New Revised Standard Version
Scripture Summaries for August 2022 – Year C
Scripture Summary for the 9th Sunday after Pentecost - Year C (August 7th) – by Rev. Shelley
Isaiah 1:1, 10-20: The prophet Isaiah brings God's challenging summons to his people. God is tired of Judah's religious practices. Their sacrifices and solemn assemblies make God sick. Why has God turned his back on his people's worship – something that God has commanded them to do? Because they have forgotten to do the other thing God requires – doing good, seeking justice, rescuing the vulnerable. God invites them to “argue it out” together and then God can bring healing and forgiveness.
Psalm 50:1-8, 22-23: The Psalmist also summons God's people to come before God for a council meeting. The earth and the heavens will also be in attendance. God is the judge, and the people will be seen as the ones who have forgotten God. Yet, all is not lost. What God is looking for is the sacrifice of thanksgiving. That is what honours God. This is what is the beginning of salvation.
Hebrews 11:1-3, 8-16a: The writer of Hebrews paints a picture of the long line of faithful believers. They all lived by faith in the hope and assurance that a better day was coming. It was a hard, rough slough – yet filled with miraculous events. Now the writer tells us that the future is here. God has come in the flesh. We still journey by faith to the heavenly city, but now we rejoice that by the power of the resurrection, God is continually on the journey with us.
Luke 12:32-40: Jesus gives his followers a warning (or an encouragement?) that one never knows when or where God will show up. So always be ready for Jesus to appear in your life and its circumstances. Sometimes it will feel like a bridegroom arriving, other times like a thief in the night. Don't spend your time accumulating “stuff” but have your treasures in the divine economy of God. But also “don't fear” - it's God's pleasure to give you his kingdom. So stay alert, and be prepared.
Scripture Summary for the 10th Sunday after Pentecost – Year C (August 14th) – by Rev. Shelley
Isaiah 5: 1-7: God begins to sing a love song over his beloved vineyard. He asks Judah and Jerusalem to listen to the song and give a judgement. God did everything possible to ensure that the vineyard would bear good fruit. Yet its grapes were wild and bitter. Then God gives a judgement. Israel and Judah are his vineyard. God expected justice but their fruit consisted of tears and bloodshed. The vineyard will be left to nature – overgrown, thirsty for water, walls trampled down.
Psalm 80:1-2, 8-19: The Psalmist calls on God do what He promised. Be a shepherd and lead the flock. You brought us out of Egypt and planted us safely in a new land. But now the walls are broken down. Wild animals are ravaging the vineyard. Come Lord and help us again.
Hebrews 11:29-12:2: The writer of Hebrews continues the story of the people of faith. It was not an easy life for any of them. Yet they kept going, looking ahead to a better day. They were waiting for the coming of Christ, and the fulfillment of the sharing of God's spirit with all people. Since we have this great crowd of witnesses cheering us on in our life of faith, let's run our race of faith with our eyes on Jesus.
Luke 12:49-56: Again Jesus shows what divisions his message will bring to households and nations. His good news of peace and love will not necessarily guarantee a peaceful and loving response. Families might be divided. All will not be on board with the radical nature of the gospel. But learn how to read the times – a thunderstorm does not upset someone who has observed the dark clouds. Do not let the thought of opposition catch you off guard.
Scripture Summary for the 11h Sunday after Pentecost – Year C (August 21st) – by Rev. Shelley
Jeremiah 1:4-10: The prophet Jeremiah believes that he is too young to speak on God's behalf. God answers Jeremiah that he has been known by God since before he was born. There is nothing to fear. God assures him by a physical touch and with challenging and clear words.
Psalm 71:1-6: This is a personal prayer for God's help in the Psalmist's life. Notice the many times that “I” and “me” are used. The psalmist comes directly to God seeking refuge, deliverance, rescue, and salvation. There is someone or something wicked that is threatening the writer – it is cruel and unjust. But the psalmist will continue to trust in God – this has been his habit since his youth, indeed, since he was born.
Hebrews 12: 18-29: Israelites who had escaped from enslavement of Egypt were met by a fierce sight in the wilderness. A mountain of fire and smoke – even Moses was afraid to climb this mountain. Yet our encounter with the living God is not to be feared. God longs to give us a heritage that cannot be shaken – even if this means that everything else if life begins to shake. Don't turn away from this invitation from God.
Luke 13:10-17: This is a beautiful story of Jesus' compassion, great power, and redefining of Sabbath boundaries. He is teaching in the synagogue and sees a woman bent over and unable to stand up straight. He miraculously heals her. But it's the Sabbath, so the authorities are offended and lecture him about Sabbath rules (no work). Jesus then chides them on their lack of compassion – they show more care for their animals than they do for this woman. Even his opponents could not help feeling ashamed after this comparison. And the crowds rejoiced.
Scripture Summary for the 12th Sunday after Pentecost - Year C (August 28th) Reflections by Rev. Shelley
Jeremiah 2:4-13: Jeremiah brings God's accusations against the people of God. Yet they sound more like the laments of a lover deserted by the beloved for no reason. The Israelites have forgotten the one who brought them out of slavery. Nations who worship dumb idols stay loyal to them, yet the ones who worship the true deity show no loyalty. They would rather desert the living water and make their own water pots. Unfortunately they are cracked pots and cannot hold any water.
Psalm 81: 1, 10-16: The Lord who brought the Israelites out of slavery in Egypt longs to continue this saving work. They will have none of it, however. So God gives them up to their own devices. Yet God continues to meet their needs and to fill them with good things.
Hebrews 13:1-8, 15-16: The writer of the Hebrews begins to wind up this letter with practical insights on how to live the Christian life. Be hospitable – it might be an angel at your door. Identify with those in peril. Keep your commitments. Don't be greedy. All this is possible to do, only because we know that God is always with us and will never desert us.
Luke 14:1, 7-14: Jesus shows that the kingdom rules are completely at odds with our normal way of conducting business. Choose the lowly place, the unglamorous job. Let God promote you. Give parties for people who can never reciprocate. Let God be your reward – you will end up living a Godly life and God will throw you a heavenly party.