jacob's duplicity. God meets him in the wilderness and re-affirms His promises of a fruitful and abundant heritage. All peoples of the world will be blessed by Jacob's family.
Psalm 139:1-12, 23-24: This Psalm is one of the great affirmations of how God knows each one of us. Because God is our creator, life a new parent, he finds each of us irresistible. There is nowhere that we can go that God's spirit will not lead and follow us there. Heaven, hell, the end of the cosmos – God is there. Night, day – God still see us and loves us. This is a God we can trust – let's invite He to lead us on the eternal path.
Romans 8:12-25: St. Paul goes on to develop his theme of how we live in the Spirit. Continuing to live a selfish life and you will die. Live by God's Spirit and you will be freed from fear and anxiety. We are God's own children and are invited to call Father God “Abba” - “papa”. We are the true heirs through Christ of all God's riches.
Matthew 13:24-30, 36-43: Jesus again compares God's kingdom to a field of good seeds. But an enemy has come and planted weeds among the seeds. The workers want to separate the good from the bad right now. Jesus, however, says that all the crops should grow together. “What if you tried to pull up a weed, and you hurt a tender good seed”. No. God will figure it all out at harvest time.
Scripture Summary - 8th Sunday after Pentecost – Year A (July 26) by Rev. Shelley
Genesis 29:15-28: Jacob has tricked his brother Esau (not trusting that God would bring about His promises). Jacob has fled his brother, and is now staying with Uncle Laban. He will now know himself what it feels like to be cheated on by a family member. Yet God will work through this problem too and from Jacob, Leah, and Rachel will come the 12 tribes of Israel.
Psalm 105: 1-11, 45B: This Psalm invites us to give thanks and praise to our holy God.-Go out of our way to follow God. Why would we do this? Because we worship a God who keep promises and remembers his covenant with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacot.
Romans 8:26-39: St. Paul comes to help us when we're weak and in trouble. In fact, when we need help, God's Spirit prays for us from the very depth of our hearts. No matter what the circumstance, nothing can separate us from God's love.
Matthew 13:31-33, 44-52: Jesus continues again in today's Lectionary reading to give us a plethora of images on what God's kingdom looks like. A mustard seed, a treasure chest, a fishing net. No one image is big enough to encompass the largeness of God's kingdom. We're all invited in – let's go into the kingdom and share God's immortal nature.