flannel graph proper 22b, Sunday closest to October 5

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flannelgraph / Year B

A hard Gospel lesson today for many people (Mark 10:2-16). Two things about it: First, God takes the bond and covenant of marriage seriously. As the marriage liturgy says, “it is not to be entered into unadvisedly or lightly.” The spiritual union of marriage represents the union between God and God’s People. AScreen Shot 2015-09-28 at 8.03.34 PMnd so the dissolution of marriage says things, not only about the marriage, but about God’s relationship with us. Second, in Jesus’ day divorce had dire consequences, but especially so for women. Women, without the protection and financial support of her husband, could become destitute very quickly. So, while hard on our ears, this passage also protected some of the most vulnerable people in Jesus’ day.

The less
on from Genesis (Genesis 2:18-24, Track 2) serves as a proof text for the Gospel lesson, telling the story of how man, in the Garden of Eden, needed a “helper” for he was “alone” – and this wasn’t good! After naming all the animals of creation, God gives him the helper that he needed, fashioned from one of man’s own ribs.

Today is the first of several Sundays where we will be exposed to the story of Job (Job 1:1; 2:1-10, Track 1). Today’s lesson is from the early narrative section
where Job, an almost mythic figure of profound righteousness, is found to be in the middle of the struggle between God and the Accuser, and ends up losing everything. The story present this loss as what will become the epic example of Job’s faith, but his suffering is very much real.

This is also the first of several Sundays where we will be in the Book of Hebrews (Hebrews 1:1-4; 2:5-12). This is not an “epistle,” per se, as it is not a letter, but a sermon – and we don’t know who its author is. In this beginning section we are reminded of Jesus’ heavenly existence prior to his coming to earth, his sacrifice for sins, and the “exact imprint” of God’s being that was expressed in the person of Jesus of Nazareth.

Prayer
Gracious G
od, when you sent Jesus, you made him your perfect imprint to save us and to show us your great love for us. Remind us day by day, that we are created in your image, and that our bonds of love and fidelity are meant to be an example to the world of your love and fidelity to us. Amen.

On the way to “soccer practice”…
What does it mean that we are created in the image of God? Does it mean that we “look” like God? Two eyes, a nose and a mouth? Or, does it mean that our loving relationships look like God? How can we reflect God better?

Social Media Flannelgraph
Post an image of someone/ or someplace where you see God, where you see God’s love, where you feel God’s Presence.

The Author

follower of Jesus, father of two, husband of one, Episcopal priest, with one book down, one blog up...surrounded by empty jars of nutella