Texts: Jeremiah 31:31-34; Psalm 46; Romans 3:19-28; John 8:31-36
It’s a strange thing. For all intents and purposes Israel was over and Judah was well on the way toward utter destruction when Jeremiah was given a surprisingly hopeful prophecy from God. “I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah.”
In a search for Sunday worship music this week I came across the hymn “Where Charity and Love Prevail”. I like the tune but it became stuck in my head and I’ve been humming it for days now. That can be irritating, but I decided instead that perhaps the Holy Spirit might be trying to get something into my heart.
Texts: Isaiah 45:1-7; 1 Thessalonians 1:1-10; Matthew 22:15-22
A youngl boy came home from church one day and said to his mother that he intended to become a minister. When she asked why, he replied that since he had to go to church on Sunday anyway, he figured it would be more fun to stand up and yell, than to sit and listen. Whether the story is true or apocryphal, it should challenge us to think about the form of our witness to God.
As I write this reflection, it’s the evening of World Food day. Probably all of us had enough to eat today, and more than enough. We are the fortunate ones.
Texts: Isaiah 25:1-9; Philippians 4:1-9; Matthew 22:1-14
Probably many of you have played the game “Simon Says”. Just to refresh your memory, there’s a leader, who is Simon whose role is to call out instructions beginning with the words, “Simon says…” and everyone else has to do what they’re told. There’s a lot of movement and laughter as everyone tries their hardest to do what Simon says.
As you know, last week I did not write a reflection, because I was in Wyoming to scatter my father’s ashes. It was a very meaningful trip for me and my next younger sister. Along the way there was plenty of time to think.
Texts: Isaiah 5:1-7; Philippians 3:4b-14
In the middle of a courtyard bathed in the reflected light of golden stone a man stands alone. His clear voice floats an elegiac melody into the warm air. Modern expert musicologists would call his tonal range the Phrygian dominant scale. It’s common in Eastern European, Egyptian and Arabic music. But it’s also called the Jewish scale. This is Isaiah, at the Temple singing his heart out. And the people who heard his song would remember it all their lives.
The wind started howling in the early hours of the day and soon evergreen branches, twigs, and leaves littered the streets. The skies darkened and the rain fell in drenching waves. The first storm of the autumn arrived, and more will follow.
The Rev. Beth Purdum Eden is an ordained minister in the Evangelical Lutheran Church. She has served in more than 6 parishes in the Western United States for 30 years.