Preaching The Lectionary Psalms for Cycles A, B, C
(See Proper 21/Pentecost 19/Ordinary Time 26, Cycle C, for an alternative approach to vv. 1-6 and 14-16.)
We immediately recognize a portion of this psalm as part of the dialogue between Jesus and the devil in the temptation narratives. In the well-known scene, the devil suggests to Jesus that if he jumped from one of the high towers of the temple, God would not allow him to be injured. The devil assures Jesus that no harm will come to him because "he will command his angels concerning you ... on their hands they will bear you up" (vv. 11-12).
Bethany Peerbolte Mary Austin Dean Feldmeyer Christopher Keating Ron Love George Reed Thomas Willadsen
Raising one’s hand to ask a question may be the most courageous thing a person can do. When someone asks a question in my classes I take note, because they are the students I want to cultivate into leaders. Asking a question is risky. To raise a hand, one must admit they do not know something and risk others interpreting that as a short coming. Opening oneself up to rejection is counter intuitive to many leaders. Many feel a leader should be strong, flawless, always ready with the answers and a plan B. Hebrews and Mark tells of a different kind of leader.
It is a dark, damp, raining Wednesday night in a certain pastor’s church study. Gathered with the pastor are four men in their late fifties. They have their Bibles open. Their eyelids are barely cracked open. A couple of the men were wise enough to stop by a gas station to get a cup of black coffee to stay awake. This is the latest effort in this small town congregation that worships less than ninety people.
One thing which perhaps separates humans from other animals, is our sense of justice. According to the documentaries I see on television, other animals seem to be driven by basic needs such as hunger, survival and sex. Their lives are centred around satisfying those needs, and even though some animals display considerable domestic organisation and affection for others of the species, they're still driven by their basic primitive urges.
We could also say that humans are driven by similar urges, but our lives are very
Psalm 104 begins and ends with a unique call to praise. Instead of calling on others to praise the Lord, the psalmist instructs himself: "Bless the Lord, O my soul." This psalm and Psalm 103 are the only places in the Bible where this particular expression occurs. What are we to make of this unusual phrase?